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ABC versus Standard Notation

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Jack Campin 14 Jun 18 - 04:19 AM
FreddyHeadey 14 Jun 18 - 04:18 AM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Jun 18 - 04:09 AM
Howard Jones 14 Jun 18 - 03:55 AM
GUEST,Mark Bluemel 14 Jun 18 - 03:39 AM
The Sandman 14 Jun 18 - 03:30 AM
Jack Campin 13 Jun 18 - 12:25 PM
Stanron 13 Jun 18 - 10:31 AM
Jack Campin 13 Jun 18 - 10:19 AM
Stanron 13 Jun 18 - 10:11 AM
Jack Campin 13 Jun 18 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,Richard Robinson 13 Jun 18 - 09:11 AM
FreddyHeadey 13 Jun 18 - 09:03 AM
Howard Jones 13 Jun 18 - 03:21 AM
The Sandman 12 Jun 18 - 04:11 PM
Jack Campin 12 Jun 18 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,Jon 12 Jun 18 - 09:48 AM
GUEST 12 Jun 18 - 09:47 AM
GUEST,Jon 12 Jun 18 - 09:43 AM
Stanron 12 Jun 18 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,Jon 12 Jun 18 - 09:30 AM
Jack Campin 12 Jun 18 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,Jon 12 Jun 18 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,Richard Robinson 12 Jun 18 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,Jon 12 Jun 18 - 08:25 AM
Jack Campin 12 Jun 18 - 08:25 AM
Johnny J 12 Jun 18 - 06:15 AM
Howard Jones 12 Jun 18 - 05:37 AM
Jack Campin 11 Jun 18 - 05:53 PM
Jack Campin 11 Jun 18 - 05:20 PM
GUEST 11 Jun 18 - 04:58 PM
The Sandman 11 Jun 18 - 04:17 PM
Jack Campin 11 Jun 18 - 03:37 PM
The Sandman 11 Jun 18 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Richard Robinson 11 Jun 18 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Rev Bayes 10 Jun 18 - 03:57 PM
nigelgatherer 10 Jun 18 - 02:28 PM
Jack Campin 10 Jun 18 - 09:22 AM
Johnny J 10 Jun 18 - 08:56 AM
Jack Campin 10 Jun 18 - 04:53 AM
GUEST 09 Jun 18 - 06:24 PM
Jack Campin 09 Jun 18 - 05:23 PM
GUEST,Richard Robinson 09 Jun 18 - 01:59 PM
Howard Jones 09 Jun 18 - 01:22 PM
Stanron 09 Jun 18 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,CupOfTea at work, no cookies 09 Jun 18 - 12:39 PM
Jack Campin 09 Jun 18 - 12:35 PM
The Sandman 09 Jun 18 - 12:08 PM
GUEST 08 Jun 18 - 01:59 PM
meself 08 Jun 18 - 01:42 PM
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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Jun 18 - 04:19 AM

Most Irish tunesters seem to use ABC via TheSession, whose implementation is only slightly different from the other common ones. (The main difference is in the admin's weird categorization system, which doesn't recognize a lot of important rhythm types and won't allow you to name the composer). It doesn't require a lot of internet connectivity to get a tune coded up, debugged and distributed - I did that Hungarian tune using this iPhone 4, a scrap of paper, a few small instruments and a village school's wi-fi, and emailed it to a friend in Spain the same day. I don't even have home internet at the moment and it makes very little difference.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 14 Jun 18 - 04:18 AM

"ABC" that is used at workshops in Ireland

Could anyone give an example of what you'd be presented with?

~~~~~~~~~
The FB link to Willie's Gane to Melville Castle is "not available" to me.
Maybe it is set to friends or a closed group?


~~~~~~~~~
Given the facilities of only a pen \ paper \ straightedge I'd plump for a music stave.

But I can see that on the back of a bus ticket abc would be handy.

On occasion I've tried Tonic Sol Fa.
But there are already threads
thread.cfm?threadid=95820&messages=57


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Jun 18 - 04:09 AM

Sandman or someone else, would you please point us to a website about "ABC that is used at workshops in Ireland"? Do we need another thread "ABC versus ABC" (or perhaps "ABC versus abc", as the English inventor seems to spell it)? And must ABC code be converted at the Irish border after Brexit ;-) ?


