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A really useful program for ABC format

Bill D 19 Oct 09 - 09:38 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 20 Oct 09 - 06:00 AM
Jack Campin 20 Oct 09 - 07:09 AM
treewind 20 Oct 09 - 07:41 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 20 Oct 09 - 08:30 AM
Chris Partington 20 Oct 09 - 10:37 AM
Bill D 20 Oct 09 - 10:47 AM
open mike 20 Oct 09 - 11:24 AM
Bill D 20 Oct 09 - 11:39 AM
Bill D 20 Oct 09 - 11:43 AM
open mike 20 Oct 09 - 12:21 PM
SteveMansfield 20 Oct 09 - 12:59 PM
Jack Campin 20 Oct 09 - 01:03 PM
Paul Burke 20 Oct 09 - 01:32 PM
Stringsinger 20 Oct 09 - 01:42 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 20 Oct 09 - 01:55 PM
Jack Campin 20 Oct 09 - 02:00 PM
Chris Partington 20 Oct 09 - 02:37 PM
Chris Partington 20 Oct 09 - 03:54 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Oct 09 - 09:12 PM
maeve 20 Oct 09 - 09:43 PM
treewind 21 Oct 09 - 02:58 AM
dick greenhaus 21 Oct 09 - 07:05 PM
Jack Campin 21 Oct 09 - 07:13 PM
Howard Jones 22 Oct 09 - 05:06 AM
GUEST 22 Oct 09 - 05:30 AM
Jack Campin 22 Oct 09 - 05:51 AM
GUEST,Ed 22 Oct 09 - 06:00 AM
Jack Campin 22 Oct 09 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Ed 22 Oct 09 - 06:17 AM
treewind 22 Oct 09 - 06:22 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 22 Oct 09 - 08:01 AM
Wolfhound person 22 Oct 09 - 08:19 AM
Jack Campin 22 Oct 09 - 09:16 AM
treewind 22 Oct 09 - 09:19 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 22 Oct 09 - 12:52 PM
Chris Partington 22 Oct 09 - 12:54 PM
Jack Campin 22 Oct 09 - 03:12 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 22 Oct 09 - 03:39 PM
LesB 22 Oct 09 - 06:12 PM
dick greenhaus 22 Oct 09 - 06:44 PM
Bill D 22 Oct 09 - 06:48 PM
Mo the caller 01 Dec 13 - 06:15 PM
Lester 02 Dec 13 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,Ed 02 Dec 13 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,Ed 02 Dec 13 - 08:21 AM
Jack Campin 02 Dec 13 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,PeterC 02 Dec 13 - 10:21 AM
Jack Campin 02 Dec 13 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,Grishka 02 Dec 13 - 06:30 PM
Jack Campin 02 Dec 13 - 07:14 PM
GUEST,Grishka 03 Dec 13 - 04:53 AM
Mo the caller 03 Dec 13 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Grishka 04 Dec 13 - 05:30 AM
Jack Campin 04 Dec 13 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,Grishka 04 Dec 13 - 12:37 PM
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Subject: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 09:38 PM

Discovered this a few days ago. If you use ABC at all, this is the best I have seen, and it is free!
It will play a tune... in any of a few dozen instrument modes, display the melody on a staff, allow speed & volume alteration, do searches, allow new tunes to be created....and many other tricks.

   PC only, of course...sorry. (Page is in both French & English)

http://abc.stalikez.info/abcex.php

I had a file of 260 shanty tunes, and it loaded them instantly and played them flawlessly. Now I am going to retrieve the ABC files from Bruce Olson's collection! (in Mudcat's drop-down menu)


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 06:00 AM

I have 20-30 abc-related bits of software on my machine that I've looked at at various times (and though I use abc a lot, I use very few of them - abcm2ps by far the most, abc2midi/abcmidifier occasionally).

I have an old version of abcExplorer (1.1.0, from March 2008), which I rejected for use - I have the installer still, but it's not installed. It'll be interesting to see if it's become more useful.

