Arun’s (mostly carnatic) World

August 11, 2011

About the Carnatic Music Notation Typesetter (v1.5 Beta)

Filed under: — arunk @ 7:01 pm

The Carnatic Music Notation Typesetter is a web-based application that allows you to typeset high quality notation sheets for carnatic music. It can generate notations in English, and if appropriate fonts are installed on your computer, it can even generate notation sheets in the following Indic languages: Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada.

The typesetter requires you to specify the notation for the song to be notated in a specific input format that is simple, and easy to use. The application converts the input into a graphical layout similar to those you see in carnatic music books .

The typesetter application currently is in Beta Release, which means it has some rough edges, and may not always be stable.

  • To know more about using the typesetter, please read the manual, and also look at the Examples.
  • To use this program effectively, you need to learn about how to specify the notation input. The Manual explains this in detail, and the examples are also a great way of learning how to specify Carnatic Music notations.
  • Launch! the application.

Browser Support: Firefox is currently the preferred browser to run the typsetter. However, typesetter should work on Internet Explorer and Opera. As indicated above, due to the typesetter being in Beta release, you may still run into problems on these browsers. It is the intention of the author(s) to support the typesetter on Firefox, Opera, IE and Safari (on Mac).

What’s new in Version 1.5 Beta
This release contains the following enhancements:

  • A Smart Lyric mode, which allows you to specify lyrics more easily. See the SmartLyricMode directive section of the manual.
  • Enhancements to manual mode in tala. There are now two manual modes, one of which places tala anga markers above  the notation line which can allow for closer grouping of swaras that are part of a single musical phrase. This allows for the underlying melody to be more easily discerned from the notation. See the Tala directive section of the manual.
  • Support for rendering language using Roman diacritics – see the Language directive section.
  • Better control over the width and height of margins around the content can be controlled. See the Orientation directive section of the manual.
  • A new Title directive to specify the title of the web-page. This can be useful in printing as the browser can be directed to put this information in the header/footer sections.

The release also has some bug fixes with respect to layout and pagination.

Pagination behavior change: Due to lack of reliable pagination control (as well as browser incompatiblities), starting with v1.5 Beta, the typesetter does not automatically paginate contents like in earlier versions (since that has proven to be very unreliable). The typesetter now instead relies on the browser’s printing capabilities itself. This may however result in browser inserting a page break at inappropriate places (e.g. between the swara line and the corresponding lyric line). To fix these, you can insert the Pagebreak directive to introduce a manual pagebreak.


  1. I have trying to notate ada tala varnam and having trouble aligning the talam. Can you please help me out?

    Comment by SubhaSri Mani — August 16, 2016 @ 8:00 pm

  2. Thank you so much. This tool is wonderful. I am able to write notation and share for many songs.

    I need one help:
    How do I add subscript numbers in Arohanam and Avarohanam ?


    Comment by Shyam Kumar — April 23, 2020 @ 4:36 am

  3. Thank you for this wonderful work you have done Sir. It has made notation writing very easy. I had one doubt, the notation final output when converted to pdf to print, the tara sthayi and mandra sthayi indication (dots) get disappeared. Kindly help.

    Comment by Soumya — September 15, 2021 @ 8:06 am

  4. Dear Arun Sir, Thank you. I got the solution for the above-commented issue.
    We are a music institution from Shivamoga, Karnataka “Sri Guruguha Sangeetha Mahavidyalaya”. Our Guru Vidwan Shringeri H. S. Nagaraj. We are very happy to have known this software and we are utilizing it. Feel free to check our Facebook page:
    Thank you.

    Comment by Soumya — September 15, 2021 @ 8:45 am

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