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BBC Radio 4 features abc

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GUEST,Chris Walshaw 14 Jul 09 - 06:57 AM
The Sandman 14 Jul 09 - 08:05 AM
The Borchester Echo 14 Jul 09 - 08:28 AM
manitas_at_work 14 Jul 09 - 08:30 AM
manitas_at_work 14 Jul 09 - 08:31 AM
manitas_at_work 14 Jul 09 - 08:35 AM
Jack Campin 14 Jul 09 - 08:58 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Jul 09 - 09:04 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Jul 09 - 09:06 AM
SteveMansfield 14 Jul 09 - 09:10 AM
Jack Campin 14 Jul 09 - 09:20 AM
Will Fly 14 Jul 09 - 09:39 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Jul 09 - 09:40 AM
Will Fly 14 Jul 09 - 09:40 AM
Will Fly 14 Jul 09 - 09:41 AM
Jack Campin 14 Jul 09 - 09:55 AM
Jack Campin 14 Jul 09 - 10:17 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Jul 09 - 10:21 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Jul 09 - 10:23 AM
GUEST 14 Jul 09 - 10:26 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Jul 09 - 11:42 AM
Vic Smith 14 Jul 09 - 11:57 AM
The Sandman 14 Jul 09 - 12:11 PM
Vic Smith 14 Jul 09 - 12:16 PM
The Sandman 14 Jul 09 - 12:19 PM
nutty 14 Jul 09 - 12:32 PM
Vic Smith 14 Jul 09 - 12:39 PM
Jack Campin 14 Jul 09 - 12:40 PM
TheSnail 14 Jul 09 - 12:42 PM
The Sandman 14 Jul 09 - 12:48 PM
Jack Campin 14 Jul 09 - 12:58 PM
DMcG 14 Jul 09 - 12:59 PM
The Sandman 14 Jul 09 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,ABC user 14 Jul 09 - 01:09 PM
DMcG 14 Jul 09 - 01:17 PM
nutty 14 Jul 09 - 03:25 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Jul 09 - 03:57 PM
Wolfhound person 14 Jul 09 - 04:46 PM
Jack Campin 15 Jul 09 - 03:15 AM
GUEST,strad 15 Jul 09 - 06:28 AM
The Borchester Echo 15 Jul 09 - 06:34 AM
Phil Edwards 15 Jul 09 - 07:11 AM
The Sandman 15 Jul 09 - 07:47 AM
Vic Smith 15 Jul 09 - 07:53 AM
TheSnail 15 Jul 09 - 08:05 AM
The Borchester Echo 15 Jul 09 - 08:17 AM
Will Fly 15 Jul 09 - 08:34 AM
The Sandman 15 Jul 09 - 08:39 AM
Geoff the Duck 17 Jul 09 - 04:29 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin (in Budapest) 17 Jul 09 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Geoff the Duck 19 Jul 09 - 02:17 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 21 Jul 09 - 08:28 AM
Tootler 21 Jul 09 - 04:45 PM
Tootler 21 Jul 09 - 05:14 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin (in Transylvania) 22 Jul 09 - 05:32 AM
johnadams 22 Jul 09 - 06:17 AM
FreddyHeadey 26 Nov 18 - 03:37 PM
DaveRo 26 Nov 18 - 04:28 PM
DaveRo 26 Nov 18 - 04:29 PM
Jos 26 Nov 18 - 04:33 PM
DaveRo 26 Nov 18 - 04:40 PM
Jos 26 Nov 18 - 04:50 PM
FreddyHeadey 26 Nov 18 - 09:16 PM
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Mo the caller 27 Nov 18 - 06:26 AM
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Subject: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: GUEST,Chris Walshaw
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 06:57 AM

BBC Radio 4 is shortly to broadcast a programme about abc and its impact on the world of traditional music.

Entitled "From Dots to Download", the programme documents the use of abc music notation in the rediscovery of old manuscript tune-books from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The programme goes out on 21st July at 1.30pm and will be available to listen again for 7 days after the broadcast from:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lp15m

It features interviews with Chris Walshaw, inventor of abc, and members of the Village Music Project team and is presented by singer and musician, Tim van Eyken.

