App o’ the Morning: The Craic

The Irish Gaelic word "craic" is an odd bird. Pronounced "crack", it means "news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation", and apparently it's a culturally significant word in Ireland. I first ran across it in the Silly Wizard song "Take Her in Your Arms", which at one point describes the scene in a pub:There's a seisun in the corner, and the craic is grand tonight.That means that there are folks playing music in the corner (a "session"), and the conversation is … [Read more...]

App O’ The Morning: EasyABC Sheet Music Editor


As I discussed last week, the standard tool for writing down folk music tunes these days is ABC notation. Once I realized that I needed to come to grips with ABC, I went looking for software: to convert ABC tunes to staff notation, and thence to PDF, so that I could use the tunes with ForScore on my iPad. The ABC notation site has a nice round-up of ABC-related software; and the first tool I came across that looked likely is called EasyABC. It's an open source package with a nice GUI, and it … [Read more...]

ABC Music Notation


One of the neat things about exploring a field you know little about is that you can learn a lot in a very short time. Last week I talked about LilyPond, a nice application for typesetting music. It's a powerful program, capable of typesetting books of multipart orchestral scores. It works for me, and I like it. However, I've since learned that the world of folk music runs on a different music typesetting notation called ABC. ABC notation has been around for twenty years this month, and has … [Read more...]