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ABC software

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Paul S 09 Nov 99 - 06:40 AM
Jon Freeman 09 Nov 99 - 07:20 AM
Bruce O. 09 Nov 99 - 02:02 PM
MMario 09 Nov 99 - 02:59 PM
Bruce O. 09 Nov 99 - 03:23 PM
MMario 09 Nov 99 - 03:49 PM
Alan of Australia 09 Nov 99 - 08:17 PM
John in Brisbane 09 Nov 99 - 08:46 PM
Jon Freeman 09 Nov 99 - 09:06 PM
_gargoyle 09 Nov 99 - 10:28 PM
Bruce O. 09 Nov 99 - 10:36 PM
John in Brisbane 09 Nov 99 - 10:49 PM
Bruce O. 09 Nov 99 - 11:54 PM
John in Brisbane 10 Nov 99 - 06:30 PM
Bruce O. 10 Nov 99 - 06:49 PM
John in Brisbane 10 Nov 99 - 07:40 PM
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Subject: ABC software
From: Paul S
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 06:40 AM

Hey kids

I'm just learning about this ABC music notation. I've downloaded some shareware to use, but it has limited usage, of course, so I really need to buy some.

Please recommend your favourite ABC software.

Paul


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Subject: RE: BS: ABC software
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 07:20 AM

I prefer to work in Midi rather than ABC and Cakewalk is my favourite program. If you wish to consider that type of software, Cubase is another program worth considering.

I don't know what you are looking to do but Midi and ABC are desinged with differen aims. If you are looking to produce musical notation, ABC is superior to Midi. On the other hand, If you are looking to get maximum control over your soundcard (or other Midi devices), add effects etc, Midi is the best option.

I haven't found any one program that meets all my reqiurements but I work in Midi and if I want to produce notation, I often convert the Midi to ABC (Midi can't even handle a repeat section as notation) and make the necessary changes.

I use a variety of shareware ABC programs and I have yet to find one that is 100% reliable in converting between these formats. Probably the most useful ABC program that I use it Melody Assistant which is $15 sharware, provides a graphical interface, can handle a nubmer of file formats including Midi and ABC and is available for PC and Mac.

I am not aware of any "high end" ABC programs but it might be worth your while looking at more shareware options. The best starting point is http://www.gre.ac.uk/~c.walshaw/abc/.

Also, depending on your requirements there are other shareware programs such as Noteworthy composer which I don't think handles ABC but will read Midi that may suit your needs.

Currently, to handle all the fomats I use, convert, diplay as .gif etc, I am using: Cakewalk 3, Mid2Abc (a program somebody is currently devoloping which apart from converting has a text based editor), ABC2PS, GhostView, Melody Assistant, Noteworthy Composer, Mozart and Mid2Txt (for Mudcat although Alan of Australia has kindly provided some web space for midi files and this program may become redundant in time). It gets confusing at times but I seem to have uses for all of these.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: ABC software
From: Bruce O.
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 02:02 PM

ABC2WIN works fine for most things, but I've had problems. I don't like the way it plays trills or the slurs for holding a note.

It's also awkward on some folk and very old tunes that change key or timing in the tune. I can't make the display come out right. The examples shown in the Samples file on the ABC homepage website do not all come out the way the samples are shown.

ABC2PLAY will convert ABCs to MIDIs, with lots of instrument options, but the MIDIs are often poor, with erratic timing and missing notes. ABC2MIDI gives no options, but much superior (rudimentary) MIDIs in my experience.

ABC2MIDI will run through a file of ABCs, converting them to MIDIs in short order, but it assigns them a sequential order number, and that's not precisely how my ABC files are arranged. In spite of the X:n designation in a long file of ABCs, ABC2WIN and ABCPLAY give a menu that is in alphabetical order by title, but ABC2MIDI gives a serial order with no titles, and it's a formidable job to re-identify the tunes with their titles, if your X:n designation is not in serial order, and mine aren't. I have found new and interestin variants of some tune that I've put in useing a valid X:n but grouped with other variants of the same tune and not added at the end of the file.

Does anyone know of a cheap software system that one can stack up many MIDIs in a single file, (and with titles)? I can easily convert all ~ 800 ABCs on my website to MIDIs, but putting them all on my website as individual files is impractical.

I tried to write my own ABC player in Quickbasic, but ran into the upper limit of the number of subroutines that Quickbasic could handle when I was about 1/2 way through with the play part, and never got to the display or printout sections.


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Subject: RE: BS: ABC software
From: MMario
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 02:59 PM

Bruce - pkzip would do that-if you support long file names and can use the title as name of the midi


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Subject: RE: BS: ABC software
From: Bruce O.
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 03:23 PM

MMario, I could make a file of MIDIs available as a zipped file that way, but I had hoped to be able to have a 'click on' for direct play on the web.

Also I don't know how to zip multiple files into one. Is there anyplace on the web that explains the process? I have two uzip programs, one only works for single files but the second unzips multiple files from a long zipped file, but I don't know if my pkzip will handle multiple files.


