Ossia staves in .abc

Ossia staves in .abc

I feel like this has probably been discussed before, but if so I can’t find it…

Is there any way to make ossia staves with .abc? I’m increasingly using abcs instead of notation software these days and ossia are a great way to notate variations or different players’ ways with a tune, but I can’t see a way to notate an ossia staff using abc.

Any pointers greatly appreciated.

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

Just to clarify, this is a general question. I’m not asking about ossia staves on thesession.org (or making a feature request!). I’m mostly transcribing in plain text and converting to PDF at www.mandolintab.net/abcconverter.php.

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

Maybe stupid question, but what is an Ossia stave?

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

Apparently,
"Ossia staves are extra staves above or below a short passage of music, showing an alternative to be played instead of what is shown in the main staff."

Personally, I think this may make things a little too confusing as far as "our kind of music" is concerned and the sheet music would become a little "cluttered".
I quite like the facility we have at present where alternative settings can be posted in full.
It is often quite a personal thing as to what slight variations, ornaments, etc we choose to play.

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ossia

Yes alternate settings on thesession.org work very well. Again, this is not a feature request. I am transcribing & collecting tunes from an older player who himself used ossia when writing out the dots and I’m wondering if this can be done. I’d rather not move my project to a point and click notation package if at all possible.

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

I often use ossia staves, especially when there is a slight variation in the repeat of the A part of a tune (common feature of tunes by Duncan Chisholm and John Somerville, to name but two) but I’m doing it in Sibelius. No idea what to do with abcs, I’m afraid.

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

What I do to show variations, using abcs, is just to put the variation notes in letters format enclosed in quotes ahead of the section in question. These then read out—in letter format rather than dots—above the initial note of the section where the variation begins.

Another option, used in John Walsh’s "Collection of Pipe-Friendly Tunes", is to put the variations at the end of the tune as dots and labelled as to which Part and measures/bars they apply.

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

Agh! That’s brilliant! Thanks so much Stiamh! And it works with the converter at mandolintab.net as well. It seems that there’s a lot to .abc that I don’t know yet and it’s going to take a little picking apart to work out how to use this for myself but I’m totally made up that it’s doable.

Thanks again

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

When you’ve picked it apart and got it working for you, Neilidh, please share your results. I’d like to be able to use this occasionally but haven’t got the courage to wade into the demonstration ABCs just now 🙂

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

The sample is probably rare and deprecated if the line breaks in the image are intentional. I think they are.
It also has more information than needed for variations (i.e. voices/staves). Having said that it does work in mandolintab.net after I added line breaks with an exclamation point as needed. Without that the abc converter generated a different score.
Here is the same code w/! typed in.~
X:8595
T:Sample tune Fugue II (extract from the well-tempered clavichord II)
C:J.S. Bach
F:http://richardrobinson.tunebook.org.uk/tune/6511
M:none
K:Cm
%%staves 1s 3s | {(1 2) 3}
V:1s name="Ossia" staffscale=0.8
V:3s staffscale=0.8
V:1
gc fe/d/ e>e d=e\
V:2
B_A/G/ c/[I:staff 4]C/[I:staff 3]G- G/G/=A B/cD/\
V:3
B,/G,/ C=A,=B, CF, _B,_A,/G,/\
%%staves (1s 2s) 3s | {(1 2) 3}
V:1s
|fB _e!_d/c/ dG\
V:2s
|z/c/B/_A/ G!=A BG\
V:3s bass
|=A,=D- D/C/!F/E/ D/C/_D-\
V:1
|fB _e!d/c/ dG\
V:2
|z/c/B/_A/ G=A BG!\
V:3
|_A,_D- D/C/!F/E/ D/C/D-\
%%staves 1s 3s | {(1 2) (3 4)}
V:1
e2-|e/e/d- d/c/=B cg de/f/|
V:2
_AG/F/|G>F ED CeA2|
V:3
D/C/B,/A,/|B,=B,CD G,/C/B,/C/- C/B,/C-|
V:4
x2|z2G,2E,2F,2|

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Re: Ossia staves in .abc

Ossia saves a great amount of ink!

A common thing in ITM dance music is that many musicians, as they go through a number of repeats, tend to focus their variations on certain phrases while leaving the rest of the tune without significant changes. So if you write out a musician’s full performance of a tune, the repeats written out and all three times the tune is played written out, most measures of the tune are the same, and only certain measures changing.

Also different musician’s versions of a tune might be 90% the same, only varying in certain spots. I see that all the time here, in the Tunes section, where people will post several different versions of a tune, the different versions only changing a couple notes here or there.

