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9 messages

ABC format and MIDI fines

01 Jan 99 - 09:35 AM (#51633)
Subject: ABC format and MIDI fines
From: Zorro

O.K. one (probably the only) of my new year's resolutions is to learn the Midi file and ABC format method of transporting music. If someone will please send the site address I PROMISE I'll learn them before 1-31-99. Thanks


01 Jan 99 - 01:21 PM (#51654)
Subject: RE: ABC format and MIDI fines


01 Jan 99 - 02:51 PM (#51663)
Subject: RE: ABC format and MIDI fines
From: Joe Offer

Noteworthey Composer a pretty good shareware MIDI program.
Mudcat's own MIDITXT, designed for us by Alan Foster for posting MIDI and ABC tunes at Mudcat.
Not that hard to learn, Zorro - just takes a bit of concentration.
-Joe Offer-

01 Jan 99 - 07:37 PM (#51690)
Subject: RE: ABC format and MIDI fines
From: Alan of Australia

G'day Zorro,
Great resolution.

Now what about others following Zorro's example?


01 Jan 99 - 08:55 PM (#51702)
Subject: RE: ABC format and MIDI fines
From: Bill D

well, now that I have figured out that I can CREATE a midi with Noteworthy Composer, I resolve to experiment and enter some arcane stuff from some books I have...

02 Jan 99 - 12:19 AM (#51718)
Subject: RE: ABC format and MIDI fines

One point Zorro, you can write ABC files with any text editor or word processor (such as Windows Notebook); but it is difficult to write a MIDI file by hand. You need a program to do it for you.

There are programs that take the sound you feed in through a mic or keyboard and write the MIDI file. There are also programs that change the MIDI file to standard music notation. These are, in general, not cheap.

I would suggest you learn to write simple ABC files for melodies. ABC files are very easy to write. Once you get used to the peculiarities of notation, it is like the way you would describe sheet music to somebody over the telephone. The format is also so-called ASCII which means it can be sent by email without danger of corruption.

There are free programs that will convert ABC files to MIDI files. They are adequate for producing a basic MIDI file that contains a tune and even chords; but they don't allow you to use the full power of MIDI to synthesize different instruments; because ABC doesn't allow for that in the first place. For that you need fancier (and costlier) software--like that mentioned in previous postings.

The address to get ABC software and documentation is:

Get at least the documentation, an ABC player for your platform, and an ABC to MIDI converter for your platform. They are all free or very cheap.

The ABC player will allow you to play a file you just wrote and check that it is what you meant. If you have a midi player in your system, you can dispense with this and use the ABC to MIDI converter to make a MIDI file and then play the MIDI file.

There are also such luxuries as programs to typeset your ABC file in standard music notation. Some of these are shareware rather than freeware. The free ones require a lot of additional support software to be installed.

Anyway, poke around the site and see if anything looks interesting to you.


02 Jan 99 - 07:11 AM (#51736)
Subject: RE: ABC format and MIDI fines
From: Ian Kirk

Following some recommendations in past threads I have NoteWorthy Composer on eval. Looks good so I think a purchase is on the way. However I have a couple of questions about MIDI notation. I've seen postings of midi files in Red in the NEW MUS threads but I can't figure out how to copy and paste to a format that NoteWorthy can read.

a) What's the best method of doing this?

b) How do you create those pretty red postings?

c) Can the good folk who refresh the DigiTrad database with tunes translate easiest from MIDI or ABC or is it best to get a copy of SongWright?

I appreciate my eval copy of NoteWorthy might not be fully functional nevertheless I'd appreciate hearing from a 'catter with some NoteWorthy or MIDI interchange experience



02 Jan 99 - 04:58 PM (#51790)
Subject: RE: ABC and MIDI
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Ian, those little red numbers are a gift to us from the noted Professor Alan Foster, who wrote the MIDITXT program just for Mudcat. You create a MIDI with Noteworthy or other MIDI program (with Noteworthy, you use the "export" function to create a MIDI once you've created a Noteworthy file). In Windows, the MIDI files have names like nameofsong.mid. You do have to set up MIDITXT according to the directions, but it's not too complicated. I have it set up so I just drag the MIDI title onto the MIDI2TXT icon, and it creates a text file that's ready to post onto Mudcat. When I see those red numbers in the forum and want to change them back into a MIDI, I highlight the red part and copy them and then paste them into a text file, and then drag the text file onto my TXT2MIDI icon, and it automatically creates a MIDI for me.
Now, if anyone using Windows has trouble setting up MIDITXT, just send me a round-trip plane ticket to wherever you are, and I'll be glad to set it up for you.
Max promises that someday, we will have a freeware MIDI creation program and the ability to post MIDI and maybe other sound files directly onto the 'Cat, but those functions are still in the planning stages. We haven't figured out a way yet to make Max into a Man of Means, so the poor guy has to spend a good amount of time making a living to support a family and to keep the 'Cat alive. Someday, though, it may all be easier. In the meantime, MIDITXT or ABC do the trick quite well for posting tunes on the 'Cat, and Dick Greenhaus seems to be quite adept at harvesting tunes in either format for the Digital Tradition database. I think Dick said that SongWright is no longer available, although it's still used in the downloadable version of the Digital Tradition.
As Murray says, MIDI programs are not cheap. The registration fee for Noteworthy is $40 US, although the unregistered version is quite suitable for light use. Noteworthy crippled the unregistered version, but I think it still works well enough for making simple tunes for Mudcat posting - anybody know that for sure?. I paid the $40 quite some time ago, and I've received free upgrades that have added some very nice features. I wonder why Microsoft hasn't seen fit to give me free upgrades to the Office 95 that I paid so much money for a couple of years ago.
-Joe Offer-

03 Jan 99 - 06:54 AM (#51823)
Subject: RE: ABC format and MIDI fines
From: Ian Kirk

Thanks very much Joe. I'll get organised with the MIDITXT converter and do some practice.

Thanks Prof Alan Foster keep up the good work. We all know and appreciate how hard it is for all those behind the scenes heroes, you included Joe, when making a living and family commitments vie with time available to indulge our hobby browsing the threads and contributing to the the Mudcat.

With regard to Billy Gates and his free upgrades. I posted a new thread which may throw some light on the matter
See Humour - BillGates and GM's reply.
I know it ain't about folk music but a smile helps the day along.