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Re: [abcusers] (unknown)

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  • Richard Walker
    I have (and when pressed, still) use Finale, Encore and TablEdit. They all require a lot of work to produce an acceptable product (at least by my standards).
    Message 1 of 14 , Mar 26, 2007
      I have (and when pressed, still) use Finale, Encore and TablEdit.
      They all require a lot of work to produce an acceptable product
      (at least by my standards).
      One abc file can be used with multiple programs.
      First the abc file:
      It is all text, can be created with paper and pencil in a library
      or bookstore ... or anywhere else for that matter.  It is easy,
      straight-forward, and quite complete (although we always have
      a wish list for additional features -- that get created faster than
      a new standard).  I can't think of the number of times I was
      able to jot down a tune and walk off with it on my piece of
      paper.  Had I been using one of the big commercial programs
      I would need to have carried a laptop or found a copying
      machine.  You get a whole lot of tune(s) in a short space.
      Then the multiple programs:
      There are MANY programs (most free) that can use your
      single abc file.  It isn't proprietary and it is raw text that can
      be easily created and edited.  You do need to remember to
      use an editor that doesn't blindly wrap text ... but aside from
      this, creating the files are a piece of cake.  Some of the
      programs can be used to create tablature for whistles, dulcimers,
      ukuleles, guitars, etc.  (You don't find that everywhere.)  Some
      are more utilitarian in nature used for transposing a tune from
      one key to another key or converting an abc file to a midi file
      (or vice versa).  The quality of the finished product is excellent
      (in my not so humble opinion).



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    • Calum Galleitch
      Suitable applications for my needs (mostly abcm2ps and occasionally abcmidi when I m trying to write harmonies) on my choice of platform (Linux again), good
      Message 2 of 14 , Mar 26, 2007
        Suitable applications for my needs (mostly abcm2ps and occasionally
        abcmidi when I'm trying to write harmonies) on my choice of platform
        (Linux again), good quality output, easy to learn, sufficiently
        flexible for my needs, shallow learning curve, easy to remember (I
        frequently go months without using it and then have to typeset a
        medley in two days). And an extremely helpful and friendly mailing
        list ;)

        Cheers,
        Calum
      • Paul Rosen
        1) It is easy to email. 2) For simple tunes (that is, everything I need) it is simple. 3) It is the easiest system that can be written on a bar napkin (try
        Message 3 of 14 , Mar 26, 2007
          1) It is easy to email.
          2) For simple tunes (that is, everything I need) it is simple.
          3) It is the easiest system that can be written on a bar napkin (try
          figuring out if the dot that ripped the napkin was on a line or a space!)
          4) I seem to have an unusual way of writing down tunes that doesn't fit
          with any WYSIWYG editor: if I have music paper, I scribble all the dots
          for the pitches. Then I go back and put in the bar lines. Then I go back
          and put in the rhythms. All the traditional notation systems I've seen
          make you put in the rhythm of a note when you enter it.


          --
          Paul Rosen
          --- Life is a musical, every once in a while
          the plot stops and you start singing and dancing ---
          http://plumjammusic.com/
          http://cdbaby.com/cd/plumjam
          http://www.paulrosen.net
        • Phil Taylor
          ... Yes! I do that too, at least when I m transcribing a tune out of my head. Another reason to like abc is that it s quick to enter compared with a
          Message 4 of 14 , Mar 27, 2007
            On 27 Mar 2007, at 04:02, Paul Rosen wrote:

            > 1) It is easy to email.
            > 2) For simple tunes (that is, everything I need) it is simple.
            > 3) It is the easiest system that can be written on a bar napkin (try
            > figuring out if the dot that ripped the napkin was on a line or a
            > space!)
            > 4) I seem to have an unusual way of writing down tunes that doesn't fit
            > with any WYSIWYG editor: if I have music paper, I scribble all the dots
            > for the pitches. Then I go back and put in the bar lines. Then I go
            > back
            > and put in the rhythms. All the traditional notation systems I've seen
            > make you put in the rhythm of a note when you enter it.

            Yes! I do that too, at least when I'm transcribing a tune out of my
            head.

            Another reason to like abc is that it's quick to enter compared with a
            point-and-click editor, at least if you can touch-type.

            abc is really a product of the Internet. Because it's text you can
            email tunes to anyone, or post them to text-only usenet groups and
            mailing lists, and anyone can read it. If you need software it's all
            free or cheap shareware.

            Phil Taylor
          • Hudson Lacerda
            Why I like ABC? - It is an open and transparent format, readable by human beings and several pieces of software; - It is simple, compact, and easy to learn; -
            Message 5 of 14 , Mar 27, 2007
              Why I like ABC?