Chris


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:05 AM

The inventor of abc?people have ben using it for decades.
it is [imo]an inferior system to music notation,and inferior to learning by ear.
it is in my opinion,more difficult to define rhythym accurately than standard music notation,so why bother, why not learn to read music notation,it is not verey difficult,or alternatively record the tunes and learn by ear.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:28 AM

It has always been my understanding that Chris Walshaw invented abc about 20 years ago in order to take down tunes before he'd learned to read notation, then afterwards contrived a program/conjuring trick to enable abc conversion to standard notation and MIDIs via that nifty little onverter on cencertinanet. Don't think he ever intended it as a substitute for those who can't be arsed to learn notation, just as a temporary aide memoire that escalated into far-reaching digital implications.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:30 AM

You've missed the point of abc entirely. Standard stave notation and tablature are impossible to send by text based email - abc isn't. Chris formalised the use of letters to represent notes and extended it to include other musical indications - in this respect he is the inventor of the system. It has the added advantage of being as easy to read as stave notation and, like stave notation and unlike tablature, is independent of the instrument being notated for.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:31 AM

the above was meant as a reply to Dick


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:35 AM

Also, I believe the system is flexible enough to be able to score classical music for several parts.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:58 AM

The inventor of abc?people have ben using it for decades.

People have been using alphabetic notations for about 3500 years that we know of. Those notations were not ABC. The central innovation in ABC is the header part of the tune - this is an idea derived from TeX and which probably wouldn't have come naturally to anyone living at a time when TeX wasn't around. (The earliest computer implementations of ABC translated it to a macro system built on top of TeX, which in turn generated typeset staff notation).

it is [imo]an inferior system to music notation,and inferior to learning by ear.
it is in my opinion,more difficult to define rhythym accurately than standard music notation,so why bother, why not learn to read music notation,it is not verey difficult,or alternatively record the tunes and learn by ear.


How about you actually look at the ABC website, look at what people do with it, and learn something before talking out of your arse?

Here's my equivalent of Chris's anecdote. I was noodling on an electronic bagpipe on a train in Slovakia and this 2/4 march tune popped out. All I had to record it on was the white space on a used train ticket. Hence the title.

X:1
T:Marion's Ticket
C:Jack Campin 2007
M:2/4
Q:1/4=72
K:Hp
A2A>A B2A2 |e2e>f g4|a2e2 a2e2 |a2e>d B2G2|
A2A>A B2A2 |e2e>f g4|a2e>d B2ed |B2A2 A4 :|
a2e>g a2e>g|a2e>f g4|a2e>f g2e>d|e2d>B B2G2|
A2A>A B2A2 |e2e>f g4|a2e>d B2ed |B2A2 A4 :|

You don't need to know ABC to hear it or see it in staff notation - just copy it (all ten lines) into the box at the folkinfo converter, hit the Submit button and it will generate the staff notation. Click on the staff notation and it will play a MIDI.

Now tell me what more I could have conveyed about that tune if I'd used staff notation instead. I'd have had to write helluva small.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 09:04 AM

Dick

I don't think I've ever been brought to a state where I've said this before on Mudcat (though I've often thought it - I usually consider it waste of time trying to have a proper discussion here - I kept out of the university degree course arguments, though I am massively in favour of them. I normally confine myself to posting songs and information about them), but what a load of bollocks.

The system of notation commonly recognised as abc was the invention of Chris Walshaw; simple and accepted fact.

It is different from standard music notation, but is capable of representing pretty much anything that can be done in standard notation. Certainly any rhythm that can be expressed in standard notation can be expressed in abc (including, in later versions, compound time signatures, multiple voices and a host of other things. I wouldn't want to do many of them in abc, but it is possible).

Learning by ear is not a comparison you can make with a notation system. They serve two different purposes. All notation systems (standard included) are approximations to what the musician is meant to reproduce from the score. They rely on the musician knowing what the unwritten implications of the score are. Bach's contemporaries looking at the relatively unadorned scores he wrote had to know what dynamics were expected where and what ornaments were expected, without them being written in the score. There were stylistic elements not in the score that the musician had to know to interpret it correctly. (The Early Music movement spent a lot of energy researching those unwritten nuances). Learning tunes by ear fulfills that same function - there are stylistic elements of rhythm and ornamentation that you learn by ear.

