Gregorio (software)

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King david gregorio logo.png
Developer(s)Élie Roux, Olivier Berten, Henry So Jr, Br. Samuel Springuel, Br. Elijah Schwab, Jakub Jelínek, Br. Gabriel-Marie
Stable release
5.2.1 / 6 April 2019; 21 months ago (2019-04-06)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC, Lua, Python
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows, Linux, MacOS
TypeMusic software

Gregorio is a free and open-source scorewriter computer program especially for Gregorian chant in square notation. Gregorio was adopted by many Abbeys and large projects,[1][2][3] the most prominent user is maybe the St. Peters's Abbey of Solesmes.[4]


Gregorio is not a completely independent program, but consists mainly of three components: The gabc syntax for writing Gregorian scores, a TeX package named GregorioTeX, which is responsible for the graphical output and a converter tool between those two.[5] As such, Gregorio is included in TeX Live 2016.[6]


Gregorio is written especially for Gregorian chant in square notation and does not cover modern European musical notation. Similar to LilyPond it does not provide a graphical user interface. The notation is done via simple text input. It follows the gabc-syntax, which is defined by the Gregorio Project for this purpose. The gregorio command line tool converts this gabc-file to a GregorioTeX file, which has to be included in a common TeX file. Such a file is necessary for a graphical output, e.g., in the PDF-format.


The Gregorio project started in 2006 at TELECOM Bretagne, a graduate engineering school in France. It was at first a student project lasting six months. When the project was done, Élie Roux decided to continue the project on his own and to develop it under GNU General Public License.

At first, the goal of the project was just to provide the Benedictine Abbey Sainte Madeleine in Le Barroux a graphical interface for the usage of a Gregorian font. Due to license issues, the project decided later to make and use its own font. At the end of 2006, a new developer, Olivier Berten, joined the project and created its OpusTeX component. OpusTeX was a LaTeX package with a similar goal like Gregorio but is now unmaintained and deprecated.[7] During a three-month internship, starting in April 2008, at the Monastero di San Benedetto, in Norcia (Italy), Gregorio made considerable progress and its own output named GregorioTeX started to be usable.

In following years Gregorio gained stability and popularity, strongly supported by the migration to GitHub in June 2014. Making contributions got much easier, therefore the development progress became faster. New feature like the adiastematic Saint Gall notation through nabc were implemented. Gregorio was adopted by many abbeys and large projects. The most prominent user may be the St. Peters's Abbey of Solesmes.

In 2016 Gregorio should be integrated into TeX Live, which would make the installation process even more easy.[8]

Example of Gregorio input files[edit]

For producing a score in the PDF format it is suitable to use two separate files — one gabc file and one TeX file. The musical notation is done in the gabc-file with the related gabc syntax. The TeX file could look like this (with the gabc-file named "kyrie.gabc" in the same directory):[9]


Corresponding output
\documentclass[12pt, a5paper]{article}





A small gabc-file looks like this:

name:Kyrie XVII;
(c4)KY(f)ri(gfg)e(h.) *() e(ixjvIH'GhvF'E)lé(ghg')i(g)son.(f.) <i>bis</i>(::)

The first lines contain metainformation such as the name of the chant, the appropriate place in the liturgy of the mass or the Liturgy of the Hours, the original source or the copyright of the score. Sung text and notes are not, as in Lilypond syntax, separated, but the notes are written in parentheses right after the corresponding syllable. A short overview of the syntax is provided by a cheat sheet.[10] If both the TeX and the gabc file are in the same directory, one has just to compile the tex-file with lualatex --shell-escape kyrie.tex.[11]

Reception and usage[edit]

Gregorio is the leading program on its area and widely used.[1][2][3][4] It is considered to be the main specialist on the field of music engraving software.[12]

The Church Music Association of America offered introductions to Gregorio on their annual conference.[1] Gregorio was compared in a scientific article in 2014.[13]

Other notable users are:

Related projects[edit]

Other projects build and extend on Gregorio, for instance to make the usage more user friendly:[28]


  1. ^ a b c "Morning Breakouts at Colloquium XXII" (PDF). CMAA. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  2. ^ a b c Adam Bartlett. "Simple English Propers" (PDF). The Church Music Association of America. p. v. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  3. ^ a b c Arlene Oost-Zinner. "The Parish Book of Psalms". The Church Music Association of America. p. 456. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  4. ^ a b c "Gregorio Website – History". Gregorio Project team. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  5. ^ "Gregorio Website". Gregorio Project team. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  6. ^ "The TeX Live Guide—2016: 9.2 Present—2016". TeX User Group. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
  7. ^ "Installation and Use of OpusTeX". Veronica Brandt. Archived from the original on 2016-05-15. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  8. ^ "Gregorio Website, History". Gregorio Project team. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  9. ^ "Gregorio and GABC Tutorial". Gregorio Project team. Retrieved 2016-05-23. The whole example is taken from this tutorial.
  10. ^ "GABC Cheat Sheet" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  11. ^ "Gregorio Website". Gregorio Project team. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  12. ^ Nicolas Froment, Developer of MuseScore, refused the implementation of Gregorian Chant engraving regarding Gregorio as the project for this purpose. "MuseScore 2.0 brings better music notation, improved usability". Libre Graphics World. Retrieved 2016-07-15.
  13. ^ "Encoding medieval music notation for research", J. Stinson, J. Stoessel, Early Music 42.4 (2014), pp. 613–617 - Oxford University Press
  14. ^ Adam Bartlett (Editor): Lumen Christi Missal, 2012, p. iv.
  15. ^ Adam Bartlett (Editor): Lumen Christi Simple Gradual, 2014, p. viii.
  16. ^ Aristotle A. Esguerra. "Psalm-Tone Lenten Tracts" (PDF). The Church Music Association of America. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  17. ^ "Hymnarium OP". Dominicans of the Province of St Joseph. Archived from the original on 2016-05-14. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  18. ^ "Benedictiones Mensae" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  19. ^ "Antiphonale Monasticum". Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  20. ^ "Antiphonale Monasticum di Praglia (Video Presentation)". Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  21. ^ a b "Liturgia Horarum in cantu gregoriano". Steven van Roode. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  22. ^ "Antiphonale Invectum". Christopher Gray. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  23. ^ "Editio Sancti Wolfgangi". Jakub Pavlík. Archived from the original on 2016-07-15. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  24. ^ "Ferial English Propers". Ben Yanke. Archived from the original on 2016-05-22. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  25. ^ "The Traditional office of Compline in HTML and GABC". GitHub. Seth Borders. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  26. ^ "The Traditional office of Compline in HTML and GABC". GitHub. Benjamin Bloomfield. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  27. ^ "Office des Complies en rite traditionnel". GitHub. Jacques Peron. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  28. ^ "GregoWiki – Online Tools". Gregorio Project team. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  29. ^ "GregoBase". Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  30. ^ "Illuminare Score Writer". Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  31. ^ "Gregorio Chant Engraver". Jeff Ostrowski. Retrieved 2016-07-14.. There is also a video tutorial available."How du I use Gregorio? How do I use GABC?". Jeff Ostrowski. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  32. ^ Benjamin Bloomfield. "Benjamin Bloomfield's GABC-Tools, FAQ". Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  33. ^ "GregoWiki – Text editor tools for gabc files". Gregorio Project team. Retrieved 2016-05-23.

External links[edit]