              - It is an open and transparent format, readable by human beings and
              several pieces of software;

              - It is simple, compact, and easy to learn;

              - ABC can be written in the body of e-mail messages;

              - I can combine hundreds of tunes in a single file and recombine them as
              wish with ABC tools;

              - There are very good free (libre) software for ABC (I don't use
              proprietary software);

              - ABC programs are very small and fast;

              - abcm2ps does pretty nice scores, usually without need of any manual
              adjustings;

              - Additional elements like annotations, guitar chords, grace notes, ties
              and slurs are associated to notes, bars, rests or spaces -- that way,
              they are correctly placed even when the layout is changed (unlike many
              GUI-based programs).

              - abcm2ps allows a lot of customisation and control of the output;

              - I can write extensions to abcm2ps for complex and uncommon notation
              (tablatures, special staves, special note heads, instrument-specific
              notation, microtonalism, polimetrical/politonal music, etc.);

              - abc2midi and abcm2ps can do many interesting things, like microtonal
              music (in a way that is not supported by nearly any other music
              software) and harmonic/rhythmic accompainment;

              - There are ABC programs for any plataforms and OSes (PC, Mac, Palm,
              pencil and paper...);

              - I can use ABC to obtain PDF and MIDI in the web, without installing
              any specific program;

              - I can edit my music with virtually any text editor;

              - There are very good text editors for ABC (jed, emacs, vi, flabc...);

              - Several ABC programs run via command line, my preferred way to do most
              tasks with a computer;

              - Command-line ABC programs can be used in bash scripts and makefiles,
              for automatic tasks (combining/transposing parts and pieces, compiling
              songbooks, preprocessing, etc.);

              - There are programs with graphical interface which support ABC;

              - I can use abcm2ps to prepare complex documents with musical examples,
              text, figures, etc. (I use it even for non-musical documents);

              - I can insert ABC directly inside LaTeX documents (abc.sty, available
              from CTAN);

              - Being a text-based notation, ABC is very suitable for computer-aided
              composition/analysis;

              - There are numberous pieces of (traditional) music in ABC format around
              the net;

              - ABC is fun to use.


              I use (mainly) abcm2ps, abc2midi, emacs with abc-mode by Matthew K.
              Junker, abctool, microabc, tkabc and runabc, on a Debian GNU+Linux OS.

              I have written microabc, abcm2ps Portuguese documentation, abcm2ps
              extensions, tkabc interface translation, as well as a lot of mail
              messages to Jef Moine and Seymour Shlien regarding to feature requests,
              suggestions, comments and bug reports.

              Cheers,
              Hudson
            • Mark Hall
              Thank you to all who replied, it is greatly appreciated. mjh ... From: Mark Hall To: abcusers@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, 26
              Message 6 of 14 , Mar 27, 2007
                Thank you to all who replied, it is greatly appreciated.
                mjh

                ----- Original Message ----
                From: Mark Hall <hallmark7328@...>
                To: abcusers@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Monday, 26 March, 2007 9:46:55 PM
                Subject: [abcusers] (unknown)

                Hello all,
                I am writing a thesis relating to 'abc', and I would like to know why you use 'abc' as apposed to alternative notation software? 
                Your responses and opinions would be welcomed and may be used with your permission. 
                Thanks, mjh


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              • RWW Taylor
                There has already been a lot of testimony expressed here regarding the merits of abc as a musical notation, provided mostly from a personal viewpoint. Perhaps,
                Message 7 of 14 , Mar 28, 2007
                  There has already been a lot of testimony expressed here regarding the
                  merits of abc as a musical notation, provided mostly from a personal
                  viewpoint. Perhaps, though, a few more words could be added considering
                  the question from a wider perspective, considering both the intrinsic
                  advantages of the notation (as compared with alternatives) and the
                  practical, situational advantages that the use of abc offers the
                  contemporary user.

                  First, it has to be noted that the simple fact that music written in
                  abc is expressed as a string of standard text characters, to be found
                  on any keyboard, is of tremendous importance — no special environment
                  or device or software is needed to enter or display an abc
                  transcription. As has been noted, a useful bit of abc can be (and, I am
                  sure, often has been) scrawled on a cocktail napkin for future
                  reference. Transcriptions expressed in abc can be compactly stored and
                  cheaply transmitted, with assurance that the content can be read
                  unambiguously at the receiving end. Stored abc transcriptions can be
                  easily edited, searched and indexed with standard text-oriented
                  utilities. Because abc piggybacks on the text-based infrastructure of
                  our literate society we can be sure that the abc we write today will
                  still be intelligible hundreds of years from now (assuming of course
                  that there is still anyone around to read it).

