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GNU Denemo
Denemo 2.4.0 on GNU/Linux
Denemo 2.4.0 on GNU/Linux
Developer(s)Richard Shann, Jeremiah Benham, Éloi Rivard
Initial release1999
Operating systemLinux, Windows, macOS
Typemusic sequencer, scorewriter (music notation program)
LicenseGNU General Public License

GNU Denemo is a free open source multi-platform music notation program and sequencer. It supports the most common audio file formats and it can also export scores, or sheet music, as PNG and PDF files. Denemo can handle typesetting via the LilyPond music engraver.

Notes and music notations can be added to Denemo using a PC keyboard, a microphone or a MIDI input. It comes with a built-in instrument sampler for music playback.

Denemo comes with a large amount of examples and a really long manual in the form of a about 360 KiB large HTML file. The manual is needed because Denemo is neither user-friendly or intuitive, it takes some getting used to and it is a bit cumbersome to navigate and use all the features it offers. That's probably fine if you write sheet music for a living and you end up using it on a daily basis. Randomly opening it if you never used it before and you have have 5 minutes to write down some musical notes real quick isn't worth it, learning how to use it takes longer than that.

File Formats

Denemo can save scores and excerpts to:

  • LilyPond files (.ly)
  • MusicXML files (.musicxml)
  • MIDI files
  • WAV, OGG audio files
  • PNG graphic files
  • PDF files


There are many programs that are similar in functionality and, in most cases, better in terms of user-friendliness. None of them are free software, they are all immoral proprietary software programs who are therefore not worth mentioning.


The official website is at Yes, it's HTTP, they do not support HTTPS as of March 2021.


Anonymous (694cc4e879)

25 days ago
Score 0


thanks for the info and for the website (very interesting!).

Just a mention: MuseScore -

I think it should accommodate fine in the 'Alternatives' section.

Kind regards!
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