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Posts posted by lachenal74693

  1. Have you considered buying them a 'toy melodeon' as an alternative - an example here. That's

    in the UK, but I'm sure you'll find similar in North America.


    It'll be cheaper, and there are all the buttons etc. to play with. Get them one each, so they can

    play duets - get two different colours to avoid fights...


    I seem to remember reading a story about someone who got a fettler to 'hot-rod' one of these

    things, which was subsequently used with great success as a 'novelty' at Morris dance outs...  


    There are many threads on melodeon.net dealing with these things, eg: here. Do an 'Advanced

    Search' on the phrase "toy melodeon" to see more...


    There's any number of videos on YouTube. This is a favourite...

  2. 9 hours ago, David Barnert said:


    Surely you must both mean F, G, and C or am I going nuts? The key of A major doesn’t have an A#.

    Correct! That's what you get when you do 'difficult' stuff early in the morning, before that

    first, vital caffeine infusion, and before being fully awake - if I can ever be described as

    fully awake...😎


    hcjones described the situation far more concisely than I did, and my software simply abides

    by those conventions. FWIW, it also handles all keys with the same number of sharps/flats in

    the same way, so Cmaj, Ddor, Amin/Aaeo, etc. are all handled in the same way...

  3. 51 minutes ago, RAc said:

    Interesting! Obviously, the question arises why the sharps are ommitted from the F,G and A names? Is that deliberate?



    Why? Because in the ABC code for a tune in the key of Amajor, Fs, Gs and As are written as 'F', 'G' and 'A'

    (or 'f', 'g', 'a', etc. depending on the octave), and I write the ABC notes as encountered in the ABC script.

    I do the same for all key signatures. I read the file into memory and then close it (so I can't 'mangle' the

    original ABC code). I then do the necessary scanning of the music lines in the in-memory code, make

    the required changes, and write the modified ABC to a completely new file...


    I did think about explicitly writing the accidentals as accidentals, but the sharpening (or flattening) of the

    notes is implicit in standard staff notation, so I decided to go with that convention. Explicit accidentals in

    the ABC code are written as such (see the 'D's and 'ds' in the example I posted).


    I hope that explains it adequately...

  4. Of course, if you're a masochist with too much time on your hands, you can modify any ABC

    script to include a partial rendering of the ABC code itself, as part of the score, along with

    the standard staff notation. A sort of 'belt and braces' approach:


    I was asked to supply note-names below the notes by someone running a whistle class, and

    from that it was only one step further to convert the note names to ABC names. What fun...😎





  5. 5 minutes ago, alex_holden said:


    I don't think that's accurate. It's written in the Javascript language and can run inside a web browser window, but the code doesn't have to live on a remote web server. The docs also describe some ways to run it from a command line (like abcm2ps) using a Javascript interpreter like Node.js.


    Yes, you're absolutely right, but it looks like it's a non-trivial exercise to set things up to run the program 'locally'

    ('twas discussed a while back, I think?), and I simply don't have the time to investigate this further. When/if some

    public spirited individual provides a download which works 'straight-out-of-the-box' I may look at it again, but I'm

    too long in the tooth to want to start learning all sorts of new stuff ('lack of moral fibre', I guess)...

  6. 11 hours ago, Lester Bailey said:

    I use ABC as it means I can carry my main ABC file with its 875 tunes on my phone...(and) have the ability to search by name/key/time sig whilst sat in a pub makes ABC seem a good solution.

    I do exactly the same with my own ABC 'tune book', and use my own software to search for (and extract to a

    separate ABC file), all tunes which match (just about) any search criterion I can think of. I use a 'notepad'

    computer rather than a 'phone (because I need to run the software), but the principle is the same.

  7. 8 hours ago, LazyNetter said:

    I've had a similar question all the time, that is I've never seen anyone in Europe and United States use the numbered musical notation that is common in China and Japan...

    Drifting a little off-topic, is that the 'Jianpu' system?


    If the answer is yes, then there is apparently a feature in abc2svg which accommodates this notation. I'm

    never going to use this notation though - this is just to make sure you know it's there, if you wanted to use it...


    As far as I can see, abc2svg is supposed to be the 'replacement' for abcm2ps, but looking at the dialogues

    on the ABC-Users mailing list, there do seem to be a number of problems with the software which are

    a little off-putting.[1]


    [1] Actually, I'm not going to be using abc2svg any time soon, as it seems to require that I connect to the internet to use it. I no longer connect my

    'workhorse' machine to the internet, a policy I introduced last July, since when I've had completely trouble free usage - no automatic updates of

    software or operating system which I don't want updating; no intrusive messages from manufacturers/software suppliers concerning stuff which is

    none of their  business, etc. One of the best decisions I ever made...

