I discovered Lilypond and I'm testing it on hacklily.org. Yet, even if the documentation avout writing pitches mentions that if you want to have one octave up you should use ' and one octave down you should use , the later doesn't seem to be supported by hacklily, or that my documentation isn't up to date. Indeed, with the following code:

\header {
  title = "Down in a hole"
  composer = "Alice in chains"

baseMelody = \relative {
\time 4/4
  <g b'>8 c'8 a8 d8, g8

melody = {
  \tempo 4 = 95

drum = \drums {
    \clef treble
    hh8 hh16 hh16 hh8 hh8 hh16 hh16 hh8 hh8 hh16 hh16 hh8 
    hh16 hh16 hh8 hh8 hh16 hh16 hh8 hh8 hh32 hh32 hh32 hh32

\score {
  \new Staff <<
    \new Voice \melody
    \new Drums \drum
  \layout { }

  \midi {}

I get:

Processing `hacklily-wrapper.ly'
/tmp/hacklily.ly:10:20: error: syntax error, unexpected ','
  <g b'>8 c'8 a8 d8
                   , g8
/tmp/hacklily.ly:25:3: error: errors found, ignoring music expression
  \new Staff <<

PS: does anyone knows why it's not possible to save its work? I obtain:

> TypeError: e.sent.map is not a function

1 Answer 1


Your error is given by the wrong placement of the comma. You correctly used c'8, and you must write d,8 as well.

Simply put, you must:

  • First write the name of the pitch, like d (not sure about English).
  • Then 's and ,s for marking the octave. You can give more than one or none.
  • (Then ? if you want Lilypond to put a cautionary accidental to the note, or ! if you want to force the accidental, or nothing.)
  • Then the duration.
  • Everything else goes after that in no particular order.

So d,8 is okay while d8, results in a syntax error, because the comma doesn't mean anything in that position.

Ad P. S.: Sadly I don't know anything about Hacklily.

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