BILL BLACK'S "MOSTLY GEMS OLD & NEW" E-BOOK
THE TUNE FILES
"Plus files" is the snappy name I came up with to describe the
individual tune files in this collection (and elsewhere on the webABC
site). It refers to a PDF notation file (generated from the ABC) that
contains a sound file (linked or embedded) and the ABC file (linked or
For more details on the links and what they're intended to accomplish, click here.
To make working with these tunes a little easier (I hope), I've arranged
them into four volumes, three of which contain 100 tunes each and the
last of which contains the balance (52 as of this moment, likely to increase).
The volumes enable you to browse through the tunes exactly as you would
through a printed tunebook. In Mac Preview, scrolling is easy, and I'm
presuming that Adobe Reader or similar apps on a PC will work the same.
If you're looking for a specific tune in a particular volume, you can
get to it easily by using the Search function once you've opened the
volume. You shouldn't have to type the whole name. The tune number will
work too, but only for tunes 100 and above (searching for "1" will
display every file that contains that number - not helpful).
If you like what you see after you've had a look through them online, I
suggest that you download each volume to your hard drive so you can open
links, print pages, etc etc.
THE TUNE DESCRIPTION TABLE (TDT)
This spreadsheet file contains:
(1) tune name, linked to the same page as in the browse volumes
(2) sound file link
(3) tune type
(4) tune key
(5) incipit (= ABC for first four measures)
The TDT functions exactly as the index of a printed book does, the
difference being that the entries are linked, so that clicking on
"Prunes for Breakfast" in column A takes you in nanoseconds (whatever
they are) to the Plus file for that tune.
The rest of the information provided in the TDT is pretty
self-explanatory. The incipits are provided to give you an idea of what
the tune sounds like - they're not linked to anything, so you might need
an instrument nearby to help you make sense of them.
THE LINKS ON THE PAGE
Each of the three links you see at the lower part of each tune page
be "click to open". If for some reason you can't get them to work that
you should be able to copy the URL into your browser's address bar and
to the correct file. (Disclaimer: all of this works smoothly using Mac
Preview and Microsoft Edge to open the files. Adobe Acrobat should work)
top link: to sound file
middle link: to the ABC
bottom link: to the TDT Index
[a] Sound file link:
Depending on how your system is configured, clicking on this link will
do various things (e.g. playing the tune in a new browser tab).
As usual, however, procedures that work seamlessly in one configuration might not work well or at all in another.
Since MP3 is a pretty universal format, any problems that you might encounter in getting it to
play are probably not with the file itself.
In the event that click-to-open or copying the URL don't work, here's an alternate way of getting to the MP3:
- In column B of the TDT table, make a note of the file ID (e.g., "040chr") associated with the tune.
Click here to open the folder that contains all the MP3s.
- Use the file ID to locate the one you want and click to start
it. (Folder font is hard to read so you might want to experiment
with something like Mac's command-plus to increase the page size.)
[b] ABC link:
This opens the "bulk" ABC file, which contains all the tunes in the
collection. Not to worry - finding a particular tune is as easy as using
your text program's search/find function!
Once you find it, just copy and paste it to whatever translator app you're using and you should be good to go.
By the way - the ABC file is a plain text file, so I'm not sure what all
that gibberish is that you see when you open the file online. In any
event it disappears after you download it. (You can copy/paste directly
from the online file, but all the bogus symbols will be included, so why bother?)
[c] TDT Index link:
Clicking this takes you back to the TDT Index page. Once you're back
there, you can easily open any other tune in the collection by clicking
on the title in column A.
As I mention above, the TDT will eventually have a separate column containing sound file links.
The primary TDT page is in HTML format, which is great for a lot of things but not sortable.
With that in mind, I have supplied an
Excel spreadsheet version of the TDT. If you're familiar with basic spreadsheet procedures
and want to rearrange the tune list in some way, you might prefer to use this version. The links in
column A will still work.