  8. 4 hours ago, David Barnert said:

    [1] While abc can be read by humans, that’s not really what it’s for...


    [2] Even now, a generation later, it is a very efficient way of storing musical information in a format that is easily constructed, edited and communicated. (my emphasis)


    [3] See if these videos help you understand how to use it.

    [1] Absolutement, mon general! After 5-6 years, I can read a little ABC - though I don't go out of my way to do it.

    In a way, it's only to be 'expected' - once you become a little familiar with the language, you can translate it

    directly into the required result - up to a point...


    [2] I did a few simple tests 3-4 years ago. lilypond scripts are something like 2.5-5 times more verbose

    than the equivalent ABC script. MuseScore scripts are ~10x larger than the equivalent ABC script (and they

    aren't directly readable).


    So yeah, ABC cuts it, I think - certainly, it does for me...


    [3] My main point - see if these simple tutorials also do the job. I started with these, and still refer back to

    them 5-6 years down the road...




    5 hours ago, TehRazorBack said:

    ...I am wondering, before I start trying to arrange this tune, does anyone recognise this tune and does any sheet music exist for this already? I had a quick search of the forums here for "Blue Peter" and "Barnacle Bill", but to no avail. Perhaps it is known under a different name?

    Here is the ABC:

    T:Barnacle Bill
    %A lightly edited tune from Richard Robinson's tune book: http://richardrobinson.tunebook.org.uk
    T:Blue Peter theme tune
    Z:Steve Mansfield June 2001 rev. 05/10/2003
    N:Posted to uk.music.folk 05/10/2003
    |: DE | G2 G2 GABc | d2 d2 d2 ef | gage dedB | AGEG A2 DE |
    |1 G2 G2 GABc | d2 d2 d2 ge | fafd egec | d2 d2 d2 :|
    |2 GAGe edBd | dBAB G2 e2 | dedB GABc | d2 f2 g2 |]
    |: ga | g2 d2 cBAG | d2 d2 d2 ga | g2 d2 cBAG | c2 e2 d2 ga | 
    g2 d2 cBAG | d2 d2 d2 ge | f2 a2 g2 b2 | a2 e2 fe d2 :|
    g2 d2 cBAG | d2 d2 d2 ga | g2 d2 cBAG | c2 e2 d2 d2 | 
    g2 d2 a2 d2 | bc'ba g2 e2 | dedB GABc | d2 B2 G2 ||

    I have attached a PDF.


    I must say that when I play that ABC back, it doesn't sound much like my memory of the 

    'Blue Peter' theme tune...


    Which reminds me...


    I've been meaning to ask for ages! Anyone have an ABC transcription of the old BBC Radio 4 Theme? That would be nice!


    Barnacle Bill.pdf

    • Thanks 1
  10. On 4/12/2022 at 8:22 AM, Pistachio Dreamer said:

    can anyone ID?

    I know of at least one set of laser printer templates for Anglo concertina, eg: here. I don't

    think laser printers work properly if you feed them a diet of Cadbury's Chocolate Buttons...


    So, is it 'solid' chocolate (or blancmange, or whatever) or is it 'icing' on a celebration cake?

    It looks pretty convincing at first sight...

  11. On 3/27/2021 at 10:26 PM, Stephen Chambers said:

    What I should have quoted was this then, from member lachenal74693:

    I don't remember posting that diagram, but as Luke Hillman has tagged this, thus at least notionally 'reviving' 

    the thread, I'll add that that text-based diagram has the notes designated as push/pull - just in case anyone

    looks and is confused...

  12. 2 hours ago, James Fitton said:

    Yes, that was me Lachenal. There's another James Fitton (vastly more renowned than me) who's a painter, and likewise from Oldham. History doesn't record if he also played the concertina

    Thanks! Nice piece - I must have another go at it!


    The other James Fitton? He can't be that renowned because I've never heard of him...😎


    My dad was from Oldham - Featherstall Road (though I don't know if Featherstall Road still exists...).

  13. On 4/10/2022 at 11:23 PM, gerardo1000 said:

    ...I only listen to Irish and English folk music. That's all? So if I buy and learn concertina I will be limited to this ? What if I want to play, just as an example, the Godfather theme, or Libertango by Astot Piazzolla, or some songs from  the Amelie movie? No chances? Is the accordion the only solution?

