# ABC notation - swing

### ABC notation - swing

I wish to indicate that the tempo of an hornpipe is swingy. Is there a way to do it with little notes in the header (two eighth notes = dotted eighth and sixteenth note)?

### Re: ABC notation - swing

Hi Luba

Easy-peasy!

Example of a pair of quavers (eighth notes) with no swing: DA

Example of a pair of quavers (eighth notes) with swing: D>A

(No changes in the header needed)

### Re: ABC notation - swing

That wasn’t the question asked, Mix. OP wants something like this:

https://musescore.org/sites/musescore.org/files/swing_0.jpg

Goes where the tempo indication would be.

Off the top of my head, I don’t know. I don’t think there’s an easy way of doing it. In abcm2ps, the easiest way would be to insert a postscript graphic; with a bit of fiddling, one could probably also do it directly with invisible staves and scaling and positioning but that sounds painful and brittle.

I’ll post a query to the ABC list and see if it’s come up before; I can’t believe it hasn’t.

Posted by .

### Re: ABC notation - swing

The jazz tunes I’ve looked at in ordinary staff notation don’t have the swing notated.

Sometimes the swing timing is assumed, other times they will say "swing" near the top of the page.

It saves a lot of ink!

There wouldn’t be any reason to notate the swing in hornpipes in ABC- everybody who plays ITM knows how hornpipes sound.

### Re: ABC notation - swing

Here’s a demonstration of three ways of writing out swing.

http://www2.siba.fi/muste1/index.php?id=99&la=en

They point out that the two ways people tend to write it, 1) in straight notes (a 50/50 relationship) and 2) dot/cut (a 75/25 relationship) are both inaccurate.

They say that swing is actually a 66/34 relationship and show how to notate it.

As they say jazz players know the swing feel already and don’t need to have it notated. It think ITM players likewise.

### Re: ABC notation - swing

This will do it. Ugly as can be though. It obviously would require further work to avoid mucking things up for the entire score.

X: 1
L: 1/8
%%MIDI nostafflines
K: C
V:1 stafflines=
GG "<= " (3G2x/32G

This comes from (abusing) the tuples implementation in abc. There has to be three notes in "(3" but the OP wishes to see just two notes so the command is fooled with an invisible rest. The rest works but the notes wind up rather far apart so the rest gets set to a really short note length that helps somewhat to move the two notes together as shown in https://musescore.org/sites/musescore.org/files/swing_0.jpg.

### Re: ABC notation - swing

You can also write the tuplet with the two notes in this form:
(3:2:2G2G

### Re: ABC notation - swing

Can I gently remind people that these are not the solutions to OP’s actual question…

Luba, I’ve been sent a solution for abcm2ps (which will presumably work with EasyABC). It requires a couple of files - DM me an email if you’d like me to send them across.

Posted by .

### … argh.

T:Title
C:Composer
L:1/4
M:4/4
K:C
Q:C=100
"^Swing " A B c e | d B A A |]

I tried but failed to get a dotted something in the Q: line.

### Re: ABC notation - swing

It’s called "metric modulation". Took me ages to find how to do it in Sibelius because, at the time, I didn’t know what it was called.

### Re: ABC notation - swing

@ DetlefS
That’s a much better solution than mine!

### Re: ABC notation - swing

Richard D Cook "There wouldn’t be any reason to notate the swing in hornpipes in ABC- everybody who plays ITM knows how hornpipes sound".

Not all hornpipes are played with "swing" - for example, English 4/4 hornpipes are usually played "straight".

### Re: ABC notation - swing

I specified "ITM" for a reason: most modern Highland pipe "hornpipes" are played dead-straight. So you can’t necessarily use ITM norms for the hornpipes of other genres.

### Re: ABC notation - swing

@Richard D Cook - I *did* notice that you said "ITM" in your comment!

However, the OP didn’t specify any particular genre - it was just "hornpipe".

You are quite right though to point out that the various ways of annotating swing don’t accurately reflect how the music is actually played.

An ABC transcription might ultimately be used to create a midi file as well as a music score. I might be missing something here, but I still don’t see how you can encode a transcription which would be accurate for both types of output.

### Re: ABC notation - swing

If anyone here has used Henrik Norbeck’s ABCMus software ( http://norbeck.nu/abcmus/index.html ), it plays a MIDI version of the ABC, with swing according to tune type (hornpipes had more swing than polkas, for instance). I used it a lot around the turn of the millenium.

### Re: ABC notation - swing

Thanks for all the answers, I finally wrote "swingy hornpipe" in the Q field.
Good enouth for me…