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Lute tablature

From: Laura Conrad
Subject: Lute tablature
Date: 16 May 2003 11:45:59 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) XEmacs/21.4 (Common Lisp)

There's a certain amount  of demand (ok, one person asked me) for me to
include the lute tablature in my Dowland edition.  I haven't been
doing it, because none of the people I play with regularly plays lute,
and so I didn't want to put untested garbage up on the internet, but
this person claims she will test it and report errors.

There is an abc2ps variant that produces pretty good lute tab output.
For an example of what Dowland's lute tablature looked like, see my
one abctab2ps transcription:

However, I'd prefer to be able to use lilypond.  But I have several

        The lilypond manual states:

                Finally, it is possible to change the Scheme function
                to format the tablature note text. The default is
                fret-number-tablature-format, which uses the fret
                number, but for some instruments that may not use this
                notation, just create your own tablature-format
                function. This function takes three argument: the
                string number, the string tuning
                and the note pitch.

        One major difference between Dowland's tablature and the
        guitar tab that lilypond defaults to is that the fret
        indications are letters and not numbers.  Has anyone created a
        tablature-format function that would do this?

        Another problem is that not all lutes have the same number of
        strings (or more precisely, courses), and Dowland dealt with
        this by generally using 6 string tablature, but occasionally
        using a ledger line if he was specifying a fret on the seventh
        (or even lower) course.  Would lily allow this?

        Another problem is that I wasn't planning on figuring out
        the pitch Dowland was specifying in order to enter the tab.
        Why shouldn't I just be able to enter the tab (and the tuning
        table for the strings), and have the computer figure out the

        I also don't see any examples of tab with the note values
        indicated by stems above the staff the way the Dowland tab has

I suspect I'm reopening some questions that created heated discussion
(which I didn't really follow at the time) when lily's tab was first
implemented.  If the resolution was that the current tab
implementation just isn't general-purpose enough for what
I'm trying to do, that's a perfectly reasonable answer to this
Laura (mailto:address@hidden , )
(617) 661-8097  fax: (801) 365-6574 
233 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

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