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Song Tablature

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I'm very new to the concertina. I would appreciate someone explaining how to read the tablature in the Music section of this website.

 

I have pulled an example of a song that was posted to the music site.

 

Here is a portion of that song:

 

X:1
T:Oh!Dear! What can the matter be?
M:6/8
L:1/8
Z: Peter Dunk 18 July 2008
C: Trad - Variations by Tom Clough
K:Gmaj

"Var I"
|: d2BcdB g2BcdB | d2BcdB edcBAG | c2ABcA a2ABcA | c2ABcA agfed^c |
d2BcdB g2BcdB | d2BcdB edcBAG | E2G2c2 B2c2A2 | G6 G4 Bc :|

 

 

Trying to decipher this code, I came up with this. Please correct anything that I might have wrong.

 

X: {I have no idea what that means.}

T: {The Title of the song}

M: {The time signature or measure of the song}

L: {I have no idea what that means.}

Z: {Who wrote the song}

C: {What type of song}

K: {What Key the song is in Ex. Key of G major}

 

Now, I need assistance.

 

Could anyone explain what "d2BcdB g2BcdB edcBAG" means?

 

Here is what I think it means, but I am not sure. I assume that the small or Capital letters mean something like Push or Pull, but I don't know which or even if I'm correct in this.

 

What does the numbers next to the letters mean? Is this the octave of the note or which button to use?

 

What does the symbol "|" mean?

 

What does the symbol "^" mean?

 

What does the symbol "|:" mean?

 

I'm sure this is quit simple to most people, but I'm brand new to the concertina. I'm just trying to find my way in learning this mysterious yet interesting instrument. Thanks.

 

Graham

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You are about to enter the world of ABC music. It is not a concertina notation, but a form of music notation designed for both computers and people to use. Here: http://abc.sourceforge.net/ is as good a place as any to start. This simple set of codes can turn music into notation, be easily emailed, written down and there is even software for PC's and iPhones and iPads and android devices that will find, search for, play, slow down, transpose ABC music for you. There are literally tens of thousands of ABC files of all kinds of music, mostly folk, available free on the Internet. The more you look into ABC the more you will find about it. You are already well on the way to deciphering it. Try pasting an ABC tune into here for a brief eye opener into ABC : http://www.concertina.net/tunes_convert.html

 

Simon

Edited by Simon H

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Hello Graham,

 

As the author of the ' Something For The Weekend' thread I feel I owe you an explanation. The tunes in this thread are written in a text based language called abc. You should be aware straight away that you do not need to understand or be able to use the abc language to take full advantage of the abc files you see on this or any other site.

 

Copying and pasting the text files into an online converter will provide you with either written notation or a midi music file to listen to.

 

As it happens it is way past my bedtime so I'll pick this up again tomorrow if another kind soul hasn't already done so.

 

All of the symbols in the text work out in a logical way but you don't need to learn anything at all about abc in order to turn it into standard notation. If you do want to learn to use abc that is simple too!

 

Pete. :)

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Once I understood ABc and could paste it into the Tune-O-Tron to get MIDI generated sounds I adopted the system to teach myself to read music and have now graduated to the 'dots' on the stave , although all my quick notes on tunes are always made using ABc. I labelled the buttons on a diagram to coincide with the push and pull notes available which reinforced my learning of those note options. I never felt the need to do that on a Melodeon but the Anglo has really pushed me on so I can read and play quite readily after a lifetime of being scared off the dots ( bad music teachers etc) . Bellows directions and button options make this very helpful. I recommend listening and learning to lilt or diddle the tunes first as it helps to play by ear

,

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To answer your questions in order:

 

The bits at the top of the file that start with a letter followed by a colon are called fields, they tell the software about the technical settings for the tune that follows along with information fields that will print as text on the page. X: denotes the the tune number but most importantly it tells the software that this is the beginning of an ABC file. Every ABC file must start with an X: field.

 

L: is the default note length for the code you are writing and it is chosen by the transcriber based on the most frequently used note length in the piece. Many tunes are written L:1/8 because the most common note in the piece is the eighth note or quaver, slow airs may well appear as L:1/4 because a quarter note or crotchet is the most numerous type in the tune. Note length can be changed by using numbers and symbols i.e.

L:1/8 (quaver is the default note length

Writing C in the body of the tune will result in a Middle C quaver appearing on the music. C2 will produce a crotchet and C4 a minim. C/ (note divided by - 2 is the default) will halve the length and produce a semi - quaver and so on.

 

Z: is the tune transcriber, the person who wrote the abc file

 

C: is the Composer of the music - in this case used to name the person who wrote the variations to this traditional tune

 

 

Could anyone explain what "d2BcdB g2BcdB edcBAG" means?

Upper and lower case letters are used to denote the octave of the named note. The C below the stave is a capital and the C in the middle of the stave is lower case thus CDEFGAB cdefgab takes you from Middle C to the B above the stave. Lower and higher octaves use commas and apostrophes to indicate lower and higher octaves so A, is the A below the stave and c' is the c above the stave and so on.

 

 

The pipe symbol | is used to create bar lines. The caret symbol is used to indicate an accidental sharp ^C means C# (the underscore is used for flats so _B is Bb). A pipe symbol followed by a colon |: is an open repeat mark and :| closes the repeated section.

 

You don't need to know any of this to print or listen to music written in ABC but you did ask! ;)

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Thanks to all who have answered my question about ABc notation. I had no idea that the ABc notation was so cool. It will be a blast learning yet something new. One thing for sure, learning the concertina has been an adventure.

 

Graham

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I heard there is an App for mobile phones , any advice welcome

 

I've been using Tunebook (on an iPhone), but there are problems with the most recent release. I've been communicating with the developer and apparently the problem is that what's appearing at the app store is not what he's sending to Apple, due to a bug in Xcode, the developer app from Apple. I'm sure it will be resolved soon, but for the moment, he's pulled it from the app store.

 

Edited to add:

 

http://www.jhlabs.com/tunebook/

 

Edited by David Barnert

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I heard there is an App for mobile phones , any advice welcome

check out theCraic. for iPhone/iPad

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I've been using Tunebook (on an iPhone), but there are problems with the most recent release. I've been communicating with the developer and apparently the problem is that what's appearing at the app store is not what he's sending to Apple, due to a bug in Xcode, the developer app from Apple. I'm sure it will be resolved soon, but for the moment, he's pulled it from the app store.

 

Edited to add:

 

http://www.jhlabs.com/tunebook/

 

Situation resolved. The app is back on the boards and working fine.

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Tunepal is pretty amazing too.

I find that if I sing or whistle a tune Tunepal is totally lost, why is that? Apart from the obvious cracks about my capabilities!

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