Mick


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 07:09 AM

Bruce Olson's tunes are not a fair test of an ABC program - they were written using ABC2WIN, which is a moribund program with a lot of non-standard-compliant ideas of what ABC ought to be. The tempi are all wrong, the beaming is screwed up, and the default note lengths are usually twice what they should be. You expect to spend some time twiddling the source if you use Bruce's material.

The tunes on my site make a better set of test cases (the modes tutorial and the two CD-ROM projects in particular). They were intended to be portable, but they also use almost all the agreed-on features of ABC. They were written using BarFly for the Mac, but I've had most of them checked out by users of other platforms. And they're written to be readable in source form, so if you do need to tinker with them you'll have a much easier time than you will with Bruce's.

http://www.campin.me.uk

I'd like to know if this new program deals with my stuff correctly. If not I'd like to know, and so, probably, would the program's author. (I don't have access to a Windows machine to try it on).


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: treewind
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 07:41 AM

My idea of a really useful ABC program would be one that converted ABC2WIN into proper ABC.

Fortunately not so many people are using ABC2WIN now, but there must be a huge legacy of ABC2WIN code.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 08:30 AM

I seem to recall also that Bruce had a habit of using slurs instead of ties when notes were tied eg (A3 A2) instead of A3-A2. He may not have done it all the time, but I'm sure I've found that in several files.

Mick


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Chris Partington
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 10:37 AM

ABCexplorer v1.1.0 has been much updated and debugged and new features added. Current version is 1.3.6. I can hardly think of anything it can't do. It is a single download front end program containing within itself abcm2ps (4.12.30 at the moment, but imminently 5.6x)and abc2midi and some other progs, that you can swap in and out as desired.
You will be glad to note that its introduction prompted us at
The Village Music Project
to alter all our files (1,000s of tunes) from the ABC2Win format to the ABC2/Plus-ish (oh wouldn't it be nice to have a new abc standard?) that abcm2ps and abc2midi currently supports. So at least Treewind won't have to convert our files any more.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 10:47 AM

Jack Campin- Your tunes work fine! It took about 15 seconds to copy Page 1, paste them in a file, save it as "Jack Campins ABC", open it with ABC Explorer, and begin playing---with seemingly all features working.

(and I am now engrossed in hearing tunes to songs I had known only by title before. Thanks for the wonderful resource)


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: open mike
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 11:24 AM

i downloaded it...but it came with a huge program called Ghost script
which i was not expecting...

so i copied the ABC text and tried to paste it in the ABC program and
it will not paste...

so, back to the drawing board...

any hints or tips?


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 11:39 AM

No...just save an ABC text as a file....either .txt OR .abc. Then open the file with the program.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 11:43 AM

Oh.. if you go to an online site, like Jack Campin's, you can use ABC Explorer to open the files directly from the site.

File->Open remote file (url)

You just paste in the remote URL and it will make a copy...which you can save. or not.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: open mike
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 12:21 PM

do i jsut save/paste this much or do i need more?
(for the barry finn jig)

|:D3 FED|FAA A2 B|c3 BAG|EDC EGE|
D3 FED|FAA EGG|EDC A,B,C|D3 A3:|
|:d2 e d2 c|ABc EFG|ABc EFG|A3 A2G|
FED EGG|CEE G2A| EDC A,B,C|D3 D2 A:|


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 12:59 PM

Ah no, you need the whole tune from the X: at the top to the last note or barline. Without the headers it doesn't get recognised as a valid abc tune.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 01:03 PM

You need to paste all this:

X:1
T:The Barry Finn Jig
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:DMix
D3 FED|FAA A2B|c3 BAG |EDC EGE |
D3 FED|FAA EGG|EDC A,B,C|D3 A3 :|
d2e d2c|ABc EFG|ABc EFG |A3 A2G |
FED EGG|CEE G2A|EDC A,B,C|D3 D2A:|

The K: line is essential for the software to know the key signature. I tried four guesses - D major, D mixolydian and D dorian all sound fine. It certainly isn't in G major as posted in the other thread.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Paul Burke
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 01:32 PM

ABCExplorer has the happy "feature" that if you prefix a valid header, it will play any text file as a tune. Wonderful for exploring what poetry "sounds" like.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Stringsinger
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 01:42 PM

I've used ABC and find it as difficult to write if not more so than conventional music notation. I realize that it's a computer-based type-written notation and would be good
if nothing else were available.

