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Mudcat ABC Tune Guide

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Joe Offer 25 May 00 - 07:03 PM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 25 May 00 - 07:17 PM
Jeri 25 May 00 - 07:22 PM
Sorcha 25 May 00 - 07:38 PM
Snuffy 26 May 00 - 08:11 AM
John in Brisbane 30 May 00 - 09:43 AM
rabbitrunning 21 Aug 00 - 07:37 PM
MMario 21 Aug 00 - 08:15 PM
Shamrock 21 Aug 00 - 08:30 PM
John in Brisbane 21 Aug 00 - 08:44 PM
John in Brisbane 22 Aug 00 - 02:36 AM
Gervase 22 Aug 00 - 12:11 PM
rabbitrunning 23 Aug 00 - 08:11 AM
Ian@whitby 15 Mar 02 - 06:43 PM
MMario 15 Mar 02 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,MCP 15 Mar 02 - 09:22 PM
MMario 15 Mar 02 - 11:08 PM
pavane 16 Mar 02 - 07:54 AM
Kernow John 16 Mar 02 - 05:00 PM
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Subject: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 May 00 - 07:03 PM

Here is my attempt to provide help for newcomers. Believe me, it is quite easy to learn, and a lot of fun as well. Any feedback is welcomed. johninbrisbane@hotbot.com

Regards
John


MUDCAT USER GUIDE FOR abc NOTATION

This document is meant as a user guide for beginners, not as a full reference specification.

For a complete reference please see the Official abc Notation Site http://www.gre.ac.uk/~c.walshaw/abc/

What Do I Need To Know About Music Before I Start?

Not a whole heap!

· What a treble clef looks like

· How to read the basic names of notes on the treble clef. Remember for notes on the lines - Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit. And in the spaces between the lines - F A C E

· How to read the length (duration) of a note. There is a Section below covering Note Length, but you may need a quick refresher from a basic music text on this subject.  This is probably the more tricky issue, but like the rest of music notation - fairly logical.

This document will give you some clues, but there are lots of Web sites that give a good grounding. I like http://www.jazclass.aust.com/bt1.htm (Lesson 1) and http://www.jazclass.aust.com/bt2.htm (Lesson 2). Don't be put off by the reference to Jazz Classes.

About abc Notation

It was designed primarily for folk and traditional tunes which can be written on one stave in standard classical notation. It is ideally suited for songs included in the Digital Tradition. You don't need any fancy hardware, just a word processor - and a small(ish) number of rules.


The abc Notation System - Basic Construction

Each tune consists of a header and a body. There should be no line spaces between any lines of the entire block of notation. A line space is the convention used to indicate that a different tune has started.

Header Fields

The information fields are used to notate things about the music, but not the music itself.

Mandatory Header Fields

X:tune no.                        X:1

T:title                               T:John Brown's Body, T:Dick's Mazurka

M:meter                          M:3/4, M:4/4

K:key                              K:A, K:F#

Optional Header Field

L:default note length         L:1/4, L:1/8

Some additional notes on header fields:-

X:1  This should always appear as the top line

T:tune title. (I am not aware of any real restrictions here).

M:meter.  Apart from the normal meters, eg. M:6/8 or M:4/4, the symbols M:C and M:C| give common time and cut time respectively. If there is no specific indication as to the correct meter just use 4/4.

K:key.  The key signature should be specified with a capital letter which may be followed by a # or b for sharp or flat respectively. To help you figure out which key the tune is in please refer to the Section below What Key Is It In?

L:length - Default note length; i.e. L:1/4 - quarter note, L:1/8 - eighth note, L:1/16 - sixteenth, L:1/32 - thirty-second. The default note length is also set automatically by the meter field. Do not bother with this field if you are very new to abc Notation.

What Key Is It In?

Key Number of

Sharps (#)

Number of

Flats (b)

 C

0

0

G

1

0

D

2

0

A

3

0

E

4

0

B

5

0

F#

6

0

C#

7

0

F

0

1

Bb

0

2

Eb

0

3

Ab

0

4

Db

0

5

Gb

0

6

Cb

0

7

No dramas here, just look beside the treble clef sign - and count them up, Then look up the table above.


The Body

Reading The Notes

The following letters are used to represent notes:

------------------------------------f-------------------

                                  e

--------------------------------d-----------------------

                              c

----------------------------B---------------------------

                          A

------------------------G-------------------------------

                      F

--------------------E-----------------------------------

                     D

               -C-(Middle C)

              B,

           -A,-

         G,

In fact the full range includes the notes C, D, E, F, plus e',f',g',a' and b'. These notes are quite legitimate to use as abc Notation, but are typically outside the range of normal song tunes. The notes in bold below represent the range of notes you are likely to come across in folk tunes:

Bass Range and Large Quadrupeds     C, D. E, F, G, A, B,  
Middle Range C  D  E  F  G  A  B
Higher Range c   d   e   f   g   a   b
High Sopranos & Small Animals c'  d'  e'   f'  g'   a'  b'

Normal Sharps And Flats

You have already given instructions in the Header Field as what key the tune is in. There's no need to be too clever beyond this! If you read from the sheet music that the note is on the line associated with f just type in f in your abc Notation. If there's no special symbol before the note to indicate that it is different in any way, then press on.

Accidentals

The symbols ^ = and _ are used (immediately before a note) in abc Notation to generate respectively an accidental sharp, natural or flat. Please note that _ is an under-score symbol rather than a hyphen.

Sharp            

   ^   

Natural

=

Flat

_

Rests

Rests are generated with a z and can be modified in length in exactly the same way as notes can. (See below). ABC software appears to only like the lower case version of z, so please don't use capital letters for this symbol.  (Sorry, but it is not possible to display here what these symbols actually look like).  http://www.jazclass.aust.com/bt1.htm (Lesson 1) gives a good pictorial of the various types of Rests and their note value.

Note Lengths (The Slightly Tricky Part)

Throughout this document note lengths (as well as rest lengths) are referred to as sixteenth, eighth, etc. You may know them by another term:

In This Document Alternative Name What It Looks Like
Whole note Semi-breve An open circle
Half note Minim An open circle with a plain, vertical stick attached
Quarter note Crotchet A filled-in circle with a plain, vertical stick attached
Eighth Note Quaver A filled-in circle with a vertical stick and one wiggle attached (or one hat)
Sixteenth note Semi-quaver As above with two wiggles attached (or two hats)
Thirty-second note Semi-demi-quaver As above with 3 wiggles (or three hats)

Each meter (M: in the Header Fields) automatically sets a default note length. And a single letter in the range A-G, a-g will generate a note of this length. For example, in 3/4 meter the default note length is an eighth note and so the input DEF represents 3 eighth notes.

Notes of differing lengths can be obtained by simply putting a multiplier after the letter. Thus in 2/4, A or A1 is a sixteenth note, A2 an eighth note, A3 a dotted eighth note, A4 a quarter note, A6 a dotted quarter note, A8 a half note, A12 a dotted half note, and so on,.

To get shorter notes, either divide them - eg. in 3/4, A/2 is a sixteenth note, A/4 is a thirty-second note. Note that A/ is shorthand for A/2.

Meter

2/2

3/4

6/8

2/4

Default Length Eighth Note Sixteenth Note
ThirtySecond Note

Sixteenth Note

Eighth Note

Quarter Note

Dotted Quarter Note

Half Note

Dotted Half Note

Whole Note

A/4

A/2 (or A/)

A or A1(Default)

A2

A3

A4

A6

A8

A/2 (or A/)

A or A1 (Default)

A2

A4

A6

A8

A12

A16

Dotted Notes (Useful)

Remember in classical music notation that a dotted note, (a note with a dot immediately to the right of the head of the note), has a note length that is 50% greater than the normal note with no dot. Hence, a quarter Middle C note in 3/4 meter would be written as C2. The same dotted quarter note would be notated as C3.

(One little tip - occasionally it MAY be necessary to use a note length of 1.5. Apparently abc doesn't like decimals, but is quite happy to accept a note such as C3/2).

Repeat/bar symbols (Useful)

Bar line symbols are generated as follows:

| bar line

|] thin-thick double bar line

|| thin-thin double bar line

[| thick-thin double bar line

:| left repeat

|: right repeat

:: left-right repeat

Tied Notes (Useful)

Conventional printed music often ties two notes of identical pitch together. In these cases individual notes are printed on the page - but the note is only struck once when it is played, and the durations are added together.

You can tie two notes together either across or within a bar with a - symbol, eg. abc-|cba or abc-cba. (Notice that in both cases that the two c notes would have appeared on the original sheet music with a horizontal looped line joining the heads of the notes).

Guitar chords (Useful)

Guitar chords can be inserted in the melody line by enclosing the chord in inverted commas, eg. "Am7"A2D2 .

Comments Symbol (Useful)

A % symbol will cause the remainder of any input line to be ignored.  And don't forget that blank lines in abc Notation are meant to symbolise a gap between tunes.


