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A new way of writing and organizing bits of music

For the longest time, my method of making a song and melody was to hash out vaguely poetic lyrics, then pick some chords to go with them, and then invent a melody and rhythm as I sang them the first time and figure out what stuck. Lately I tried something different. I wrote everything, on my personal wiki, in ABC format. The neat part there is that I can write out the harmony while I write the lyrics and have it all played back as a MIDI... and then I can get a proper lead sheet with timings and rhythms all nice and typeset for me. It's fast enough that it doesn't get in my way but really lets me avoid the problem of having to send somebody a file they may not be able to open. One realization is that it's always useful to have a history on... well... just about everything... to recover from screwups or extended bad idea sessions. After I thought about this for a bit, I moved my music composition files into my Subversion repository so that I can go back to prior versions if a new version gets screwed up. This is doubly useful with ABC because it's human-readable enough to make sense when you do a text diff between two versions. So, it's pretty much perfect for wiki-styled use. I realized after a bit that most of the web-based tools intended for working with ABC weren't quite as cool as I'd like, so I made sure that the problems that plague most of the tools on the web don't plague mine. So mine will properly turn a multi-page score from abcm2ps into a series of files, instead of what all the other web services do.

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