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Best program for processingABC notation

HiHo_Silver 20 Jan 07 - 06:08 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 21 Jan 07 - 01:19 AM
Chip2447 21 Jan 07 - 01:36 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 21 Jan 07 - 02:42 AM
Jack Campin 21 Jan 07 - 06:48 AM
HiHo_Silver 22 Jan 07 - 03:36 PM
treewind 23 Jan 07 - 06:42 AM
Jack Campin 23 Jan 07 - 11:54 AM
The Fooles Troupe 23 Jan 07 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,ninoupte7 25 Apr 10 - 01:13 AM
Jack Campin 25 Apr 10 - 04:28 AM
s&r 25 Apr 10 - 07:19 AM
Jack Campin 25 Apr 10 - 08:29 AM
Tootler 25 Apr 10 - 06:17 PM
Jack Campin 25 Apr 10 - 06:52 PM
s&r 25 Apr 10 - 07:19 PM
IvanB 26 Apr 10 - 12:13 AM
s&r 26 Apr 10 - 02:55 AM
s&r 26 Apr 10 - 03:23 AM
Jack Campin 26 Apr 10 - 03:51 AM
treewind 26 Apr 10 - 04:01 AM
s&r 26 Apr 10 - 04:31 AM
Jack Campin 26 Apr 10 - 07:31 AM
pavane 26 Apr 10 - 08:19 AM
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Subject: Best program for processingABC notation
From: HiHo_Silver
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 06:08 PM

Hello: I am presently using ABC2win but would like to find a more advanced program that will write, draw sheet music and play
abc notation. All comments appreciated. I am running windows 2000 XP. Thanks


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 01:19 AM

I used iABC


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: Chip2447
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 01:36 AM

I use ABC Navigator 2, it works well for me.

ABC Navigator 2

Chip2447


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 02:42 AM

Thanks Chip
Just d/l ABC Navigator, and it's lovely.


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 06:48 AM

Both ABC Navigator and ABC2WIN have horrendous idiosyncrasies that will prevent you seeing or hearing most of the ABC on the web in the way its transcribers intended. And neither will be fixed. The author of ABC2WIN is contactable and has known about these problems for years, but never fixes them, and the author of ABC Navigator simply ignores all emails.

abcm2ps (staff notation only) and ABCMus (play only) are *much* better. Get both.


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: HiHo_Silver
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 03:36 PM

Thanks to all: I have D/L ABC Navigator 2. Seems to be very good and am quite happy with initial use.


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: treewind
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 06:42 AM

Jack - are you sure about that? I though ABC Navigator was based on abcm2ps (which I agree is wonderful, in conjunction with Guido Gonzato's lovely ABC Plus manual).

Glad to see people are getting out of the ABC2win rut. It's a dinosaur.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 11:54 AM

Not having access to a Windows machine, I can't run ABC Navigator myself, but I got complaints from a user because it couldn't handle the way the ABC on my site specifies key signatures.

Typically I use the most verbose form, like "K:A Dorian", for human readability. The *only* way you can specify that to ABC Navigator is using the short form "K:Ador" (no space), otherwise it will simply read the key as being A major.

Since the long form has been in the ABC spec since version 1.5 there is absolutely *no* excuse for a new implementation to get that wrong. I emailed the implementor and never got any reply.

I am certainly *not* going to change my ABC to suit. The program's broken, not my tunes.


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 06:36 PM

"The program's broken"

The same sort of arrogance as Micrsnot - **** the standards, we're gonna do it this way!


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: GUEST,ninoupte7
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 01:13 AM

I have just tried ABC Navigator2.0 on my WinXPsp3 PC.
I can open a ABC single or multipleABC file, but can not save it as individual midi files. I have not been able to find a manual.

I can individually save the ABCs as single Midi files but they do not sound at all like the expected melodies, being completely jumbled up as though several instruments are being played out of synchrony.

My goal is to be able to open an ABC file which contains several ABC tunes, select them all, and save them as individual midi files.
Any suggestions?


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 04:28 AM

ABC Navigator uses abc2midi to do its MIDI generation, and abc2midi has some weird bugs that its author seems unwilling to fix. (Repeat structures like A:| ... B:| are interpreted as AABAB instead of the intended AABB).


