the ABC’s of ABC?

the ABC’s of ABC?

Where should I go to find out how to use the ABC format of tunes? I’m new and learn everything by ear. I’d love to have something written down for a change!!

Thanks.

Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

The site offered by Laitch is a very good one.

However, I find ABC notation extremely counterintuitive, cumbersome, and frustrating- but that’s just me. I can read the traditional notation effortlessly, and I teach this stuff to 6th graders every day. It isn’t hard… to me, ABC is much harder.

In any event, some means of notation is always handy. ABC is a very good compromise and if you become adept at it, it will serve you well.


You will now be halfway there- listening and implementing the style will complete the journey.

Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

Some people seem really able to read ABC, but many do find dots easier. However, you can easily get free download software to give you dots from ABC files (as well as playing the music, at least after a fashion). The great thing about ABC is the compact, reliable transfer of notation via sites like this. If you prefer dots for reading (as I do), it’s only a few keystrokes away.

Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

ABC is meant for writing, not reading, tunes. You can learn to read it, but that’s not the intention. It’s a way of coding the dots that takes up very little storage space (so it’s easy to e-mail), is in plain text (so it’s easy to search), and is very intuitive (at least the basics are, so it’s easy to learn and type).

Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

Follow the link Laitch gave above. Lesession is a brilliant tutorial in ABC.

Then, get AbcNavigator2. It’s free, and, because of the way it works, with the notes appearing as you type the ABCs, and then being able to play it back at any point as you write, you’ll find you’ll automatically learn ABCs as you go. I would think that using it would also mean you’d learn conventional notation as well without really trying.

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Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

Greg, I don’t want to get into another argument about this, but I have to point out that "listening and implementing the style" is the very definition of getting "all the way there".

The use of a system of notation along this road is, while I admit handy, in no sense necessary. And not in any ones’ wildest imaginations "half way there".

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Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

Gary has it above - ABC is good for coding tunes for computers, a digital version if you like, of conventional staff notation. But both are rough and ready in terms of capturing the music, neither are capable of catching the nuances of the real thing - that’s where your ears are essential.

Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

But both are rough and ready in terms of capturing the music, neither are capable of catching even all the notes, let alone the variations and nuances of the real thing - that’s where your ears are essential.

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Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

Welcome to TheSession nolagirl;
Jeremy built this site for sharing tunes. Where do you get your tunes now?
Any local session(s) to check out?
This site has tons of information if you can navigate the tabs & links.
Listening is important but there is nothing wrong with having something written down.
On TheSession tunes are submitted in ABC but can be found in other forms as well.
Sheet music, MIDI playback, & usually a list of Recordings. Just a tip about abcs; they are built up from a very simple system.
Somewhere I have a pennywhistle book with abc like notation. It is very simple & just a rough guide.
Still it is the sort of thing from which abc developed. I may butcher this but here is my best shot.
Jigs seem to work good. I forget how they do accidentals(that is a big part of abc format).
Here is the 1st line of - https://thesession.org/tunes/71
Morrison’s Jig
E - - B - -/EBE AFD/EDE B - -/DCB AFD/
& so on; Cheers!

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Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

Another thing about submitted ‘Tunes’ .
Each tune has a ‘Comment’ section.
Some of the comments can be helpful.

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Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

Wow! Thanks for your helpful replies to my dumb questions!

As for how I learn (TheMuse), mainly I listen -listen- listen to my favorites: Seamus Egan, Matt M., groups like Solas, Altan, Deanta…Anyone with any advice as to who to listen to and where the music can be bought, just email me if you’d prefer. I LOVE advice!

As for sessions, I am a very busy stay home mom so I haven’t had time and I’m busy just finding the right contacts. I’ve heard there are beginner sessions near where I live, but kids and family…right now I just want to really have fun learning the instrument. I’ll get there someday. Getting ‘there’ is a blast so far!

Teachers are way difficult to find; I used to see one but our busy schedules collided and now I think I’ll have to look again. The Session has become a valuable tool.

I’ve played the silver flute all my life; (classically); I found it to be work and got frustrated and quit. Until years later I discovered ITM, and use it as a ‘escape’ from my busy life. I have actually played in a few concerts here and there, nothing really big, but just as a soloist with a harp. The flute has come naturally but I am a real believer in admitting you don’t know a lot and you want to learn more. I think the idea is to listen and form your personal style, right?

Thanks again…

Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

If you have found Matt Molloy you are in Good company.
One of my favorite sites is Brad Hurley’s on the Irish flute.
He has interviews with a number of wooden flute players;
http://www.firescribble.net/flute/interviews.html

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Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

Discussion (?):
Now I know my ABCs: ABC help & suggestions for learning and teaching
# Posted on June 10th 2007 by ceolachan
https://thesession.org/discussions/14069

With the usual other links and a bit more…

Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

NOTE: to dissuade growing ignorance on the topic ~ ABC notation did not originate with and for computers… It pre-existed all those who are posting on site here. AND ~ it worked both ways, recording and recreating, writing and reading. Any ‘fool’ will know that ‘writing’ anything is about ‘communicating’, meaning it is created for the purpose of ‘reading’, as was ABCs, not for some damned computer program. That came later and it turned out something was already around that could be put to another service ~ computer coding…

I may love reading the occassional fantasy, if well written and entertaining, but I know the difference…hopefully… :-/

Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

I cannot resist. Please expand. The original notation existed long before computers were conceived. Plaine & Easie is a similar system developed for the typewriter. Obviously it was predated as well. You might be suggesting that Chris Walshaw borrowed the term - ‘ABC Notation’ from a prior system. Current use of the term may well be with undue ignorance of the history. How old is written music?