                  Further qualities of abc that argue for its continued use (some of
                  which have already been noted in earlier posts) are:

                  * abc provides a natural, readable translation of traditional music
                  notation. The correspondence between the graphic elements used to
                  portray a score via "dots" and the symbols chosen in abc to correspond
                  to these elements is direct and intuitive. A musical bar is represented
                  by a character that looks like a bar; there are very few, if any,
                  arbitrary choices of characters to represent a musical idea in abc.
                  Anyone who can read standard musical notation and is comfortable with
                  the naming of pitches with alphabetic characters can immediately grasp
                  the correspondence. It is even reported to be possible, with practice,
                  to be able to visually apprehend a written-out abc transcription to the
                  point of being able to directly play off the music it represents
                  (though probably few individuals are likely to ever get that
                  practiced!).

                  * abc is concise. The critical information about a tune setting is
                  noted immediately, in just a few lines. The details of an actual line
                  of music can be captured with extreme economy, in mere seconds.

                  * abc is capable. As the idea of abc has grown and spread over the last
                  thirty-odd years, ever-more-refined ideas have been worked into the
                  basic concept, to the point where (as is attested to by the
                  correspondence on this list) notational challenges that it was surely
                  never dreamed that abc might ever need to meet have been incorporated
                  into the understood range of the notation. Another way of putting this
                  is to say that abc is extensible, capable of growing to meet
                  newly-perceived needs.

                  * This is possible only because abc is an open notation — no-one owns
                  abc. Any user can do whatever he or she wishes with the notation; the
                  only test of what modifications or additions to the understanding of
                  abc may occur is public acceptance.

                  * abc has been accepted. Unlike other music notation systems that have
                  never gained more than local, marginal use, there is at this point no
                  question about whether abc will take a permanent place in the set of
                  notational tools our society uses to store and carry forward our
                  accumulated cultural heritage. No longer just the parochial plaything
                  of a small community of enthusiasts, abc has become widely enough known
                  and used to serve as the basis for major public projects that would
                  never have been undertaken without its availability, and it is becoming
                  increasingly important for anyone involved with the distribution of
                  bodies of transcribed music (especially copyright-free bodies of music)
                  to pay attention to abc.

                  * abc is supported. As others posting here have noted, there is a very
                  wide range of excellent software utilities available to anyone wishing
                  to work with abc transcriptions, in almost any current operating system
                  environment. This has been true for a long time, of course, but the
                  fact that vigorous development in this respect continues and that
                  support for the abc user has been extended to at least one open
                  internet utility is highly significant. It is really inconceivable at
                  this point that abc will be left an "orphan", as has happened to so
                  many other beautiful schemes that have appeared to great fanfare, only
                  to fade away again, over the several decades now since the computer
                  revolution started shaking our society.

                  In short, it appears that you can at this point safely put at least a
                  reasonable number of your eggs into the abc basket.

                  /RWWT
                • jcolburn@soltec.net
                  ... Oh, I do. When I learn a tune, I often take it down in ABC as I m listening to it, then, when I have my instruments handy, work it up off the ABC. Jerome
                  Message 8 of 14 , Mar 28, 2007
                    Quoting RWW Taylor <rwwt@...>:

                    > It is even reported to be possible, with practice,
                    > to be able to visually apprehend a written-out abc transcription to the
                    > point of being able to directly play off the music it represents
                    > (though probably few individuals are likely to ever get that
                    > practiced!).

                    Oh, I do. When I learn a tune, I often take it down in ABC as I'm listening to
                    it, then, when I have my instruments handy, work it up off the ABC.

                    Jerome Colburn
                    jcolburn at soltec dot net
                  • Gary Lawrence Murphy
                    Somthing that may not be totally obvious but is nonetheless important, abc, being text tokens, is easily open to analysis through common text-processing tools
                    Message 9 of 14 , Apr 6, 2007
                      Somthing that may not be totally obvious but is nonetheless important,
                      abc, being text tokens, is easily open to analysis through common
                      text-processing tools (you don't have to be an expert MIDI-protocol
                      programmer to write abc analysis or abc generator software) and can
                      be stored, searched and retreived with common database tools.

                      just try putting your MIDI or Cakewalk files into a spreadsheet :)

                      --
                      Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym at teledyn.com> =============================
                      www.teledyn.com - blog.teledyn.com - justus.teledyn.com - sbp.teledyn.com
                      ======================= The present moment is a powerful goddess (Goethe)
                    • Jim C
                      I ve been trying out ABCEdit and I like it much better now that it types out what I type in. I do have another question. When I press F1, it plays the tune
                      Message 10 of 14 , Apr 6, 2007
                        I've been trying out ABCEdit and I like it much better now that it types
                        out what I type in. I do have another question. When I press F1, it
                        plays the tune and I can play along with it, but it stops after one time
                        through the tune. How can I get it to repeat so I can practice with it
                        and not go to a jam and stop once through the tune to press the F1 key?


