What is ABC notation?
ABC notation is a textual representation of sheet music. It's really it's own musical notation language--a text-based way of passing along music notation on Usenet and message boards . It's pretty handy, and there are software packages that can translate from ABC to sheet music.
It looks like this (ABC courtesy of Henrik Norbek's site, which can be found in my links section):
D:Tommy Keane & Jacqueline McCarthy: The Wind among the Reeds
Z:First bar also played |^fed cAG|
=fed cAG|Agd cAG|~F3 DED|~F3 GFG|~A3 cAG|AGA cde|fed cAG|Ad^c d2e:|
|:f2d d^cd|f2a agf|e2c cBc|ece gfe|f2g agf|e2f gfe|fed cAG|Ad^c d2e:|
|:f2g e2f|ded cdc|~A3 GAG|~F3 ded|c3 cAG|AGA cde|fed cAG|Ad^c d2e:|
You can learn more about ABC, and how to learn it, from the The official ABC notation home page. Be aware that since ABC is just another way of writing sheet music, it'll probalby help a lot if you already undestand some of the fundamental concepts of reading sheet music.
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