Notation (of any kind) has a different purpose - it is to record the tunes/songs to enable people who have no chance of hearing them (people far away in distance or time), to be able to play them. Most of the time the notation is incomplete - it would be too time consuming to notate everything exactly (Some modern scores do attempt to do just that, but they are exceptionally hard to follow - trust me I know whereof I speak). To say that learning by ear is what should be done would be to say that all literature should be heard orally and memorised. How much literature would anyone ever know if that was the case? The invention of printing was not considered a brilliant idea for nothing. You can read far more than you can ever hope to hear recited and the same goes for music.

Learning by ear is a great skill; the vast amount of tunes I know I learned by ear in sessions, as probably most of the song tunes I know; but not all in either case. Modern classical musicians are better at this than they used to be too - it's not all from the page. But it's only one aspect of music.

Finally abc is not meant to replace standard notation - it has a different purpose. abc is text-based and concise, whereas standard music notation on the computer requires relatively (or even definitely) expensive, dedicated packages and produces, by and large, proprietary format files. Only with some take-up of musicXML has another text-format for music been more widely available (musicXML is not the only one - there were several attempts to define standard text-based formats, but most have fallen by the wayside). But musicXML has two disadvantages compared to abc - it's extremely verbose and it's not very human-readable. The advantage of abc are that the format is very concise and it's simple enough for a human to read (and even play from - which I have rarely done). That's the reason why abc was taken up so widely. You can get away with nothing more than a text editor.

I converted (programatically, I add) the entire DT to abc. Why? Because I can put the whole thing into a simple data base, tunes and all. I could have saved the Songwright files there (they are also text based), but Songwright is definitely a minority format (and also more verbose, and not as versatile as abc). I already have tune database with thousands of abc tunes in. The databases could store links to other format files (or binary objects of other format files) - Sibelius docs, scanned images - but the effort to create those would have been enormous.

I am a proficient standard notation reader (I'm a licentiate level classical guitarist), but I still use abc for a lot of things, even though I have Finale on my computer. For recording single line melodies it's quick and simple and a brilliant idea. On the abc related web-sites you'll find examples of Beethoven scores and other things that I wouldn't dream of using abc for; when I want to write classical guitar music I use Finale, not abc. Horses for courses.

I have no vested interest in abc, it's just a tool I use, like many others. But try and have some proper appreciation of what it's for.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 09:06 AM

Sorry - it took me so long to write that that several of the points have been covered in the meantime!

Mick


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 09:10 AM

Mick, I'd started writing something as well, but then got interrupted and the thread had moved on. To be honest you put it much better than I had anyway, so I'll just plug my abc tutorial pages at

http://www.lesession.co.uk/abc

and move on :)


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 09:20 AM

any rhythm that can be expressed in standard notation can be expressed in abc

Not quite. The standard is ambiguous on this, but as far as I know nobody has ever implemented the ability to nest tuplets. If I remember right, there is an example on the cover of the LP of Brian Ferneyhough's String Quartet no. 2 where he has a quintuplet inside a triplet inside a quintuplet. You would have to represent that as a 75-plet in ABC if you wanted any available software to process it. Ferneyhough does that sort of thing a lot.

Maybe Captain Birdseye plays Ferneyhough on his concertina? If so, can we have a YouTube link? There's a YouTube of the solo flute number from "Carceri d'Invenzione" - that should in principle be doable on the concertina.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 09:39 AM

When I first heard of the abc notation - around 2 years or so ago (I'd always used SN before that), I also wondered at first why it had been created. I was discussing it with a melodeon player at a session, and he mentioned that he found abc very, very useful because he could - like Jack - just quickly jot down a tune he'd heard for the first time at a session, AND send it out to friends.

I find it incredibly useful in conjunction with the music notation program I use - "Harmony Assistant - as I can copy a tune in abc format from the web, paste it into Word, save as a text file with the .abc suffix, and then open it up with Harmony Assistant. The programme converts it instantly into SN and allows me to play it on the computer.

Brilliant - and manythanks to Mick Pearce above for an excellent exposition of abc.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 09:40 AM

Steve - thanks!

You could be right about that Jack - none of the 1.6, 1.7 or draft 2 revIV, say anything about nesting of tuplets. However the notation itself seems capable of expressing it, even if none of the software can realise it!