MORE ADVANCED STUFF

First and second repeats (Nice To Know)

First and second repeats can be generated with the symbols [1 and[2,

eg. faf gfe|[1 dfe dBA:|[2 d2e dcB|]. When adjacent to bar

lines, these can be shortened to |1 and :|2, but with regard to

spaces | [1 is legal, | 1 is not.

Broken rhythms (Nice To Know)

A common occurrence in traditional music is the use of a dotted or broken rhythm. For example, hornpipes, strathspeys and certain morris jigs all have dotted eighth notes followed by sixteenth notes as well as vice-versa in the case of strathspeys. To support this abc notation uses a > to mean `the previous note is dotted, the next note halved' and < to mean `the previous note is halved, the next dotted'. Thus the following lines all mean the same thing (the third version is recommended):

L:1/16

a3b cd3 a2b2c2d2

L:1/8

a3/2b/2 c/2d3/2 abcd

L:1/8

a>b c<d abcd

As a logical extension, >> means that the first note is double dotted and the second quartered and >>> means that the first note is triple dotted and the length of the second divided by eight.

Similarly for << and <<<.

Changing key, meter, and default note length mid-tune (Nice To Know)

To change key, meter, or default note length, simply put in a new

line with a K: M: or L: field, eg.

ed|cecA B2ed|cAcA E2ed|cecA B2ed|c2A2 A2:|

K:G

AB|cdec BcdB|ABAF GFE2|cdec BcdB|c2A2 A2:|

Slurs (Nice To Know)

Slurs can be put in with () symbols. Thus (DEFG) puts a slur over the four notes. Spaces within a slur are OK, eg. (D E F G), but the open bracket should come immediately before a note (and its accents/accidentals, etc.) and the close bracket should come immediately after a note (and its octave marker or length). Thus (=b c'2) is OK but ( =b c'2 ) is not.


MUCH MORE ADVANCED STUFF

See the ABC Homepage mentioned at the start of this paper. http://www.gre.ac.uk/~c.walshaw/abc/  There isn't too much that abc Notation can't do.


Note:I copied this from a message John in Brisbane posted in another thread. It's a great piece of work, and deserves its own thread.
Thanks, John. Because of the value of this information as a permanent reference, John and I will maintain this thread. Feel free to post messages to this thread, but note that we reserve the right to keep this thread as a reference by editing or deleting messages.
Thanks, John.
-Joe Offer

Jack Campin has three online ABC converters listed on his Web page. Two of the three work for me. Here are the links:

For all of them, you just paste some ABC into a box and it'll give you both staff notation and a playable MIDI file. (When using your browser as an ABC application in this way, set it to display the ABC with a fixed width font like Courier).


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 25 May 00 - 07:17 PM

John's ABC intro is great. Thanks, Joe. T.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Jeri
Date: 25 May 00 - 07:22 PM

Note: Although you can manage without a special computer program, there are quite a few choices at Chris Walshaw's ABC page (website given above). The programs take the text and turn it into sheet music or play it. These programs are free or relatively inexpensive. This is much easier than trying to read ABCs straight from text.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Sorcha
Date: 25 May 00 - 07:38 PM

BRAVO!!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Snuffy
Date: 26 May 00 - 08:11 AM

The K: must be the last item in the header, because abc treats anything after that as the notes of the tune.

Putting a meter in M: will set a default note length, which a following L: can change. Putting them the other way round may not always have the desired results.

The recommended order is therefore: X: T: M: L: K: If you use Q: to set the tempo it is best between L: and K:

If a tune has alternative titles you can have additional T: lines, thus:
X:1
T:Danny Boy
T:Londonderry Air

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 30 May 00 - 09:43 AM

There is quite a nice collection of 222 tunes from the Digital Tradition in ABC format at http://www.mucl.de/Home/mdoering/konzertina/en/music/abctunes.htm. If you would like to see how easy it is to notate them, just try the following:

- Download the 222 tunes from the above site. If you don't have any ABC software just open the file with your favourite simple word processor.

- Go to the Alternative Digital Tradition site (http://www.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/) and print a tune that's in the 222 Collection - preferably one you know.

Enjoy, Regards, John

- Use the ABC MIDI Guide to compare the Print version of the tune and the ABC Notation.


    John's link to the 222 tunes no longer works - anybody know a location for the most recent collection of ABC tunes for the Digital Tradition?
    -Joe Offer, December 2006-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 07:37 PM

Is it possible to _practice_ abc notation and then listen to it and see if it came out at least close to right? I think I can pretty much manage transcribing from a sheet of music, but I'm not sure how to put down the tunes I'm having to pick out on the piano. My last music lesson was in 1967...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: MMario
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 08:15 PM

Most of the ABC programs have a playback feature


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Shamrock
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 08:30 PM

If you are using ABC2Win you type the tune alphabetically, then goto Draw command and sheet music version is displayed. Goto Play option and it does just that. Whlst playing you can interrupt to change tempo. Pretty neat. Drawback is that sound output is from system squeaker only.

Download ABCPlay from the homepage and it'll play through the stereo output on different instruments etc. Drawback is it won't display / print sheet music.

It's all free at the ABC homepage.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 08:44 PM

This program may be overkill but MUSE is an outstanding package which allows input of both ABC and MIDI files plus it prints standard notation and TAB. And of course it plays and transposes and makes coffee. http://web.ukonline.co.uk/Members/laurie.griffiths/. (Laurie is one of the ABC afficianadoes and all his work is excellent). Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 02:36 AM

ABCPlayer is available at http://www.geocities.com/Nashville/8773/abcplay.htm. While it looks to have all the goodies and was written by a fellow Australian I have never been able to set it up properly - it bombs out while trying to install some of the Visual Basic files. Before I contact the author, are there any other experiences (good or bad) that I can convey to him? Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Gervase
Date: 22 Aug 00 - 12:11 PM

For those on Macs, about the best ABC prgram is Barfly, which can output to Midi or Quicktime, can play slurs, grace notes and rolls, and also produce printable sheet music.
It's a terrific program and makes abc as easy as, well...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 23 Aug 00 - 08:11 AM

Computers hate me.

*grump fuss WHINE!*

I was kind of hoping there was a place on the 'net where I could fill in a form and hear the playback. But I will keep trying to get a program to a) download and b) work...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Ian@whitby
Date: 15 Mar 02 - 06:43 PM

Can someone please suggest a source for abc progs that I can download without a Master's in Computer Science? Chris Walshaw's site is great, but when I chase up the links I find myself buried in lists of folders... Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: MMario
Date: 15 Mar 02 - 06:54 PM

home page for abcmus

do a title search in the forum for HARMONY - Pavane's program as well - very powerful - oh heck - lemmee do it for you

thread with link to Pavane's program - Harmony


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 15 Mar 02 - 09:22 PM

I have been converting Dick Greenhaus's new file set to MIDI via abc and will have the complete set available in abc (about 4000 tunes with words). If anyone wants the full set in this form I would be happy to supply them (for politeness, after Dick releases the MIDI).

(I do a batch conversion of SongWright to abc and use abc2midi to do a batch conversion of the abc to Midi. The process takes me a little over an hour for the 4000 files. In fact I have a some work to do on the synchronization of words with tune in the abc - it's handled slightly differently from Songwright - and when I do I'll create the MIDI files with text so you can use the Karaoke style Midi players to get words and tune played together, the way the DT player did on the PC speaker).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: MMario
Date: 15 Mar 02 - 11:08 PM

Mick - you are fantastic!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: pavane
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 07:54 AM

Did I mention HARMONY can do KARAOKE MIDI?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Kernow John
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 05:00 PM

Mick that sounds a first class piece of work!
I have been using ABC Navigator (a freebie) for a while. You can use it for playback, creating a midi, searching for tunes, writing abc etc.
You can get it here http://perso.libertysurf.fr/groink/
Don't forget to download the English pack. Just unzip this to the installation directory for an English language version.
KJ


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 08:33 PM

Kernow John - thanks for that link. I've just had a quick look at the program (literally a few minutes) and it looks quite good. I'll check it out more throroughly later

Pavane - If you have the abc files with the (synchronised) words on 'w' lines (instead of on the older, unsynchronised 'W' lines) abc2midi will generate Karaoke midi files automatically (and it's free!). (My technical problem in the batch conversion from Songwright to abc is that originally I was outputting only 'W' lines (trivial n this case - simple copy of the input words) but to output 'w' I have to actually process the text(Songwright and abc handle syllables on tied notes differently), so for now I've only generated the vanilla midi files).

(The generated abc also makes use of the newer V: lines for separate voices in the dozen or so DT files that have mutivoice tunes, and the K:bass and K:treble for the handful of DT tunes which use the bass or bass and treble clefs. also the !fermata! and !tenuto! notations. These are in the newer draft specs for abc on the abc homepage).
It shouldn't take me long to do this, but unfortunately (not really!) I'm off to Bruges for the week, so this will have to wait until I come back. I'll put up a post when this is available, along with the abc files (and probably PostScript scores too - another trivial production from the abc via abcm2ps).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: pavane
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 05:10 AM

I haven't seen a definition of the w lines - can you point me to one and I will see if I can include it.