Ossia allows you to write the full tune ONCE. The relatively minor changed bits are notated below. Not only does it save space, it makes the structure of ITM and the nature of the musician’s approach to variation more clear.

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

@AB: The line breaks on the page I linked to are incorrect, and not what the transcriber intended: they fall in the middle of a bar. (The \ at the end of lines indicate that no line break is intended anywhere in the sample.)

In EasyABC the score displays correctly as a single line with the ossia staff above the second bar. (I am surprised to see that the ossia is not a complete bar - I would have thought that anything other than a complete bar or bars would be confusing to the reader.)

@Neilidh: you will probably need a reference source to pick your way through the special commands used in the sample score. If you don’t have one, get this: http://abcplus.sourceforge.net/#ABCGuide

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

This has worked really well for me so thanks again Stiamh. I’ll post some abcs of what I’ve managed to do tomorrow.

The example on abcnotation.com uses additional voices on different staves and makes the alternative passage’s staff slightly smaller to achieve ossia. I’m still not 100% on top of working with voices but for the specific purpose I need it, this technique has worked and I’m pretty chuffed.

For trad tunes in general though, one of the biggest advantages of using abc is that the code itself is human-readable and that you can pretty much play/sight-read straight from it. Once you start using voices it pretty much puts the kibosh on the human-readability aspect and so far that reason I don’t see it developing any great currency with tuneheads.

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

I know, Stiamh.
How about this abc bit w/the bass voices removed?

X:8595
T:Sample tune Fugue II (extract from the well-tempered clavichord II)
C:J.S. Bach
M:none
K:Cm
%%staves 1s| (1 2)
V:1s name="Ossia" staffscale=0.8
V:1
gc fe/d/ e>e d=e\
V:2
B_A/G/ c/C/G- G/G/=A B/cD/\
%%staves (1s 2s)| (1 2)
V:1s
|fB _e_d/c/ dG\
V:2s
|z/c/B/_A/ G=A BG\
V:1
|fB _ed/c/ dG\
V:2
|z/c/B/_A/ G=A BG\
%%staves 1s | (1 2)
V:1
e2-|e/e/d- d/c/=B cg de/f/|
V:2
_AG/F/|G>F ED CeA2|

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Re: Ossia staves in .abc

Okay, here goes with my "findings".

☆☆ Ossia with abc in the MIDDLE of a system ☆☆

This abc renders pretty nicely at mandolintab. I can’t seem to get a closing barline on my ossia though. Is there a better/different converter I can use? I’ve not yet been through Phil Taylor’s abc voice tutorial as it’s 404 missing, possibly long deprecated. Does anyone have a copy of it?

X:1
T:The Sally Gardens
R:reel
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:Dmaj
%%staves 1s | 1
V:1s clef=none staffscale=0.7
V:1
A,2 | D2 CD F2 DF | AFBF AFEF \
%%staves 1s | 1
V:1s
| AGFA BdBA \
V:1
| A2 FA (3Bcd BF
%%staves 1s | 1
V:1
| AFEF DB,A,B, |
D2 A,D F2 DF | AFBF AFEF | A2 (3FGA BcdB | AFEF D2 :||
FG | Addc d2Ad | d2 fd edBd | Beed e2Be | e2 fd edBd |
Addc d2Ad | d2 fd edBd | A2 FA (3Bcd BA | AFEF D2 :||

☆☆ Ossia with abc at the END of a system ☆☆

This renders beautifully at mandolintab.net. I got the closing barline (only because the ossia is at the end of the system though as far as I can see). I’ve also added the through barlines to attach the ossia to its parent bar which makes it (hopefully!) very clear what is happening.

X: 2
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
%%staves 1s 1
V:1s staves=1 clef=none staffscale=0.6
K: Dmaj
V:1
A,D (3DDD DEFA | BdAF GECE | FD (3DDD EDB,D \
%%staves 1s 1
V:1s
| EcAF GECE \|!
V:1
| {F} EDEF EDB,D |\
%%staves 1s 1
V:1
A,D (3DDA, DEFA | (3Bcd AF GFGA | (3Bcd cd BAFD | EDCE FD D2 :|
(3dcd fd ecAF | GFGA GFDB, | A,D (3DDD A,DFA | (3Bcd eg feeg |
(3fgf ef gfeg | fdec dcAF | {A} GFGA (3Bcd AF | GECE FD D2 :|

☆☆ Ossia with abc at the BEGINNING of a system ☆☆

This isn’t so great. I can’t seem to get rid of the opening key signature which I wouldn’t want there if at all possible.