Mick


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 09:40 AM

When I first heard of the abc notation - around 2 years or so ago (I'd always used SN before that), I also wondered at first why it had been created. I was discussing it with a melodeon player at a session, and he mentioned that he found abc very, very useful because he could - like Jack - just quickly jot down a tune he'd heard for the first time at a session, AND send it out to friends.

I find it incredibly useful in conjunction with the music notation program I use - "Harmony Assistant - as I can copy a tune in abc format from the web, paste it into Word, save as a text file with the .abc suffix, and then open it up with Harmony Assistant. The programme converts it instantly into SN and allows me to play it on the computer.

Brilliant - and manythanks to Mick Pearce above for an excellent exposition of abc.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 09:41 AM

Sorry for the double post - computer did silly things!


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 09:55 AM

This is the kind of thing I was thinking of:

Ferneyhough, Bone Alphabet score

Ferneyhough conducting a rehearsal of Bone Alphabet and singing along

Representing the dynamics is way beyond ABC at present, too.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 10:17 AM

This is maybe a better example - a flute piece that Dick could surely do for us on the concertina if he was trying to demonstrate how ABC isn't expressive enough for him:

Ferneyhough, Unity Capsule score

Unity Capsule performance (1)
Unity Capsule performance (2)

Might need to tweak the reeds a bit to handle the microtones, of course.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 10:21 AM

At a quick look at the score, the draft version 2 would have been able to define the staff (using the clef stafflines parameter) and the dynamics. The voices could be done using voice overlay (or several voices with specified stem direction assuming the software could overlay voices onto a single staff). The tuplets do look like a challenge for the spec, but maybe not impossible to specify. (But then, as I said earlier, there are some things that are possible with abc but that I wouldn't choose to do with it!)

Mick


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 10:23 AM

That last was referring to the Bone Alphabet score. You're posting too quickly for me to keep up Jack!

Mick


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 10:26 AM

Captain Birdseye - tut tut.

so why bother, why not learn to read music notation

spoken like a true folkie - or should that be Luddite?

The world and his brother uses a PC (All who don't speak now).

Because there are some of us who understand and read computers better than notation - or tablature for that matter - now that's another thing - why staff notation when there is a perfectly good system..............

And why did Mr Wheatstone feel impelled to invent a concertina system when there was already at least one in use?

ABC is as simple as you want (or can understand) and can be complicated ad nauseum. And like tablature and staff notation - is open source.

Now - comparing apples and pears - do we really need pears?


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 11:42 AM

On last thing I should have mentioned re abc v. standard notation, is that to use abc you need to know a lot about standard notation anyway; it would be just about possible to use abc without it, but not easy. You need to know about staffs, scales, notes, accidentals, durations, ties, broken notes, graces and ornamentation to make use of it. There remains only the association of those things with symbols on a staff to get standard notation, and that's just a little part of the knowledge needed for standard notation.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Vic Smith
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 11:57 AM

Apart from its versatility and its ease of use, the other main advantage of ABC is the sheer volume of tunes available on the internet in this format. All free to download and very quick to download as well as each one is a very short .txt file.

In the early days of the Village Music Project John Adams was giving away lots of 3 1/2" floppy disks (remember them?) to everyone who came to his workshops. Each contained the ABC software and literally thousands of tunes that John and his helpers had transcribed from a mass of manuscript sources - and you know that you could not all that much information on one of those floppies. (If you play tunes and then you haven't been there, I would suggest that a visit to http://www.village-music-project.org.uk/ is essential.)

The ABC software is a very basic and not really very user friendly but perfectly usable once you get used to it. I suppose that we all have our own favourite music stave software. Personally, I like using Noteworthy Composer and here is a good tip for NWC composers; the estimable Bryan Creer ("The Snail" to Mudcat users) has written a neat piece of software which converts ABC files to Noteworthy Composer files - it is called ABC2NWC.
Email Bryan Creer for details.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 12:11 PM

yes,if you can afford, a computer all very well,if not,standard musical manuscript,and for those students,who wish to learn by ear,using a mobile phone to record.
I can afford a computer,and find going to you tube to hear good musicians such as Joe Burke more useful ,as soon as I see a tune in abc I go to concertina net and convert it to standard notation .
mean while most of the third world cant afford electricity ,let alone computers,and the way things are going there are many in the developed world who wont be able to afford computers soon.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Vic Smith
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 12:16 PM

Any apology to Chris Walshaw for making this incorrect statement?