Currently, HARMONY does not import text from abc, but it can from MIDI.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 07:25 PM

Pavane - The draft version of the newer version of abc can be found on the abc Home page at abc-draft.txt

You might also look at The abc plus project which has implementations of some of these new features.

While you're on the abc Home Page, if you're in the mood you might also look at the Beethoven 7th work for use of some extensions to abc.

I'm off to Bruges now - I'll check this thread out again when I get back. (Or if you want to e-mail me use MCPearce0ATaolDOTcom - that's a zero before AT)

Mick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 02:39 AM

Thanks Mick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: reggie miles
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 03:52 AM

I know nothing or very little about the technical constructs of written music and all of this info, hmmmm, seems to simply reinforce that I may never get there. Is there a program or wizard involved for the complete idiot?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: pavane
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 12:22 PM

I have studied the abc synchronised words spec (w: lines) and should be able to incorporate this into HARMONY quite easily.

Harmony already reads and writes multivoice files (V:)

I did already have the text of the abc draft spec, but had overlooked parts of it.

I could also add K:, because Harmony already handles Bass and Treble clefs.

Reggie: You can start with the simpler stuff and work up from there, but there really is no substitute. Musical notation has evolved over 1000 years or more, to try and capture the essence of the live performance, but it is still a compromise. All performances require an element of interpretation, the written score is just the bare bones, an aid to memory.

There are many good books on musical theory for beginners, and it is well worth learning the fundamentals. Or you could find a friendly trained musician to teach you just as much as you need to know - is it for an instrument you play or want to play? Which one?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: reggie miles
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 01:50 AM

I'm not certain why or what I had in mind. I simply thought it might help if I understood more about that which I've devoted so much energy toward during the last thirtytwo years of my life. Some of the instruments I play with, like washboard, saw or even slide guitar seem to me to be beyond the reach of any kind of technical translations of this sort as I primarily improvise on them as I do with my singing. I guess being mostly unaware of the benefits that such a pursuit would offer, I have no clearly set goals in mind, except to be able to translate what I find that others have written down.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,pavane
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 07:07 AM

The next version of HARMONY will have synchronised lyric import from, and export to, abc format. (It already has Songwright export). I have finished the code, I just need to get it built and uploaded.

So, for example, you could IMPORT a Karaoke MIDI and export with lyrics to abc or Songwright.

Maybe someone can find me (links to?) some abc tunes with synchronised words to do some more testing.

There are also facilities for applying unsynchronised (W:) lyrics to the notes and exporting as synchronised.

It fully implements the K: clef extensions - I had already done that, and forgotten the fact!

About the only real thing left now is to implement the P: facilites (Not an easy task)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 01:54 AM

A quick update on ABC.

There has actually been a lot happening behind the scenes when it comes to ABC Notation as it effects songs with lyrics.

(1) Thanks to the considerable talent and hard work of Mick Pearce, a very considerable part of the DT database has been converted to ABC format with both aligned lyrics and additional lyrics and explanatory notes for each song (anout 4,000 of them from memory). This still needs some work to get the conversion output from SongWright up to scratch, but the results to date are pretty b----- good.

(2) There has been a tremendous amount of software development done over the last few months to create programs which handle synshronised lyrics for folk songs. I'll take the opportunity now to just briefly list them - and leave details until later.

Mac - A new version of BarFly is now abailable. This is probably the best package for Mac which handles lyrics.

Melody Assistant (Mac and Win) - I'm not a user but the developers were due to have expanded the lyrics functionality by now.

SKINK (aka 5 Line Skink) - Uses Java and operates on both Mac and Win. No nonsense freeware which plays, displays and prints ABC songs. A trifle slow to react, but bear with the mnor delays for very reasonable quality output.

iabc (Win only) - Again no nosense score display and print. Under continuous development freeware. Doesn't handle some of the ABC notation exotica, such as grace notes and different modes - yet. Probably of interest to dabblers only at this point.

Muse - new beta version (Win) - Shareware. The original version was very powerful, so would expect good things when this new lyrics enhance version is released as a final version.

Harmony (win) - Pavane from Mudcat is re-writing for an imminent release. To be fully featured re lyrics. Previous version had unique features based on chord/melody generation.

Abacus (win) - A new freeware package to display, (play?) and print scores. Unfortunately Bryan seems to have an aversion to accomodating lyrics, so there is no lyrics function.

abcm2ps (Win, Mac, Unix) - This is a fantastic freeware package for propeller head folkies. Irs PostScript output quality is excellent and provides for lots of variations with a lot of grunt.. If you're a Win user, don't even think about it unless you're prepared to run this via command lines in DOS. Know nothing about the Mac environment. If you're a UNIX/Linux type you've probably stopped reading this and are already downloading it. THERE ARE LOTS OF ABC@PS CLONES. Unless you know otherwise none of the other variants CURRENTLY support lyrics - Sept 2002.

ABCRUN - A Win freeware front end to abcm2ps and clones. Designed to avoid the command line hassles, plus to integrate with other freeware ABC utilities such as play, edit, transpose. I wouldn't recommend it for Australians, but if you live elsewhere and the weather is gloomy for a couple of days on end then give it a try. It requires a number of discrete downloads plus a complex maual linking process.

Older ABC Software - Chances are that most of the older ABC 16 Bit software will bomb out if you try to read files that have lyrics lines in them (commencing with W: or w:).

I don't have an exhaustive list but ABC2WIN (Score Printer Shareware), ABC Checker (syntax cchecker from Bryan Creer) and ABCTWIN (Win freeware harmony writer) are among those that will refuse to co-operate.

It is indeed fortunate that a crop of new ABC softwate is now emerging.

I'll try to elaborate on the above when I get some time. In the meantime drop me an email if you have any queries.

Regards, John johninbrisbane^lycos.com The change required to make this a valid address should be self evident.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Mark Clark
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 10:16 AM

John, Thanks for the update. I'll check them out.

Propeller head folkies who use TEX or LATEX may also be interested in Chris Walshaw's program abc2mtex that converts ABC input to MusicTeX format for inclusion in a LATEX source file. This was Walshaw's original publishing method.

I don't think there have been any recent enhancements to abc2mtex but if someone wants to publish a book and include music notation, this is a powerful capability.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: MMario
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 10:52 AM

the latest Noteworthy Composer upgrade will import and export lyrics from midi's with embedded lyrics or karaoke files. (no - they are not the same thing)

and there is a third party utility that will convert back and forth to ABC.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 01:06 PM

Thanks, John.

Do you have a download link for ABCRUN? I couldn't find it with google.

Ed


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 08:12 PM

Ed, you'll find ABCRUN here:

http://ifdo.pugmarks.com/~seymour/runabc/top.html

The best maintained site for finding ABC applications is at Frank Nordberg's Musica Viva - sorry should have included this address in my earlier thread:

http://www.musicaviva.com/abc/abcapp/index.tpl

Mark, I haven't tinkered with the TEX programs. I was operating on the presumption that they were developed prior to the latest lyrics standards, and hence lacked that functionality. If you know something different please let me know.

Any further feedback on this whole subject would be warmly welcomed.

Best Regards, John

MMario, I'd be keen to find out more about the latest NWC version (I'll look at it). The original MIDI standard was pretty lean with regards to lyrics. Has this changed?

Bryan Creer has a shareware program known as ABC2NWC or NWC2ABC which you can find at ABACUS Music on the Web. It's a great utility, however it doesn't from my tests appear to handle the lyric conversion to NWC perfectly. Bryan has told me that he MAY be prepared to fix it if somone can deduce what elements of the lyrics causes the hiccups. I've sought volunteers from Mudcat in the past, but MMario's is the first concrete offer that I've had. (I haven't looked too seriously at the reciprocal conversion from NWC to ABC).


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: MMario
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 09:12 PM

I haven't done too many of the conversions with lyrics FROM ABC to NWC - but I've done a number the other way and they appear to convert correctly.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 04:09 AM

While I'm on the subject, some poor bugger got his head nearly pulled off in another thread for daring to ask for a mandolin TAB for Dirty Old Town.

On the basis that having the right tools means you can produce 4,000 TABs as easily as 1, has anybody used any ABC or MIDI FREEWARE to produce Mandolin TABS. I have downloaded the abc2ps clone that does this but I haven't yet taken a large enough breath to work through the command line instructions in order to produce the simplest of output. If anyone has any experience with it would you mind please sending me a simple common command line - or advice about any other freeware that might do this easily.

John

johninbrisbane^lycos.com


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: pavane
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 05:10 AM

I would be interested to hear about the difference between embedded lyrics and karaoke MIDI. HARMONY can produce KARAOKE MIDI, which works on the PC KARAOKE software I have. It can also create KARAOKE files using the chords instead of the lyrics.

I am still working on the new version of HARMONY, and hope to release a test version soon. (Been on holiday recently, so no progress for a couple of weeks)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 05:22 AM

Update on Melody/Harmony: The existing version does handle ABC lyrics properly most of the time. There are a couple of issues with the DT because the @ characters used to signal classifications (@bawdy, etc) are not allowed. There are also some problems with the really special ABC lyric stuff that Barfly does not appear to handle either - things like two words on a single note. (It may be the latest Barfly does address this).