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Howard Jones
Date: 14 Jun 18 - 03:55 AM

This discussion was started to discuss the standard ABC, so if Sandman is referring to something different we are clearly at cross purposes. And whilst ABC is intended as part of a package of software resources the text language itself does not require a computer, so to criticise it for not being much use to people who don't have access to a computer is completely wide of the mark.

If you're writing music by hand on paper then of course conventional notation is probably the best way. Even so, ABC is handy when you don't have ruled manuscript paper to hand, and it takes up a fraction of the space of the equivalent notation so is much better for jotting down tunes on a beer mat or the traditional back of a fag packet.

Standard ABC (I don't know about the Irish version) represents all the conventions of notation in text form, so to use it requires an understanding of notation. It is simply a different way of representing exactly the same thing, and which you use is a matter of choice. I don't understand your claim that it is "less accurate" as everything in ABC is exactly equivalent to the same score written in notation.   The two are entirely complementary, and which you choose will depend on what you want to use it for.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST,Mark Bluemel
Date: 14 Jun 18 - 03:39 AM

Someone suggested the Irish workshop context as at the root of the disagreement 5 days ago...


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jun 18 - 03:30 AM

All this is dependent on having online facilities, and is not of much use to people with no money and who do not have access to internet technology and internet facilities who will continue to learn orally.
To clarify my earlier remark.,
I was referring to ABC[ AS USED IN WORKSHOPS IN IRELAND].. which has been my experience of it so far to date, which is in my opinion less efficient than old fashioned standard notation. Jack , we are talking about two different ABC systems


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Jun 18 - 12:25 PM

Example of how ABC slots in to other versions of a tune in an online discussion. Somebody else quoting bit of ABC I wrote years ago; what this gives you, in the context, is something you can edit yourself to add chords or a bass line, or transpose it. This short discussion thread also includes links to videos, scans from books and historical info. If you've any interest in this particular song, Alastair and his FB followers have put everything you'd want to know together in one accessible place; the ABC is only part of the picture but adds a handy extra.

Willie's Gane to Melville Castle


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Stanron
Date: 13 Jun 18 - 10:31 AM

Jack Campin wrote: I'd like to see what Sibelius and a scanner could make of the Janacek sketch I linked to.


I vaguely remember it having it's problems. It would probably come up with three blind mice.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Jun 18 - 10:19 AM

I'd like to see what Sibelius and a scanner could make of the Janacek sketch I linked to.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Stanron
Date: 13 Jun 18 - 10:11 AM

"For me the snag with being given a piece of paper(\pdf) with the dots is its lack of adaptability."

With the right hardware and software any sheet music can be made to play. It's years since I had, or had access to, a scanner but Sibelius can take a scan of a score and turn that into a Sibelius file, which you can then play, edit, save and export as midi.

It's years since I did it and I can't remember how well it worked. It's probably cheaper to learn to read the dots.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Jun 18 - 10:07 AM

One advantage isn't just reformatting but editing. The way I align ABC by time value - corresponding beats of parallel phrases occur in the same column of monospaced text - means that if two phrases share exactly the same notes for a stretch, I'll see it.

That may mean I can represent the same sequence of sounds more economically by introducing a repeat - and when generating the staff notation, less dots means you can make them bigger. If you're writing directly in tadpoles on paper, you probably won't do the edit even if you can see how it's possible, because it means starting all over.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST,Richard Robinson
Date: 13 Jun 18 - 09:11 AM

Ye, the ability to re-format a tune for increased readability can be very handy.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 13 Jun 18 - 09:03 AM

I'm most impressed by you folks who can read abc from the page and turn it in to music in your head fluently.
I've always assumed it was there as a simple text form for sharing a tune when pdfs or photos were not an option.

I think I've found it most useful via mandolintab when I've wanted to create a midi in a different key.
Or change the line breaks.
Or change the font size.

For me the snag with being given a piece of paper(\pdf) with the dots is its lack of adaptability.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Howard Jones
Date: 13 Jun 18 - 03:21 AM

As someone who is not good at reading notation, I have found my understanding of it has greatly increased as a result of learning ABC.

