What is Redrose

Redrose is an integrated environment to write music in the ABC syntax and play, preview and print the sheet music.

Redrose program is free software, copyright (C) 2021 Benoît Rouits and released under the GNU General Public License version 3. It is delivered as is in the hope it can be useful, but with no warranty.


screenshot of redrose main window

Source code

Redrose source code is browsable at the github browser of Redrose. You can checkout it with a git client program, e.g: by typing in a command-line shell:
$ git clone https://github.com/be1/redrose.git
$ cd redrose


Source release

If you prefer to build Redrose by yourself, you can download the stable source package of version 0.5.19 of Redrose. Notice current version of Redrose needs the following libraries and binaries: Depending on your Linux distro, you can build Redrose with Qt5 or Qt6 but you must ensure that the Drumstick library is compiled against the same version of Qt.

Setting up with Qt5 (Ubuntu Jammy, 22.04)

$ sudo apt install qtbase5-dev
$ sudo apt install qttools5-dev
$ sudo apt install qttools5-dev-tools
$ sudo apt install libdrumstick-dev
$ sudo apt install libspectre-dev
$ sudo apt install libfluidsynth-dev

Setting up with Qt6 (Ubuntu Noble, 24.04)

$ sudo apt install qt6-base-dev
$ sudo apt install qt6-tools-dev
$ sudo apt install qt6-tools-dev-tools
$ sudo apt install libdrumstick-dev
$ sudo apt install libspectre-dev
$ sudo apt install libfluidsynth-dev


Once dependencies have been set up, build the program with the following commands in a command-line shell:

$ sudo apt install build-essential cmake git pkg-config
$ tar zxvf redrose-0.5.19.tar.gz
$ cd redrose-0.5.19
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..
$ make
$ sudo make install
$ sudo apt install abcm2ps
$ sudo apt install abcmidi
Now redrose is installed in /usr/local/bin/redrose by default. A desktop file and icon are installed too, and you should be able to see a red rose icon somewhere on your applications menu.


Redrose sometimes crashes on pressing Stop button while playing music. I recommend to save your project quite frequently to avoid loss. Internal ABC parser is weak, you can use abcmidi instead if you are not satisfied with the internal MIDI generator (see preferences menu).


Donations are very welcomed to help me to maintain this software.

If you want, you can donate money through liberapay:

Or if you prefer, you can use Paypal:

Happy music writing!