It would be interesting if it went the other way and could program conventional music notation into ABC format for mailing purposes.

How accurate would that be?


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 01:55 PM

Stringsinger - it should be as accurate as you want.

IIRC there are a few notation programs that can write abc (not the really big fish Sibelius/Finale). But you can generate passable abc from musicXML, which several notation programs can generate these days. (I did that for the Yorkshire Garland abc tunes. In fact I converted postscript output from Sibelius to musicXML (I couldn't get musicXML direct from the source at the time)and then musicXML to abc).

Mick


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 02:00 PM

What you are asking for requires a colossal amount of programming work. It's been done for commercial notation systems, but nobody is going to put the effort into something like that without being paid real money for it.

It would be a long time before it would be accurate enough to save any time - fixing typos takes much longer than not making them in the first place.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Chris Partington
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 02:37 PM

Openmike, don't worry that Ghostscript might do something to harm your computer, it won't. It's one of the essential bits of the jigsaw that makes abcm2ps, one of the central parts of the ABCexplorer download, work. Without it the whole program is like a car with no engine.

Just take a deep breath and let it download the whole thing. As long as you choose the appropriate options it will update itself automatically every now and then, to fix any bugs as they are reported, and to insert updated versions of e.g. abcm2ps.

For a manual on all the sophisticated things that you can do with ABCplus, but starting with a very clear basic tutorial go to
http://abcplus.sourceforge.net/
and download the abcplus en.1.1.0 zip file.

There is a good help file on board ABCexplorer to help you round the program's learning curve.

ABC is pretty much the de facto standard for moving traditional music round the web, and really is quite simple to grasp so long as you understand music. And you don't even need that much knowledge if all you need is to download a tune and listen to it. There are even apps using it on ipods now, so it's worth making the effort to familiarise yourself with it.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Chris Partington
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 03:54 PM

Openmike said "so i copied the ABC text and tried to paste it in the ABC program and
it will not paste"

An ABC file is a simple text file containing one or more 'tunes'. You can make it in any text editor like Notepad for instance. ABC progs have an in-built text editor to make it easier and to display the result in notation as you type. The ABC program knows it's an ABC file because you've given it, or it already had, the _.abc_ suffix rather than _.txt_ . The tunes within that file must have a certain minimum structure to be recognised as a tune. At least the X:(tune number),K:(key) and then some letters to represent the notes etc. and then a space before the next tune X:(n).See a tutorial for details.

To paste an individual tune into ABCexplorer from elsewhere you must have a file open to paste it into. This can be one you've previously downloaded into your chosen place for ABC files and then opened in ABCexplorer, or it can be an entirely new file you've created from the 'NEW' button, and called 'Brantub' or 'Newtunes' or anything. Copy the whole tune including headers (e.g. X:) into the windows clipboard. Highlight the file you want to paste into, go into the menu 'IMPORT>import clipboard as a new tune, or press F9.

To import an entire file it's the same. Try this one:-
http://www.village-music-project.org.uk/abc/atkinson.abc
You can select and copy the whole text to the clipboard, make a new file from 'NEW , call it Atkinson or whatever you want, and press F9. The new file will be populated from the clipboard.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 09:12 PM

Does it work on a Mac?


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: maeve
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 09:43 PM

Unfortunately, Dick,

"Subject: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Bill D - PM
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 09:38 PM

   ...PC only, of course...sorry."


