Been putting together a tunebook.

So I've been transcribing all the tunes I play as part of my usual repertoire. I've been making a project of this as a way of teaching myself to do this using command line tools in Linux. But I though some of you might be interested as well. 
This will be an ongoing thing, so I will keep uploading the newest version of it to this same link as I add more to it, so feel free to keep checking back and seeing what's new. I could also use feedback about how clear my transcriptions are and such. There are also a few tunes in there that I've written. 

Anyway, enjoy.

Views: 356

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of TradConnect to add comments!

Join TradConnect

Comment by Ian Wilson on March 7, 2012 at 8:36

Hi Ed,

I use a little script to display an abc file in pdf format:

/usr/bin/abcm2ps +x -O /tmp/  "$1"
ps2pdf /tmp/ /tmp/abc.pdf
evince /tmp/abc.pdf

then I just do a "save as" in the pdf viewer to save the file.  You can see the two files here:

I did have problems with the index utility I use and the %%scale setting, that why the title page in my book is so small.


Comment by Ed Yother on March 6, 2012 at 19:53
So I've been giving a shot at ps2pdf, and it does indeed make a much smaller file. But here's my problem, when it outputs the pdf, it cuts off the top of the page, enough to cut off the header and the title of the first tune. Has it done anything like this to you?
Comment by Ed Yother on March 4, 2012 at 15:21


I am indeed using abcm2ps. I'm using convert from imagemagic to make the pdf from a ps. I'll try to take a look at ps2pdf to see if I can make smaller files.  

As for the formatting stuff, it's all in the abcm2ps man page. But here's the ones I've been using. I just insert them into the abc file. 

%%titleleft - puts the titles on the left

%%topmargin, %%botmargin, %%leftmargin, and %%rightmargin followed by a size in cm adjust their respective margins. 

%%header followed by some text makes the header for each page

%%footer $P puts the page numbers at the bottom.

%%scale followed by a number to adjust the size of the text or notation.  There is a way to adjust the size of text by adjusting the font size, but I haven't bothered to figure that out yet.

For the cover page and the table of content I use


put some text in here and follow it with 


I you want the text to be centered you do this

%%begintext center

Blah blah blah


But the table of contents is all typed out manually. 

As for fitting the number of tunes I want on a page I adjust the scale and the amount of space between staffs with

%%scale followed by a number. I've been keeping it between .6 and .75

%%staffsep follwed by a number 46 is default. I've been going as low as 40

If you want only one or two tunes on a page you can force a new page with


But here's the abc file if you want to take a look and see how I did it.

Comment by Ian Wilson on March 4, 2012 at 12:15

Hi Ed,

I've also been compiling tunes using linux command line tools.  I recognize the font and format of your tunes, so assume you are using abcm2ps?  

I really like some of the formatting you have, and how the tunebook is arranged into sets with one set per page.  

Could you share how you have done the following: 

  1.  Tune name on LHS,
  2. Small margin at top/bottom of page,
  3. Title page and TOC at the start,
  4. Ensuring a set is all on one page

My tunebook can be found here.   Its mostly Scottish and Irish tunes:

I use abcm2ps (with only -O option) to create a .ps file from a .abc file, abcmaddidx.tcl to create a tune index, and ps2pdf to convert from .ps to .pdf.   I also use a python script I wrote that tidies up the .abc file before all this. This mostly just ensures the X: number is correct, and it also creates a custom composer field that comprises "composer (tune-type, source)".

One slightly odd thing I noticed - my .pdf is 51 pages and 780k,  whereas your is 23 pages and 3.6m. Not sure why its so large.   It could be due to how you convert from .ps to .pdf. ... ?



Comment by Mary McCall on March 2, 2012 at 3:39

@Ed - As a total beginner, it's hard for me to even begin to decide where to add ornamentation, or even what type it should be, so your triplets etc. are a great starting point for me. I haven't yet decided just what kind of music to "specialize" in so your tune book is a great one-stop source :-)

Comment by Ed Yother on March 2, 2012 at 3:17

@ Mary Not to add anymore confusion, but do keep I mind that I write things down with no authority, and since you're a fiddle player, be aware that I wrote out the kinds of ornamentation that I tend to play on mandolin and banjo, which are not able to make a proper roll, hence all the triplets.

But I'm glad you like it. I keep adding to it, so if you check back at that same link from time to time, there will be new stuff occasionally. 

Comment by Mary McCall on March 1, 2012 at 22:14

Thank you, Ed! As a beginner who is eternally confused about the various "versions" of traditional songs I really appreciate this excellent resource.

© 2021   Created by Tradconnect Reviews.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

The title of your home page You could put your verification ID in a comment Or, in its own meta tag Or, as one of your keywords Your content is here. The verification ID will NOT be detected if you put it here. .slick-track { display: flex!important; justify-content: center; align-items: center;/* Safari */ display: -webkit-flex!important; -webkit-justify-content:center; -webkit-align-items: center; }