    'I only listen to Irish and English folk music'. In that case, that's all you'll hear. Try searching for other genres of music...


    Try SoundCloud as well...


    'That's all?' No, if you buy a concertina, you'll be limited only by your own ingenuity and imagination...

  14. 8 hours ago, James Fitton said:

    Lovely stuff, thanks for posting. This is such a poignant song, defiantly trying to be cheerful about a life which was mostly hard, brutish and short. Such worlds in so few words, that's the beauty of these old songs...

    Can't speak for anyone else, but I've been a fan of the Coppers and Peter Bellamy and that very special

    style of singing since 'Noah built the Ark'!


    Supplementary: Are you by any chance, the same James Fitton who composed 'Rainbow Jigs'?

  15. 3 hours ago, juris said:

    Thank you Alan for this song which was completely unknown to me. (1) I have to admit I've never heard

    of the Cooper Family. I think the pdf of the music posted by Lachenal has an error in what I assume are

    chord markings. (2) At the beginning of bar 3 and several other places the chord is given as B flat which

    to my ears at any rate, seems incorrect... (3) Unfortunately, I cannot trust my ears...

    (1) The Copper Family singing Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy This is, I think, the track from the recording cited

    in my post.


    (1a) A bonus. The late, great, Peter Bellamy singing Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy. Again, I think this is a track

    from one of the recordings I cited.


    (2) I agree those B-flats sound a little peculiar, but the ABC is (quite deliberately) a rendering of the score

    as presented as in the book (except that the 'voice overlay' is presented as a separate 2nd voice). The PDF

    is the output produced by that ABC code. The B-flat chords are 'abbreviated' to 'Bb' in the ABC I posted.

    In the book they are explicitly 'Bbmaj'. Whether Bmin or something else is intended, I don't know. 


    (3) Neither can I - which is why I posted the music 'as encountered'.


    I omitted to post the complete lyrics. Here they are:


    W:Here's adieu, sweet lovely Nancy, ten thousand times adieu,
    W:I'm a-going around the ocean, love, to seek for something new.
    W:Come change your ring with me, dear girl,
    W:Come change your ring with me,
    W:For it might be a token of true love while I am on the sea.
    W:When I am far upon the sea you knows not where I am.
    W:Kind letters I will write to you from every foreign land.
    W:The secrets of your heart, dear girl,
    W:Are the best of my good will,
    W:So let my body be where it might, my heart is with you still.
    W:There's a heavy storm a-rising, see how it gather round,
    W:While we poor sailors are on the sea, are fighting for the crown.
    W:There is nothing to protect us love,
    W:Or to keep us from the cold,
    W:On the ocean wide, where we must bide like jolly seamen bold.
    W:There are tinkers, tailors and shoemakers, lie snoring in their sleep,
    W:While we poor souls on the ocean wide are ploughing through the deep.
    W:Our officer commanding us
    W:And them we must obey.
    W:Expecting every moment for to get cast away
    W:But when the wars are all over there'll be peace on every shore,
    W:We will drink to our wives and our children and the girls that we adore.
    W:We'll call for liquor merrily,
    W:And spend our money free,
    W:And when our money it is all gone we'll boldly go to sea.


    • Like 2
  16. On 4/4/2022 at 6:39 AM, lachenal74693 said:

    ...I decided only yesterday that it was time I had a go at this, so I dug out

    the book ('A Song for Every Season', Bob Copper, Paladin, 1975, 586-0822 8  ) to start transcribing

    it into ABC...

    At the risk of violating copyright, here is my first stab at the ABC for this tune:

    T:Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy
    %%video https://youtu.be/cR_6wixC2yg?t=28
    C:Traditional - transcribed from: 'A Song for Every Season', Bob Copper, Paladin, 1975, 586-0822 8
    B:'A Song for Every Season', Bob Copper, Paladin, 1975, 586-0822 8
    D:'A Song for Every Season, The Copper Family, Leader LEA 4046-9
    D:'The Fox Jumps Over the Parson's Gate, Peter Bellamy, Topic 12T200
    D:'Won't You Go My Way?', Peter Bellamy, Argo ZFB 37 
    Z:RJH, April 2022
    %%%score 1|2
    DE | "D" F2 F2 F2 (EF) | "G" G4 A2 "D" (AG) | "Bb" (FE) D2 "A" E2 E2 | "D" D6 DE |
    "D" F2 F2 F2 (EF) | "G" G2 G2 "D" A2 (AG) | "Bb" (FE) D2 "A" E2 E2 | "D" D6 A2 |
    "G" B2 A2 "D" A2 d2 | A2 F2 "G" G2 A2 | "Bb" B2 A2 "G" (FE) D2 | "A" E6 DE | 
    "D" F2 FF F2 (EF) | "G" G2 G2 "D" A2 (AG) | "Bb" (FE) D2 E2 "A" E2 | "D" D6 |
    DB, | D2 D2 D2 CD | D4 D2 D2 | G,2 G,2 A,2 A,2  | D6 DD | 
    D2 D2 D2 CD | D2 D2 D2 D2 | G,2 G,2 A,2 A,2 | D6 F2 |
    G2 F2 D2 D2 | C2 D2 E2 F2 | G2 F2 D2 D2 | A,6 DD | 
    D2 DD D2 A,D | D2 D2 D2 D2 |G,2 G,2 A,2 A,2 | D6 |