Apart from a few instructions to the computer, nearly everything in ABC corresponds directly to something in notation. Being able to play back what I have written to check that I have got it right is a huge help. Of course the same can be said of any music notation program, and ABC happens to be the one I use. However I believe that having to think about the musical syntax to write it out in ABC has probably given me a greater understanding than I would get from simply dragging and dropping notes onto a stave.

For me, ABC complements notation. It is a quick and easy way of writing out a tune so I can print it off as notation. It is the most efficient way of jotting down a tune on a scrap of paper when no manuscript paper is to hand. If I am struggling to make sense of a written score I can quickly copy it in ABC and play it back. I have access to a huge online library of tunes on the internet, and compared with other file types the ABC files take up very little memory. However my hard copies of music are all in notation, not raw ABC.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 04:11 PM

"I think price is key to the way Dick sees things. ABC is very good for distributing music free, and not designed for payment at all. Dick doesn't do the giving-stuff-away thing; he's always used Mudcat as far as possible as free advertising (it's probably never put a single bum on a seat and driven quite a few folks away from his gigs, but he's never going to see that). Which is why we are never going to see a scan of anything Dick has written down."
   You are making a lot of assumptions
"dick doesnt do the giving away things free",quite wrong I have given my time for free running a festival for 7 years.
2.At the moment i have loaned out two instruments for free to pupils
3. you have never been to any of my gigs and therefore base your remarks on no knowledge whatsoever
4.I give away my time for free running a session every week.
5. I have no problem about trad music being given away for free, I do believe that Composers have the right to be asked before their music is given away, that is Ethical,JACK SOME OF MY OWN COMPOSOTIONS ARE AVAILABLE ON YOU TUBE AND GIVEN AWAY FOR FREE
If you continue to libel me,I will get in touch with the mods on this forum and ask for your libellous remarks to be removed, you have been warned you have overstepped the mark


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 09:53 AM

Sometimes it is just simpler to sit down with a pen and some manuscript paper and write out the notation

I don't think anybody's disputing that. Though ABC can be quicker and more legible if you don't have ruled paper already:

Janacek's fanfares from the Sinfonietta


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 09:48 AM

opps, missed name above.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 09:47 AM

(eg, Starting from the other thread that caused this one:

"Music clef is more accurate than abc,if it were the other way round classical orchestras would be using ABC, they do not they use standard music clef notation.
if poeple cannot bebothered to learn music notation ,that is their decision,but do not try and pretend that ABC it is as accurate.
"

)


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 09:43 AM

I see that too. It's the manner of his dismissal of abc I don't get.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Stanron
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 09:39 AM

What is it with you guys and Dick Miles. I can see his point of view clearly. Sometimes it is just simpler to sit down with a pen and some manuscript paper and write out the notation.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 09:30 AM

I think you are being far to harsh on Dick, Jack.I think it's more a matter of a bee in the bonnet and an unwillingness to consider. Shame really as I'd guess it could be a useful addition for him.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 08:59 AM

Here's an example of something it would have been hard to do any other way. Mostly I did it on my phone while sitting on a park bench in a small town in Hungary at lunchtime during a folk camp where I was learning the tarogato. I used both the (rather crap) Tunebook SD phone app and the mandolintab.net converter, playing bits of the tune from memory on recorders while comparing it with some rather scrappy and inaccurate notation I'd photographed using the phone's camera, revising it a bit later. I think you can find the original field recording on the Meta band's "Bodrogkoz" CD - very expensive for what you get so I don't have it.

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php?topic=21282.0

There is no other transcription of that version of the tune on the web, in any format and at any price.

I think price is key to the way Dick sees things. ABC is very good for distributing music free, and not designed for payment at all. Dick doesn't do the giving-stuff-away thing; he's always used Mudcat as far as possible as free advertising (it's probably never put a single bum on a seat and driven quite a few folks away from his gigs, but he's never going to see that). Which is why we are never going to see a scan of anything Dick has written down.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 08:53 AM

Well Richard, a problem such as not being able to turn say "this note is twice as long as that one" into practice just transfers from one system to another...


