Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: [abcusers] Why I like ABC

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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


          What kind of emailer are you? Find out today - get a free analysis of your email personality. Take the quiz at the Yahoo! Mail Championship.



          Now you can scan emails quickly with a reading pane. Get the new Yahoo! Mail.
        • 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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)

                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.