    In the book, the score utilises 'voice overlay' (in ABC terminology). I have separated the two

    voices in this ABC rendering. PDF attached. I think I got it right!


    If this is deemed to be in violation of copyright rules, I will delete...


    Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy.pdf

  17. 6 hours ago, Alan Day said:

    A lovely tune from a song made famous by The Copper Family of Sussex.

    Thanks! Co-incidentally, I decided only yesterday that it was time I had a go at this, so I dug out

    the book ('A Song for Every Season', Bob Copper, Paladin, 1975, 586-0822 8  ) to start transcribing

    it into ABC. I now have a sound track to go with it!

  18. 17 hours ago, hjcjones said:

    Whilst I's sure this is a fascinating computer programming problem, I wonder how applicable it is to actual playing?


    Everything you say is at very least completely reasonable - when it's not completely true...


    Myself, I found (and continue to find) the automagically generated tabs extremely useful,

    though they do need editing in the light of experience - and every tune is different. I've

    farmed out selections of tabbed tunes to four players (3 novice 'tina players, 1 whistle

    player), and they've all found them useful, but have 'moved on' as they've gained experience.

    I regard that as a 'success'. It's not my intention that folks continue to slavishly use a tool

    which is aimed mainly at new players. The tabs are a step along the road to learning to

    sight-read and/or acquiring 'by ear' playing skills.


    If you have a background in programming, it is a fascinating problem, worth studying if only

    because it streeeeeeetches one a little - even to get at a partial 'solution'. In this case, the

    'project' also kept me sane (more or less😎) while confined to barracks during the coronavirus

    lockdowns in the U.K., and I also ended up with the bonus of a couple of other ABC-munging

    non-tab-related programs which are useful (to me, at least).

    • Like 1
  19. 15 hours ago, Steve Schulteis said:

    (1) No traveling salesman here; I think this can be reduced to something that can be handled with A*...

    (2) However, I'm not talking about picking chords or notes for chord spellings - I'm assuming that work is already done, and we're just trying to figure out fingering patterns to play the selected notes...

    (3) The real issue is that the amount of existing music for which this tool would work is probably fairly limited...

    (4) And that seems like a good opportunity to pivot back to the original topic...

    (1) I need to brush up my knowledge of path-finding - it was always fairly limited, to be honest.

    (2) To clarify, I was talking about 'chords', not 'accompaniment chords', to use the ABC terminology.

    (3) Yeah, I think that's pretty much spot-on.

    (4) Your final paragraph says it all really...


    My 'nightmare' is that whatever mapping/note-button allocation strategy you adopt, at some point you are going to get

    a 'rogue' note which means that you may have to back-track and 're-do' the last (say) half-dozen notes in order to get an

    'optimal' set of tabs. Which also suggests the question "should I do an anticipatory 'look-forward' of a half-dozen notes as

    well?". I think this is probably one of those 'hard' computing problems...

    • Like 1
  20. 10 hours ago, Steve Schulteis said:


    My idea for cracking this is to treat the sequence of notes as a pathfinding problem, for which there are standard algorithms. But you have to decide how to handle errors (e.g. impossible note combinations) and there will still be cases where you might prefer a different option from what the algorithm picks by default. It's a fun problem to think about, but I'm not convinced there's a lot of value in such a tool, and I have no intention of actually building it.


    Are you talking about some sort of 'Travelling Salesman' type approaches here - or more general 'path

    finding' approaches?


    I wondered about 'recurrent' or 'self-training' neural networks. It works for Shogi, Go and Chess (AlphaZero),

    and for computer-generated folk music, but these are programming techniques about which I have no knowledge

    whatsoever - and I intend to keep it that way!