X: 3
T: Patsy Geary’s
R: slide
M: 12/8
L: 1/8
%%staves 1s 1
V:1s clef=none staffscale=0.7
K: Dmaj
V:1
AG |: F2 A AFA | B=cB A2 G | F2 A d2 e | ~f3 fef |
| ~g3 fgf|efe d2 B | 1ABA AFD | ~E3 EAG :| ABA efe | ~d3 d2 e ||!
|: f2 e f2 e | f2 e fga | ABA BAF | ABA ABd \!
%%staves 1s 1
V:1s
| efe edB \
V:1
| efe efe
%%staves 1s 1
V:1
| efe dfa | baf afe |1 ~d3 d2 e :|2 ~d3 d2 A ||

In conclusion this is all a bit of a faff, breaks the readability of the code, but I’m glad to be developing my knowledge of abc and I’m delighted that I can keep my project in code and not have to use some point and click commercial rip-offware (even though I own one of them). I’ll probably end up tweaking my resultant PDFs using Acrobat in any case.

Very grateful to Stiamh and AB and all the other expertise on this thread that has got me this far. If any of my queries above can be answered all the better! Maybe I should post this on a different forum as well but I hope it’s useful to some people here.

Also everyone should play my variation to Patsy Geary’s on account of how it is better than the actual tune itself (ymmv).

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

Okay, for the tiny fraction of those still reading(!), please ignore my previous post. I am learning as I go. Here’s a second stab at it…

☆☆ Ossia with abc in the MIDDLE of a system ☆☆

This works! It has taken some trial and error with barline placement and the no-line-break character but this all works and looks really good (if I say so myself) when rendered at mandolintab.net.

X:1
T:The Sally Gardens
R:reel
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:Dmaj
%%staves 1s | 1
V:1s clef=none staffscale=0.7
V:1
A,2 | D2 CD F2 DF | AFBF AFEF \
%%staves 1s | 1
V:1s
| AGFA BdBA |\
V:1
| A2 FA (3Bcd BF |\
%%staves 1s | 1
V:1
AFEF DB,A,B, |
D2 A,D F2 DF | AFBF AFEF | A2 (3FGA BcdB | AFEF D2 :||
FG | Addc d2Ad | d2 fd edBd | Beed e2Be | e2 fd edBd |
Addc d2Ad | d2 fd edBd | A2 FA (3Bcd BA | AFEF D2 :||

☆☆ Ossia with abc at the END of a system ☆☆

Again this renders really well at mandolintab.net. I’ve added the through barlines to attach the ossia to its parent bar which makes it (hopefully!) very clear what is happening. [ *I corrected an error from the last post where I redundantly used both the no-line-break and line-break characters at the same point! ]

X: 2
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
%%staves 1s 1
V:1s staves=1 clef=none staffscale=0.6
K: Dmaj
V:1
A,D (3DDD DEFA | BdAF GECE | FD (3DDD EDB,D \
%%staves 1s 1
V:1s
| EcAF GECE |
V:1
| {F} EDEF EDB,D |
%%staves 1s 1
V:1
A,D (3DDA, DEFA | (3Bcd AF GFGA | (3Bcd cd BAFD | EDCE FD D2 :|
(3dcd fd ecAF | GFGA GFDB, | A,D (3DDD A,DFA | (3Bcd eg feeg |
(3fgf ef gfeg | fdec dcAF | {A} GFGA (3Bcd AF | GECE FD D2 :|

☆☆ Ossia with abc at the BEGINNING of a system ☆☆

This isn’t so great. I can’t seem to get rid of the opening key signature which I wouldn’t want there if at all possible. Does anyone have any ideas? [ * this is also a very nice and simple to play variation to an old war horse ].

X: 3
T: Patsy Geary’s
R: slide
M: 12/8
L: 1/8
%%staves 1s 1
V:1s clef=none staffscale=0.7 staves=1
K: Dmaj
V:1
AG |: F2 A AFA | B=cB A2 G | F2 A d2 e | ~f3 fef |
| ~g3 fgf|efe d2 B | 1ABA AFD | ~E3 EAG :| ABA efe | ~d3 d2 e ||!
|: f2 e f2 e | f2 e fga | ABA BAF | ABA ABd \!
%%staves 1s 1
V:1s
efe edB |\
V:1
efe efe |\
%%staves 1s 1
V:1
efe dfa | baf afe |1 ~d3 d2 e :|2 ~d3 d2 A ||

I’ve still not been able to read Phil Taylor’s abc multivoice tutorial as it’s 404 missing (from here: http://www.barfly.dial.pipex.com/multivoice.txt) and possibly long deprecated. Does anyone have a copy of it saved to disk they could send me?

In conclusion this is all a bit of a faff until you know how to do it and it breaks the readability of the abc. But I’m delighted that I can keep my project fully in abc and not have to use Sib*lius or the like.

