ChordWP – Sheet Music For WordPress

UPDATE – ChordWP ProPack Is Now Available

The ChordWP ProPack adds new features including transposing, printing, and downloading for your music. Both ChordWP and the ChordWP ProPack will be developed and maintained by White Harvest.

ChordWP IconChordWP is a WordPress plugin for sharing sheet music in the form of staffless lead sheets. It uses the ChordPro music format with a couple extra optional directives. The base plugin provides a custom post type for music as well as a shortcode if you want to embed music in any other page or post. Optional add-ons provide the ability to transpose the music and to download the lead sheet as a PDF.

How To Write Music For ChordWP

First, download the ChordWP WordPress plugin. The main goal of ChordWP is to make it easy to write and share sheet music for WordPress. The general synax for writing music is very simple. Just put a chord name in square brackets right before the word (or syllable) where you want the chord to be played.

Here is an example of a section of music generated by ChordWP followed by the ChordPro syntax used to create this presentation.

Vegetable Car

Artist: Joshua Radin

Capo: 4


x / x / x / x / (repeat)

Verse 1:

Ba – by you don’t even know me x / x /
  A D A
But one day I’ll get up the courage
  G A D A G A
As you pass by you’ll see x / x / x / x /


ChordWP supports the following directives:

  • Artist: The artist’s name
    {artist: Joshua Radin}
  • Title: The title of the song
    {title: Song Title} or {t: Song Title}
  • Key: The key for the song
    {key: G}
  • Capo: What fret to put the capo on for guitar music
    {capo: 4}
  • Time: The time signature
    {time: 4/4}
  • Tempo: The speed of the song
    {tempo: 92 BPM}
  • Start of chorus: Mark the beginning of the chorus
    {soc} or {start_of_chorus}
  • End of chorus: Mark the end of the chorus
    {eoc} or {end_of_chorus}
  • Comment: Make a note or comment
    {c: repeat verse} or {comment: repeat verse}
  • Comment italic: Same as comment but font is italicized
    {ci: repeat} or {comment_italic: repeat}
  • Comment box: Same as comment but rendered in a box
    {cb: repeat} or {comment_box: repeat}
  • Columns: Show music in multiple columns. See notes below about using columns.
    {col: 2} or {columns: 2}
  • Column break: Start a new column. See notes below about using columns.
    {colb} or {column_break}

Using Columns To Format Your Music

When not using columns, the music gets rendered in the order it is written. If you decide to use columns, if the content area on your site is too narrow, the second (right side) column will tuck under the first column. This allows you to show one long column of sheet music for WordPress, but when rendered as a PDF, where there is more horizontal width available, you will see two columns.

To use columns, simply put {columns: 2} at the bottom of your directives, before you start your verses. Then, when you want to start a new column, enter {column_break} or {cb}

Consider putting the verses of a song in the left column and the  chorus in the right column. It makes it easy to visually locate the chorus and provides a more compact presentation of the music which can help to get the entire song onto a single page. Here is the full version of my arrangement of Joshua Radin’s Vegetable Car showing the use of columns.

See the full rendering of Vegetable Car

Formatting Tips

Here are a couple ideas to get the most out of ChordWP.

  • Hyphenate split words: If you are going to split a word with a chord so that the chord is over the second syllable of the word, try using a hyphen like this: re - [A]quires
  • Use slashes to format instrumental sections: Use an x for the first beat and / for each additional beat until you either change chords or end the measure. The song above shows an example of this.
  • Chorus in second column: To try to keep all the music on a single, printed page, consider putting the chorus in a second column.

    Download ChordWP WordPress Plugin – Sheet Music For WordPress    

35 thoughts on “ChordWP – Sheet Music For WordPress

  1. Renee says:

    This is an amazing plugin, but can you please name the plugin you use for transposition of chords on your site

    • Lee says:

      I have two other add-on plugins for ChordWP. One is for transposing and the other for downloading a PDF copy of the music. I haven’t yet released them because I’m still enhancing the code. I hope to have both of the other plugins available soon.

      • itised83 says:

        Hi !
        I’m tryin’ to make my own songbook on WordPress and your plugin could be perfect. But your unreleased plugins for PDF and transposing could be very useful too! Are there any news about them? Thanks.

        • Lee says:

          Yes, I think I’ve got both the PDF download and the transpose add-ons working pretty well at this point. I’ve been using them myself for several months and they’ve been working great for me. I’m sure as other people start to use them there will be more features that people want. Nevertheless, they’ve been really solid for me and they guys I play music with. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to publish them. I guess I’ll probably see if I can get them listed in the repository (soon to be renamed “Directory”). The other thing I am considering is listing them privately so I can just have them managed by git without having to fuss with all the WordPress SVN stuff.

  2. Raze says:

    Hi Lee,

    The plugin looks really clean and it’s what I’m looking for. However, I’m also looking for the ability to transpose those chords. For that, I’m going to sign up for your post notifications – hope the add-on becomes available soon!

    Also, can this plugin do chord inversions? Like you know, Ddim7/F or something? Hope your add-on transposition plugin will be able to work with that too.

    Looking forward to seeing developments!


    • Lee says:

      Thanks for checking out ChordWP! I’m still fine-tuning the transpose and download add-ons. I hope to have them available soon.

      • Nathan says:

        Any news on a newer release? Also was hoping to be able to use shortcode to add chordwp reader to my regular posts.

