Anyone with skills in ABC?

Helen P.

Message 35248 · 12 May 2003 07:50:20 · Variable-width font · Whole thread

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Visiting numerous URLs to track down music is time-consuming at best. Also,
maintaining all those links could turn into a lot of work.

What about trying a really simple approach instead?
_____

What if every name tune possible, in ABC format, were put into one plain,
unformatted text file?

If the file grew too big, it might be subdivided, perhaps into files for:

   all jigs,
   all reels,
   all strathspeys, and
   all medleys and other tune types.
_____

ACCESS

Put the text file(s) on-line in compressed format, available for anyone to
download. It would be helpful to list links to programs for manipulating
ABC files there as well.
_____

CONTENTS

Include (as brief ABC comments) for each tune:

   the composer's name and copyright information,
   contact information to buy printed copies fo the music, and
   a URL if files are available for viewing or listening.

If any copywrite holders object to a full listing of the tunes in ABC
format, still include all the comments so musicians can locate the official
copies.

Note that dance information would not be required.
_____

CREATION & MAINTENANCE

DanceData files could be used to create the framework for the text file(s).
At first, there would be a lot of placeholder entries, until someone fills
them in.

If a standardized file layout were maintained, then the text files could be
easily updated from the ever-growing DanceData.

Also, URLs or other data from the text file(s) could be used to update
DanceData files.
_____

The nicety of this approach is that:

   the bulk of the ABC code would be separate from the large DanceData
files;

   the text file(s) would be in an easily browsed, compact format; and

   the task of inserting ABC code and comments could shared among various
people*.

* Just send a copy of placeholder listings to various people, let them fill
in the ABC code and comments, and have one person insert them back into the
(alphabetically sorted) master file.
_____

One last thought: I'd like to see another compressed text file available
for download, containing an index of all dances and tunes. Something along
these lines:

DanceA <tab> J, 8x32, 2C set <tab> RSCDS Book 24 <tab> NameTune1 <tab>
NameTune2 <tab> NameTune3

DanceB <tab> Medley, 8x(R16+S16), 3C <tab> MMMM <tab> NameTune1

DanceC <tab> S, 8x64, 4C square <tab> Island Coll. <tab> no tune

etc.

This could easily be brought into a word processor (such as MS-Word) as a
table, then sorted or browsed in various ways. A printout would be very
helpful, especially when a teacher asks for a unexpected dance. It's a
shame to not play the name tune, but then get home and find that, indeed I
had it at class, but couldn't recall the name.

Also, since it is actually possible for a musician to read directly from the
ABC code, a class musician with the index plus a "music cheatsheet" of ABC
code (of the local favorite dances) would be well equipped.
_____

So FWIW, that's the idea.

-- Helen (MD USA)

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