The author of "NoteEdit" presents

NtEd - 1.10.18 - a musical score editor (only) for Linux

Please have a look at my new WebGL-Page!

I'd like to express my admiration for the developers of the Cairo library. Cairo can antialiasing, curves, deal with PostScript fonts, and fill in areas independent of whether these areas are concave or convex. Without any change of the drawing instructions you can bring Cairo to draw in a widget, create a PostScript, PDF, PNG, or SVG file image. And if you compare the output: It is always exactly the same image! And it is fast, very fast! This is important because the WYSIWYG user expects an answer to a mouse event during approximately 50 ms. The WYSIWYG behaviour of NtEd bases completely on the properties of the Cairo library.
Download source:
nted-1.10.18.tar.gz (3998 K)
NtEd is in Ubuntu logo NtEd is in PCLinuxOS logo
OpenSuse-11.1/2 packets (1.10.16)    suse
Thanks to Carsten Gerlach <carsten-gerlach at>
    NtEd is in Fedora     Fedora Logo
new Debian packages 1.10.18debian_logo
Thanks to Gilles Filippini <gilles.filippini at>
Slackware package slackware
Thanks to Johannes Schöpfer
<johannes at>
Arch Linux package 1.8.0 arch_lin
Thanks to Smartboy <smartboyathome at>
nted is in Gentoo gentoo-icon emerge media-sound/nted
Thanks to Matthias Vill <nted at>

Known Bugs

There are problems with MuiscXML files which divide an instrument into staves

See How to translate for instructions to prepare a translation for your preferred language.


  • Real WYSIWYG, i.e. what you see on screen is exactly what you get on printer output
  • Distribution of the musical symbols on pages and systems
  • (up to) 4 voices per staff
  • N-tuplets 2 ≤ N ≤ 13
  • repeats (with/without alternatives)
  • Segno, dal segno al Coda, dal Segno al Fine (with correct replay)
  • up to 5 lyrics lines
  • drum notes
  • grace notes
  • trills, pralls, mordent, staccato, tenuto, sforzando, ...
  • dynamics, (de-) crescendo (hairpins)
  • grupetto (turn, reverse turn)
  • separate timbre for every voice
  • va8, vb8, ma15, mb15 - lines
  • accelerato, ritardando
  • fermata, arpeggio
  • continously scaleable score
  • piano pedal marks
  • block instructions
  • Transpose
  • context change (key, clef, time signature change)
  • customizable ties, beams, slurs, stems
  • customizable spaces (global and per measure)
  • Internationalization: German gerflag, Dutch dutch_flag, Spanish spain_flag Italian italflag Swedish swed_flag Hungarian hung_flag French french_flag Russian ruflag. Chinese chinflag. Ukrainian ukr_flag_small, British british_flag_small
  • arbitrary text (allegro molto con brio)
  • hiding rests / position rests vertically
  • creating score from playing MIDI keyboard
  • determine pitch by MIDI keyboard
  • breath symbols
  • guitar chord diagrams / chord annotation
  • extract staves
  • import MusicXML
  • import NoteEdit (implicit)
  • system layout (braces, brackets)
  • direct replay, whereby: Configurable music instruments per staff
  • muting staves
  • export midi
  • play transposed
  • import midi
  • export PostScript
  • export PDF
  • export PNG
  • export SVG
  • multiple windows
  • Library usage as little as possible (Cairo, Gtk, X11, ALSA)
  • Note! Some more packages are needed for immediate help (see: Installation from source)
  • Antialiasing
  • simple installation tested on many Linuxes, i.e.:
    make install

    works on all tested Linuxes
  • GPL

Note: For smooth replay a PC > 2.0 GHz is recommended. This holds especially if a soft synthesizer like TiMidity is used.


Because the author has not enougth time, NtEd is unfortunately unsupported. Excuse, but do not expect an answer if you write an email to the author.

There is a special mailing list available for bugs and feature requests. The list is open for members and non-members. But I recommend to become a member because otherwise it can happen the answer is only posted to the list. The mailing list has also an archive. So before posting a request or a bug please try to find out whether sombody else already sent a posting concerning the same topic.


EnglishGerman (Deutsche Dokumentation)
Download: doc.tgz (2573 K) OnLine documentation Download: gerdoc.tgz (2579 K) OnLine documentation
Italian documentationSpanish documentation
Download: itdoc.tgz (2580 K)OnLine documentation Download: esdoc.tgz (2578 K)OnLine documentation

If you want to translate the documentation into your preferred language Don't translate the HTML pages!!!. Please send an e-mail to me (! I'll show you a way to make a reuseable translation, which can grow with the growing original documentation.


The FAQ is part of the TAR archive and the documentation.

Das deutsche FAQ findet man in der deutschen Dokumentation.

First test

To hear my examples use the soundfont mentioned here:
For more information about how to use the SF2 file read the appropriate question in FAQ or read about the configuration of the TiMidity server

        File --> Open ... --> datafiles/nted/examples/example1.ntd
        File --> Open ... --> datafiles/nted/examples/example2.ntd
        File --> Open ... --> datafiles/nted/examples/example11.ntd

Press the play button. You should see running red notes and you should hear the music. If you hear the music the program works :-))

If not then try to change the MIDI port ( Configure-->Configure MIDI select a port)

If nothing helps refer to the appropriate question in FAQ.

Beethoven's 5th symphony 1st movement

To hear this example use the soundfont mentioned here: Otherwise it sounds strange!
For more information about how to use the SF2 file read the appropriate question in FAQ or read about the configuration of the TiMidity server

How to use the NtEd score in ordinary texts? How to add a 2nd, 3rd, ... verse as ordinary text?


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License ( for more details.

Do not expect an answer, see above!