        Thanks for an awesome and much needed plugin

        • Lee says:

          Hi Nathan. I haven’t had the time to work on ChordWP much lately, but I do use it every week for my own needs. It’s been working really well for me. The issue is we are really dealing with three different plugins. There is the core ChordWP plugin and then two add-on plugins. One for transposing and another for download the music as a PDF. I built it this way on purpose for several reasons. The main reason was to be able to release updates to the various components individually. So if you weren’t using the PDF download stuff, you wouldn’t have to bother with updating your plugin if I released an update to that component. As it turns out, it seems like everybody wants all the features. So I may just merge everything all into one big plugin that includes everything. I haven’t done that yet though.

  3. Oliver says:

    Hi Lee,

    Great plugin but i have a few issues.. first if access the permaling . i have the song 3 times on my page 1. in page area und 2 times after my footer – i use the FDWR theme wirh WP 4.2

    further more can you explan the usage of the [cordwp] shortcode? I am also would like to use your 2 addons. that you use

  4. Josh Mack says:

    Great plugin. Where can I find the shortcode to embed the song on another post? Also was wondering where the css for the plugin is located? I’d like to change some of the spacing and font colors that are being generated. Lastly how are your progressing on the transpose addition? Thanks.

  5. Johan says:

    Hi Lee.

    Thank you so much for this plugin is just what I needed .
    I hope soon we can have the function to transpose chords.

    God bless you.

  6. Jaochai says:

    i use for my website and it’s work for wordpress latest version (WordPress 4.7 Beta 4)
    Thank you so much for created.

  7. BB says:

    Hello, I noticed, that the plugin (which is awesome btw.) has a css file, that style sheet made the comments on my site fade – like become more and more invisible with every level. Similar like here. I don’t remember if it was the color or opacity, they also become smaller (in my case) – this messed up all comments on the whole page – they were unreadable too small / too bright – I turned it off manually…. but some people might get scared… If they have the same problem. I don’t remember messing with any standard settings on my site… And I wonder was it intentional?

    • Lee says:

      No, that was not intentional. This is the first time I’ve heard of anyone having that problem. There must be some sort of funny conflict between your theme and the styles in ChordWP. I’ll see if I can figure out what might be causing the issue. It might be hard for me to figure out without being able to duplicate the problem.

  8. Lee says:

    Hey, everybody. I’ve been putting a lot of work into ChordWP lately and I’m thinking about packaging up an extension plugin, maybe called the ProPack, with extra features like transposing and downloading PDFs. It would be great to be able to sell the ProPack for $25 to help cover the cost of all the time I’ve put into this. I’d love to know what you think about that. Does that sound like a reasonable price? Thanks!

    • Mike Case says:

      That sounds like a perfectly fair price for transposing and PDF printing support! The sooner the better – I’m working on a project right now that would definitely significantly benefit from this!

      Thanks for your hard work – you’re creating a wonderfully useful plugin!

    • says:

      hello, how about $15? i just want transposing feature, please let me know when this chordwp propack launch.

      i need this plugin ASAP. can u realized by this month?

      • Lee says:

        I am continuing to improve and update the propack as well as a website to sell the plugin from. I hope to have it all launched before the end of the month. I’m really excited about it. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm and encouragement!

  9. hi, there is plugin wp chord is ready to sell? i need this plugin

  10. Lee says:

    Hey, everybody! I’m super happy to announce that the ChordWP ProPack is now available. The ChordWP ProPack adds transposing, printing, and downloading for your sheet music. Going forward, ChordWP and the ChordWP ProPack will be developed and maintained by White Harvest.

    You can find ChordWP and the ChordWP ProPack here:

  11. RaFan says:

    Nice work! I would like to ask if would be possible to render chord diagram like in the Chordpro software. Sometimes I need to specify the fingering and a custom note.

    Thanks again

  12. Rf says:

    Thanks for the great plugin but In my langage “Malagasy” words in a song are very long and chord happened to be in the middle of a word. Using the plugin the word is split in several pieces which is not nice. Is there an option to disable the automatic word splitting? In my website I still use “chordsandlyrics” plugin which does not have this behaviour but unfortunately not supported anymore.


  13. Moana says:

    Hello, I just bought your plugin and it is amazing! Great job !
    I have one question : is there possibility to display chords diagrams for guitar or ukulele?
    Thank you

  14. Alex says:


    Just noticed the plugin was removed from Was this intentional?


  15. Scott says:

    Shame to see this plugin is no longer active, when I go to I get
    “This plugin was closed on May 29, 2018 and is no longer available for download.”

  16. Clark Stacer says:

    I just today discovered this plugin, and I had to d/l the code via svn, I think only version 1.1.0.

    Do you have a later version of this than what’s in the svn repo? I promise I won’t bug you for support!

    Is it possible you would hand-off the code to another dev (like myself)? There’s currently no other plugin for wp like it that I’ve been able to find.

    I just plugged it in and turned it on and other than a nonce error it appears to be rendering fine and works for what I need it to do…

    Thanks, sorry you had to quit dev on it!

  17. Tom says:

    Oh my, this is exactly what I’m looking for.
    Whar a pitty that you don’t have the time any more to continue development.
    Do you have any idea if another dev is planning to continue the plugin?
    Thanks a lot,

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