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: treewind
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 02:58 AM

Ghostscript isn't often found on Windows systems, but it's a huge toolbag of useful stuff for doing things with Postscript and many kinds of PDF files. If you install the GIMP (free almost-equivalent of Photoshop) Ghostscript is the tool that it uses to import PDF files into graphics images. On Linux I use GS for converting PS output from abcm2ps into either PDF to email tunes to people who don't want ABC, or into graphics images for importing into documents. It's the basis of viewing and printing programs too.

Oh yes, and it's quite safe!

Dick: Barfly is what you need for the Mac. If it's good enough for Jack, it's probably good enough.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 07:05 PM

Eckshully, what I'm looking for is a platform-independent ABC player/scorer that can be incorporated into DigiTrad so that a simple click on a tune filename will show and play the tune. Our old SongWright format doesn't work for playing on newer machines; we have the existing tunes in ABC but there's a missing link somewhere.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 07:13 PM

Wil Macaulay's Five Line Skink was meant to do that (it's a Java application). I'm not sure what its current status is.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Howard Jones
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 05:06 AM

Dick, the "Tune-a-tron" on concertina.net does this. It generates JPG, PDF, ABC, and MIDI files on-the-fly as you request a tune from source ABC code held in its database.

Paul Schwartz, who runs concertina.net, wrote the software.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 05:30 AM

"Tune-a-tron" on concertina.net does this. It generates ...ABC... files on-the-fly as you request a tune from source ABC code

How useful...


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 05:51 AM

The concertina.net and folkinfo.org converters use pre-existing software (abc2midi, abcm2ps) and lash it together with scripts. This is a good idea since it means updates will happen more frequently.

But it may be rather processor-intensive - you ought to check with the admins at those two sites to see what they run it all on.

The advantage of Wil's method is that the Java resides on the user's machine and all that needs to be downloaded is the ABC itself. This is far more efficient than creating staff notation image files on the host and shipping them over the net.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 06:00 AM

This is far more efficient than creating staff notation image files on the host and shipping them over the net.

Given the 'net's current capacity, is this an issue? We're long past AOL users 'wasting bandwidth'

Ed


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 06:15 AM

It's not the Net's capacity, it's Mudcat's. This could be a large performance hit.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 06:17 AM

Fair enough, missed your point.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: treewind
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 06:22 AM

What Jack said.
Also I like to have the ABC source for tunes: for example I almost invariably end up combining them with others, or transposing them, both of which are obviously far easier with the ABC source text.
(abc2abc in the abcmidi package does transposition, very handy)

Anahata


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 08:01 AM

Dick - it's not hard to produce that in Java.

In 2007 I wrote a Java DT browser (actually a general song database browser, but I created a db from the DT). I wanted it mostly in java and it used the Apache Derby database (a pure java database system) to store the db. Tunes were stored in abc and I used abcm2ps and abc2midi to generate postscript and midi files on the fly.

I played the temp midi file from Java (and in fact had a simple one-line karaoke display, trapping the text events and displaying each syllable as the tune played). I modified the java Toastscript postscript viewer to display the music in a window within the browser. (Toastscript is only a Level 1 postscript program, but, although, IIRC, abcm2ps describes its output as Level 2 postscript, I never found any problems in tunes I looked at).

My browser is probably more than you want - it had facilities for maintaining the db, to log changes and generate full/incremental updates for other copies. But it wouldn't be hard to make a simple java viewer and player.

Last year I also implemented a Prolog song browser (using SWI-Prolog). Again that used abcm2ps and abc2midi on the fly. This one uses a 2-way interface with Java to make a full karaoke window for the tunes, displaying the verse and moving highlights. This one uses the internal prolog database to store the songs as Prolog terms (the db is under 20Mb for the version I've got - 2002 DT I think). I display the abc but not the music line, but it would be trivial for me to use the same Java interface and display the music via Toastscript as I did in the Java version. SWI Prolog is freely available for PC, Linux and Mac and is quite small (The installer is about 7Mb).

