Monthly Downloads: 14
Programming language: Haskell
License: BSD 3-clause "New" or "Revised" License
Tags: Music     Multimedia    
Latest version: v1.9.0

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Music Suite

Music Suite is a language for describing music, based on Haskell.


<!-- See http://music-suite.github.io. -->

Build Music Suite

Development environment

There are two ways of setting up the development environment:

  1. Using Nix (recommended on Linux)
  2. Manually (recommended on Windows and OS X)
Nix setup

Install the Nix package manager. We recommend using 2.3.1 or later.

Enter environment using:

nix-shell --pure

All build commands should be run in the Nix shell. You can exit the Nix shell using Ctrl-D.

Manual setup

Install the following.

Make sure that lilypond timidity and ghcup are available your shell environment (e.g. by adding them to PATH).

Use ghcup to install GHC:

ghcup install 8.10.4

Build the library and examples

$ cabal update
$ cabal build

Build and run the tests

Standard test suite
$ cabal test --test-show-details=streaming --test-options=--color=always

To run individual tests:

$ cabal run TEST_NAME -- TEST_ARGS...


$ cabal run music-suite-test-xml-parser

Music Suite makes heavy use of doctests.

You can pass any file or directory. For example to test src/Music/Pitch:

$ cabal build music-suite && cabal exec doctester --package music-suite -- src/Music/Pitch

To test a single file:

$ cabal build music-suite && cabal exec doctester --package music-suite -- src/Music/Score/Meta.hs

To run all doctests use (Nix only):

$ doctests

Development shell

$ cabal build music-suite && cabal exec --package music-suite ghci


$ cabal repl

Build the documentation

User Guide


The output appears in docs/build. You can point a HTTP server to this directory.

API docs
$ cabal haddock

Run example

$ cabal exec runhaskell -- examples/chopin.hs -f ly -o t.ly

How to upgrade the compiler

We use Nix to pin the version of GHC and Cabal freeze files to pin the version of all Haskell dependencies. This describes how to upgrade GHC.

Because GHC pins a version of the Haskell base library, GHC and the Cabal dependencies need to be upgraded together. This is the recommended workflow:

  1. Update the commit/URL and hash in default.nix
    1. Use $ nix-prefetch-url --unpack <url> to obtain the hash (and verify)
  2. Enter new Nix shell (may take a while)
  3. Update the ghc-version field in cabal.project to whatever is printed by ghc --version
  4. Comment out reject-unconstrained-dependencies in cabal.project
  5. Update index-state in Cabal config to a recent time
  6. Run cabal update
  7. Run rm cabal.project.freeze
  8. Run cabal freeze
  9. Run cabal test to check that compiling/testing works (and fix errors)
  10. Restore reject-unconstrained-dependencies
  11. Commit your changes.

Developer notes

Module hierarchy

  • The high-level DSL:

    • Music.Time: high-level DSL for time and rhythm
    • Music.Pitch: high-level DSL for pitch (common, scientific)
    • Music.Dynamics: high-level DSL for dynamics
    • Music.Articulation: high-level DSL for musical articulation
    • Music.Part: high-level DSL for instruments and parts
    • Music.Prelude: prelude/standard library for the Music Suite DSL
  • The notation DSL:

    • Music.Notation.Standard: DSL for representing Common/Western music notation
  • Import & Export:

    • Data.Music.Lilypond: AST, parsing and pretty-printing for the Lilypond language
    • Data.Music.MusicXml: AST, parsing and pretty-printing for MusicXML
  • Utility

    • Control.*: miscellaneous algorithms and utilities
    • Data.*: miscellaneous data structures