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Converters (was: Re: FW: Professional ???)

From: Laura Conrad
Subject: Converters (was: Re: FW: Professional ???)
Date: 13 Dec 2000 15:48:00 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) XEmacs/21.1 (20 Minutes to Nikko)

>>>>> "Jan" == Jan Nieuwenhuizen <address@hidden> writes:

    Jan> Christian Mondrup <address@hidden> writes:
    >> What I personally prefer in that context is rather a way of entering
    >> music lines in a source file resembling the order of the staff lines
    >> in the real, resulting score.

    Jan> LilyPond has pmx and abc input conversion scripts, would that help?

I find that it does.  I started using lilypond via the abc2ly
converter because it seemed like the easiest way to learn how to write
lilypond, given that I already knew how to write ABC.  But I have
continued using it, even though I can now write simple lilypond,
because the ABC representation of the music seems to me much easier to
type and read.

This is especially true for vocal music.  When I want to edit
a song, I usually say something like, "The note on this word is 
wrong."  In ABC, if you've taken some reasonable care with the data
entry, the note for a given word is on the previous line, pretty close 
to right over the note information.  In lilypond, it's in some
completely different part of the .ly file, and even if you've been
careful to make the line breaks similar in the notes and the lyrics
sections, you still have to count the lines.

I can imagine an editing environment that would do the counting for
me, but so far I haven't managed to make lilypond.el work for me at
all in xemacs.  So I can only guess that we have a ways to go for
this.  I haven't tried the xdvi->editor interface.

So what I envision now is doing my data entry in ABC, and converting
the ABC to lilypond for printing.  I've added a way to insert lilypond 
code into the ABC file, via lines that look like

%%LY voices \property ...

I'll probably still be writing scripts to do things where you want
something really different in the lilypond than you do in the ABC
(e.g. TeX syntax that lily understands and abc2ps and relatives don't).

But I'm putting a fair amount of effort into making abc2ly robust
enough to support this model.  Right now the two major things that are
missing for my purposes are:

        Lining up the lyrics at the line ends.  This can be worked
        around by just entering enough lyrics syllables.

        Beaming.  I was thinking this was unimportant because most
        people would want the lily auto-beaming, but my observation of 
        the lilypond autobeaming in recent versions doesn't back this 
        up.  Is it broken these days?  If I could find a description
        of what it's supposed to do, I would write bug reports.

Note that I'm willing to support abc2ly for other people's purposes,
if they tell me what they are.  I'm sure there should be more testing
on multi-voice music than I've been doing.

Is anyone supporting the pmx2ly converter?  I ran it once after Jan
mentioned it, and it failed to grok the pmx I fed it.   I can produce
a better bug report than this if anyone's interested.

Laura (mailto:address@hidden , )

(If I haven't invited you to my party on December 17 yet, I'm sure
it's an oversight.  Check it out at

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