You could also eliminate abcm2ps and abc2midi by distributing the converted postscript and midi files (I'd guess they'd amount to about 20Mb for 5000 abc files).

Mick


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 08:19 AM

I've just spent 15 mins only with it, and it read my abc2mtex generated files accurately. It looks ideal for, say, quick and dirty conversions in a session or workshop, or to give someone an idea of a tune. Or a piece of paper to work from. Or to get someone to use abc files from "out there" when they've not learnt to write in it

BUT

I'd like some different voices on the player (keyboards don't do it for me), and the printout is c**p in terms of layout flexibility. It's not WYSIWYG, and there seems little way to adjust note spacings. But then I would say the same of most programs (Sibelius, Finale, Noteworthy......)

I'm sticking with TeX for publishing work.

But I'll keep on playing with it, 15 mins isn't a fair review time.

Paws


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 09:16 AM

You could also eliminate abcm2ps and abc2midi by distributing the converted postscript and midi files (I'd guess they'd amount to about 20Mb for 5000 abc files).

Based on what I found doing my CD-ROM projects, multiply that figure by 20. A bit less if you use less space-hungry formats than PostScript.

It might save on CPU if graphic and midi files were converted on request, but stored at Mudcat rather than immediately disposed of, so that if a tune has been converted before it can just be fished out of store and resent.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: treewind
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 09:19 AM

Connection bandwidth, rather than CPU time, may be an issue if graphics are sent out.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 12:52 PM

Jack - you're right about the size. I just converted 3866 DT abc files and it generated about 80Mb of ps files. In fact I'd been looking at pdf files when I made the rough calculation earlier and that would probably be about 40Mb (based on a sample of ps to pdfs I've just converted). Still bigger than I thought, but not excessive. The midi files are generally round about 1k, so they don't amount to much.

Anahata - I was assuming Dick was on about the distributed DT rather than online. (Still adds to download time for the DT of course). I'm not sure how many actually play/view songs online at any time. I generally use my local copy of DT. Perhaps if you could view the music online that would be more of an incentive.

And I did add the PS display to my Prolog viewer using toastscript via the java interface. It was only a few lines to do that.

Mick


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Chris Partington
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 12:54 PM

Wolfhound Person said:-
"the printout is c**p in terms of layout flexibility".

The printout will do exactly the same as abcm2ps will do, neither more nor less flexibly, as it uses abcm2ps to export as PDF,PNG etc. As advertised.

That is not the same as the immediate display in the score viewer of what you are typing, or the quickprint, which uses Ghostscript to convert it into a quick bitmap version so you can see that you're not making errors in your typing. As it points out in the onboard helpfile. Which might of course take more than 15 mins to read.

I think you should spend more than 15 mins looking at a new program before you make up your mind to tell a whole internet community that it's C**p. It might not suit you, but that doesn't make it c**p.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 03:12 PM

Mick, is your Prolog/Java stuff available to the rest of us?

I've always thought a Prolog parser was the way to go for ABC.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 03:39 PM

Jack

I can send you a copy of the Prolog stuff. The actual program bits are small, but the DT database is about 17Mb as is, so I'd probably not want to email that. (It's 7Mb zipped, but let me see what it's like as rar). I'll PM you a bit later about that.

I did make a start on a Prolog parser for the Draft abc 2 standard (based rev IV) using Prolog a DCG. The trouble is there are some problems with the proposed standard.

Mick


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: LesB
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 06:12 PM

I've been trying to follow all this technical stuff, to no avail.
All I want is a free program so that I can find an ABC file save it, then play it. I learn totally by ear, I can't read a note of music & don't know any musical theory.( I suppose that makes me a musical philistine, but I don't care).
Any recomendations?
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 06:44 PM

Jack, Mick, et al-
There doesn't seem to be much demand for standalone versions of Digitrad, so I'm trying to improve the online version. Seems to me that the way to beat the bandwith problem is for users to have a simple ABC reader/scorer/player on their own machines, and just provide a quick download of the ABC called for. We've been testing a SQL version of the lyrics search, which provides a much better search capability than what we presently have; seem to me that having a single click spit out a downloadable ABC file shouldn't be a problem.

