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Provided by: abcm2ps_4.12.18-1_i386
abcm2ps — translate ABC music notation to PostScript
abcm2ps [options] [abc-file [file-options]] [...] abcm2ps [-h]
abcm2ps translates tunes written in the ABC music notation format to customary sheet music scores in PostScript. It is based on abc2ps 1.2.5 and was developed mainly to print Baroque organ scores that have inde‐ pendent voices played on multiple keyboards and a pedal-board. The pro‐ gram has since been extended to support various other notation conven‐ tions in use for sheet music. Options given immediately after the command name apply to the run as a whole; options given after an ABC file name apply to that file. Formatting parameters can also be set in ‘format files’ and in the ABC files themselves.
-0 Split tunes across page breaks if necessary. +0 Start a new page if a tune doesn’t fit on the current one (default). -1 Output one tune per page. +1 Output multiple tunes per page (default). -a a Maximal horizontal compression when staff breaks are chosen automatically. Must be between 0 and 1 (default: 0.65) -B b Try to typeset b bars on each staff line. +B Don’t try to typeset a fixed number of bars on each staff line (default). -b b Start measure numbering at b. -C Obsolete option; ignored. -c The continuation symbol is implicitly appended to each music line. This amounts to automatic line breaking. +c Automatic line breaking is turned off (default). -D directory Search format files in directory. -d length Set the vertical interstaff space to length (default: 46pt) -E Output is generated in EPS format, one file per page. +E Output is generated in multipage PS format (default). -e list Select which tunes from an ABC file to print. list is a comma-separated list of tune numbers (as per the ‘X:’ header). The -e option must occur after an ABC file name and applies to that file. Ranges of tune numbers may be specified like t1-t2; t2 may be omitted which means ‘all remaining tunes until the end of file’. Note that filtering may cause problems, e.g., with global (non-tune) definitions in the ABC file. -F file Read the format file file.fmt. +F Do not read the default format file. -f Enable flat beams in bagpipe tunes. -G Omit slurs on grace notes. +G Draw slurs on grace notes (default). -g Obsolete option; ignored. -H Display the current values of the formatting parameters. -h Display program usage hints and quit. -I length Indent the first line of the tune by length (default: 0). -jb[b] Output a measure number every b measures. If b is 0, the mea‐ sure number appears at the left of each staff. The trailing b causes a box to be drawn around each measure number (default: no measure numbering). +j Don’t output measure numbers. -k Equivalent to -j. +k Equivalent to +j. -Lenc Set the language encoding to ISO-Latin-enc, where enc can take on values from 0 to 6. The value 0 is equivalent to 1 but no PostScript encoding table is output (default: 0). -l Generate landscape output. +l Generate portrait output (default). -M Suppress lyrics. +M Include lyrics (default). -m length Set the left margin to length (default: 1.8cm) -N[mode] Number pages according to the mode: 0 no page numbers 1 page numbers at top left of page 2 page numbers at top right of page 3 page numbers at top left of even-numbered pages, top right of odd-numbered pages 4 page numbers at top right of even-numbered pages, top left of odd-numbered pages For compatibility, -N is equivalent to -N2 (default: -N0). +N Equivalent to -N0 (no page numbering). -n Include notes and history from ABC tune ‘N:’ fields. +n Omit notes and history from ABC tune ‘N:’ fields (default). -O name Define the output file name. By default, the output file name is ‘Out.ps’ for PostScript output and ‘Outnnn.eps’ for EPS output (see -E). If this option is given, the output name will be name or namennn.eps, respectively. If name is ‘=’, the output file name will be the name of the ABC source file with the extension ‘.ps’ or ‘.eps’. If name is ‘-’, the out‐ put is written to stdout. +O Revert to the default output file name (‘Out.ps’ or ‘Outnnn.eps’) -o Obsolete option; ignored. -P Obsolete option; ignored. -p Obsolete option; ignored. -Q Print tempo (metronome) indications (default). +Q Omit tempo (metronome) indications. -R Obsolete option; ignored. -S Obsolete option; ignored. -s scale Set the page scale factor to scale. Note that the header and footer are not scaled (default: 0.75). -T Obsolete option; ignored. -u Use implicit decorations as in abc2ps (default: off) -V Output version number and quit. -v Obsolete option; ignored. -W vp Display a tin whistle tablature for the voice numbered v, where v is the internal voice number that is incremented as new voices are encountered; it is not the voice name. p is the base pitch of the tin whistle. Up to