Been trying GNU Lilypond again for the hell of it. Barnes and Noble was selling a Dover score of the complete Brandenburg concertos for four bucks; that's, oh, 75% off, one of those deals that grabs you by the collar and drags you to the checkout page. Especially when you have a B&N gift card left over from Christmas. So, since Mutopia had to remove their copy of the Brandenburgs for legal reasons, and the Dover edition is a simple reprint of Bach-Gesellschaft's out-of-copyright edition, I thought I'd check out Lilypond again and see if it was any easier to deal with now than when I last fooled with it two or three years ago.
It's certainly easier to install. No more fiddling with individual packages on the command-line, no more awful, out-of-date Fink, just a simple Mac OS X app that you drag-and-drop. Of course, you're still entering music via a text-editor and a somewhat obscure markup language (well, one you get used to it it's not so obscure). Still, when you come right down to it, it's probably faster than point-and-click entry in a notation program; and not too much slower than playing everything in with a MIDI keyboard. (At least for me, given what a horrid keyboardist I am, and how annoying it is to set up my Keystation. Oh, for a dedicated music studio!)
Yesterday I typeset most of the first movement to Eine kleine Nachtmusik, which was a lot of fun. Of course, the beautiful score is just a side effect; mostly, I want the MIDI output to shove into Pro Tools and finesse with GPO, to create the all-important public domain recordings that are my passion. That's the main reason I didn't start with the 3rd Brandenburg (which you may recall I've been working on in GPO); I already have the public domain MIDI from before the scores were removed, so what's the point?
Lilypond as MIDI sequencer? Boy, I'm weird.
(I recall someone once wanted lute tablature. It's a lot closer now.)