ABC Notation: text formatted sheet music

This will be a short introduction to my favorite sheet music fileformat, as some might not be familiar with it. It’s called ABC notation and is based on text input which gives it a great deal of advantages in this digital age.

ABC notation easy to share online or in mail. And since it’s only text it barely takes up space. To print or view it as sheet music you need a renderer. There is a lot of them out there, and some of them can even convert other formats to ABC. The one I use is called EasyABC. It has most of the features you can need, but it’s still simple to understand the basics. The ABC-file can be split into two parts the header which contains information about the melody and the actual melody. Below is an example of Scarborough Fair written in ABC.


Here you can see an example of the code above being rendered through a web-plugin.

This is the basics of ABC notation and there are more advanced features available. If you want to learn more about ABC notation or to learn to use it yourself. Check out this link http://abcnotation.com/ where you can also search for ABC-tunes.

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