I'm a totally inept low-level programmer, so it's more than likely I'm missing something. All suggestions welcome!


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 06:48 PM

*grin*...Les... I too, have been trying to follow the discussion of what I started, and it's gotten beyond me, too. (They are working on ways to make it all easier without using 3-4 programs)

But the program I posted at the beginning will do what you want. It shows the tune, but you can just ignore that & play the tune at various speeds.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Mo the caller
Date: 01 Dec 13 - 06:15 PM

I have labouriously been tapping tunes into ABCExplorer and tearing my hair.
There is a screen that tells you how to do things (sort of).

If I copy a line of tune and try to paste it into another tune when I click where I want to put it I get the options Copy & Cut but not Paste.
What's the good of being able to copy if you can't paste?

I followed the instructions that said would put chords under the tune, and they came out on top.

What if I want Bass (or other) Clef. Is that possible.
Can I have parts on joined staves? Or words under the tune?

There was a link address to an Introduction to abc, but my computer couldn't find it.

Any hints for a novice who won't do this often enough to be really proficient.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Lester
Date: 02 Dec 13 - 07:49 AM

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


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 02 Dec 13 - 08:11 AM

Hi Mo,

Yes, ABC does handle a Bass clef. I have to say though, that ABC is one of those things (and it's not difficult) that you need to be reasonably proficient at to make much use of.

An example of Bass Clef from this dissussion:

X:1
T:Goldberg Variations no. 1
C:J.S.Bach
M:3/4
L:1/16
Q:360
V:2 bass
K:G
[V:1]GFG2- GDEF GAB^c |d^cd2- dABc defd |gfg2- gfed ^ceAG|
[V:2]G,,2B,A, B,2G,2G,,2G,2 |F,,2F,E, F,2D,2F,,2D,2 |E,,2E,D, E,2G,2A,,2^C2|

[V:1] FED^C DF[K:bass]A,G, F,A,D,2[K:treble] |z2d=c d2G2B,2d2 |z2ed e2A2C2e2|
[V:2] D,2F,E, F,2D,2 D,,2z =C, |B,,A,,B,,2- B,,D,E,F, G,A,B,G, |C,B,,C,2- C,E,F,G, A,B,CA,|

[V:1] z2fe f2d2a2c2- |c2B2 zGBd gdga |bgdB GBdg bgfe|
[V:2] D,^C,D,2- D,A,B,C [K:treble] DEFD |GFGD[K:bass] B,DG,B, D,G,B,,D, |G,,2G,2B,2G,2G,,2G,2|

[V:1] ae^cA FAce afed |gdBG EGBd gfed |^cGE^C A,CEG cedc|
[V:2] F,,2F,2A,2F,2F,,2F,2 |E,,2E,2G,2E,2E,,2G,2 |A,,2E,2G,2E,2A,,2G,2|

[V:1] d2[K:bass]F,2F,2[K:treble]A2d2f2 |B2[K:bass]G,2G,2[K:treble]B2e2g2 |^ceAG FAdf gedc |fd^cB AGFE D4 :|
[V:2] F,A,DF[K:treble] AFDA, [K:bass]F,A,D,F, |G,B,EG[K:treble] BGEB,[K:bass] G,B,E,G, |A,2^C2 DA,F,D, A,2A,,2 |D,,D,E,F, G,A,B,^C D4 :|

[V:1] fga2- abag fedc |Bcd2- dedc BAGF |E^GAB AEAB cA^de |
[V:2] D,,2F,E, F,2D,2D,,2F,2 |G,,2B,A, B,2G,2G,,2B,2 |C,2CB, C2F,2A,2C2 |