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Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

The Ancient Greeks had a notation system for their music using their alphabet, with marks over the letters to indicate note length etc, so that, if anything, must have been the remote precursor of our ABC notation. This notation system appears to have been around since at least the 6th century BC. I’ve used the oldest surviving complete example as the basis for a tune submission here https://thesession.org/tunes/5696 There is a fairly detailed discussion, including further links, in the comments in that tune submission.

Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

Oh my goodness, (and ceolachan please don’t take offense), but that other thread is enough to make my eyes glaze over!

Nolagirl, the way to learn abc is to use it. Try writing down a tune you know, then run it through an abc converter like the tune-o-tron:

http://www.concertina.net/tunes_convert.html

and see how it looks in regular notation. To start, all you need is the beginning identifier and a key, so to write a C major scale, you write:

X:1
K: C maj
| CDEFGAB |

and click Submit, and it turns it into standard notation for you. Alternatively, you can copy a tune from the database here and paste it into the converter; for example,

X: 1
T: Morrison’s
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: Edor
|:E3 B3|EBE AFD|EDE B3|dcB AFD|
E3 B3|EBE AFD|G3 FGA|dAG FED:|
Bee fee|aee fee|Bee fee|a2g fed|
Bee fee|aee fee|gfe d2A|BAG FGA|
Bee fee|aee fee|Bee fee|faf def|
g3 gfe|def g2d|edc d2A|BAG FED|

gives you Morrisson’s Jig. Then you can start playing around with it—-click the back button and change the first line of notes to:

|:EBE BdE|EBE AFD|EDE B3|dcB AFD|

and see what happens. It’s kind of fun! I’ve just started getting the hang of it, mostly because I have tunes with no names that I want to identify, so I write them out and post them here and someone always knows them. Lots of people here are abc experts, so you can always post more questions for specific problems.

Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

oops, that should be EBE BdB (I got sloppy). But actually, being sloppy is a good way to learn too, because if you write something that’s totally wrong in abc and run it through the converter, it’ll be very obvious when you’re looking at the sheet music—-two notes to an entire bar, lots of little eighth notes out there all by themselves—-it’s a good way to check your work because it makes it easy to see what you’ve done wrong.

Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

Good suggestion, which has been made over and over again… Hey Kennedy, I don’t mind being confused with Lazyhound, if that was what you were doing… Another ABC form that was used in the 1800’s was based on Solfeggio ~ the Do - Ray - Me stuff of "The Sound of Music", or d - r - m ~ etc…

Hey, Peter Kay’s "The Sound of Laughter" is now in print!!!
ISBN: 1846051614 ~ if you’re needing a little summer reading in between sessions… 8-)

Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

No, ceolachan, I meant the thread you posted, although Lazyhound’s thread is a bit arcane too!

Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

That was in answer to an exchange of emails between me and a couple of others. Basically, knowing you aren’t the only one whose eyes I’ve caused to ‘glaze over’ ~ the sentiment is the same, have fun with it, don’t take it seriously, and the more angles you take to or from it, the more it will eventually become second nature, a tool you can use with comfort.

Being ‘dyslexic’, a dump term I’m not completely happy with, but have been certified as such, and having worked with all ages and various types of learning disabilities ~ I know that variety can help. We don’t all learn the same way but humour and compassion seem to be amongst the best approaches, as a learner or a teacher, and being uptight and dead serious and cuttingly critical one of the worst… I gather in your eyes my attempt was ‘boring’… I can only measure if it helped the few it was originally intended for, and it seems to have helped… Even if only in a small way, or if it were only useful to one person, well, that’s good… Obviously it didn’t work for you, but you probably are beyond its intentions anyway… :-/

Best of luck nolagirl, it’s fun getting there and fun having the tool when you finally realize it fits a need…

Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

Oh ceolachan, you took offense anyway, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend, and your post wasn’t boring at all, just kind of confusing. Like for instance, the part where you said:

"More fun is to try your hand at doing an ABC search from the same ‘Tunes’ section. Click on the ‘Advanced’ tab to try that ~ try say three different measures from the transcriptions:

eAA fAA / gfg age / efg a^ga"

First of all, the bars are not the pipe characters, which I think is what you meant, they’re slashes, which have a specific meaning in abc, so I started thinking that maybe I was reading it wrong…

And then by the time you said:

"You can also try transposition to other keys, and the easiest and sanest one here would be to go down a 4th instead of up a 5th, K: E Dorian (##), one step up to B Dorian (###) means c’!, so, for a start, the Cunningham transcription in E Dorian would begin:

K: Edor
|: BEE cEE | dcd edB | ABA DFD | ~ |: BEE dEE | ~ ?"

You totally lost me. It’s just way beyond my level, I just started learning this stuff. And why the question mark? I just had trouble following it, is all, so that’s why I said my eyes glazed over. Please don’t be offended, I appreciate your posts, it’s just that particular one that gave me trouble.

Re: the ABC’s of ABC?

Damn, haven’t read your bit above yet, but my eyes were obviously glazing over halfway down, and my brain… :-/

Now to read your latest… Yes, I guess I’m agreeing… I must have been tired. It was in answer to one person in particular, but I left out bits and you’re right, as a result there were bits that were confusing. Also, there were specific questions that I’d recieved but hadn’t included in a clear way… The slash, /, yes, I should have explained how I was using it there, to divide note groups but not wanting to use the bar line… No, not offended, mortified… There is enough confusion in life without me adding to it… :-/

More confusion ~

"my eyes were obviously glazing over halfway down" ~ rereading my own post, not yours…