The inventor of abc?people have ben using it for decades.
it is [imo]an inferior system to music notation,and inferior to learning by ear.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 12:19 PM

please understand that I have been put off abc 20 years ago[ before it was used very much on computers],by having to put up with musicians using it instead of music,on sheets of scrap paper ,which meant that if the musician could not hum the tune it was fairly meaningless and involved a lot of guess work,in that sitaution if the musician, could hum the tune they might as well learn it by ear.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: nutty
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 12:32 PM

The abc converter on the folkinfo site also allows transposition.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Vic Smith
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 12:39 PM

Wrong end of stick as usual - the initial posting was about http://abcnotation.com/ and not about "sheets of scrap paper".

"From Dots to Download" should have been a clue.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 12:40 PM

If you write it accurately it will work as well as any other notation; it doesn't take much use of ABC before you can sightread simple stuff like my little march tune directly off the ABC source. The medium doesn't matter. I did a talk on it once and started by writing "Mrs MacLeod" on a slate.

Obviously the musicians you were with did understand the notation they were using, whatever it was. (20 years ago, it couldn't have been ABC). You were the odd one out.

The first textual music notation I saw described in detail was developed by Ken Loosemore for his masters thesis in Edinburgh around 1976. It was intended as a readable syntax to program a PDP-11 controlling electronic instruments - if the backend wasn't MIDI, it was functionally equivalent. I used to have a copy of the thesis. There may be some of my ideas in it, I remember talking to him about how to represent rhythmic constructs in the most general way feasible. It was a bit more verbose than ABC but also better defined.

There was also some notation developed in the US in the 1960s - for ethnomusicological databases, I think. It was horrible, you had "shift octave up" and "shift octave down" operators so you had to know the complete playback history to tell what any pitch was.

Incidentally, ABC can represent stuff that staff notation can't. Notes given durations like A3/7 will play just fine in ABC players like BarFly, even though no staff notation for that exists.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: TheSnail
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 12:42 PM

Thanks for the plug, Vic.

ABC2NWC is available here http://www.abacusmusic.co.uk/. Unfortunately, it is a bit out of date and will only deal with the old Noteworthy version 1.75 format not the new version 2. It can still generate Noteworthy files that the new version can read but cannot generate ABC from the new Noteworthy files. I'm working on it.

As a stopgap, I have written a User Tool for use with Noteworthy 2 which is available free from The Noteworthy Composer Scriptorium. This is a bit fiddly to install; get in touch with me if you need help.

There is also a simple ABC editor player and printer called ABACUS available from my website which displays notation as you type in the abc.

Neither ABC2NWC or ABACUS can handle nested tuplets. Sorry about that.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 12:48 PM

so, why not use finale? what advantages does this have over Finale
Vic Smith,it is you that frequently gets the wrong end of the stick,witness your ridiculous attack on Joe Stead,and your inaccurate claim that he was a racist.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 12:58 PM

so, why not use finale? what advantages does this have over Finale

Money.

The corpus of freely available tunes.

The ability to use text indexing and text manipulation tools on tunes.

The ability to use it without a computer.

Making your work available to other people who can't afford expensive software and state-of-the-art machinery to run it on.

Keeping your work available no matter what one individual software company does in the future.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: DMcG
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 12:59 PM

so, why not use finale? what advantages does this have over Finale
I've received ABC via text messages. Feel free to send a Finale file that way.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 01:04 PM

sure and you can send musical manuscript in the post,no you havent convinced me


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: GUEST,ABC user
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 01:09 PM

RE invention of this type of translator:
I have an excellent Spectrum+2(Sinclair home computer)from the early 80's.That can be made to produce music via an on-board facilty using eg 2 to represent a crochet,4 for a minim etc and upper/lower case letters a-g etc to convey the octave.
Strikes me as very similar to abc.
Any Walshaw/Sinclair connection,apart from the fairly obvious way of representing music in text?


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: DMcG
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 01:17 PM

I haven't said ABC is better than manuscript. I've simply said that one advantage is that it can be sent as a small amount of text (which was one of its original design goals, after all.) That allows it to be used in ways that manuscript can't. For example I can send ABC anywhere near instantly, often at no cost. With your postal approach, its likely to be at least a second class stamp and several days. Whether that's significant or not is another matter, but it is a difference.