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST,Richard Robinson
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 08:47 AM

I think perhaps we make too much of the differences between ABC and the 5-line thing ? They're both ways of representing the same concepts - different ways of showing a quaver, a bar-line, a slur, etc (the only significant - to me - difference is ABC's ability to handle more than 2 modes, which from the POV of The Tunes is a big gain). If somebody can read standard notation I'd be surprised if they found it very hard to get to grips with ABC (if they needed to, of course. If somebody doesn't see a need for it, fine, carry on as you are …). And likewise, if somebody works by ear, I'd expect ABC to be about as hard to pick up as standard notation.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 08:25 AM

As I said before, I read neither - and am unlikely to as, despite knowing the rules, just can't get the timing. Still,I understand both well enough to do what I've needed (eg. the converter at mandolin tab is one I put together and was transferred when I closed folkinfo) and get midis out of it for my own learning.

Incidentally, while the programs may be a bit old now (I don't think these or the plain abc ones have been updated since 2012), the manolintab converter actually attempts to handle 2 formats. It will attempt to detect musicxml input in the abc entry box and produce both types (timewise and partwise) as output.

So there's another format to think of... Nowhere near as useful as abc for the sharing, etc. of folk stuff but can be handy for those transferring from one computer program/format to another.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 08:25 AM

Unlike Jack and Dick both, I'm not unduly interested in whether or not ABC is better, worse, more or less efficient than the dots.

They aren't comparable as "better" or "worse" and only Dick in this thread is seeing it that way.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Johnny J
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 06:15 AM

You are right, Howard.

Unlike Jack and Dick both, I'm not unduly interested in whether or not ABC is better, worse, more or less efficient than the dots.

I just see it as another extra useful tool. While I can write and compose ABC, I'm not particularly great at reading it but there's no real need. It's just a case of converting to sheet music one way or another. There's plenty of programs but I could actually do it by hand too if really necessary.

Of course, not everyone can read music either and I would encourage them to do this before trying to learn to "sight read" ABC but that's just my view.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Howard Jones
Date: 12 Jun 18 - 05:37 AM

Dick, do you write out music notation using a computer? If you only write it out by hand on manuscript paper then you probably have no need of ABC (although it is a useful shorthand for jotting music down). If you already use a music-writing computer program then there is probably no need to learn another system.

Don't think of ABC just in terms of the text language. It is part of a package which includes programs to render the text as conventional notation or to play it back. This is how most people use it, to write music notation and hear how it sounds. Being able to read and write ABC without a computer is a useful bonus, but is not how most people use it.

However by ignoring ABC you are missing out on the vast library of tunes on the internet in ABC format. Like it or not, it has become the de facto standard for sharing folk tunes. If you use another program you may be able to import ABC into it to render it as notation, or you can use an online converter such as this one.

http://www.mandolintab.net/abcconverter.php

Even if you don't feel a need to learn ABC yourself, don't dismiss it.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 05:53 PM

I just searched for "dick miles sheet music" and this was what I found:

Coffee in Brazil

The whole first page is doable in ABC with nothing at all left out. Seeing more than that page costs money.

There is another version out there with guitar chord diagrams. I don't know of an ABC implementation of those (or ukulele chords, which is where the idea started) but if there was enough demand somebody would include them.k


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 05:20 PM

Let's see something you've written then.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 04:58 PM


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 04:17 PM

How ridiculous, I regularly use standard musical notation for pupils,using old fashioned manuscript, your abc system that you suggest needs a comouter, believe it or not, i do not use them during my lessons i prefer to teach by ear or by old fashioned musical notation   Jack do you have some sort of aggression problem? I remember you got very aggressive with roy harris, so much upset was he that he sent me a personal message
Greetings Dick, Thanks for backing me on Mudcat. Who is this Jack Campin? Outside of Mudcat I've never heard of him.
All Best, ROY .


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 03:37 PM

What have you notated that couldn't be done better by an ABC newbie using even the simplest form of the system?

The one thing you HAVE made crystal clear is that you have never written anything down in any form of notation that anyone else either could or would want to make use of.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 02:29 PM

Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jun 18 - 06:24 PM

Could it be that 'The Sandman' is only familiar with the "ABC" that is used at workshops in Ireland rather than what the rest of you are talking about?

