Tinte — Typesetting Music

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Welcome to Tinte,

a typesetting program for sheet music written in the programming language Haskell. You are probably here for one of the following two reasons.

What Tinte is not

In order that you can stop reading early, some things you cannot expect from Tinte:

What Tinte is

It is a compiler, which reads some source code and generates postscript files. These can easily be converted to pdf files.

The name of the game

Tinte is a German word, which means ink. It is used as self referential acronym for: tinte is not TeX.

History of Tinte

Work on Tinte started in the early 90s, when I found an original print of a Monzino sonata in our local library. The thought of making it available to a wider audience on the internet was appealing. In those days, sheet music was not found on the internet.

So I decided to typeset the sonata. Unfortunatly, there were no good freely available programs for typesetting music in a high quality. I ended up with MuTeX a library extension to the typesetting system TeX for typesetting music. I succeeded in producing a nice print of the Monzino sonata. However, typesetting music with MuTeX was very tedious and many special means needed for guitar notation were not readily at hand.

Therefore, I decided to write my own typesetting program. The resulting program was called Tinte and had been implemented with the programming language Clean. Typesetting music with Tinte was a bit more convenient. A Nava duo, a Porro sonata and Schubert Lied have been created with Tinte in those days. However, implementing a typesetting system from scratch completely alone is a time consuming task. Some day I did not have any more time to invest into the Tinte project and stopped development.

Eventually other programmers had the time to implement a typesetting system. Today there is lilypond a powerful typesetting system for sheet music. In its structure it is quite similar to the ways I had taken with Tinte. It is a command line tool, which translates a textual description of the music into a printable format.

However, Tinte has not been completely sunsetted. I converted the Clean sources to the programming language Haskell, and I am still experimenting with it. The latest pieces typeset with Tinte are the Duetto by Luigi Moretti, Variations by v. Call and a Duo by Roeder.

Tinte now no longer uses the fonts from MuTeX and produces dvi as target code, but uses lilypon's feta fonts and now directly produces postscript output. This makes creation of slurs and beams much more convenient.