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: s&r
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 07:19 AM

If you want AABB in music you would put A:❘❘:B:❘

I don't know ABC but I would expect it to follow normal rules.

Stu


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 08:29 AM

The vast majority of folk tunes in print use use

A:|
B:|

to mean AABB. That may not be the "normal rule" for classical music but it is for the kind of music ABC is most often used for. (It's a house style first adopted by Nathaniel Gow, I think. O'Neill used it all the time 100 years later).

I have hundreds of tunes on my site encoded that way I'm not going to change them because some developer is too damn arrogant to fix bugs.


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: Tootler
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 06:17 PM

Jack Campin,

What you are describing is incorrect notation and the ABC standard does conform to the same standard as staff notation, so when ABC Navigator interprets A:|...B:| As AABAB it is perfectly correct. The only time a closing repeat does not need a matching opening repeat is if the repeat is back to the beginning of the piece, so in the case you have described, that is what the program does.

Just because

The vast majority of folk tunes in print use use

A:|
B:|

to mean AABB.


Does not make it right.

The correct form of notation in ABC for an AABB structure is A::B:| - the ABC standard allows you to simplify the strictly correct :||: to ::

When you are dealing with computer generated output such as converting ABC to MIDI, then it is essential you stick strictly to the standard or you will not get the results you expect and as you haven't stuck to the standard it is up to you, not the developer, to put it right.

to describe the developer as arrogant because he does not fix a "bug" that is not a bug is totally out of order. The developer is quite right in this instance not to change his program.


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 06:52 PM

I am NOT going through hundreds of tunes that look better the way I have them (without the superfluous |: at the start of a line) to change them. Neither, I imagine, are any of the other people who have thousands of tunes out there done the same way. There were vast numbers of tunes on the web encoded that way before abc2midi came along. BarFly interprets this notation correctly.

The convention I'm using (the same one Nathaniel Gow, James Kerr and Francis O'Neill used) is completely unambiguous. A program that misinterprets it is WRONG as applied to that corpus of music, full stop.

The developer of abc2midi also thinks we ought to read ABC's dotted notation to play A>B with A twice as long as B (which makes strathspeys sound ludicrous). You can change it, but he has no intention of ever making the default work the right way. Does the guy have Aspergers or something?

Perhaps you could name even ONE piece of music from any repertoire where you have two lines like

A:|
B:|

and the intended interpretation is AABAB?


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: s&r
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 07:19 PM

I've looked at several sets of instructions for ABC since my last post, That doesn't make me an expert, but all instructions including Mudcat's conform in a very rational manner with standard notation.

Don't know about the dotted bits, but the notation programs that I use (Finale Sibelius, G7 Guitar Pro) have settings to adjust the timing on swung quavers.

I would read the example as

Play A, repeat A, play B, repeat the tune from the beginning (on playing through again the repeat signs are ignored unless there are other instructions). This gives AABAB

Stu


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: IvanB
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 12:13 AM

First, ABC was initially developed to be able to transfer music formation in ASCII format, since the earliest computers really weren't graphically oriented. In addition, its initial purpose was for the easy transmission of "folk" tunes.

I agree with Jack Campin that the proper interpretation of

A:
B:

would be AABB. In ABC, any end repeat is considered to refer back to the closest of a begin repeat, a previous end repeat, or the beginning. Therefore, the end repeat for B would refer back to the end repeat for A (the closest of the three possible repeat points) and cause the B section to be repeated.

There seems to be an attitude in this thread that composers of "serious" music (read "classical") must be THE definitive sources for music notation rules. This, to me, seems a bit elitist and even flies in the face of history. Musical notation has been a long evolving process and the total body of music produced would be rife with exceptions to the "rule." Even in my performance of "serious" music for the recorder, I would expect that the notation would make proper use of "D.C." or "D.S." to direct me to repeat other than back to the first measure of the current section, whether a begin repeat existed or not.

I also agree with Jack that AbcMus is an excellent program. Since I use a PC, I output my AbcMus files to midi which I then open in NoteWorthy Composer, so I can't comment on his recommendation for abcm2ps.

