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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:41 am 
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I have a bunch of tunes in ABC files. Two big ones from the Session, with two hundred tunes each. I used to have one extravagantly large file from the Yahoo Group IrlandeTrad. I think I got rid of that, as it had so many duplicates and variations on variations. It might be lurking on one of my laptops somewhere. There is an "oddments" file which contains tunes posted here and there (usually here). There is a "laboratory" file with a single variation of a tune, for printing. There are tune collections from various books, and from various people, where I wanted them in ABC for some reason.

Can I find a tune by name? (rhetorical) No I can't.

Part of the problem is tunes with a bunch of different names. On tunes from The Session, often there is a straight confusion between tunes. For instance, Sonny Brogan's and Charlie Lennon's are often played as a set, and you find that someone has known one tune by the name of the other. Some of the variations in spelling would make your head spin. That's not the problem, though. The problem is finding a tune by the name - any name. ABC Explorer only shows the first name for a tune, which may have as many as a dozen.

Now I'm on a Windows machine - one of three windows machines, in fact. Two are Dells and one is an HP. They all run Windows 2000. I should be able to run the Windows search companion for the text string, but for some reason it gets a bit iffy with ABC files. I don't know why. They are just plain text files as far as the OS is concerned.

It would be nice if ABC Explorer could find the tune for me, but I would have to load all my files before doing the search.

I'm inclined to copy the ABC files onto my Unix machine and do a "grep". (That would work).

Any suggestions? What have I missed?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:22 am 
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so, if you could find the ABCs for a name then you could feed the ABCs into a searcher, if you could find one...

sounds like you should talk to Michael
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:56 am 
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Innocent Bystander wrote:
I'm inclined to copy the ABC files onto my Unix machine and do a "grep".

I use cygwin so I can grep on a
command line on my Windows box.

http://www.cygwin.com


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:26 pm 
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fearfaoin wrote:
I use cygwin so I can grep on a command line on my Windows box.

You don't even need Cygwin. Use WinGrep or one of the command line implementations of grep for native DOS/Win. I use the search built into my file manager shell (Salamander) which works fine, including regex. to ferret out virtually anything from my ABC repository.

P.S. Win/Mac/Unix newlines can sometimes screw up searches. You might want to make sure that your ABC newlines are converted to the correct format for your platform.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:01 am 
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There is a way of registering ABC files as a text file within Windows, (see http://www.lesession.co.uk/abc/Search_abc_XP.htm) then you can simply use the Windows search function from Explorer to find any word or text-string within any ABC file in the directory :)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:53 am 
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I mostly use AbcMus from Henrik Norbeck to search for tunes in multiple files. You can let it search through all abc files within a directory, and include searching through subdirectories if you wish. There are lots of possibilities of what to look for in a search as well. It is also great for organising your tunes, as you can drag-drop tunes from one file to another, or within a file to change the order.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:24 am 
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I just use the multi-file, directory recursive search feature in my copy of Textpad, which is a very nice programmer's text editor.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:32 am 
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hans wrote:
I mostly use AbcMus from Henrik Norbeck to search for tunes in multiple files. You can let it search through all abc files within a directory, and include searching through subdirectories if you wish. There are lots of possibilities of what to look for in a search as well. It is also great for organising your tunes, as you can drag-drop tunes from one file to another, or within a file to change the order.


I'm with Hans concerning AbcMus. I really appreciate the loose match feature of its search function.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:54 pm 
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I'm aware that we are talking about PC and not Mac here, but I thought I would mention that in Barfly on the Mac you can get a list of titles, keys, tune types and/or some other things from any given file and the list will include the file location on the computer. The list is tab separated, so you can pull multiple lists into excel or access (ugh) or some other database, and use that for quick searches. That is a very handy solution. I would expect that some piece of PC software could do that, but I don't know which. And, the standard file search on the mac will find things by name or partial contents (like abc strings) I can not imagine that the search capabilities on PC based machines would not have that capability.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:47 am 
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Why not just use John Chambers' tunefinder?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:09 pm 
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s1m0n wrote:
Why not just use John Chambers' tunefinder?

Yes, that's good for finding trad ABCs on the net. But, for example, I've created a number of large custom ABC collections on my HD that are not out there. One contains the exact settings I play and personal variations I've created. Another contains my note-for-note detailed transcriptions of recorded tracks. Another contains non-ITM, such as symphonic theme incipits I've written down. JC ain't gonna help me with those.

Plus, if you want to find every E Dorian reel with a roll in the 3rd bar, and that ends on a note other than the tonic, you need something like grep or Perl regexes to construct a complex query like that. And success will depend partly on a consistent, uniform formatting of the ABCs*, of which there's definitely no guarantee by grabbing something off the net. For that you want your own selected ABC collection and search tool.

* This is why I usually check the Norbeck collection first. Because his formatting and transcription conventions are very consistent and predictable.

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