What is...?

  1. Chris Travers
    Chris Travers
    Hey, I've been in the group since week 1, and I've heard a lot about the "ABC's" of a song, but I still have no idea what that means! Can someone explain?

  2. David Westwick
    David Westwick
    ABC is an text based format for encoding standard music notation. It has been used fairly extensively by musicians in several traditions (especially Celtic) to send tunes around via e-mail. Because it is ASCII, it doesn't take a lot of bandwidth (important in the days of dial-up connections), and since it generates standard notation, it isn't tied to any particular instrument.

    There are a bunch of programs out there (many free ones too) that will turn an ABC file into either an image file (GIF, JPEG) or a PDF of the music notation, so that you can view and print it. There is also a web-based converter at http://www.concertina.net/tunes_convert.html -- Kudos to Barb for pointing this link out.
  3. Chris Travers
    Chris Travers
    Thanks for explaining! I think I understand now!
  4. OldSausage
    Also if you have TablEdit, if you copy the ABCs that people post, paste it into a text editor, and then save in a file with a .abc extension, you can then open a new document in TablEdit and import the .abc file (File > Import > Import ABC...) and it will convert it into a TablEdit tab file.
  5. Mandophyte

    There are a few "packaged" versions of the ABC utilities, I use ABC Explorer, the ABC Plus site: here, has downloadable executables for most operating systems.

    For Windows, just scroll down to ABC Explorer and download abcsetup.exe.

    Guido Gonzato who maintains the site has produced a guide: “Making Music with ABC Plus“. It’s 109 pages! If you want to print it, I suggest you do it two pages to a sheet of A4 and double sided. You’ll need to sequence the page numbers for each sheet individually. It takes ages!.

    You can produce music/song books very easily.

    ABC music is available from many sites including The Session. Predominantly Irish, but lots of other stuff.

    John Chamber’s ABC finder, searches the whole internet for your tune.

  6. Chris Travers
    Chris Travers
    Thanks for the links guys! Very helpful.
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