Just to be fair, I did download and try ABC Navigator 2. Its output of an A:B: tune was AABB, correct in my opinion. However, the tempo of the tune was given as 1/8=132. For some reason unknown to me, ABC Navigator changed that to 1/4=200. The dancers would have been knackered! Additionally, the key given in Jack's file was "K:A Mixolydian". Since parsers should ignore spaces, this should have been interpreted the same as "K:AMix". Instead the program put it in a completely arbitrary key hardly recognizable as the same tune.

I also tried the same tune from several iterations in JC's Tune finder and all of them sounded the same as Jack's file with minor tempo variations, so my conclusion is that ABC Navigator isn't the program for me.


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: s&r
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 02:55 AM

This seems to be a sore spot with some people. IvanB the only person who mentioned classical was Jack.

If I see a tune written A:|...B:| and there is nothing to indicate that the intention is AA BB how do I know?

If I wanted to write AABAB using repeats, how should I do it?

I see no ambiguity in A::B:| for AABB. How else could it be played.

I haven't found any ABC instruction that doesn't give A::B:| for AABB.
Are there any?

Stu (folkie)


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: s&r
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 03:23 AM

Just for interest I played one of Jack's tunes on Barfly, and it played as AABB

X:4
T:The Braes of Lochiel
Z:Jack Campin, 2006, http://www.campin.me.uk/
M:6/8
L:1/8
Q:3/8=60
K:A Minor
e|A>GB A2A|a>ge deg e Bge deg|B2A A2 :|
g|a>ga a2e|a>ge deg e Bge deg|B2A A2 :|

I added two colons and it played identically.

X:4
T:The Braes of Lochiel
Z:Jack Campin, 2006, http://www.campin.me.uk/
M:6/8
L:1/8
Q:3/8=60
K:A Minor
e|A>GB A2A|a>ge deg e Bge deg|B2A A2 :|
::g|a>ga a2e|a>ge deg e Bge deg|B2A A2 :|

The printed music in context is not ambiguous. With the extra colons the printed music in any context is not ambiguous.

I see no need to alter all your tunes Jack (good resource by the way)
anyone playing music of the kinds you notate will be familiar with the AABB concept.

It doesn't make the program wrong that it conforms to standards widely understood and agreed.

Stu


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 03:51 AM

If I see a tune written A:|...B:| and there is nothing to indicate that the intention is AA BB how do I know?

You know because that's the standard convention.

The reason I prefer the format I use is visual tidiness and economy (as it was for Gow, Kerr and O'Neill). Those old books often packed a lot of notes into a small space. And a normal screen display also demands economizing on pixels if you want to be readable. So a gratuitous |: at the start of a line detracts from readability. (That fix with a double-sided repeat at the start of the line would both look weird in anybody's idiom, and coming after a right-repeat at the end of the previous line, is also syntactically incorrect - there's a bar there with no notes in it, which BarFly would correctly flag as an error).

I use :: (double-sided repeat) in the middle of a line, but if it's going to be placed at the end, those dots hanging in space on the right margin look weird.

If you want to get an AABAB repeat structure, you use the P: construct. Or else duplicate the A part:

A||
A
B:|


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: treewind
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 04:01 AM

"coming after a right-repeat at the end of the previous line, is also syntactically incorrect - there's a bar there with no notes in it, which BarFly would correctly flag as an error"

Repeated section often begins and end mid-bar, so there's plenty of precedent to suggest that a repeat mark isn't necessarily a barline.

It seems quite clear to me that two different conventions (broadly speaking, folk and classical) are in common use, and good ABC player or MIDI converter would allow the user to choose which interpretation to apply.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: s&r
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 04:31 AM

Just for interest I looked at a copy of O'Neills (ISBN 0.8256.0173.8) published by Oak; the usage is consistently A:❘ ❘:B:❘

Stu


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 07:31 AM

The Oak edition was re-edited beyond recognition by Miles Krassen (and not for the better). The original is still in print in facsimile.


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Subject: RE: Best program for processingABC notation
From: pavane
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 08:19 AM

Has anybody tried this file on my program Harmony? I do not have it to hand at the moment.

By the way, HARMONY does recognise and play abc Part specifications and formulas.

It also has a handy option to turn OFF the playback of repeated phrases, when checking a tune.

My site


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