                        Here is FLowers of Edinburgh


                        X: 48
                        T:Flowers of Edinburgh
                        R:Reel
                        O:Scotland
                        O:Ireland
                        M:2/4
                        L:1/16
                        K:G
                        "G"GE|D2DE G2GA|BGBd cBAG|"D7"FGFE DEFG|ABAF E2GE|
                        "G"D2DE G2GA|"G"BABd "C"efge|"D7"dcBA GFGA|"G"B2G2 G2:|
                        |:"G"Bd|"G"g2gf gbag|"D7"f2fe fagf|"C"edef gfed|"Em"B2e2 e2ge|
                        "G"dBGB d2dd|"C"edef "Am"g2fe|"D7"dcBA GFGA|"G"B2G2 G2:|
                      • Phil Taylor
                        ... I know that abcEdit uses abc2midi to generate a midi file, but I don t know what program it uses to play that file. That s where you need a loop setting
                        Message 11 of 14 , Apr 6, 2007
                          On 6 Apr 2007, at 16:24, Jim C wrote:

                          >
                          > I've been trying out ABCEdit and I like it much better now that it
                          > types
                          > out what I type in. I do have another question. When I press F1,
                          > it
                          > plays the tune and I can play along with it, but it stops after one
                          > time
                          > through the tune. How can I get it to repeat so I can practice with it
                          > and not go to a jam and stop once through the tune to press the F1 key?

                          I know that abcEdit uses abc2midi to generate a midi file, but I don't
                          know what program it uses to play that file. That's where you need a
                          loop setting to make the tune repeat easily. Another option might be
                          to use the Part fields to specify a repeating playing order like this:

                          X: 48
                          T:Flowers of Edinburgh
                          R:Reel
                          O:Scotland
                          O:Ireland
                          M:2/4
                          L:1/16
                          P:A16 % Play it 16 times!
                          K:G
                          P:A
                          "G"GE|D2DE G2GA|BGBd cBAG|"D7"FGFE DEFG|ABAF E2GE|
                          "G"D2DE G2GA|"G"BABd "C"efge|"D7"dcBA GFGA|"G"B2G2 G2:|
                          |:"G"Bd|"G"g2gf gbag|"D7"f2fe fagf|"C"edef gfed|"Em"B2e2 e2ge|
                          "G"dBGB d2dd|"C"edef "Am"g2fe|"D7"dcBA GFGA|"G"B2G2 G2:|


                          Phil Taylor
                        • John Chambers
                          Actually, this is the main reason that my ABC Tune Finder site only deals with ABC so far. It s the only online music format I ve found that 1) has enough
                          Message 12 of 14 , Apr 6, 2007
                            Actually, this is the main reason that my ABC Tune Finder site only deals with
                            ABC so far.  It's the only online music format I've found that 1) has enough music
                            available to be worth the effort of programming, and 2) can be parsed easily
                            without a huge effort.  I've looked around for other usable formats.  I've considered
                            adding Lilypond and Rosegarden to the list, because they both have published
                            syntaxes that don't look to horrible.  But so far, neither seems to have enough
                            music online to be worth the effort (more than for ABC) to write the parser. And
                            getting converters to all the formats that I currently deliver is also questionable.
                            Similarly, neither of the XML music encodings seems yet to be in use enough
                            to make the effort worthwhile.

                            Of course, this is just a comment from one programmer writing one package
                            that a few people find useful.  Others' mileage could vary a lot.  And some people
                            do seem to find the fancy proprietary encodings worthwhile for their own uses.
                            They just aren't very useful if you want to share your music with others or write
                            your own software to do something with the music.

                            On 4/6/07, Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@...> wrote:

                            Somthing that may not be totally obvious but is nonetheless important,
                            abc, being text tokens, is easily open to analysis through common
                            text-processing tools (you don't have to be an expert MIDI-protocol
                            programmer to write abc analysis or abc generator software) and can
                            be stored, searched and retreived with common database tools.

                            just try putting your MIDI or Cakewalk files into a spreadsheet :)

                            --
                            Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym at teledyn.com> =============================
                            www.teledyn.com - blog.teledyn.com - justus.teledyn.com - sbp.teledyn.com
                            ======================= The present moment is a powerful goddess (Goethe)

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