I am currently beta testing the next release of Harmony and concentrating on its ABC capabilities and will keep you informed when it becomes available.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 05:25 AM

Sorry all, I mean Harmony (from Myriad), not Harmony (from pavane), of course!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: MMario
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 09:50 AM

I was getting a bit confused there for a minute

DMcG - the NWC forum (http://www.noteworthysoftware.com/nwcforum/recent.php) has some discussion about the difference between midi with lyrics and karaoke files ; it rapidly got over my head.

see this thread

url=http://www.noteworthysoftware.com/nwcforum/recent.php


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 10:03 AM

Thanks, MMario, but I think you meant to tell pavane that!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: MMario
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 10:08 AM

whoops!

told you I was confuzzled!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Mark Clark
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 03:53 AM

John, I think Your assumption about the MusicTEX programs is correct, the program abc2mtex has not been updated since the lyrics feature was added to ABC notation. I don't think the lyrics would make it through the translation.

I have taken another look at the GNU LilyPond program that Murray first told us about in 1998. That package includes a program (abc2ly) that converts from ABC to LilyPond notation and may include conversion of lyrics as well. LilyPond support lyrics and, unlike Walshaw's early translation program, is still in active development.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Jon Freeman
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 10:08 AM

I suppose it will do no harm to post our recent experience here...

Overall, abcm2ps has worked quite well for us. I, and I think ed have been using Noteworthy and converting to abc using ABC2NWC. Apart from getting an extra staff (easily removed from the abc) there have been few problems.

Our biggest problem to date came to light with a song called The Bloody Garden

We found that abc2ps (as used at concertina.net) and ABC2NWC handle lyrics under grace notes differently to abcm2ps. abcm2ps (correctly according to the abc draft) does not align lyrics under grace notes but the other packages do.

abcm2ps does appear to have its own quirk with the handling of slurs and grace notes in that it seems impossible to end a slur on a grace note. (a{bc}) would produce a slur that continues to the end of a bar but (a{bc}d) would end the slur where expected.

The word "vir-gin" in The Bloody Garden is an example where we have modified the position of the slur in order to produce reasonable output. In this case, the text we were working from has markings that could be interpreted in more than one way so I don't see any harm in using our own interpretation but I do see the problem itself as less than desirable.

I've been a bit critical about one small item but overall, I do like abcm2ps and it seems to suit our purpose of generating files on the fly very nicely. There are a lot of features that we haven't tried yet, several of which are not available from the long list of command line options but can be set via a "configuration file" or by adding lines starting with %% in the abc.

I guess John is right in a way by suggesting you need to be a "propeller head" but on the other hand, it is a nice clean, compact (<200K) efficient program. Although the options are duanting, I think it would be possible to work out your faviourite opions and (Windows users) write a small DOS batch file, perhaps passing output to Ghostsript if you can't print postscript and create yourself a very simple command line.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: MMario
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 03:44 PM

Thanks Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 11:22 AM

X:18 T: Collier's C:Trad S: The First Month of Spring, John Vesey and Paul Brady I:speed 250 M:4/4 F:http://ceolas.org/pub/tunes/abc.tunes/xir 2002-09-15 14:40:48 UT K:D |:(3FED (3EFG A3 B | =c2 cB cAGc | Ad d^c d2 (3efg | fdec dcAG | (3FED (3EFG A3 B | =cedB cAGc | Add=c (3ABc AG |[1EFGE D4:|[2EFGE D3 g:| |:fd (3efg fdec | Ad dc Ad dg | fd (3efg fdec | A^GAB =c3 d | eaa2 efge | dged =cAGc | (3AB=c AG (3EFG AB | =cAGE ED D2:|


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,John Freeman
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 11:25 AM

John,

I don't know what you were using but I found a program called abc2tab.

The program seems to be fussy but I have had some success (producing output - I don't know how accurate it is) as well as failures I can't explain.

I have just been using the command line:

abc2tab -m [abcfilename]

As I've had 1/2 hr to spare, I have put up an example at http://www.folkinfo.org/abctest/mandotest.htm which you may like to look at.

Bear in mind it is a hack together job and the output will be the last successful conversion which need not be the abc entered. Also, a tune must start X: 1 as abc2tab uses the Xref to produce the name of the output file and I can't be bothered extracting that for a test.

Sorry about my post above - it was an accident - I've got several browsers open here and hit the wrong key. That is abc that seems to convert ok though.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 08:05 PM

Thanks Jon, yes I've been playing with this and will report when I have some more time.

There's a new version of iabc at http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/abc

This is easy to download and use for Win users - no propeller heads need apply, but from my quick assessment it has come a long way for average Nudcat needs. File loading is still a bit quirky, but please bear in mind that this is a work on progress.

I'll pass any feedback on to Aaron if that will help.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 03:44 AM

Jon,

There seem to be a number of factors at work here:

- Is there a good (enough) piece of freeware available that a beginner can download?

- Is it user friendly for beginners?

- What's the best sort of application to create TABs to post on the WEb?

- Can the Web page be viewed by all browsers?

- Is there a best practice so that published TABs do not disappear off the side of the page?

Of the various TAB packages I've looked at over time, the one that seened to work best was MUSE shareware, about 20 Pounds as I recall, (really clear and compact).

This topic deserves its own thread, even if it doesn't excite the average Mudcatter.

Regardsm John


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: DMcG
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 01:17 PM

As promised, I am letting you know that the new versions of Melody and Harmony from www.myriad-online.com are now released. These now handle all the ABCs from the DT that I have tried, and also the tricky ABCs from www.folkinfo.org that were discussed above.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: pavane
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 06:52 AM

It appears that there is some confusion creeping in between HARMONY (mine) and HARMONY (myriad). Not sure when theirs apeared, but mine has been on the market since 1995 (originally in DOS format).

I would also be interested in more details of the difference between MIDI KARAOKE and MIDI Lyrics. I don't have access to do that myself (Internet cafe at work has been suspended).


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 07:21 AM

It would be better if the Myriad Harmony Assistant was called by it's full title.

According to this page (scroll down to the bottom). Harmony Assistant is the older product with version 1.0 being released in November 1994.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 07:24 AM

Wrong link. try here


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: DMcG
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 07:43 AM

Ok, I'll try to stick to that name in future!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Mark Clark
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 01:05 PM

More ABC software—check it out!
  • Jerry Dallal's ABC page Jerry Dallal is one who maintains a list of Charlie Poole's songs but he also has a lot more material on his site. Jerry's m2g complements and requires...
  • Christoph Dalitz's abctab2ps program for producing lute tablature. Dalitz's site even references several really useful utilities and info.
Both programs produce PostScript output—requiring GhostScript on a WinTel system—so the output looks quite nice.

I found these because of the work Gary and Susan, et al., were doing on the Charlie Poole collection. Thanks to both of them.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 03:04 AM

Mark, the freeware for Ukelele players at Jerry Dallal's page looks really good. It produces chord patterns above the lyric line and lokks quite easy to use.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 11 Dec 02 - 08:14 PM

For those interested in experimenting with Music XML format here a link to a free program that converts XML to abc format and vice versa. XML to abc



Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Mark Clark
Date: 11 Dec 02 - 08:37 PM

Thanks, John. I'll check it out. This sort of capability will allow Finale users to import and export ABC files. Soon there will be other programs that exchange with Music XML if they don't already exchange with ABC.

The nice thing is that all of this just keeps getting better.

      - Mark


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Subject: Band In A Box Conversion
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 12 Dec 02 - 02:37 AM

Just for posterity Alf Warnock has written a utility to convert the melody line in Band In A Box files to abc notation. Not of widespread interest of course, but you don't need BIAB to access the melody. BIAB to abc Conversion.

Alf also has a nice collection of tunes at this site and most contain embedded chords of good quality in the abc notation format.

Regards, John


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Subject: Muse 2
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 12 Dec 02 - 02:55 AM

It is with deep regret thatI inform you that the creator of the MUSE software package, Mr Laurie Griffiths, was killed tragically by a motor vehicle while walking near his home in Southampton.

I had been in regular communication with Laurie up until the time of his death and his daughter was kind enough to let me know the day after he died. Laurie was just about to release Muse2 - a multifeatured music package incorporating a huge range of MIDI and abc functions, including the ability to handle the two broad types of lyrics in the latest abc draft standard.

Laurie was very generous with his time and advice - I will greatly miss him.

His daughter raised the possibility that Muse2 may be released in some form. While that would be a fantastic legacy to her late father, I have not pressed the subject further.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Mark Clark
Date: 12 Dec 02 - 11:00 AM

John, I'm sorry to hear of Mr. Griffiths' tragic death. This is not only tragic for his family and frends and sad from a Muse development point of view, it's also very sad for the Spike Island Band that Laurie helped start. Mr. Griffiths is the second from the left in the photo.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 12 Dec 02 - 09:46 PM

Here is a pre-Christmas update on some freeware for abc notation:

abcm2ps

I have described this package above as being useful for propeller heard, but a number of new Windows interfaces are being made available. The pre-compiled version is available from Guido Gonzato's site (this may be a new address). Download the package known as Stable release abcm2ps-2.11.3.zip from Download .