four tablatures may be defined, as in ‘-W1c -W2Bb’. +W Don’t output tin whistle tablatures (default). -w length Adjust the right margin such that the staff width is length (default: none) -x Include the ‘X:’ tune number in the title. +x Do not include the ‘X:’ tune number in the title (default). The following formatting parameters can be used in format files. They can also occur in ABC files when they are preceded by %%, or as I: headers (even in the middle of a music line). alignbars int Align the bars of the next int lines of music. This works only when the music contains only one voice (no V: or %%staves) (default: 0). aligncomposer int Define where to display the composer field. A negative value displays it flush-left, a value of zero centered, and a positive value flush-right (default: 1). annotationfont font [encoding] size Set the annotation font to font with size size (default: Hel‐ vetica 12) autoclef boolean Adjust the clefs when they are not defined in ‘K:’ or ‘V:’ lines (default: 1). barnumbers int Synonym for measurenb. barsperstaff int Try to typeset with int bars per line (default: 0; command line: -b, +b) beginps Start a sequence of PostScript code lines extending until the next endps line. This parameter may only occur within ABC and format files, not on the command line. botmargin length Set the bottom margin to length (default: 1cm) bstemdown boolean If this is set, the stem of the note on the middle of the staff extends downwards. Otherwise it extends up or down depending on the preceding note (default:0). comball boolean If this is set together with combinevoices, voice combination takes place in all cases. Otherwise, notes which are too close together in pitch are not combined. combinevoices boolean If this is set, simultaneous notes of the same duration belonging to voices on the same staff are combined into chords (default: 0). composerfont font [encoding] size Set the ‘composer’ font to font with size size (default: Times-Italic 14) composerspace length Set the vertical space before the composer name to length (Default: 0.2cm) contbarnb boolean If this is not set, the bar numbers of second repeats are set to those of the corresponding first repeats. If this is set, all bars are numbered sequentially (default: 0). continueall boolean If this is set to true, ignore the line breaks in a tune (default: 0; command line: -c, +c) dateformat format Format for date and time output. The admissible values of this parameter are described in the documentation for the strftime(3) C library function. Note that percent signs need to be escaped (default: "b e, Y H:M") deco name c_func ps_func h wl wr [str] Define a decoration. This is an experimental feature which is subject to change in future releases and requires good knowl‐ edge of the internals of abcm2ps. See the files format.txt and deco.abc for details. dynalign boolean When set, horizontally align dynamic marks (default: 1) encoding enc Set the language encoding to ISO-Latin-enc, where enc can take values from 0 to 6. The value 0 is the same as 1, but no PostScript encoding table is output. Alternatively, enc may take one of the predefined values us- ascii, iso-8859-1, iso-8859-2, iso-8859-3, iso-8859-4, iso-8859-9, iso-8859-10, or native (meaning encoding vectors will not be changed). If enc is anything else, it must be a string which is taken to be PostScript commands that set up a suitable encoding vector. exprabove boolean Draw expression decorations above the staff. If neither exprabove nor exprbelow are ‘true’, expression decorations are drawn above the staff if there are lyrics on the staff, and below otherwise. exprabove takes precedence over exprbe low (default: 0). exprbelow boolean Draw expression decorations below the staff. If neither exprabove nor exprbelow are ‘true’, expression decorations are drawn above the staff if there are lyrics on the staff, and below otherwise. exprabove takes precedence over exprbe low (default: 0). flatbeams boolean Draw flat beams in bagpipe tunes (default: 0; command line: -f) font font [encoding] Define a font and its encoding. Use this parameter when you want to refer to specific fonts in ABC files/tunes. It must occur before any PostScript output is written, generally in a format file. encoding defaults to the encoding set up by the encoding parameter. footer text Define the text printed at the bottom of every page. There may be one or two lines. When there are two lines, these must be separated by the characters ‘\n’ (not a real newline). Each of the lines consists of three areas, left, center and right, which are separated by tabs (real tabs, not ’\t’) and may be empty - if the left area is empty, the text must be quoted. The ‘$’ character introduces variable expansion: $d The date and time of last modification of the ABC file $D The current date and time $F The