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ABC versus Standard Notation

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GUEST 08 Jun 18 - 01:41 PM
The Sandman 08 Jun 18 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Jon 08 Jun 18 - 07:07 AM
Lester 08 Jun 18 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,Jerry 07 Jun 18 - 11:22 AM
Stanron 07 Jun 18 - 02:36 AM
DMcG 07 Jun 18 - 02:02 AM
Jack Campin 07 Jun 18 - 01:51 AM
Tunesmith 06 Jun 18 - 07:20 PM
Tunesmith 06 Jun 18 - 07:13 PM
Jack Campin 06 Jun 18 - 04:51 PM
The Sandman 06 Jun 18 - 03:47 PM
Jack Campin 06 Jun 18 - 02:41 PM
DMcG 06 Jun 18 - 02:23 PM
meself 06 Jun 18 - 02:07 PM
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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jun 18 - 01:41 PM

Because it's very convenient format that, even with free tools, can easily be converted to standard notation for those who want or prefer it as well as to midi for those who prefer to learn by ear. Some even choose abc purely for the sheet music it can produce.

Now tell me Dick. How are you going to do all that with your piece of sheet music. Would it be a hand written sprawl that could only be photocopied or rewritten or would you using notation software to do that. And if the latter, in doing so, would you be completely oblivious that the software would be converting some (in most cases unreadable) other representation,internal or on file, format into your dots~?


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Jun 18 - 01:18 PM

I have not bashed anyone , i prefer standard notation and find ABC G UNSATISFACTORY. that is my opinion,which i am entitled to, if abc was so good why would be people need to transfer it to standrd notation, i asked before and noone has answered


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 08 Jun 18 - 07:07 AM

It gets quite silly and the fact is, a lot of people who use abc do read standard notation.

Me, I read neither in a sight reading sense but did a tone time have a fair amount of involvement in the sharing and helping to make available to others folk songs and tunes... As far as I'm concerned, abc is a great format for what we tried to do...


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Lester
Date: 08 Jun 18 - 07:00 AM

Why do people who prefer conventional notation have to bash us who are quite happy with ABC. Never seems to be the other way round.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 11:22 AM

Just for the record, I am aware that the subject of the other discussion thread was not about the merits of different notations. Also, that conventional notation has only been possible electronically in relatively recent years, and whilst abc has served us well for some time it still has some advantages when it comes to transferring it to other systems, etc. Personally, I still think though that all players are better off becoming reasonably fluent in standard notation, as well as the likes of abc, and tablature for fretted instruments; sometimes it’s only when you compare them side by side that you can actually nail the tune/arrangement.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Stanron
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 02:36 AM

There's this quote from a book I can't remember;

"A difference that isn't different makes no difference".

That's not the exact quote but it is not without relevance.

The code, in a file of abc, is the text file starting with X: and ending with an empty line.

We then enter this into a converter which displays the notation on a screen and may print it onto paper.

In programs like Sibelius or Musescore, the code of the file, which would be unreadable to us, is immediately entered into an inbuilt converter and displayed, note by note as entered, as musical notation.

EasyABC does the same and I imagine most ABC editors do it too.

When we write a score by hand the code of the file is our knowledge of music and what is written on the paper is the notation.

All three systems have code, converter and display.

I've no doubt that there are advantages and disadvantages in all three methods.

An advantage of abc is the minute size of the files and the wealth of collections of files available on-line.

An advantage of programs like Sibelius and Musescore is their ability to present tablature connected to a score.

An advantage of handwritten notation is that you can write it and read it without any hardware other than pen and paper.

In all three the result is a musical score.

They are only as good as your ability to read them.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: DMcG
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 02:02 AM

I think it important to make a distinction between representation (which notes for how long in what order) and presentation (layout on pieces of paper or screen)

ABC started as a system with no presentation and limited representation but it quite rapidly grew so that all commonly encountered 'patterns of notes' could be represented and there is no inherent reason this should not continue so that increasingly rarer sequences can be denoted. At the same time a set of tools grew up to address the separate presentation aspect, so the raw and could be printed in standard notation. Since these work hand in hand with the notation itself, there can be a lag between what the notation can hold and whether the presentation "Looks nice". These are less capable than tools like Finale which have the presentation at their core. For example, if you look at children's music books it is quite common that all Cs are one colour, all Ds another and so on. That's pure presentation and nothing to do with representation. I may just be unaware of it, but I know of no ABC presentation tool that can do that.

Which gets me back to my original point. Both tools cover representation and, if there is a shortfall in ABC, it is rare and getting increasingly rarer. For most practical purposes, both systems are equivalent. They differ in presentational aspects and, as I said before, the textual nature of ABC makes searching for 'that tune that goes de-dahh-diddle-dah' out of thousands feasible in a way that is not possible in traditional notation.

But which of these aspects matters more to you is entirely dependant on how you use it, so I don't think 'better' is meaningful: fitness for your purpose is what matters.q


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Jun 18 - 01:51 AM

So what?

Mudcat sends HTML to your computer, do you read it in source form?


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Tunesmith
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 07:20 PM

That last post didn't come out right. in standard notation it's easier to understand the relationship between the notes.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Tunesmith
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 07:13 PM

Well, It is easier to "read" a melody/harmony in standard notation. There is no doubt about that.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 04:51 PM

We still haven't seen any notation you've written.

I have a few thousand tunes I've transcribed on my website, which people have been downloading (free) and using for about 20 years. Have you got even one notated tune or song that anyone can access and use?


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 03:47 PM

Subject: RE: ABC to standard notation
From: Jack Campin - PM
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 12:28 PM

You don't have a fucking clue, do you? Quote
    Jack, a case of the pot calling the kettle black


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 02:41 PM

It isn't helpful to say they were designed for different purposes - they were meant to serve complementary ones. ABC was designed to express a large and useful subset of what you can by "standard" notation (which in fact is very un-standard, shading into downright paper artwork with things like Trevor Wishart's "Vox"). Exactly how large that subset is depends on the version, the implementation and how far the user is prepared to use weird tricks. (I got Phil Taylor to add quite a few features in Barfly because I wanted them for the old Scottish music I was transcribing).

Conversely, if you write staff notation in such a way that ABC can represent it, you have a better chance of it being portable to other notation systems, not just ABC. (In particular, if you get formally precise about bar lengths, you will be doing the world a favour; the way some traditional notation plays fast and loose with the lengths of upbeats is not a desirable tradition). And some ideas originating in ABC can also be taken over into staff notation: writing mode names explicitly, using the part construct to abbreviate, thinking of ornament patterns as macros.


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Subject: RE: ABC versus Standard Notation
From: DMcG
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 02:23 PM

In my opinion was a bit of a silly argument, over on the other thread . The two systems were designed for different purposes. ABC in particular was designed to share music before it was possible to share images over the Internet. To achieve this, it used a pure text form, which happens also to make it ideal for searching.   Traditional notation is inherently image based, so if you want to do very precise layout, like slightly altering the physical positions of notes, but not timings, the image will be superior.

Or to put it another way, each has strengths and weaknesses, and how important each of these are is entirely dependant on how you use it.


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Subject: ABC versus Standard Notation/Sheet/Dots
From: meself
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 02:07 PM

Those who would like to argue the merits of ABC notation vs standard notation (sheet music, dots, etc.) are invited to do so here, rather than cluttering up the ABC TO Standard Notation thread. Thank you, you're welcome.


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