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Re: [abcusers] (unknown)

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  • Mark Hall
    Thank you to all who replied, it is greatly appreciated. mjh ... From: Mark Hall To: abcusers@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, 26
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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