current input file name $P The current page number $P0 The current pagenumber (when even) $P1 The current pagenumber (when odd) $T The current tune title $V ‘abcm2ps-’ followed by the program’s version number For example, the command line option -N3 is equivalent to ‘%%header "$P0 $P1"’ (note the two tabs). (Default: none) footerfont font [encoding] size Set the footer font to font with size size (default: Times- Roman 12) format filename Read the format file filename (default: none). freegchord boolean Prevent the characters ‘#’, ‘b’ and ‘=’ to be displayed as the sharp sign, the flat sign, and the natural sign, respec‐ tively, in guitar chords. When this flag is set, the display of the accidentals may be forced by escaping the characters (‘\#’, ‘\b’ and ‘\=’) (default: 0) gchordbox boolean Draw a box around guitar chords. Can be set to ‘true’ using ‘%%gchordfont’ below. (Default: 0) gchordfont font [encoding] size [box] Set the guitar chord font to font with size size. If box is specified, draw a box around guitar chords (default: Hel‐ vetica 12, no box) graceslurs boolean Draw slurs on grace notes if true (default: 1; command line: -G, +G) header text Define the text printed at the top of every page. See the footer parameter above for the syntax (default: none) headerfont font [encoding] size Set the header font to font with size size (default: Times- Roman 12) historyfont font [encoding] size Set the font for history entries to font with size size (default: Times-Roman 16) hyphencont boolean If an under-staff lyrics line ends with a hyphen, put another hyphen at the beginning of the next line (default:0) indent length Indent the first line of a tune by length (default:0; command line: -I) infofont font [encoding] size Set the information line font to font with size size (default: Times-Italic 14) infoline boolean Display the rhythm (‘R:’), the origin (‘O:’), and the area (‘A:’) of the tune on a single ‘information line’ (default: 0) infospace length Set the vertical space before the information line to length (default: 0). landscape boolean Set page orientation to landscape if true (default: 0; com‐ mand line: -l, +l). leftmargin length Set the left margin to length (default: 1.8cm; command line: -m) lineskipfac float Set the factor for spacing between lines of text to float times the font size (default: 1.1) maxshrink float Set how much the output may be compressed horizontally when staff breaks are chosen automatically. float must be between 0 and 1 (default: 0.65; command line: -a) maxstaffsep length Set the maximum vertical inter-staff space to length (default: 800pt) maxsysstaffsep length Set the maximum vertical system inter-staff space to length (default: 800pt) measurebox boolean Draw a box around the measure numbers if true (default: 0; command line: -j or -k). measurefirst int Start measure numbering of the tune at int. This parameter is obsolete and should be replaced with %%setbarnb (outside the tune body) measurefont font [encoding] size [box] Set the font for measure numbers to font at size size. If [box] is specified, draw a box around the measure number (default: Times-Italic 14, no box). measurenb int Draw a measure number every int bars. If int is 0, the mea‐ sure number appears at the left end of each staff. If int is -1, no measure numbers are displayed at all (default: -1; command line: -j or -k). musiconly boolean If true, no lyrics are output (default: 0; command line: -M, +M) musicspace length Set the vertical space before the first staff of a tune to length (default: 0.2cm) notespacingfactor float Set the note spacing factor to float. This value is used to compute the natural space notes take up. The base space of the crotchet (quarter note) is always 40pt. When the duration of a note type is twice that of another note type, the space it takes up is multiplied by this factor. The default value increases the note space by a factor of 2 when the corre‐ sponding note’s value increases by a factor of 4. That is, the space of a semibreve is 80pt and that of a semiquaver is 20pt. Setting this value to 1 sets all note spaces to 40pt (default: 1.414). oneperpage boolean If true, output one tune per page; if false, multiple tunes are output per page if there is sufficient room (default: 0; command line: -1, +1). pageheight length Set the page height to length (default: hardcoded) pagewidth length Set the page width to length (default: hardcoded) parskipfac float Set the factor for spacing between text paragraphs to float (default: 0.4) partsbox boolean Draw a box around the part names if true (default: 0) partsfont font [encoding] size [box] Set the font for part names to font with size size. If box is specified, draw a box around the part names. (default: Times-Roman 15) partsspace length Set the vertical space before a new part to length (default: 0.3cm). postscript text Define a postscript sequence to be included in the header of the output file. This formatting parameter may be used to override any postscript function or to define new functions for use in deco. It should be processed before any output occurs, that is, in a format file or at the beginning of the first ABC file. printparts boolean Print the part indications (‘P:’ header) (default: 1). printtempo boolean Print tempo (metronome) indications (‘Q:’ header) if true (default: 1; command line: -Q, +Q). pslevel int Define the PostScript language level for output. Allowable values are 1, 2, or 3.