One way that manuscript and 'larger' music programs win out over ABC (and I include cheapies like Harmony Assistant as well as the big players like Finale and Sibeleus) is that ABC does not include page layout facilities. So if your music stretches to three or four pages or more, you can pick exactly how its laid out in those programs but not in ABC. Horses, as they say, for courses.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: nutty
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 03:25 PM

The advantage of abc is that it has made many tunes available to the 'amateur' musician.

Someone who wants to listen and practice tunes in the peace of their own home.

Someone who can learn tunes by ear

Someone who wants to learn the names and origins of the tunes they are learning.

In the course of running 'Folk on the Internet' workshops, I have introduced many people to abc and am constantly amazed at the amount of material on the net using this medium.

For example ............

An ABC Library of Morris Tunes

The Lewes Favourites

Tunes for 16 and 17th Century Broadside Ballads

Nigel Gatherer's ABC Collection

The Fiddler's Companion

Yet Another Digital Tradition Page

These are only a small sample of what is available but abc allows such resources to be available to all for very little cost.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 03:57 PM

Jack

Here's the first 2 bars of the Bone Alphabet using the abc 2.0 constructs and nested tuplets. I used default voice overlay for the 2 voices. abcm2ps (5.9.5) processes this fine. (I didn't bother to find out what the notes are on this staff, so I set it arbitrarily). It's not as elegant as the original, but it has all the information. (Again, I wouldn't choose to do this with abc, but it is possible. For one thing the actual abc looks inelegant; this is not easily human readable!).

Mick



X:1
%%abc-version 2.0
T:Bone Alphabet
C:Brian Fernyhough
M:4/8
L:1/32
K:C clef=none stafflines=7 middle=A
+sfz+Lb/+mf+g3/2b3/2 z/ +sfz+Le/+mf+g3/2b3/2 z/ +sfz+Lb/+mf+g3/2e3/2 z/ +sfz+Le/+mf+b3/2g3/2 z/&
(10:12:4+fff++>(+LD3/2F2A LD/(10:12:4F3/2A2 LD+>)++mp+F/ z4|
[M:2/8][L:1/32]
(3:2:2+ff+Lb2+mf+c(3:2:2+p+e2 +ff+Lb(3:2:2+mf+e2+p+c (3:2:2+ff+Lb2+mf+e&
(6:7:7+sfz+LD/+pp+c/c/ (4:3:4+sfz+LD/+pp+c/c/ +sfz+LD/(6:7:7+pp+c/c/ +sfz+LD/(4:3:4+pp+c/c/ +sfz+LD/+pp+c/ z||


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 04:46 PM

I'm very grateful to Chris Walshaw. I've been using abc for 14 years to produce publishable camera ready tunebooks.
Admittedly I'm using the version balanced on TeX and MusicTex which was a kinda steep learning curve, but it makes the output almost infinitely flexible - something that expensive programs did (do?) not have.

And the music output is compact.

The transferability of it as text is invaluable. It was doubly so before broadband and high speed connections.

It also possible to compose using it - I have done so on several occasions, noting down themes on whatever flat surface comes to hand.
And with a bit of practice one can play from it (at need - I would not use it as a long term method).

Capn Birdseye's mileage obviously varies, but I've differed with him in silence in many threads so that doesn't surprise me.

My vote is for abc. I look forward to the programme.

Paws


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 03:15 AM

Mick, you are sick and twisted.

Coding Ferneyhough would be an exercise in frustration - just as he likes writing music that is literally impossible to perform in every detail, making the performer's variably-successful attempt to do it part of the show (see the end of Unity Capsule, where you would need several extra lungs to sound all the notes), he also doesn't think there ought to be any universal computer notation and delights in coming up with constructs nobody's ever thought of representing on paper before. As far as he's concerned, score writing is an art form and he's going to make sure it stays that way.

Have you seen John Cage's book "Notations"? - it's an anthology of wacky one-page examples of contemporary music scoring. Great fun.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: GUEST,strad
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 06:28 AM

Before ABC I used to use something similar when I found a tune/song in the depths of reference libraries and no blank manuscript to hand, and before I bought a Commodore 64. If I had had the computing skills I might have been the target of comments like those in this thread. The nice ones are nice, whilst the anti ones are uncalled for. ABC is a great TOOL and should be used as such. If you don't like it, leave it alone for those of us who do.