GUI interface to abcm2ps:

If you don't like running abcm2ps in DOS mode, you can try out a little Windows GUI front end Ewan Macpherson has thrown together, Here . You still need to learn about the command-line options in order to fully exploit the wide rahnge of functionality available in abcm2ps, but it is very useful in its standard form. Download it and put it in the same directory as abcm2ps.exe . You'll of course need something like Ghostview to view or print the resulting .ps files.


ABC Navigator - Tune Player

A freeware program for organizing ABC tunes: File editing, with the possibility to merge tunes from different ones and good working search functions; tune editing, with a built in syntax highlighting text editor; midi player - no guitar chord support, but you can change tempo and instrument while playing.

Download abc Navigator here.

Regards


John


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Dec 02 - 11:55 PM

John's link for abc2ps is wrong, it points to a png screenshot of jedabc. The correct link is http://abcplus.sourceforge.net/.

Those wanting their own source code (or not able to use the pre-compiled Win/ Linux RPMs) should go to Jean Fancios Moine's own homepage which is http://moinejf.free.fr/

I had heard about Laurie Griffiths through abcusers, John. I hadn't realised you had had contact with him. I never had any contact with him (other than read his posting in abcusers) but it is a tragic loss to the music community and obviously a personal loss to you too - sorry.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,pavane
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 07:23 AM

I am sorry to hear the news, although I confess that I have not actually tried MUSE, so I don't know what facilities it provides.

(Maybe I can fill a gap with enhancements to HARMONY. The version currently under test handles both types of lyric).


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,pavane
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 07:28 AM

No, just checked it out and MUSE addresses a totally different application area. It is not intended that HARMONY offers real-time or streaming facilities.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 08:04 AM

As mentioned earlier iabc is an excellent no frills piece of freeware for printing songs in abc format. It certainly handles lyrics quite competently. I see that Version 6 has been recently released and is available Here to Download.

Regards, John

PS Looking forward to Pavane's newest version of Harmony as well.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Mark Clark
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 05:05 PM

Here is a cross link to another thread, TECH: Sing it in, get dots out. If the WAV to MIDI products work, people could sing a melody, convert to MIDI and generate the ABC. We might get more melodies captured sooner if everyone could participate.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Ed.
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 05:31 PM

Mmmm, OK Mark,

Reality doesn't quite work like that...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: MMario
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 08:37 AM

*if* being the operative word...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: MMario
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 02:04 PM

HAHAHA! I just actually READ some of the guide...rather then skimming it for the specific things I needed...

Large quadrepeds! Small animals! *chortle*


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 10:26 PM

Long time no post. This is not a subject for the faint hearted, but for the billions of people on this planet who play instruments that employ quarter tones some mods have been made to accomplish this - plus some unofficial changes to the ABC Standard to suit.

http://anamnese.online.fr/iran/persian_music.html focusses on Persian Music but could be used for a variety of music genres East of Istanbul.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Mark Clark
Date: 07 Dec 03 - 09:14 PM

Here is an example of Byzantine notation from the EBYPES project site on Byzantine chant notation. This ancient form has been used as music notation far longer than European notation and was designed exactly to express the subtile nuances of pitch found in eastern music. I don't read Byzantine notation but there are many priests and chanters who still read it today.

I don't know whether a system like this was ever used for secular music but there must have been some form of written expression as eastern music developed.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 07:48 AM

I've mentioned in another thread about a website which allows you to create Harmonica Tablature using (amongst other things) ABC Notation.

Click Here for On Line Harmonica Tablature.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 08:24 AM

I've just come across a site which claims to:

- Transpose ABC tunes On-Line.
- Produce 'printed' file versions in either (.ps) PostScript or (.pdf) Acrobat Reader format. In fact you will need a PostScript Reader (GhostScript and GhostView) or Acrobat Reader for the .pdf files.

The author has written the scripts in PHP, (a Web scripting language that I'd never heard of until an hour or so ago), largely as a scripting exercise.

The truth is that even though the transposition seems to work OK, the print file output appears to be corrupted. I'm sure that the author will iron out the bugs at some future stage.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: MudGuard
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 08:30 AM

John, could you provide a link to that page?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 08:38 AM

... continued/

The developer is Andre Jensen and you'll find his On-Line ABC utility Here.

Nearly forgot to mention that the On-Line version should operate under any operating system which can access the Web and does not require that you have PHP installed in your machine.

Best Regards, John

PS There is a downloadable version of the PHP script at Andre's site. For the very curious you would need to download a version of PHP (from php.net) and you would need your own versions of abc2ps and abc2abc installed on your PC. For true devotees only.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: MudGuard
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 08:51 AM

John, I also get an error when using pdf as output - Acrobat Reader says "File does not begin with %pdf-".


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 09:16 AM

Strange, the last post I saw from him on abcusers (11-June-2004) said:

"That was mine. I took it down since my server now is so slow that it
doesn't make much sense... When I get something faster I'll probl. put it online again."

Maybe he now has something faster.

I may be re-instating my own attempt at this sort of thing soon. The holdups have been due to me having a back so bad I couldn't sit at the computer for more than 5 minutes, a problem with a domain re-registration and now BT have messed our phoneline up and I don't want to be uploading/downloading stuff on pay as you go dial up which I'm being forced to use because of crossed phone lines...

I took ours down because I discovered that abcmp2s can loop if it gets bad abc and once had an ISP phone me up asking what it was, why it was using most of the servers processing for so long, etc. It would be OK if I could afford my own server but not what you risk when you are sharing services with many other users on the same server. John Chambers has given me some code using signal.h that should cause abcm2ps to terminate itself if it runs for more than a few seconds and I plan on trying to compile my own version of the program with this code added to give me the safety net I need.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 09:47 AM

Yes Mudguard, the problem is truly his. I guess it's like hanging a WET PAINT sign. By all means try it out, but until Andre fixes it you'll end up with sticky fingers.

And Jon, welcome to the world of old crocks. I only have to sit on a Virgin flight for a couple of hours and end up with rooter's rick. If only!

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 11:47 AM

John (in Brisbane)

I've just had a call from Les suggesting you've had trouble e-mailing me. Did you get the missing files - I did send them when I got your last e-mail (24 May)? Let me know if you didn't.

I've just sent you another e-mail suggesting contacting me through a PM to Zany Mouse if there's a problem.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: semi-submersible
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 02:38 AM

I tried to follow the links above to the Official abc Notation Site but the University of Greenwich website doesn't recognise that address anymore. Is there a new location for comprehensive ABC information? I would like to learn more about advanced features like synchronised lyrics, since ABC is a portable format I can actually read or write without extra hardware or software.

I haven't figured out what the backslash \ means in ABC files (found through JC's ABC Tune Finder through DigiTrad Power Search) such as Erich Rickheit's conversion of The Streets of London. (This clicky doesn't work: http://sniff.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/abc/STLONDON.abc.)

- another MCP in BC


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: DMcG
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 03:14 AM

You can use http://www.walshaw.plus.com/abc/ to get at what used to be a Greenwich University

I have never use the backslash myself but it is to do with joining lines together.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: DMcG
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 03:51 AM

I'm not sure if this an undocumented feature or a bug, but putting a meter of

M:

suppresses the time signature for all the abc software I am using. This has been useful for my latest entry at folkinfo where the song as printed by Cecil Sharp had no time signature and it varies bar-by-bar.

Omitting the M: line (or using M withour a colon) gave 4/4 time.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: DMcG
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:21 AM

Ok, its probably a bug! In the 1.7.6 draft and later, the correct form is

M:none

As far as I can see, though, this is not defined for the latest official version (1.6)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: DaveP
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 11:42 AM

I have a free ABC to TAB converter program written in VB6.

If you wish to try it please follow the folowing link.


ABC to TAB converter (on page 3)

Download the zip file. Copy the contents into your desired folder.
click on ABCtoTAB.exe and off you go!

The first 5 tunes in the 'FIRST50BIG.ABC' file will give an idea of what the program can do.

Quick intro to program use

Hilight the required instrument and tuning
Guitar   - EADGBE   
Guitar   - DADGBE
Guitar   - DADGAD
Mandolin - GDAE


Double left click to select items in the folder, file and tune list.

A selected tune is displayed in the large text box.

Left click the 'Make TAB' button to create the TAB.

The main window will close and a 'TAB generated' window will open.

Closing the 'TAB generated' window (left click on 'x') will return you to the main window.

If an ABC line is too long to be converted the source file in the
main window can be edited.

Any questions or comments please contact me here

Have fun,
DaveP


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Mark Clark
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 03:40 PM

I think most use of ABC notation has moved to the ABC Plus Project. At least the ABC Plus project references the best collection of tools and documentation available for the notation.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 May 13 - 08:45 AM

It's easy for you to say that


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 03 May 13 - 11:18 AM

Les, you mean the spam that has now been deleted by the elves ("I ordered from ***.ru and received my parcel four days later ...")?