(default: 2). repeatfont font [encoding] size Set the font for repeat bracket numbers/texts to font at size size. rightmargin length Set the right margin to length (default: 1.8cm) scale float Set the global page scale factor to float. This does not apply to headers and footers (default: 0.75; command line: -s). setdefl boolean When true, output some indications about the note/chord and/or decorations for purposes of customisation. These indi‐ cations are stored in the PostScript variable defl. Note: This is a potential compatibility problem. The parameter was introduced in version 4.9.4. (default: 0) setfont-1 font [encoding] size setfont-2 font [encoding] size setfont-3 font [encoding] size setfont-4 font [encoding] size Set up alternate fonts for strings. In most strings, you can switch to one of the alternate fonts using $1..$4; $0 switches back to the default value for that string. (default: Times-Roman 0) shifthnote boolean Usually in multi-voice tunes, when two voices are in unison and one has a half note and the other a note shorter than a quarter note, there is only one note head (the half note). If this flag is set, both heads are displayed (one is shifted). (default: 0) slurheight float Set the slur height factor to float (default: 1.0). splittune boolean If false, a tune is output on a new page if it doesn’t fit on the one currently being output. If true, a tune may be split across page breaks (default: 0; command line: -0, +0). squarebreve boolean If true, display breve notes in a square shape (default: 0) staffsep length Set the vertical inter-staff space to length (default: 46pt; command line: -d) staffwidth length Set the right margin such that the staff width is length (default: none - but see paperwidth and rightmargin). stemheight float Set the stem height to float (default: 20.0) straightflags boolean If true, use straight flags on stems (mostly useful for bag‐ pipe tunes (default: 0) stretchlast boolean If true, stretch the last staff of a tune to fill the whole line even though it may be underfull (default: 0) stretchstaff boolean If true, stretch all underfull staves to fill the whole line (default: 1) subtitlefont font [encoding] size Set the font for subtitles (second and subsequent ‘T:’ head‐ ers in a tune) to font with size size (default: Times-Roman 16) subtitlespace length Set the vertical space before subtitles (second and subse‐ quent ‘T:’ headers in a tune) to length (default: 0.1cm). sysstaffsep length Set the vertical system interstaff space to length (default: 36pt). tempofont font [encoding] size Set the font for tempo (metronome) indications to font with size size (default: Times-Bold 15) textfont font [encoding] size Set the text font to font with size size (default: Times- Roman 16) textoption int Set the default text option to int. This option is used for text between %%begintext and %%endtext. int may be a key‐ word; see begintext for values. textspace length Set the vertical space before text blocks to length (default: 0.5cm). timewarn boolean If true, a cautionary time signature is added to the end of the line before if a time signature change occurs at the beginning of a line of music (default: 0). titlecaps boolean If true, output the tune title in uppercase letters (default: 0) titlefont font [encoding] size Set the title font to font with size size (default: Times- Roman 20) titleformat text Defines the format of the tune title. This format overrides the standard way the tune title is displayed. text is a sequence of letters, numbers, and commas. A letter stands for an ABC header (possible values include A, B, C, D, H, N, O, P, R, S, T, X, and Z) and can optionally be followed by a number. This number may be 0 (to center the header), 1 (to display it flush-right), or -1 (to display it flush-left); if no number is given the default is 0. A comma causes the next field(s) to be displayed farther down the page. Unrecognized characters will be ignored. As an example, "%%titleformat T-1 T1 T1, R0 C1 A1" will display the first title header flush- left, the second and third titles (if any) flush-right, then the rhythm centered and a little bit lower, and the composer and area on the right. titleleft boolean If true, output the tune title