[V:1] fe^d^c B8- |B^de2- e^DE2- E[K:bass]^D,E,2[K:treble] |z^ga2- a^GA2- A^G,A,2-|
[V:2] A,2F,2 ^D,B,,D,F, B,^DFA |G3F G3F, G,3B,, |C,3[K:treble]B c3[K:bass]B, C3E,|

[V:1] A,B,CF B,^DEG FEDA |GFE^D EG[K:bass]B,A, G,B,E,2[K:treble] |z2e2c2e2a2A2|
[V:2]^D,2A,2G,2^A,,2B,,2F,2 |E,2G,F, G,2E,2 E,,2 z=D, |C,E,A,C ECA,E, C,E,D,C,|

[V:1] z2d2B2d2g2G2 |cAEC A,CEA cAce |fcAF DFAc fcfa|
[V:2] B,,D,G,B, DB,G,D, B,,D,C,B,, |A,,2C,2E,2G,2F,2E,2 |D,2F,2A,2C2B,2A,2|

[V:1] bgdB GBdg b=fbd' |ed'c'e dc'bd ce^fg |acBA BdBG cAGF |BGFE DCB,A, G,4 :|
[V:2] G,2B,2[K:treble]D2=F2E2D2 |C2E2^F2^G2A2=G2 |F2D2G2[K:bass]G,2D2D,2 |G,G,,A,,B,, C,D,E,F,G,4 :|


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 02 Dec 13 - 08:21 AM

Just listening to that (partial) Bach piece, Q:360 is ridiculous.

I don't know the tune or how fast it should be played, but Q:80 or Q:100 sounds a good deal better to my ears!


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Dec 13 - 09:36 AM

That's a way of indicating tempo that ABC permits but shouldn't. What it means is 1/16=360 (since 1/16 is the default note length). Nobody would ever set their metronome to count 1/16 notes.

The tempo should have been indicated by "Q:1/4=120".


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 02 Dec 13 - 10:21 AM

Yes it works well! I usually use ABC WIN for reading and printing, and ABCMus for transposing, and adding chords, but this looks pretty good. It downloaded and installed in Windows 8.1 with no problem, and there seems to be just as much control over printing as there is in ABCWIN


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Dec 13 - 11:26 AM

Oops. I meant "Q:1/4=90".


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Dec 13 - 06:30 PM

ABCExplorer is a simple "skin" for other ABC software, notably abcm2ps. (I think both programmers are from Brittany, so they might know one another.) EasyABC is another such "skin", but with more own functions. Neither can work miracles. My own method, not being an ABC expert, is to create MIDI files and use converter software to ABC when needed.

The problem / disaster with ABC is its lack of standardization. The last efforts I know of ended two years ago with an "abc 2.1" standard that is full of "TODO" clauses. Various software products require different dialects, even within a single "skin". Jack is likely to know more.

The only discussion group I know of has now stopped discussing. Does anyone have news about a standard? Jack?


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Dec 13 - 07:14 PM

There are forums at http://abcnotation.com where a standard could be discussed, but they aren't much used. The 2.1 "standard" was really Guido Gonzato and Jean-Francois Moine trying to turn ABC into a typesetting language - i.e. not a notation for music, but a notation for generating music notation. I thought this was a disaster and fortunately it seems to have gone nowhere.

What I think ABC needs most is not a standard but better web-based platforms. In particular, better sound file generators, and some web-based diagnostic tools that do the same sort of source debugging, analysis and database operations that BarFly does.

ABC indexing that isn't run by an unaccountable cabal would be nice. I have thousands of tunes on my site that are not indexed by abcnotation.com or John Chambers's tools, whereas copies of them ripped off by grab-anything sites that remove the context I've provided and strip out my attribution DO get indexed.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 03 Dec 13 - 04:53 AM

The ABC forums I know of are active in principle, but have been deserted by those who want to discuss the standard - presumably because the discussions were about as efficient as Mudcat threads on religion. The inner circle might have moved to a non-public place - an excellent idea, but abcnotation.com does not announce any results yet. Anyone with more information?
not a notation for music, but a notation for generating music notation
Sheet music with black dots is still the way most musicians want to "read music". If there will ever be another such way to take that role, I doubt it will look like ABC. After all, notations based on letters, similar to ABC, were invented long before the dots; the latter appeared in the Middle Ages as a definite improvement. (Further improvements have been suggested many times, but only few very slight changes were found good enough to make a sufficient number of users learn new rules.)