If Capt. Birdseye earns part or all of his living from folk music he should consider the public perception of comments such as above. Would I go to see him at a folk club? I think not, so there goes another possible CD sale.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 06:34 AM

I hope you wouldn't hesitate to go and see Chris Walshaw, a jolly fine piper who doesn't play out nearly enough.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 07:11 AM

Would I go to see him at a folk club? I think not, so there goes another possible CD sale.

I would - he's good. I think he's being a bit of a dick on this thread, but he's a good artist. Come to that, I'd go and see people I've disagreed with on just about everything if I thought they were likely to be any good. Music is music, as Jesse Jackson once said.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 07:47 AM

Hang on,I dont happen to like abc,and prefer to use Finale,what has that got to do with being booked at festivals or folk clubs,so we are no longer allowed to have differences of opinion,without it affecting potential bookings.
guest Strad,I have been a   professional performer for 35 years,here is my website
http://www.dickmiles.com.there are audio clips available.

I think it is a sad day when people like guest Strad,make value judgements about performers,based on whether they prefer Finale to abc.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 07:53 AM

a jolly fine piper who doesn't play out nearly enough.

Chris Walshaw turned up at our folk club in Lewes at the end of last year in the company of the superb female quartet, Jigjaw.

I was on to him like a shot - would he do a floor spot for us? Well, no, he hadn't brought any instruments with him......

Chris does play with The Climax Ceilidh Band. This will be doing four dances at this year's Sidmouth Festival as well as a number of prominent public dances in the autumn. Their gig list is at http://cms2.gre.ac.uk/jr07/climaxceilidhband/site/gigs.asp


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 08:05 AM

Chris Walshaw along with Richard Jones and Anna Tabbush, collectively Meridian, played at the Lewes Arms Folk Club (as we were then) last year and Dick Miles is booked for the 12th June 2010 at the Lewes Saturday Folk Club (as we are now).


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 08:17 AM

Indeed they do, and another of his bands, Meridian, has a Ham concert but that amazing band Stocai seems not to have any upcoming gigs. Here are some mp3s to get people to bombard (or possibly bassoon) them with gig offers:
http://www.walshaw.plus.com/stocai/music.html


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 08:34 AM

Slightly off-topic: Diane - many thanks for pointing the way to Stocai. I can't bombarde them with a gig, but I have ordered "After the Brawl" from Harbourtown Records - the mp3 clips were stunning.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 08:39 AM

yes , I listened Chris is a very good player.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 04:29 AM

Hi All!
People who have been reading this thread may notice that a bunch of postings have suddenly disappeared. It is nothing suspicious.
In the middle of the tread, I asked a question about converting ABC to MusicXML, which is used by many sheet music typesetting programmes. Last night I realised that my question was in danger of hijacking this thread, and also decided that it had enough technical information in it to deserve its own "tech" thread, so I asked Joe Offer to move the relevant postings a new thread - Tech: convert ABC to MusicXML? .
When I woke this morning the switch had happened.
If anyone has any complaints about this, blame me.
If anyone needs any of their comments back on this thread, ask Joe.

REMEMBER - this thread is to let people know that BBC Radio 4 are about to broadcast a programme about modern folk musicians swapping tune books via the internet, and how the ABC format of tune notation has made this possible.
The programme, From Dots to Downloads goes out on Tuesday 21 July 2009.

Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: GUEST,Jack Campin (in Budapest)
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 10:43 AM

Will it be on Listen Again? I'll be in Transylvania when it goes out.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: GUEST,Geoff the Duck
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 02:17 PM

It ought to be there for a week from time of broadcast.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 08:28 AM

This is about to broadcast now in the UK

Mick


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Tootler
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 04:45 PM

Listening now on iPlayer


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Tootler
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 05:14 PM

D**n!!! It hung at 25 min. I'll have to try again later.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: GUEST,Jack Campin (in Transylvania)
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 05:32 AM

Anybody recorded it? I won't be back in the UK or near a computer I can save it on until it expires.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: johnadams
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 06:17 AM

Jack, I have it recorded. I can mp3 it for you.