flush left (instead of cen‐ tered) (default: 0) titlespace length Set the vertical space before the tune title to length (default: 0.2cm). topmargin length Set the top margin to length (default: 1cm) topspace length Set the vertical space at the top of a tune to length (default: 0.8cm) tuplets when what value Define how to draw tuplets. The when parameter can be 0 (to decide automatically whether to draw a slur or bracket over the tuplet), 1 (to never draw one) or 2 (to always draw one). The what parameter defines what to draw: 0 means a bracket, 1 a slur; 2 extends beams across rests (does not work yet). The value parameter defines how to annotate the tuplet: 0 means to write a simple number (p), 1 writes nothing, and 2 writes a ratio (p:q). vocalabove boolean If true, output lyrics above the staff (instead of below it) (default: 0.8cm) vocalfont font [encoding] size Set the font for lyrics inside a tune to font with size size (default: Times-Bold 13) vocalspace length Set the vertical space between a staff and its lyrics to length (default: 23pt) voicefont font [encoding] size Set the font for voice names (default: Times-Bold 13). withxrefs boolean If true, print the number from the ‘X:’ header in the tune title (default: 0; command line: -x, +x) wordsfont font [encoding] size Set the font for lyrics at the end of a tune to font with size size (default: Times-Roman 16) wordsspace length Set the vertical space before the end-of-tune lyrics to length (default: 0.5cm) writehistory boolean If true, output notes and history (‘N:’ and ‘H:’ headers) (default: 0; command line: -n, +n) The following formatting parameters can only occur inside tunes and not in a format file: %%begintext [mode] Start printing a free-form text. The text to be printed appears on the subsequent lines of the the input file up to a line containing %%endtext. The text lines may start with %%. The parameter may be: obeylines Line breaks in the input file are kept (default) align or justify Lines are justified ragged or fill Line breaks are ignored but output is left-justi‐ fied center Lines are centered skip The text lines are not printed at all %%center text Print one line of centered text %%EPS filename Include filename as an EPS file %%endtext Finish a block of free text started by %%begintext %%multicol command Define multicolumn printing. command may be: start Save the current vertical position and left and right margins. These margins may then be changed to print music or text. new Reset the vertical position to the place of the previous start and restore the left and right mar‐ gins. These can then be changed again to display another column. end Restore the left and right margins and skip down the page to a ‘safe place’. %%newpage [int] Start a new page, restarting page numbering from int if applicable. %%repbra int Repetition brackets are normally displayed as written in a voice. %%repbra 0 suppresses them for the current voice. %%sep [h1 h2 length] Print a separator (line) of length length with vertical space h1 above and h2 below (defaults: h1 and h2: 0.5cm; length: 3cm) %%setbarnb int Set the measure number to int. When not inside a tune body, this is equivalent to %%measurefirst. %%staff num Put the following material on staff num. This will lead, e.g., to beams between notes in different staves. Useful for keyboard music; see, for example, sample4.abc. %%staffbreak length Leave a space of length in the current staff. If length is greater than 0.5cm, the left side of the staff (system) is redrawn. In a multi-voice tune, a staff break must be speci‐ fied in each voice. %%staves definition See below. %%text text Output a single line of text. %%vskip length Leave vertical space of height length Clefs Clefs can be given in K: and V: headers. The full syntax is [clef=]type[line][+8|-8] [middle=pitch] The ‘clef=’ can be omitted when the type is a clef name. type denotes the clef type. It may be: A note pitch (G, C, or F) The pitch indicates which clef is meant: G is the treble clef, C the alto clef and F the bass clef. It also gives the name of the note that appears on the clef’s line. A clef name The available clef names are treble (clef gives the pitch for G), alto or tenor (C), and bass (F) perc or P In percussion mode, accidentals change the glyphs used for note heads. By default, sharp notes are drawn as ‘x’ and flat notes as circled ‘x’. This may be changed by redefining the PostScript functions pshhd and pflhd. none No clef will be displayed. The line gives the number of the line within the staff that the base clef will be written on. The default values are 2 for the treble clef, 3 for the alto clef, and 4 for the tenor and bass clefs. The +8 and -8 options draw an 8 above or below the staff, respectively. ‘middle=pitch’ (or ‘m=pitch’, for short) is an alternative way of defining the line number of