That seems to do the job that people who use it want done but appears limited compared with the (?newer) ABC code that most people use."
EXACTLY


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST,Richard Robinson
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 10:11 AM

Jack's John Cage pdf - Blimey. The only way I'd want to write that as ABC would be with copious %%EPS statements.

Nigel, search etc - yes. Perhaps the biggest single argument in its favour would be John Chambers's
Tune Finder.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST,Rev Bayes
Date: 10 Jun 18 - 03:57 PM

Sandman,

I have one observation, and one question. The observation is that you do not seem to actually understand what ABC is. I suspect this may be because you have seen people use it in a way that is not in accordance with the standard, but that is their problem.

The question is, what do you think of Lilypond?


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: nigelgatherer
Date: 10 Jun 18 - 02:28 PM

ABC notation isn't better than staff notation, but in certain circumstances it has advantages, as outlined above. Where it scores big is in the ability to search for tunes - either locally or on the WWW - using snippets of ABC, something that one cannot do, as yet, with staff notation.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jun 18 - 09:22 AM

I suppose the music Dick writes down must look like the samples in this book:

https://monoskop.org/File:Cage_John_Notations.pdf


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Johnny J
Date: 10 Jun 18 - 08:56 AM

Aaarrrgghh.

Not this argument again!

They both have their uses and pros and cons...   ABC was and is ideal for the portable transfer of tunes on The Internet and e-mail. Also handy for jotting tunes down at a session or workshop.

For me, sheet music is much easier to read but all I have to do is convert the ABC with one of the many programmes out there. However, I will often also write out tunes in ABC form too and convert them into sheet music myself. It's a very easy and cheap way to create simple sheet music without having to buy expensive programmes.

Having said that, you can add just as many different "instructions" as you want on sheet music which isn't always possible to translate into ABC although there's much you can do with the latter these days too.
However, why do you need to make things so cumbersome unless it's a special arrangement for a concert, performance, or a group of musicians? In such a case, you'd probably want to be using "the dots" anyway.

Anyway, I shall continue to use both methods and, also, play "by lug" as I see fit.

;-))


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jun 18 - 04:53 AM

Added features always make ABC less readable in source form and harder to re-use. You use them only when you absolutely have to.

ABC can easily represent everything in the O'Neill or Breathnach tune collections, providing better typographic quality than the originals, and with no need for any funny extensions to the basic formalism.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jun 18 - 06:24 PM

Could it be that 'The Sandman' is only familiar with the "ABC" that is used at workshops in Ireland rather than what the rest of you are talking about?

That seems to do the job that people who use it want done but appears limited compared with the (?newer) ABC code that most people use.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Jun 18 - 05:23 PM

I can sightread my own ABC because I make an effort to make it readable; Nigel Gatherer's is just as easy. I wouldn't have a prayer of sightreading John Chambers's or stuff that uses Gonzato's typesetting directives.

Not very different from staff notation - I can easily sightread David Young's 18th century Scottish tunebooks, or Bartok's field notes, but no way could I play off one of Janacek's manuscripts or one of Beethoven's umpteen-times-revised efforts.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST,Richard Robinson
Date: 09 Jun 18 - 01:59 PM

"if abc was so good why would be people need to transfer it to standrd notation"

ABC is useful because you *can* generate the 5-line thing from it. Along with MIDI, various tab notations, and anything else the wit of humans can write programs to translate it into. And because it's ordinary text that can be posted around on the web, emailed, etc, and written in an ordinary text editor. And, likewise, use your ordinary text-search stuff to find tunes in amongst your collection of ABC tunes, if you have one, which is why it's useful to have one.

Because computers can be told what it means, basically.

It's not a competition.

I have heard of people who claim to be able to sight-read ABC, personally I can't. I write a tune as ABC because it's easy to generate standard notation from it, and I also get all the other advantages of having ABC on my hard disk (or webserver, or whatever) for other programs to do useful things with when I need them to.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Howard Jones
Date: 09 Jun 18 - 01:22 PM

The original premise is mistaken in trying to make a distinction between ABC and notation. ABC is simply a way of representing the musical information contained in notation in a way a computer can use. In this it is no different from other music-writing programs such as Sibelius, Finale etc and any comparison should be with them, not with notation.

