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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: abc to tabs to sheet music conversion software

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nfritzjr - Posted - 05/05/2011:  06:37:21

Ok so I'm figuring that this conversation has been had, probably a great many times but, , , ,

Question is there a program that will transpose abc notation to tabs(for fiddle) , and/or also to Sheet music? Hopefully free! ! !     I have followed links on that there internet thing and a few sounded promising but then they end up being a dead link, or they want some of that money stuff we all are suppose to have but most of us lack copious quantities of, or the OS of the `puter wasn't compatible. It would be nice to have it reside on my `puter so I have it with me when I travel. 

Any input, recommendations, and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Slàinte. . .nick

tkirwan - Posted - 05/05/2011:  06:51:18

If you are running Mac OS

For a list of converters-

hendrid - Posted - 05/05/2011:  07:30:14

To get sheet music from ABC one of several programs/web sites is the  Tune-O-Tron Converter.  Haven't seen a to fiddle Tab program though there is a TEF program, see maybe, that tabs for banjo.   says ABC convert.   Don

DougD - Posted - 05/05/2011:  07:51:53

Thanks for the list of converters, tkirwan. I downloaded "Abc Navigator," because Andrew Kuntz at the Fiddler's Companion said he used it. Its a free download for Windows:  So far so good. The first file I tried was flawed (no X: line) and I was able to edit it.

I suspect you may have trouble finding a converter that goes directly to Tab though. Maybe TablEdit ?

Harry - Posted - 05/05/2011:  11:28:47

ABCexplorer is freeware; abc to notation, the best program I've seen so far.

nfritzjr - Posted - 05/05/2011:  11:51:20


Originally posted by tkirwan

If you are running Mac OS

For a list of converters-

Thanks for the info i'm running  Windows xp and or windows 7-64bit

Edited by - nfritzjr on 05/05/2011 11:53:59

DougD - Posted - 05/05/2011:  12:19:15

Thanks for that tip, Harry. That looks like a good bet - its a more extensive, larger program than Abc Navigator. Neither one plays my test file, "Little Burnt Potato" from the Fiddler's Companion, correctly though. I'll have to see if I can figure out what the problem is - after I figure out how abc works, and then the programs!

nfritzjr - Either one of those ought to do what you want (except for the tab). Thanks for bringing up the topic.

Edited by - DougD on 05/05/2011 12:20:04

BanjoBrad - Posted - 05/05/2011:  15:10:45

[url=""]Tabledit[/url] , although it is not a free program, will do everything you are asking for - and more.  For around $60US, it will import an abc file and convert  it to either tab or notation or both.


If you want, you can download the "Demo" version to try it out, but there are limitations on what the demo will do.  Check out the information on the site.


OK, sorry the link doesn't format in the quick reply. You can just copy and paste the info inside the quotation marks to get to the Tabledit site.

Edited by - BanjoBrad on 05/05/2011 15:12:28

DougD - Posted - 05/05/2011:  15:41:48

Brad, there is a link button in the Quick Reply box. Copy your link, click the button, enter it in the popup box, and it will be pasted at the cursor location.

Like this:

FiddleJammer - Posted - 05/05/2011:  17:10:54

The Tune-O-Tron is web-based. Nothing to down load. Simply paste in the ABC code into the box on this webpage and you'll get a cheesy midi file and a PDF sheet music.

The Fiddler's Companion has heaps of information about tunes, many genres, including lots of ABC code.

Edited by - FiddleJammer on 05/05/2011 17:17:20

DougD - Posted - 05/05/2011:  17:41:19

I think the gizmo at is properly called the "Convert-A-Matic." That's all I've ever used, but its getting tiresome to have to remove the extra spaces in the Fiddler's Companion files. Also the OP seemed to prefer something that would reside on his computer.

That ABCexplorer is quite a piece of software. It still can't play "Little Burnt Potato" properly though - something about the first and second endings must be incorrect in the file.

BanjoBrad - Posted - 05/05/2011:  19:24:46

Doug - fine, but I'm putting most of these links in by hand, not c & p.


I really would like the old editor back, but have just decided to usually not post links. I tried, hoping it might default.

FiddleJammer - Posted - 05/05/2011:  19:58:57

DougD - Posted - 05/05/2011:  20:15:06

Well I'm usually pasting but you can just type in the popup box too and it will paste it in.

I preferred the old editor too, but I have learned how to make the links, since one of my main jobs here is linking to other people's expertise.

Terri - If that link was for my benefit, look at the fourth link down on that page. That's the Convert-A-Matic, which is the thing that converts abc files not part of that site. I don't name these things, and I don't care, but that's what they call it - its called that on every page of the Fiddler's Companion, which is where I first saw it.

Edited by - DougD on 05/05/2011 20:20:58

FiddleJammer - Posted - 05/06/2011:  05:57:38

Not for anyone in particular Doug. I was just showing the bigger picture for the Convert-a-matic. I usually put in the browser address field, drill down via Tune-o-tron, to the Convert-a-matic. A function of having so many fiddle bookmarks, it's easier just to hop to it that way.

Also, experimenting with the quick reply link.  I pasted the url in the reply field, then selected it with my mouse, then clicked the link icon, then pasted the link in the link field, chose http:// for the type, the 'link-o-matic' made it a link in my reply, then I went to sleep.    :-)

I wasn't aware of extra spaces from the Fiddlers' Companion. I'll watch for that. Maybe drop a note to Andrew if it's some formatting issue in his database?



DougD - Posted - 05/06/2011:  07:58:16

Yes, the Convert-A-Matic is just one small cog in the vast machine of the Tune-O-Tron. Funny, I've bookmarked directly to the Convert-A-Matic, but on the the list it shows up as "Tune-O-Tron." Have to love those names!

Andrew is apparently aware of the problem with the extra spaces - its explained on every page of the Fiddler's Companion. Almost all the abc files I ever deal with are from there, so that's why I finally decided to try an installed program that he recommends. Here's his explanation: That page happens to have "Little Burnt Potato," which prints and plays differently in every program I've tried. Good thing I already know it!

To make that link I clicked the link icon, pasted the link I'd copied from the page into the popup, and pressed OK. Sometimes I forget and paste it into the reply box as you described, but I'm trying to adapt. It was easier the old way, but I think those days are gone forever, and I'm hoping I'm not too old to learn! I don't think most people ever follow the links anyway, so I guess it really doesn't matter.


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