Thanks again to everyone who has posted their expertise and got me this far.

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

Neilidh, Phil’s file will probably not be that helpful as it will (a) be written for Phil’s own software, Barfly, which became obsolete a few years ago after Apple made it impossible to continue development (I understand he is planning to revive it, but nothing released yet) and (2) there has been a fair amount of work done on the ABC standard (such as it is) since that was written.

This is the best guide to the standard that most developers are working towards implementing:

http://abcnotation.com/wiki/abc:standard:v2.1

In particular, abcm2ps, which is the software behind the mandolintab converter, tries to adhere to this standard.

You might also want to consider joining the abc mailing list, which has some very knowledgeable, helpful people on it who are used to doing odd things with abc. If you have a Yahoo login, you can join here: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/abcusers/info or you can simply send email to
abcusers-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

Posted by .

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

Neilidh, in the section on polyphony in Guido Gonzato’s guide to ABCplus, it explains that the %%score command is similar to %%staves and accepts the same parameters, with the difference that measure bar indicators work the opposite way.

For the hell of it I tried replacing your %%staves with %%score (and eliminating the | in "%%staves 1s | 1" in your Sally Gardens) and got better results in the second and third tunes, although it didn’t solve the missing bar line problem in Patsy Geary’s.

X:1
T:The Sally Gardens
R:reel
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:Dmaj
%%score 1s 1
V:1s clef=none staffscale=0.7
V:1
A,2 | D2 CD F2 DF | AFBF AFEF \
%%score 1s 1
V:1s
| AGFA BdBA |\
V:1
| A2 FA (3Bcd BF |\
%%score 1s 1
V:1
AFEF DB,A,B, |
D2 A,D F2 DF | AFBF AFEF | A2 (3FGA BcdB | AFEF D2 :||
FG | Addc d2Ad | d2 fd edBd | Beed e2Be | e2 fd edBd |
Addc d2Ad | d2 fd edBd | A2 FA (3Bcd BA | AFEF D2 :||

X: 2
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
%%score 1s 1
V:1s staves=1 clef=none staffscale=0.6
K: Dmaj
V:1
A,D (3DDD DEFA | BdAF GECE | FD (3DDD EDB,D \
%%score 1s 1
V:1s
| EcAF GECE |
V:1
| {F} EDEF EDB,D |
%%score 1s 1
V:1
A,D (3DDA, DEFA | (3Bcd AF GFGA | (3Bcd cd BAFD | EDCE FD D2 :|
(3dcd fd ecAF | GFGA GFDB, | A,D (3DDD A,DFA | (3Bcd eg feeg |
(3fgf ef gfeg | fdec dcAF | {A} GFGA (3Bcd AF | GECE FD D2 :|

X: 3
T: Patsy Geary’s
R: slide
M: 12/8
L: 1/8
%%score 1s 1
V:1s clef=none staffscale=0.7 staves=1
K: Dmaj
V:1
AG |: F2 A AFA | B=cB A2 G | F2 A d2 e | ~f3 fef |
| ~g3 fgf|efe d2 B | 1ABA AFD | ~E3 EAG :| ABA efe | ~d3 d2 e ||!
|: f2 e f2 e | f2 e fga | ABA BAF | ABA ABd \!
%%score 1s 1
V:1s
efe edB |\
V:1
efe efe |\
%%score 1s 1
V:1
efe dfa | baf afe |1 ~d3 d2 e :|2 ~d3 d2 A ||

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

Wow, Phil Taylor is working on a new text editor. I just saw his post in the Yahoo Group messages.
That is good news. Cheers, Phil!

Posted by .

Re: Ossia staves in .abc

Interesting…I don’t know…maybe…

X:3
T:Patsy Geary’s
M:12/8
%%score 1s 1
V:1s clef=none staffscale=0.7
K:D
K:C
V:1
AG |: F2 A AFA | B=cB A2 G | F2 A d2 e | ~f3 fef |
~g3 fgf|efe d2 B | 1ABA AFD | ~E3 EAG :| ABA efe | ~d3 d2 e |]!
|: f2 e f2 e | f2 e fga | ABA BAF | ABA ABd|!
%%score 1s 1
V:1s
efe edB |\
V:1
efe efe |\
%%score 1s 1
V:1
efe dfa | baf afe |1 ~d3 d2 e :|2 ~d3 d2 A |]

ps ~ something looks so strange in the last 2 bars after the 2nd line repeat. but it’s time to go & I’m just grabbing code & trimming bits; a little here, a long hair there. haven’t tried it out. hope the gist of my post helps.
Ben [AB]

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