Import "simple stuff" from LilyPond?

Since Hookpad can export to LilyPond, I’m wondering if it could make an attempt to import. I realize it’s probably not going to import super-complicated stuff well, but I’m thinking:

What if I use Hookpad to generate ideas and get a rough outline,export it to LilyPond and use Frescobaldi to fix a few things that seem easier to fix there, and then import the tune back into Hookpad to try out more ideas?

Hi, thank you for the suggestion!

I’m not sure this can be ever done. In Hookpad all notes except the melodies are generated dynamically. Behind the scenes the chords get transformed to the notes you actually hear by voicing them with the help of patterns etc. The LilyPond/Midi export is created in the same way. So as Hookpad never sees any file which has all performed notes in it, we can’t just export any LilyPond/Midi etc. file and play it there.

Anyway, what are the things you can fix in Lilypond easily? Perhaps we can add some features which would make working with Hookpad faster/easier.



I have an excellent ear for pitch but a terrible sense of timing. I play flute (quite well I am told) but don’t read music. I pick up a melody line quickly, but have no real idea of what chords go with anything. (I’m finally, after decades, starting to hear harmony.) I have been using LilyPond to slowly, painfully, copy stuff I see in print, and then have LilyPond generate the MIDI so that I can learn by ear.

But I’m trying now to take tunes that I hear in my head and eventually, add chords to them. So, I’ve got the notes from a melody – not an original – entered into Hookpad. But the timing is completely off. Everything’s a quarter note. I thought "OK, export it to LilyPond, and even though I don’t read music, I understand the basics of theory. I can “do the math” – experiment with time signatures, and note durations until things “line up” visually, play the MIDI to see how close I am, then import it back into Hookpad and start fooling with trying to add chords.

Experiments with importing MIDI into other systems hasn’t gone as well as I’d hoped. So, preserving everything – e.g. lyrics, title, composer, time signature, key, and maybe even tempo when in a cycle of export → edit → import → edit → export → … seemed like it might be more successful going between Hookpad and LilyPond.

But I’m pretty new to this, So maybe that doesn’t make any sense at all.

Ah, I see.

So in general I think you can totally skip LilyPond and do all your rhythmic optimizations directly inside Hookpad. I know, you’re used to see it notated in LilyPond but if you aren’t used to notation, the Hookpad piano roll will be far more easier after a little learning curve.

Here are some tips to give you a good start:

  • you can adjust the meter later in Hookpad if you’re not sure what is should be in the start. The melody will stay the same, but the visual aligning with the bars will change.
  • You can also look in the preference for an entry mode called “text”. This works the same like in a text editor: If you make a note longer or shorter it will shift everything that comes afterwards.
  • Use hotkeys: You can change the note duration of a selected note with “H”, “J”, “K” etc. You can select the next/previous note with the arrow keys. A combination of those two will give you very quick access to any rhythmic changes you might have to do.

The piano roll will take some time to get used to but everything else should be far quicker than changing everything in LilyPond.

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