In other words: we want our ABC tunes, with one or more voices/staves, to give rise to correct sheet music ready for playing correctly (not for publishing), and to matching software-generated sound (not beautiful, but correct). At the moment, not even abc2midi and abcm2ps - both integrated in ABCExplorer - agree about the interpretation of ABC - a disaster unrelated to typesetting subtleties. You, Jack, seem to focus on melodies, which is fine but insufficient even for folk music in the strictest sense of the word.

Jean-François Moine is indeed interested in typesetting, and uses proprietary layout commands which he does not want to enter the standard. (I have the impression that Guido Gonzato is simply his follower, but I am not sure.) It looks as if all other programmers are waiting for the standard to be completed.

Someone else here who has contact with the ABC scene around Chris Walshaw?


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Mo the caller
Date: 03 Dec 13 - 09:30 AM

Thanks Ed, Lester. I'll bookmark those for next time.
I agree you can't do much without being proficient, but I don't need to do much so there's time in-between to forget the basics, never mind the extra's.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 04 Dec 13 - 05:30 AM

Mo, Guido Gonzato's tutorial is still useful for beginners or re-enterers, although in the advanced features it does not exactly reflect the current standard.

I have tried copy-and-paste on my ABCexplorer (= the author's spelling) 1.6.0 and found it to work as expected. Note that the ABC standard does not allow completely empty lines within a tune (they are used to separate tunes from each other and from other text). The original of Ed's example has those lines consisting of a single % sign.

Do you have other notation or MIDI software? If you prefer a WYSIWYG approach, you can try the free software MuseScore. There is a way to produce ABC from its results; if you are interested, ask us.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Dec 13 - 10:28 AM

we want our ABC tunes, with one or more voices/staves, to give rise to correct sheet music ready for playing correctly (not for publishing), and to matching software-generated sound (not beautiful, but correct). At the moment, not even abc2midi and abcm2ps - both integrated in ABCExplorer - agree about the interpretation of ABC - a disaster unrelated to typesetting subtleties.

It was caused precisely by "typesetting subtleties". Gonzato's soi-disant "standard" threw in a load of stuff which is easy to translate into squiggles on a page and impossible for any player program to use. He completely ignored any suggestions for compromises that could be implemented both as notation and as sound files.


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Subject: RE: A really useful program for ABC format
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 04 Dec 13 - 12:37 PM

Jack, I am surprised that you believe Gonzato to have such an important role; I had the impression that he was never interested in the standard at all, but just described the specific functions of abcm2ps and abcMIDI as he found them. A positivist, so-to-speak. What
suggestions for compromises that could be implemented both as notation and as sound files
are you talking about, and when was that? And what "squiggles" could possibly make software playback worse than if it were not offered at all? For my own taste, playback software need not be too sophisticated, but it should never refuse its services for legal ABC, as abc2midi so often does. The programmer of abc2midi is said to be unmotivated to adapt his software to abcm2ps before the standard is completed.

Moine, the current programmer of abcm2ps, did make a commitment to a standard, as shown in his contributions to the former discussions at Yahoo. He agrees that his proprietary squiggles should not be included in the standard, but work like MIDI "SysEx" (system exclusive) extensions. I changed emails with him a couple of years ago - he was mainly interested in his abcm2ps.

The Yahoo group now seems to be waiting for the "inner circle" to announce its plans, which has not happened for months (on abcnotation.com). I wonder if anybody knows, or is in contact with those in power. Chris Walshaw is a folk musician, there must be Mudcatters who know him in person. I would be interested in any news.


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