    The computer programming is 'great fun' (if you are that way inclined), but deep down, I can't help wondering

    if Clive Thorne's down-to-earth approach (see previous post) might not be the best approach to the


  21. 1 hour ago, Steve Schulteis said:

    (1) This assumes you already have standard notation in ABC or MuseScore.


    (2) If you're interested in creating tab for melody-only music, there are probably some tools that will at least get you close. Even then, you may find that you want to use different buttons or bellows directions than the automatic tool chooses. You'll also probably find that most tools struggle to produce a continuous line for consecutive pull notes, if that matters to you.


    (3)If you're trying to do harmonic-style arrangements, you're going to have to do it by hand. At one point I looked into writing a tool that could do automatic harmonic tab, and it's an interesting (and I think possible) challenge, but AFAIK nobody has done it yet. There's a lot to deal with - bellows direction conflicts, missing harmony notes, and considering consecutive fingering patterns (which also depends on bellows direction choices).


    (4) Honestly, I think what you're already doing is probably the best/fastest approach, unless you want to make something that's typeset nicer for sharing with others. It's also good practice for familiarizing yourself with note locations on the Anglo keyboard, which should help with sight reading sheet music in the future.


    (1) I've seen discussions on this topic by both ABC-ers and Musescore-ers. The general consensus seems

    to be that it's not possible to create a full Coover style harmonic tablature in the current state of development

    of either ABC or Musescore. I think I'm right when I say that GC does it himself by a mixture of 'by hand' and

    a piece of software, the name of which escapes me (GC did tell me but I can't find the email - damn!).


    (2) Yes! I've wasted employed some of my spare time over the last couple of years writing a few programs to

    munge existing ABC files in various ways - including adding simple tabs. I can do ABT-style tabs and modified

    Coover-style tabs (both  left-and right- hand appear as a single line, rather than one above and one below).

    They both use simple 'mappings' using along-the-row and cross-row strategies, but as SS says, it's difficult

    to optimise runs of tabs. I worry myself to sleep every night trying to work out different mappings which might

    be better than what I already have... I can do the job for C/G, G/D and Bb/F concertinas, and can (up to a point)

    handle mid-tune key changes and modal keys, but I can't yet correctly handle repeated accidentals

    in the same bar, and don't try to tackle multi-headed notes (chords) in case I end up with a simultaneous

    push and pull...


    (3) See point (1). Writing a tool to do the job would be beyond me!


    (4) Yeah, I started out doing it by hand, but I found it slow tedious and error-prone. I then tried hand-editing

    the tabs into the ABC file - and found it slow, tedious and error prone. That's why I decided to try and

    automate the process.  It works, and I use it, but it has the disadvantages hinted at by SS, and in point (2).

    It is fast though...


    Declaration of interest - my preferred system is the ABT system mentioned above, and I'm an (Easy)ABC-er.


    As an example, I've attached a PDF of a tune in Dmaj tabbed for a G/D concertina, using an along-the-row

    note/button mapping strategy...


    Edit: Oh, aye, I should have acknowledged the source of the ABC I used. It's from Paul Hardy's Tune


    Alston Clog Hornpipe.pdf

    • Like 1
  22. 23 hours ago, lachenal74693 said:

    Might be worth your while considering investing in a copy of Dave Elliot's Concertina Maintenance Manual

    Even if you decide not to go down the DIY road, you'll learn a lot about concertinas by reading this excellent

    book. Order details here...

    I just spotted that the link to MallyProductions in the ordering details seems to be incorrect.

    I think it should be:



    • Thanks 1
  23. On 3/18/2022 at 11:50 PM, Sunny22 said:

    ...Any tips re: learning DIY maintenance, or the particular problem I described would be appreciated. BTW, I’m in Kansas City, & would love to connect with other enthusiasts.

    Might be worth your while considering investing in a copy of Dave Elliot's Concertina Maintenance Manual

    Even if you decide not to go down the DIY road, you'll learn a lot about concertinas by reading this excellent

    book. Order details here...


    Edit: link to Dave Mallinson's site in the ordering details seems to be incorrect. Correct details further

    down this thread...

  24. On 3/12/2022 at 7:38 AM, Owen Anderson said:

    I'd like to figure out an Anglo arrangement for the French-Canadian voyageur song "En Roulant Ma Boule". I was inspired by the recording that is accompanied with an accordion, so it seems plausible to arrange for a concertina as well. etc...

    Nice. I found a score (in C) plus the words here.

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