Reading the ABC

Reading the ABC

I was wondering how you read the ABC music? If you don’t know what i’m talking about it looks like this I: FAAB A2IFAAA B/2…. etc.
this site is the only place I have found it.

I cant really read sheet music, and this looks easyer. :P

Re: Reading the ABC

Looks like the forum ate my link.

Try Google search for ‘ABC Notation’

Re: Reading the ABC

Tigermoth:
Can’t imagine anyone actually reads and plays straight from ABC, but I could be wrong.
Yes you very well could. I find it far easier than "the dots" but I am an engineer :-)

Reply to goldfrog

Well blow me down! Good on you.

I’m off to eat some alphabet spaghetti, lol.

Re: Reading the ABC

I can read ABC fluently as well. It really doesn’t take that long to get used to, and it’s invaluable for writing tunes down. I used to use staff notation for this, now I find ABC easier. It’s also useful for reading ABC tunes you find on the web - no need to use a conversion program.

Re: Reading the ABC

Well each to their own, but I find it hard to believe it’s easier than the notation. Anything is possible with practice though I suppose. Music written on a stave makes so much more sense to me, visually at least, as the dots go up or down, so does the sound of the notes.

Re: Reading the ABC

When I say easier, I mean that you can jot down notes on the back of an envelope quicker and easier. No more creating rickety staves etc. I agree there’s not much in it, as far as time goes, but being able to read and write ABC with ease has been a great help to me.

Re: Reading the ABC

I must admit, I’ve never actually tried to play tunes from abc. Although when writing in abc, after a few tunes one after the other, it starts to flow. Compared to notation though, I do make way more mistakes writing abc.

Re: Reading the ABC

The ABC music is just a list of notes without rhythm. I mean, an A on your intstrument would be a A on the ABC music. The letters just stand for the note names. However, the ABC music doesn’t show the rhythm and doesn’t tend to show high or low. Unless there is a line next to the note, it is medium. It would look like this: A’ This is a high A. I know the ABC music, because I started with it, but then moved onto sheetmusic. Go with whichever style of writing you like, if it works, it works and don’t fret. Ask around to other musicians that perhaps live or work near ytou. They may tell you more.

Re: Reading the ABC

ABC *does* show the rhythm. You define the basic note length and then can say how many times this length a specific note is. eg. A2 is an A played for double the standard duration.

Re: Reading the ABC

thanx! the links are very helpful. :)

I don’t think I could efective play anything staight from abc, Goldfrog, I have to hear it too. But it will certainly be easyer than getting the sheet music, then translating it into the "tabs" for fiddle.

One question though, can ABC show grace notes? Im not very creative with those yet, and some time a need "guidence" so I can remeber where I put them.

Re: Reading the ABC

Braces { } surround grace notes.
Parentheses ( ) define slurred notes.
Brackets [ ] mark a chord, low note first.

Re: Reading the ABC

abc notation for a G major scale on the fiddle, low to high, looks something like this:

G string: G, A, B, C,

D string: D E F G

A string: A B c d

E string: e f g

sharps and flats (like f#) aren’t usually put in there because they’ll be understood, as determined by the " K: " (for "Key") in the header you’ll see at the top of each tune .

Re: Reading the ABC

ABC seems to be used quite a bit for concertina tuition in Ireland.

Re: Reading the ABC

I find writing ABC is much easier than standard notation, but as for reading it I have a computer to do that for me.