the clef: The pitch indicates what note will be displayed on the middle line of the staff. When no clef is specified, clef changes between bass and treble will be inserted automatically. Multi-voice typesetting Multiple voices may be defined within the header or the tune using V:name definition ... where name is a word consisting of letters and digits only (like vio lin1). In the tune body, the following notes refer to this voice until another V: is encountered. A definition can be one of: clef=... See above name=name or nm=name The name will be displayed at the beginning of the first staff. It can contain \n sequences which will force line breaks. If it contains whitespace it must be double-quoted. subname=name or snm=name The name will be displayed at the beginning of all staves except for the first. It can contain \n sequences which will force line breaks. If it contains whitespace it must be dou‐ ble-quoted. merge The voice goes on the same staff as the previous voice. up or down Forces the direction of the stems for the voice. dyn=up or dyn=down or dyn=auto Forces positioning of dynamic marks (above or below the staff) or reverts to automatic positioning (the default) gstem=up or gstem=down or gstem=auto Forces the direction of the stems of grace notes (always up or always down) or reverts to automatic positioning (the default) stem=auto Reverts to automatic positioning of note stems (up or down) (the default) lyrics=up or lyrics=down or lyrics=auto Places lyrics above or below the staff or reverts to auto‐ matic positioning (the default) staffscale=value Sets the scale of the associated staff (default: 1) All other definitions are ignored. By default, each voice goes on its own staff. The ‘%%staves definition’ pseudo-comment can be used to control staff assignment. The definition consists of voice names (from V:) and pairs of parentheses, braces or brackets. · When a voice name is not within a pair of special characters, it goes on a separate staff. · For voice names enclosed in brackets, a bracket is displayed at the beginning of each line that joins the staves of the voices in question. · For voice names enclosed in braces, all the voices go on two staves (keyboard score). There can be at most four voices between a single pair of braces. · For voice names enclosed in parentheses, all the voices appear on a single staff. The ‘|’ character prevents measure bars from being drawn between two staves. If ‘%%staves’ occurs in a tune, all the voices not mentioned will not be output at all. Voice overlay You can add notes to a staff without introducing a complete extra voice by using the ampersand (&). A single measure can be split into two voices like |F2A2Bc&F2c2bc| The (&...&...&) construction allows splitting multiple measures: |!f!(&GG<G|GG F=E| E2 E(_D/E)|_D D C D |C4- |C &DC<C|CC_D C|=B,2_B,B, |_A,A,(G,/A,/)B,|F,4-|F,)zzD=E| A double ampersand (&&) will allow overlaying more than two lines of music but this feature has not yet been implemented. Lyrics Aligned lyrics under a staff are written as a w: line directly below the staff line. For example: edc2 edc2| w:Three blind mice, three blind mice Each word in the w: line (delimited by blanks) is associated with one note, in sequence. The following special symbols modify this behaviour: * Skips one note. - Splits a word into two syllables which are associated with two adjacent notes. A ‘-’ is drawn between them. | Advances to the next bar line ~ Is output as a space, but unites two words so they appear under a single note. _ Draws a thin underscore from the previous note to the next. To include more than one line of lyrics, use multiple w: lines. To include hyphens without splitting a word over multiple notes, use -. If a word starts with a digit, this is interpreted as a stanza number and outdented a bit to the left. Slurs and ties The direction of slurs and ties may be controlled using the (, and ( , and -, and - , constructions. Microtone pitches Microtone pitches are indicated by a fraction after an accidental, as in 3/4c. When omitted, the numerator defaultes to 1 and the denominator to 2 (so /c is the same as 1/2c). The numerator and denominator values may not exceed 256. There is built-in support for quarter-tone acciden‐ tals (1/2 and 3/2 sharps and flats); for other values, rendering func‐ tions must be defined using %%postscript (see features.txt). EPS inclusion EPS files may be included inside tunes using the pseudo-comment ‘%%EPS file’. The original documentation can be found in files features.txt, for mat.txt, and options.txt, which on a Debian system are in /usr/share/doc/abcm2ps.
This manual page was written by Anselm Lingnau <email@example.com> for the Debian system (but may be used by others). Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document as long as its origin is not misrepresented. ABCM2PS(1)