Sometimes we must be grateful to the spammers - I would welcome this thread to be updated. On another thread I just learned that the ABC standard is still somewhat in confusion. Whoever has news from the Inner Circle is welcome to leak it here anonymously ;-).


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Chris Partington
Date: 03 May 13 - 03:32 PM

Grishka says "On another thread I just learned that the ABC standard is still somewhat in confusion".

I don't understand why you say that. I have been following the intense discussions on the abcusers discussion list over the last three years or so, even if I have not fully understood some of them. I would characterise the atmosphere there as re-invigorated and somewhat optimistic after a dormancy of nearly a decade where nothing progressed. There has been a new standard agreed, v2.1, the first for over a decade, which deals with some of the unresolved issues from the abandonment of the proposed v2.0 in c2003.
The current discussions for the next version, to deal with new functionality, are ongoing if a little quiet ATM while everybody has a big think, but hopefully shouldn't be too long in coming to fruition.
ABC is in better health than it has been for over a decade.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 May 13 - 04:08 PM

Where is this discussion happening? The forum at http://abcnotation.com seems to be moribund. The only other forum I know about was the old one at Toby Rider's site, which somebody hijacked to Yahoo (where I flatly refuse to go, so I've no idea what happened to it there).


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 03 May 13 - 05:59 PM

Chris, I was referring to Mick Pearce's posts at the thread "Midi, abc and words", not to any wisdom of my own. I am glad to read that his rather gloomy prognosis is not shared by everybody. Of course I know about the 2.1 standard as described on abcnotation.com, with its many "volatiles" (but to some extent supported by abcm2ps, in contrast to 2.0). Although I do not miss any feature at the moment, I am looking forward to the fruition you are announcing, to feel on safer ground.

I would appreciate if you and other discussers kept us informed from time to time.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 04 May 13 - 06:45 AM

Jack, obviously Chris talks about that Yahoo group "abcusers", which is also mentioned on the official site http://abcnotation.com/. It can be read without registration. I just browsed through some recent threads containing discussions as mentioned by Chris, very technical. Members include (persons who sign as) Chris Walshaw and Jean-François Moine, though posting infrequently. I wonder whether "abcusers" is really the "Inner Circle" - it looks very public, in spite of requiring registration for posting.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Chris Partington
Date: 05 May 13 - 07:59 AM

Yes, Jack, I'm afraid you have to go to the Yahoo group as mentioned to find out what's going on. One of the driving force members is anxious that it's gone a bit quiet, but my reading of this is that Chris Walshaw is formulating a proposal incorporating the recent discussions about transpositions and other matters, which are very technical and have been very contentious. He cannot rush this and also he has a very active life outside of his computer.

The topical debate on the ABC users group as it stands at the moment (and anyone could join and change its character) is mainly focussed on development matters, as it is felt important to further progress this after the near decade of stagnation, while the iron is hot.

However, there is also a fairly regular stream of other questions that arise in people's daily experience of using ABC.

Chris Walshaw's ABC Notation
site remains the principal ABC hub, containing information, a little used forum, and links, and also an excellent ABC tune search engine.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Calum
Date: 05 May 13 - 08:26 AM

It is possible to subscribe to the abcusers group at yahoo directly by emailing abcusers-subscribe@yahoogroups.com - one does not need to sully one's browser.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 05 May 13 - 10:34 AM

For those doubting the versatility of ABC, here's one I prepared earlier (Christmas before last)
At "Mandolintab" it gives some weird notes in the lower staves, but at Concertina.net it gives a lovely print out in PDF, ready to sing.(complete with 4 part harmonies, an words linked to each part separately)

X: 1
T: Adam lay ybounden
M: 3/4
L: 1/4
C: Boris Ord (1897-1961)
Z: NP 31/10/2011
K: D
V: 1
B>B A/2 B/2 | F F2 | B>d c/2B/2 | F3 | dcd | BB2 | A/2A/2 B ^G | F3 | F2 F/2B/2 | A A>A | d>d A/2B/2 | A2 z | AAB | (A/2G/2) G2 | F/2F/2 G B | F3 | d d/2d/2 c/2d/2 | A/2A/2 A>A | d>f e/2d/2 | B3 | e/2e/2 d/2d/2 e | A A>B | c d/2 e/2 f | e3 | d d c/2B/2 | A2 A | f>f e/2 d/2 | e3 | e>e f/2d/2 | e e e/2f/2 | (g>f d/2e/2 | f>e c/2)d/2 | e f d | (B>A B/2d/2 | c)(>BA) | B3 ||
w: A-dam lay y-bound-en bound-en in a bond; Four thou-sand win-ter thought he not too long. All for an ap-ple, an ap-ple that he took, as clerk-es find-*en writ-ten in their book. Ne had the ap-ple tak-en been, the ap-ple tak-en been, Ne had nev-er our la-dy A been hea-ven- queen. Bless-ed be the time that ap-ple tak-en was, There-fore we moun sing-en, De-o gra_____-ci-as! De-o gra___-ci-|as!
V:2
F F E/2D/2 | C C2 | D F E/2D/2 | (D C2) | F (F/2E/2) A | A2 G | F/2F/2 F (E/2D/2) | C3 | D2 C/2B,/2 | C C>F | G>F E/2D/2 | C2 z | F (F/2E/2) F | E D2 | D/2D/2 D E | C3 | F F/2G/2 A/2F/2 | E/2E/2 E F | F F G/2A/2 | (A G2) | G/2G/2 F/2F/2 E | D F F | A A/2A/2 F | A3 | d d c/2B/2 | A2 A | A A A/2^G/2 | A3 | ^G A A/2F/2 | A A =G/2A/2 | (B>A F/2)G/2 | A2 A/2F/2 | (B A) A | A G>G | G2 F | ^D3 ||
w: A-dam lay y-bound-en bound-en in a bond;| Four thou- *sand win-ter thought he not too| long. All for an ap-ple, an ap-ple that he took, as clerk-*es find-en writ-ten in their book. Ne had the ap-ple tak-en been, the ap-ple tak-en been,| Ne had nev-er our la-dy A been hea-ven- queen. Bless-ed be the time that ap-ple tak-en was, There-fore we moun sing-en, De-o gra_-ci-as! De-o gra-*ci-as! De-o gra-ci-as!
V: 3 clef=bass
d' d' c'/ b/ | b ^a2 | b f g/2g/2 | (b ^a2) | =a a d' | d'2 e' | c'/2c'/2 d' b | (b ^a)>f | b>b a/2b/2 | f f>f | b>d' c'/2 b/2 | f2 z | d' c' d' | b b2 | a/2a/2 b g | f3 | a d'/2d'/2 a/2a/2 | d'/2d'/2 c' c' | b b b/2a/2 | d'3 | b/2b/2 d'/2c'/2 (b/2c'/2)| d' c' d' | e' d' (a/2b/2) | c'3 | d' d' c'/ b/ | a2 e' | d' d' e'/e'/ | c'3 |b c' d'/d'/ |d' c' =c'/c'/ | d'2 b | d'>(c' a/2)b/2 | (b/2c'/ d')>a | (b/c'/) d'>b | (e' d') c' | b3 |
w: A-dam lay y-bound-en bound-en in a bond;| Four thou-sand win-ter thought he not too long. *And all was for an ap-ple, an ap-ple that he took, as clerk-es find-en writ-ten in their book. Ne had the ap-ple tak-en been, the ap-ple tak-en been, Ne had nev-er our| la-dy A been hea-ven-| queen. Bless-ed be the time that ap-ple tak-en was, There-fore we moun sing-en, De-o gra-ci-as! De-*o gra-**ci-as! *De-o gra-*ci-as!
V: 4 clef=bass
d' d e/e/ | f f2 | b d e/e/ | f3 | d a f | g2 e | f/f/ d e | f3 | Z | Z |Z | Z | d a d | e g2 | d/d/ B e | f3 | d d/e/ f/f/ |a/a/ a f |b d e/f/ | g3 | e/e/ b/a/ g | f f d |a f/f/ d | a3 | d' d' c'/b/ |a2 c' |d' d' c'/b/ | a3 |e a d/b/ | a a =c'/c'/ |(g/a/ b>g |d/e/ f>)b | g (d/e/) f |(g2 f | e2) f | [B3f3] |
w: A-dam lay y-bound-en bound-en in a bond; Four thou-sand win-ter thought he not too long As clerk-es find-en writ-ten in their book. Ne had the ap-ple tak-en been, the ap-ple tak-en been, Ne had nev-er our la-dy A been hea-ven- queen. Bless-ed be the time that ap-ple tak-en was, There-fore we moun sing-en, De-o gra_____-ci|as! De-*o gra__ci-as!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 05 May 13 - 12:49 PM

On a public forum, some contention is inevitable, as we see on Mudcat. Is it only about details, or are there politics involved? Jack, you call the "abcusers" group "hijacked", and on yet another forum (easy to google) you wrote about spamming <expletive>s. Do we have to fear a new schism among programmers? And if so, what is the main issue? Does "spamming" indicate commercial interests?