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Subject: RE: BS: ABC software
From: MMario
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 03:49 PM

Bruce, I am most familiar with the dos version of pkzip, which gives you all the instructions if you try to run the program without any arguments.(very handy - doucmentation built into the program!) I know that they have touted later versions as having long name support, so that wouldn't be a problem. zipping multiple files into one isn't hard. you do a multiple selection under windows, or use a wildcard name under dos and "add" to the zipfile. I imagine you could set an HTML link to unzip, play and delete a file. PKWARE has a site on the web


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Subject: RE: BS: ABC software
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 08:17 PM

Bruce,
Do a search for WinZip. It's a Windows program which could be what you're looking for. Should be available for download from most shareware sites.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: BS: ABC software
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 08:46 PM

There have been a lot of topics covered in this thread. Paul's original question was very broad. My first broad answer is that ABC programs tend to be shareware and cheap. My favourite for PLAYING ABC tunes, converting to Midi and giving a reasonable assessment of chordal accompaniment is ABCMUS from Henrik Norbeck.

Bruce, the advice from Alan is very sound. WinZip is very friendly for zipping complete directores of files.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: BS: ABC software
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 09:06 PM

Bruce, I have been trying to think of alternative solutions to your problem. I have searched download.com and have not found anything suitable there. One possiblity would be a database solution. At first glance, it would be easy to write something that uses the Borland Database engine such as C++ Builder, Java Builder or Delphi and store the data as a binary field (the data) and convert back to a .mid file. The only bit I would be uncertain of is making this file available from a web page. I could do it using my own PC as a server as I do with a couple of other things but I'm not sure how I would go about it using my webspace on the internet.

Jon

PS I am another who reccomends Winzip.


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Subject: RE: BS: ABC software
From: _gargoyle
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 10:28 PM

Paul. . . .

Good posting....BTW....it is not "BS."

Anything about FOLK MUSIC is legitimate....and ABC is certainly legitimate.

It is a sad state of affairs when legitimate "Music Posts" become interpreted as "BS".....and the "BS Posts" become the "legitimate standard."

Keep posting Paul.... its good stuff.

"Come sons and daughters throughout this great land
And criticize what is at hand
The forces have changed, what is now at this stand....

Soon, lyrics and tunes will be beyound your command
"For the times they are a changin'"

sorry bob


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Subject: RE: BS: ABC software
From: Bruce O.
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 10:36 PM

Many thanks to all above for the advice. I've started renumbering in my ABC files so X:n designation are all in ascending order with no misses and no duplicates, so I'll be able to attach a title to the ABC2MIDI numbers.

A complaint that I heard about ABC2WIN is that it sometimes cut the time of the leading note. I hadn't noticed that, but I've noticed that the ending note sometimes gets shortened for a very abrupt ending of some tunes. Both problems can be taken care of for playing by putting in some extra rests, but this fouls up the display, and someone looking at the music would just ignore it, thinking you don't know what you're doing.

I think I'll look at Henik Norbeck's. I gave him some tunes and information that he once wanted, and I think he's now forgiven me for spelling his name Henrick.

People with Apple MacIntosh's seem to like an ABC program called BARFLY pretty well, but I have no experience with it. [e.g., the ABCs of Scottish tunes on Jack Campin's website.]


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Subject: RE: BS: ABC software
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 10:49 PM

Paul, I echo Gargoyle's excellent comments.

Bruce, while I like Henrik's program, I am not aware that it will convert ABC,s to Midis in batch mode. It certainly does allow you to import a complete file of ABC's (several hundred) and play and/or create MIDIS, but my experience is that this process occurs serially and manually. I will have a further look however.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: BS: ABC software
From: Bruce O.
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 11:54 PM

I was afraid if I got away from ABC2WIN I might have troubles, and I found them. I've designated Q:k and L:m/n as per ABC standards, but Henrik's ABCMUS program doesn't understand them, and says I've not specified tempo and then picks it's own (wrong) tempo.


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Subject: RE: BS: ABC software
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 10 Nov 99 - 06:30 PM

Bruce, I checked out ABCMUS last night (I haven't used it for a while), and apart from your observations above, I believe that I have given you a bum steer. Unless I'm very wrong ABCMUS does not produce Midi output. My apologies but I was obviously confusing it with another of the many ABC utilities. Regards, John


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Subject: RE: BS: ABC software
From: Bruce O.
Date: 10 Nov 99 - 06:49 PM

John, It will produce MIDI output (after you pay for it and have it registered. You can't save them until you've done that.)


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Subject: RE: BS: ABC software
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 10 Nov 99 - 07:40 PM

Bruce, yes I have paid for it, and I realised my mistake within a few minutes of sending my earlier thread.

I'll be responding to the Curragh of Kildare thread, but ABCMUS often does a pretty good job of producing chords. I don't/can't understand its algorithms, but the quality of results seems to depend heavily on the description of the key signature, particularly the mode. Your annotation of F Mixolydian gave an interesting (good) interpretation. I must have a play and see if it performs as well if it is told that the key is F Major or D Minor.

The thought strikes me that the addition of chords to your collection of tunes would be an even more astounding contribution to the world of folk. I guess it depends on my assertion that mode description is a major determinant of the quality of chord analysis. I'll let you know if I come up with anything interesting.

Regards, John


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