Leadsheet is a companion for musicians. It works like this: You specify your songs in a Latex-like text format (similar to the "chords" you see around the internet), and Leadsheet generates (a) nicely formatted PDF files and (b) a HTML song scroller optimized for phones and tablets (but usable in any browser). Both are intended for use in the band room.

How to write your Chords

Here is how a song file looks (please don't sue us whoever holds the rights to this):

\author Faith No More
\title Easy

\htmltactwidth 29
\htmltactspeed 1600
\htmltactbeat 4

\part Intro
[G] | [Bm] | [Am] | [D] |
[G] | [Bm] | [Am] | [D] |

\part Verse
[G] ~You know it sounds | [Bm]funny but I just can't | [Am]stand the pain | [D] |
[G] ~Girl I'm | [Bm]leaving you to- | [Am]morrow | [D] ~[G] |
[G] ~Seems to | [Bm]me, girl, you know I've done | [Am]all I can | [D] |
[G] ~You see I | [Bm]begged stole and I | [Am]borrowed, | [Am] |
[D]yeah | [D] ~That's why I'm |

This is basically Latex for the poor. You can specify any \part you want, the | are the tact delimiters, and a new line means a new line (for the PDF version, not for the song scroller). The \html* options are for the song scroller only and specify the width of a tact in pixels, the tact duration in milliseconds and the number of beats per tact. You then go to leadsheet/leadtex and call ./leadtex.py yourfile.txt (assuming you have Python and pdflatex installed), and a new file yoursong.pdf will be created that looks like this:

leadtex example PDF

So this is the print portion, and it is nice and good for the band room if you are the traditional kind of person. But if you want to have a Guitar-hero like scrolling thing, consider using the HTML/Javascript (= browser) based songbook:

You can have that scroller on your tablet/phone too: Assuming yoursong.txt is still in leadsheet/leadtex, go to leadsheet/songbook/res/ and call ./collect_leadsheet_files.py. This will create a new file songbook_collection.html which is used by the song book scroller you get when you direct a browser to leadsheet/songbook/index.html.

If you look at the menu on the right side, the \html* options from above can be modified here. Tact width can be adjusted for the entire song, and speed and beat can also be set for each \part separately.


Leadsheet is GPL'd open source software, and it is and will always remain free.

There only one condition attached: If you use it, you must send every song you create to us (preferably via email to megid at sourceforge.net) because it is kind of tedious to create a large song collection and we would really appreciate your help.

For rare cases when it makes sense to use LGPL instead of GPL, write us and we might give you a different license.

And, as always, there are absolutely no guarantees on this. We do everything the best we can, but in the unlikely event that the software crashes your phone, your life and your bank account, it is still your own fault.


We started in 2012-07 with the PDF stuff, in 2012-12 with the HTML stuff, and are generally still testing it in the band room. The current release is version 0.2 from 2013-02.

And next?

Download the package (top of page), try it out. If you make songs and enjoy it, send us your songs. If you think it sucks, please tell us why. Have fun!