Nigel, your example illustrates nicely that there is still something left to do regarding compatibility. I hope the train is not going the other direction.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 May 13 - 05:48 PM

Shortly before the abcusers list was taken there, Yahoo announced they were going to sell their database of subscribers to anyone who'd pay. There was huge outcry that forced them to change their position, but the fact that they ever considered doing it shows them to be a bunch of slime. And their record of protecting users' privacy since has been abysmal. So, no way in hell am I ever going to subscribe to any list hosted at Yahoo.

There is a working forum at abcnotation.com, which is a well-designed and well-run site - why not use it and migrate the Yahoo message base there?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 May 13 - 05:02 AM

I see, Jack: it is Yahoo whom you accuse of spamming, not the members of abcusers. These seem to operate in full public with their own names, many of them known to us as programmers or musicians, and volunteering their email addresses on their own websites, so that they do not seem to have any wish for privacy. (I always wonder though, particularly at Mudcat, whether posters of "contentious" messages are aware that these can be googled by anyone interested in the person, not in the subject.) Anyway, you can read "abcusers" without compromising your privacy.

The question remains whether we can hope for a common standard supported by the major ABC software and websites soon, also to become the Mudcat standard. It took me some time to tweak the "weird notes in the lower staves" of Nigel Parson's example into my abcm2ps.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 06 May 13 - 09:02 AM

Grishka - the last two voices V3, V4 in Nigel's abc should include some extra information to print correctly

In 2.1 octave=-2 as well as the clef=bass will treat the notes as being two octaves below the written notes (eg written D is treated as D,,)

In 2.0 (and 2.0draft) you'd have to add middle=d as well as clef=bass to get the same effect.

It looks as though the concertina.net converter assumes middle=d for the bass clef, though I don't think any of the standards make that default. The mandolintab.net converter applies the 2.1 standard - it needs either octave=-2 or middle=d to print the bass clefs correctly.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 May 13 - 12:00 PM

Thanks, Mick. I found out about octave=-2 myself, but I am still somewhat puzzeled about versions. I remember that using Concertina.net was discouraged at Mudcat, presumably because of such problems. It seems that mandolintab.net is our best bet; Mudcat may declare its behaviour the Mudcat Standard, for the time being. This thread is called "Mudcat ABC Tune Guide", so it is the right place for such declarations by authorized personnel (not by me). Of course we may run into problems if mandolintab updates to an incompatible software version.

I personally don't have any problems with printing my own music correctly, but if I post some ABC to Mudcat or elsewhere, I would like all its printouts, conversions to MusicXML, etc. to be equivalent, with any from a sufficiently long list of "good" software, and forever. (If necessary, I can live with a list of features to be avoided because of uncertain compatibility, similar to the one from abcm2ps against ABC 2.1.) Am I asking too much? Can we hope for such lists, if not from abcnotation.com, then from the Mudcat experts?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 06 May 13 - 01:19 PM

I agree Grishka - when you do post a tune, you'd like it to appear the same to everyone!

To summarize the current state of play, abc 2.1 is the current standard and this is what people should try and adhere to at the moment. But note that the intention of 2.1 was to iron out problems relating to single line tunes; various things relating to multi-voice tunes are liable to change.

To get an idea of the proposed changes to 2.1 being envisioned have a look at abc 2.1 proposals, which contains links to the main areas of proposed change from 2.1 to 2.2 (or 2.2.1 for minor changes). These relate mainly to how to handle multivoice tunes in a manner which will make them unambiguous (various points of synchronization and control between the various voices).

There is also a lot of discussion about the stylesheet directives (or alternative equivalent specification), particularly the things relating to printing tunebooks, giving greater formatting control down to page level, with commands having scope at file, tune, movement, and page,levels. This appears to have generated a lot of discussion and I if I read Chris Walshaw's comments correctly is likely to be left for a later revision of the standard.

One of the problems is the stated desire or Chris Walshaw's to maintain backward compatibility with the old versions of abc out there (of which there are no doubt countless files). This is a problem for software developers, since they have to allow for various old constructs as well as supporting the new ones. Personally I would favour being stricter about a new standard, but provide converters to bring old files up to the new standard. For really old files (abc 1.6 and 1.7, there would be very little change to make - only add an abc version header in many cases). From various version of the 2.0 standard there might be more to do, but while 2.1 is relatively close to 2.0, now would be a good time to make the converter. I would aim to make 2.1, or maybe 2.2, an enforced standard for new/updated software.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 06 May 13 - 01:22 PM

PS - Re the software. I've now set up my virtual XP machine (running in VirtualBox under Ubuntu12.04 - kvm was surprisingly a lot slower - and the virtual machine runs faster than my old hardware version!), so I'll try and have a look at the windows and linux versions of some of the available programs. It's a few years since I last did that, so it won't be a wasted exercise.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Calum
Date: 06 May 13 - 02:31 PM

Jack, given you've just announced your interest in ABC on a publicly accessible forum, I'm struggling to see what information Yahoo can usefully learn about you.

And web forums are not a good substitute for most mailing lists I use. I would not visit it except when I had a problem, and I can provide a lot more help when other people's problems arrive directly in my inbox.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 07 May 13 - 08:45 AM

Mick, thanks for your explanations. If I understand correctly, also your post to that other thread of 02 May 13 - 06:41 PM, the main problem is that the programmers cannot agree on a standard. If they could, it would be the ABC standard, regardless of what others write. (Chris Walshaw, the authors of those "proposals", and most other members of "abcusers" must probably be regarded as an "advisory board".) Even abcm2ps and abc2midi, often found bundled, differ in their interpretation of the standard, and each version of abcm2ps differs from its predecessors (let alone "fork-offs", as perhaps used in concertina.net). I doubt that anybody can enforce "an enforced standard" if the influential programmers don't bother. The reasons why they didn't bother so far still escape me; it may be a matter of policy (but why?, and why don't the users seem to protest?) or just lack of consciousness; in the latter case there is hope for improvement.

All we can do at Mudcat is to proclaim a "Mudcat ABC Standard" in due time. It should

  • include support of multivoice tunes, particularly SATB choral music in modern clefs,
  • be supported by some free software for producing sheet music,
  • be supported by some free software for producing sound and MIDI files,
  • be supported by some free software for conversion to MusicXML,
  • - all these for Windows, Mac, and Linux,
  • and never change in the future, except for extensions,
for which the best idea is to refer to a subset of a published standard officially accepted by all those programmers.

We must wait for relevant news from the principal programmers; whoever hears any should please inform us. Until then, ABC 2.1 as implemented in new versions of abcm2ps (presumably the engine of mandolintab.net), minus the "volatile" parts, can serve as the "Provisional Mudcat ABC Standard".


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 07 May 13 - 09:12 AM

Grishka - I think it's not so much that the programmers couldn't agree on a standard, as that there wasn't a real standard to agree to, and discussions on the 2.0 draft just went on and on. I hope now that Chris Walshaw is back at the helm that he will make final decisions on a standard based on the various discussions and that programmers will start to implement that standard.

I've started looking at some of the programs listed on the abcnotation software page. Many are just wrappers for abcm2ps/abc2midi or similar, so that cuts down the number of packages to look at.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 07 May 13 - 10:40 AM

Mick, let's hope for the best. I remember reading that Jean-François Moine refused to take any notice of ABC 2.0, and that it was eventually (about 2010) declared the official standard, apparently without anybody even considering implementing it. (ArtfulCodger professed to "stick to" it - with what software? "Read-only"?) To ABC 2.1, at least JFM complied to a large extent - presumably a case of Muhammad and the Mountain, JFM being the latter -, but the keeper of abc2midi did not seem to bother at all. These two at least had better striven for an agreement.

As much as we want a "non-volatile" new standard, Mudcat should not hail it before enough software has been pledged to support it.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 08 May 13 - 09:15 AM

Grishka - I don't know if you've ever used MuseScore. It's one of the standard (free) packages for music writing in Linux, but it is cross-platform for Windown, OSX and Linux. The latest version (1.3 ,it's not in Ubunut repositories yet, but there's a ppa for it) has an improved abc import plugin - it imported Adam Lay Ybounden (with middle=d added to V3/4) - without any problems. I'm not sure of the import mechanism yet, it said you needed to be connected to the internet to use it - but it may be a way forward. At the moment it doesn't (afaik) have an abc export facility, but that might be rectifiable. I'll have a look at the source code later and see what's involved. If an abc export was available, then we would have a proper graphical input method for creating abc files. You might still want to use eg abcm2ps for final printing (or even the Lilypond export) but it looks promising. It might also be nicer to have the abc import handle multitune files - it was confused by an abc stylesheet header on another file I tried to import and only imported the first tune from a multitune file - I think it probably stops at the first blank line.
But these are relatively minor things to change.