What seems to confuse people is that the code ABC uses to represent this information is ordinary text, whereas with the other writing systems the digital code is unintelligible without the appropriate software. However that is incidental, and in practice I suspect most users of ABC (myself included) use software to turn ABC code into notation rather than read direct from the code. If some people can play straight from the code without first converting it to notation, that should be seen as an additional level of usefulness rather than a reason to find a false dichotomy between ABC and notation.

I prefer ABC over other programs because it is free, and for writing down simple melodies I find it is easier than the others I have tried. Other programs have more complicated entry systems which make it possible to write more complex music but which I find are slower when entering only a single line of melody. If I were writing more complicated scores then I would probably use something different, but I'm not. If I were usually writing more complicated music and was therefore already a proficient user of another program I would probably stick with that rather than use ABC instead, but I'm not. If I needed more control over the visual appearance of the finished score I would use a different program, but I don't.

I also find it handy that I don't need specialist software. I'm not allowed to install music software on my work laptop, but I can still use an ordinary text editor to write ABC and an online converter to turn it into notation or play it back. At a pinch I don't even need a computer, and for jotting down a tune on the back of a beermat ABC takes up less space than writing out a score (besides I can't draw straight lines) It is also useful that ABC has become the de facto standard for sharing folk tunes over the internet (and can be posted on forums like this where .xml files cannot) so there is a vast library of tunes available in this format. However these are all reasons for using ABC rather than a different program. The end result is still notation.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Stanron
Date: 09 Jun 18 - 01:20 PM

The Sandman wrote: if abc was so good why would be people need to transfer it to standrd notation, i asked before and STILL noone has answered
Sandman, most people use ABC in conjuction with a converter. Either in a program like ABCExplorer or EasyABC or in an internet converter like

http://www.mandolintab.net/abcconverter.php

All of these convert the ABC file to notation.

It's not really a case of ABC or notation. The ABC file is a means of storing and/or generating notation. I suppose some people can look at an ABC file and hear the tune. Most people won't even try. The ABC files are minute compared with files generated by Notation Editors like Sibelius and Musescore. There are great collections of traditional tunes in this format on the net and their small size makes them well used and well usable.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST,CupOfTea at work, no cookies
Date: 09 Jun 18 - 12:39 PM

After a number of Mudcat postings urging learning ABC notation, I acquired an iPad and got the ABC app "the Craic" which imports ABC files, plays the music in a breathy flute sound, and makes PDF print outs. I had previously tried working with Finale, but without some instruction, couldn't do the simpliest things. A couple of pages of ABC instructions, and I was on my way, accessing tunes, inserting chords, listening to tunes, playing along, learning, making clean versions of hand written tunes.

It has come in very handy when given a tune name for a dance that's not in the standard books. I've found, with ABC printouts, some of the same problems as notation done with more sophisticated programs. In ABC I can fix some of them. I also find ABC a grand way to take down notation as "shorthand" to be gussied up & sorted later when acquiring a new melody. OTOH I am NOT a sophisticated musician, and perhaps the shortcomings of ABC don't bother me because I don't need the things missing?

To answer Sandman - if you have a recording of music, why would you need an actual performance? It's a tool. Having an ABC version that shows in standard notation is a process. As the looooooooong file above shows, it's a nice SHORT process with ABC!

Joanne in Cleveland (who takes about an hour or three to put a tune from hand written to ABC)


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Jun 18 - 12:35 PM

Ordinarily you'd say to somebody like Dick "when you're in a hole, stop digging" - but in this case it seems more appropriate to say "keep going, they're waiting to throw a party in Australia when your feet break through".


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Jun 18 - 12:08 PM

if abc was so good why would be people need to transfer it to standrd notation, i asked before and STILL noone has answered


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jun 18 - 01:59 PM

Perhaps Dick would prefer this, it is after all a graphic of sheet music in a format I can post directly to a thread - kesh jig as a svg.


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        "http://www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG/1.1/DTD/svg11.dtd">
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<title>tmp/yliv0o.abc (1)</title>
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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: meself
Date: 08 Jun 18 - 01:42 PM

Okay, I'll bite: ABC can be produced on a conventional keyboard with a conventional word-processing program; standard notation cannot.


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