J


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 26 Nov 18 - 03:37 PM

BBC -
From Dots to Downloads - Tune-Books on the Web

broadcast & available for 30 days :
July 2009
May 2015
November 2018

Tim van Eyken, award-winning young singer and squeezebox player, reveals how today's musicians are rediscovering 'tune books', small manuscript books of music that were in use from the late-17th to the mid-19th century.

They are now sharing them, in the way that musicians always have, but nowadays online, so that all over the world, people are playing these tunes once again in an ongoing global virtual session.


Thomas Hardy
Quite a long section talking with Chris Walshaw about abc.
Joseph Barnes
Benjamin Rose
William Winter
John Clare
Frances Priddeaux

here's the link again
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lp15m 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
bbc iPlayer Radio app
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3yvdp3zQJWLtl204z9nxgRt/download-the-iplayer-radio-app 
(then click the '+' on the programme's web page
    then on the app click 
            Menu > My Radio > Listen Later)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: DaveRo
Date: 26 Nov 18 - 04:28 PM

Well spotted. That programme, first broadcast in 2009 was first repeated in 2005 - but perhaps went unnoticed. I don't usually read R4X listings.

Wouldn't be good if the BBC allowed you to attach an alert to a missed programme, so you got an email if ever it were re- broadcast?

The iPlayer radio app has been replaced by 'BBC Sounds' BTW. The original continues to work but you can't download it - at least not from the usual places.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: DaveRo
Date: 26 Nov 18 - 04:29 PM

2015 not 2005


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Jos
Date: 26 Nov 18 - 04:33 PM

So is it to be broadcast this November? Or have I somehow missed it?


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: DaveRo
Date: 26 Nov 18 - 04:40 PM

You missed it. It was on an hour ago :(

But it's on BBC iPlayer Radio BBC Sounds for the next month :)

See Freddy's link


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Jos
Date: 26 Nov 18 - 04:50 PM

Ah, now I understand - it was Radio 4 Extra. I had Radio 4 on all evening so I was puzzled as I heard a very different programme.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 26 Nov 18 - 09:16 PM

Sorry Jos.
I hadn't even noticed it was 4Extra.
Actually I see it was on at 06.30a.m. GMT
I'd spotted it a few months ago trawling through lists of documentaries and given it a '+'. That way a programme plays in my iPlayerRadio as and when it becomes available.


[I really don't like the look of the 'Sounds' app so I'm keeping away from it for as long as possible.
:( I didn't realise they'd actually stopped downloads of iPlayerRadio]


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: DaveRo
Date: 27 Nov 18 - 02:53 AM

FreddyHeadey wrote: I didn't realise they'd actually stopped downloads of iPlayerRadio
Actually I discovered it's still on Google Play, but some or all the BBCs own links to it - such as the one in your earlier sig - have been redirected.

I doubt if it will be updated, though, so may stop working. And depending on your version of Android, or something, you also need their separate player app, and that might stop being compatible.

I don't know how it all works on iThings.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Mr Red
Date: 27 Nov 18 - 05:00 AM

Maybe we have missed some very important points re Mr ABC.

He is an superior bagpipe/whistle/sax player, and a very proficient dancer/demonstrator for Kerry Fletcher. And playing for her workshops you need to be very flexible. Musically & danceably.

And he plays in Angles, Moltenamba and the Climax Ceilidh Band. If you dance French &/or ceilidh you already know that. Excellent dance bands.

And, if you wanted to be envious he is a really nice bloke, and a PhD I believe.

And he gave us ABC.

You know, some things just chime with the public and ABC does that.

Thankyou Chris (from a drummer & dancer)

PS there is one thing that any musical notation struggles with, dance - trust me. But you can add text instruction, it is just easier with ABC.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio 4 features abc
From: Mo the caller
Date: 27 Nov 18 - 06:26 AM

Yes, thanks to Chris. abc is very useful for hammering bits of choir music alto lines into my skull. Just putting it in and checking it is right does half the job, but I can chop it small and go over the difficult bits or play longer sections.
I'm slowly getting quicker at writing it.
All this learning by ear / from dots debate doesn't mention one thing. We all first learnt to SING by ear but many of us were first taught to PLAY from the dots. But in practise we all use both methods for both. Our ear tells us if we've played a wrong note and the dots are needed to check our singing (via an instrument or computer if sight reading is poor)


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