If the import supported 2.1 and an export for 2.1 was written, it would be a possible uniform cross-platform program to use for abc

Mick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 08 May 13 - 10:46 AM

Yes, I know about MuseScore and the "plugin" you mention - it contains a call to a web service that runs abc2xml.py, and then uses the built-in MusicXML convertor. I am not a fan of web services for free software (- for commercial software we will probably have to accept it as a way of payment), all the more so as abc2xml.py is freely available, and so is the required Python environment for all platforms. Other people may prefer web services to installing Python or Java etc., either for simplicity or for security concerns.

Anyway, abc2xml.py (not to be confused with earlier attempts of similar names) is quite good for my demands, as I mentioned on the other thread. So is its converse xml2abc.py. I am not so sure about the MusicXML support of MuseScore; I remember that it had severe bugs a while ago. I do not use MuseScore regularly.

As for the standard compliance of the two tools, I don't know of any problem, neither with ABC nor with MusicXML. Still, it cannot possibly be any less "volatile" than the standards themselves. (ArtfulCodger tells us that MusicXML is not very well standardized either, though I have never heard of genuine problems that were not clearly seen as bugs. I guess any doubt can be resolved by experimenting in Finale - not a good way of defining a standard, to be sure, but effective.)

On some more reading in "abcusers", I am not convinced that we will soon see a good result. I cannot judge about the quality of the discussions and proposaly, but unless my sample was extremely unrepresentative, JFM and the other major programmers are scarcely involved. Chris Walshaw may have given up the hope even to repeat the relative/partial success of ABC 2.1. If neither he nor others offer a good standard to us, Mudcat must become active in the way I described above.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 08 May 13 - 10:52 AM

Mick:
Thanks for the info on "octave=-2" It's tested out fine. I had the problem because I hadn't found one reliable site for printing from ABC. I'd been using Folkinfo, but when it went down I started casting about.
I use MuseScore for quite a bit now for church music.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: pavane
Date: 08 May 13 - 02:29 PM

Grishka, I think my HARMONY does all that except LINUX. It is written in VB6, which is only available on Windows (Unlss anyone tells me otherwise). It also prevents me from deploying an internet version. I know a 'catter did try to get it working with WINE, but not fully successfully.

1. include support of multivoice tunes, particularly SATB choral music in modern clefs,

I think so, but let me know if it needs tweaking. Certainly up to 10 voices, and aligned lyrics as well

2. be supported by some free software for producing sheet music,

It prints sheet music itself

3. be supported by some free software for producing sound and MIDI files,

It produces sound and MIDI files itself - playback is via temporary MIDI files, which can be saved.

4. be supported by some free software for conversion to MusicXML,

It can export basic MusicXML, though I haven't fully implemented all decorators yet.

5. It supports much of abc2.1 as I understood it at the time.

It has many other facilities and functions that may or may not be unique, e.g. generating random tunes in the style of a jig or reel - some are almost usable. I am not sure that many people want to play tunes backwards, either - it is supposed to give inspiration for your composing.

Adding harmony/accompaniment to a melody line was the original aim.
It allows tune structures to be specified and played (eg AC(2ABc)) Also Melodeon tablature, string tablature, on-score drag and drop editing, note styles, tonic solfa, coloured notes - the list goes on.

Due to lack of interest, I haven't done any work on it for ages (And been too busy writing my book, which has now been published). Due to lack of LINUX, I haven't even looked to see what the other packages offer.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Artful Codger
Date: 08 May 13 - 06:15 PM

Nigel, the converter (and interface) formerly hosted at folkinfo.org is now available at mandolintab.net. I trust it far more than the Concertina.net converter, which has a less flexible interface, was left to languish for many years without updates, and was glaringly misconfigured for guitar chords. Judging from comments above, most of these issues may now have been resolved, and the current maintainers may be making more commitment to keeping it up to rev. You can take your chances with it; I've given it up.

The mandolintab converter is free to use, requires no installation or user upgrading, and provides a sort of de facto portability standard, since everone can use it directly regardless of their own OS. The print output is very clean.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 09 May 13 - 12:57 PM

Grishka - I sussed the abc2xml remote service after I'd posted. In fact I've now added my own plugin to do the reverse - output abc from a score using a local copy of xml2abc.py. I'll probably modify the import to use a local copy too, rather than needing the internet access. The export js needs a bit of work too - it's outputting to a fixed file at the moment; I need to add a file selection option like the abc import plugin has. It would also be nice to be able to add other headers to the output. But as proof of concept it's fine. It would also be nice if the import scanned a tunebook for the titles and let you select from the title list rather than using the default first tune only from the tunebook. I may look at that too.

Both of the python converters seem to work well. I imported Nigel's Adam Lay Ybounden and then re-exported the abc and used abcm2ps on it and the output looked fine.

The only problem the xml2abc.py has is that it outputs tempo changes on Q: commands after things like rit and accel, so the modified score not only has the text instruction but a MM value too. It's not really a problem (and I dare say it wouldn't be too difficult to add suppression of these as another command line argument).

I'll probably try this out for a while when I need to create some abc and see how I like the generated abc. It's a cheap solution to wysisyg creation of abc.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 09 May 13 - 03:06 PM

De-facto standard: Mudcat posters may well check thir tunes with mandolintab, but if they want their work to survive for another year or two, they are best advised to dispense with all those extra features of abcm2ps that are not contained in ABC 2.1, or are declared "volatile".

MuseScore: somewhere I read that the programmers planned to implement direct import and export of ABC, as soon as there is a stable standard. Until then, Mick, your own programming efforts may be welcome. The author of those Python tools updates them frequently, he can be googled as an "abcusers" member.

For my own occasional ABC needs, I use a notation program that predates MusicXML but with which I am very quick, and export the tunes to ABC via MidiZyx2abc.jar, then if desired to MusicXML via abc2xml.py. I agree with Artful that this is a makeshift; newbies will be better off with programs for which MusicXML support is available, e.g. MuseScore.

Mick, you seem to be a dedicated programmer; your efforts for our goal are greatly appreciated. The same applies to anyone else who can work for the standard we need.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Artful Codger
Date: 09 May 13 - 06:17 PM

As long as users explicitly tag their ABCs with the version they're coding to, the "volatile" features should be safe to use. In fact, if they're coding to any version prior to 2.1, things should work properly without a version tag, since the standard says that converters should default to 2.0 behavior, for backward compatibility. (Whether converters will actually follow suit remains to be seen.)

Similarly, since abcm2ps is the most widely used program for formatting, I would hope that developers would include support for a core subset of its extended features for any ABC versioned explicity or by default as 2.0 or before. The paucity of the "official" standard in regard to format control should not prevent users from using badly-needed features that already exist in this alternate de facto standard.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Calum
Date: 11 May 13 - 08:03 AM

>> We must wait for relevant news from the principal programmers; whoever hears any should please inform us.

Most of them post with some regularity at the abcusers group on Yahoo.

>> The reasons why they didn't bother so far still escape me

Because creating a fully featured specification that is backwards compatible is incredibly difficult, and different programs cater to different users with different needs.

For example, how do you write ABC for scordatura tunings that will print and play correctly?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 May 13 - 09:11 AM

how do you write ABC for scordatura tunings that will print and play correctly?

Use the "transpose" directives provided in BarFly. You write the notes played on the retuned string as a separate voice (to be played transposed) and merge them (untransposed) with the rest of the tune for display and printing.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat ABC Tune Guide
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 11 May 13 - 11:38 AM

Calum,
Most of them post with some regularity at the abcusers group on Yahoo.
In my sample of threads, admittedly not too big, I encountered very few messages to the topic by JFM, and none by the authors of abc2midi and BarFly. I hope they are at least reading, and willing to comply to a new standard designed by CW and the other discussers. It did not work with ABC 2.0 though, so we must hope that they change their minds.
> The reasons why they didn't bother so far [to agree on interpretations of some basic ABC syntax] still escape me

Because creating a fully featured specification that is backwards compatible is incredibly difficult
I appreciate that; but again, the best standard is useless without programmers planning to implement it. In contrast, some minimal amount of communication between the major programmers would be easy, if they felt the need.
and different programs cater to different users with different needs.
That seems to be the real problem: each freeware programmer has his own ideas about winning the gratitude of a particular group of users. JFM, for instance, is an organist. Now those users who want to use abcm2ps and abc2midi, as frequently bundled, should insist on a higher degree of compatibility between the two than currently achieved. A while ago I wrote an email in French to JFM, who replied something like "Thanks for your bug report; will be fixed." —
For example, how do you write ABC for scordatura tunings that will print and play correctly?
I personally am more modest; see above for the requirements I believe to be sufficient for Mudcat purposes. The task is obviously still difficult enough, so that joint intellectual forces would be required. Do you really see this kind of cooperation, and predict its success in acceptable time?

Jack, if you refuse to read "abcusers", did you read the "proposals" on abcnotation.com, mentioned by Mick (06 May 13 - 01:19 PM)? What is your opinion? What strategies would you recommend to the ABC people and to Mudcat? BarFlyers may feel the need for a stable Mudcat standard more strongly than typical abcm2ps users. The same question goes to all ABC experts (which excludes myself, a grateful user of ...2abc and abc2... tools).


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