The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #53267   Message #820390
Posted By: John in Brisbane
06-Nov-02 - 08:44 PM
Thread Name: Where's the Tablature?
Subject: RE: Where's the Tablature?
Let's not forget that Tablature is a musical language and adopting a particular new language is a question of personal choice and not one that I feel comfortable to advise on. What I can comment on though is that a lot of beginners - and some more experienced players - are really comfortable using it. For that reason I feel some sense of duty to help others to use their chosen language, especially given that I share a common bond with their desire to play folk music.

For that reason I have some projects on the go which may help people wishing to speak Tablature:

- A simple/free program to allow users to create their own mandolin tablature by utilising the thousands of tunes in ABC format already available on the Web. Awaiting some program changes from Lyle Mellick, the program developer. Jon Freeman has written a nice Windows interface.

- In the last couple of weeks I've created a special font for tin whistle tablature. It has two potential applications, (1) to be used in a normal word processor where a user can simply type in the name of the notes (including accidentals) and the appropriate whistle image appears on the page (2) used with a conventional notation package such as NoteWorthy Composer or Encore to display the whistle notation where the lyrics would normally appear. There's a handful of Mudcatters reviewing this at the moment. The thread title is Whistle Players Wanted.

- The idea of a dedicated font for whistle could be easily extended to other melody monotonic instruments such as harmonica, tenor banjo, Irish flute or even saxophone/clarinet/trumpet. Its principal restriction is that I have limited it within any given piece of music to a 2 octave range. For instruments available in different keys then the tablature is transposable.


(1) 'I'd like the TAB for the latest hit by Savage Garden'. I presume that this mythical request is for guitar chords and maybe lyrics. It's a real pity that we don't have more guitar chords in the DT. I haven't seen any recent discussion on this subject but the ChordPro format used at OLGA is excellent. By embedding the chords in square brackets within the lyrics, ...mid[D7]night [G]moon... you can use free software to re-format the piece to place the chords above the lyric or transpose the chords to another key.

(2) 'I'd like the guitar TAB for Bach's Opus in Cm..' Where the piece is complex and/or has simultaneous notes there's probably not too much that a computer generated interpretation can really do well. This equally applies to flat-picking or bluegrass requests.

(3) 'Melody TAB for Walkin Round In Women's Underwear'. This is DT domain and the area where we should be able to satisfy requests routinely - yes it is in the DT! How this is actually achieved will I guess be best answered by the regulars here.

That's enough from me.

Regards, John