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abc software packages


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There is now a vast array of software (mostly freeware or shareware) which can read or edit abc. It is almost impossible to maintain a list of what software has which functionality on each platform but the following tables may help (N.B. the entries are based on what software developers say about their own programs rather than independent testing).

Disclaimer: The software listed on this page is not the responsibility of abcnotation.com and its inclusion here does not represent a recommendation (although there are some excellent programs here). If you have any problems, suggestions or comments on any of the programs listed, please report it to the software developer.

First select your platform:

Software marked with a new label has been added to this page within the last three months (although they may have been around for sometime before that).


Web-based software

 Feature
ProgramCostDisplay musicPlay soundTransposeOther utilities
Abc Converterfreeyesyesyesyes
TunePal (iPhone, iPad, android)small feeyesyes yes
ABCJfreeyesyes  
abcjsfreeyesyes  
convert-a-maticfreeyesyes  
tunepal.orgfreeyesyes  
eTuneBookfreeyes yesyes
VexABCfreeyes  yes
ABCPigfreeyes   
MediaWiki Scorefreeyes   
Norman Schmidt's abc converterfreeyes   
PmWiki AbcMusicfreeyes   
ScoreRenderfreeyes   
abcharmotabfree  yesyes
abctransposerfree  yes 
abc to xmlfree / commercial   yes
abc2xmlfree   yes
abcnwcfree   yes
WaterPig eCardsfree   yes

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Windows software

 Feature
ProgramCostDisplay musicPlay soundTransposeOther utilities
music21freeyesyesyesyes
EasyABCfreeyesyesyesyes
abc2scorefreeyesyesyesyes
ABCEditorfreeyesyesyesyes
ABCexplorerfreeyesyesyesyes
mc musiceditorfreeyesyesyesyes
MEFAfreeyesyesyesyes
MusicEasecommercialyesyesyes 
MusiCADfreeyesyesyes 
ABCJfreeyesyes  
Five Line Skinkfreeyesyes  
flabcfreeyesyes  
Harmony Assistantcommercialyesyes  
Melody Assistantsharewareyesyes  
Runabc.tclfreeyesyes  
ABCMusiExfreeyesyes  
TablEditcommercialyesyes  
ABACUSsharewareyesyes  
abc2winsharewareyesyes  
AbcNavigatorfreeyesyes  
Buskersharewareyesyes  
abctab2psfreeyes  yes
abcm2psfreeyes   
AbcEdit [EB]freeyes   
BowTIEfreeyes   
abcluanewfree yes yes
fiddleabcfree yes yes
abcmusshareware yes  
PlayQABCfree yes  
abc2lyfree   yes
MidiZyx2abcfree   yes
Mxml2abcfree   yes
abc to xmlfree / commercial   yes
m2gfree   yes
MAIDENSfree   yes
ooo_abcfree   yes
word_abcfree   yes
ABC2NWCshareware   yes
ABC2Tabfree   yes
BIABToolsfree   yes
RandomABCfree   yes

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Mac software

 Feature
ProgramCostDisplay musicPlay soundTransposeOther utilities
music21freeyesyesyesyes
EasyABCfreeyesyesyesyes
MusicEasecommercialyesyesyes 
BarFlyfreeyesyesyes 
Erniefreeyesyesyes 
ABCJfreeyesyes  
Five Line Skinkfreeyesyes  
flabcfreeyesyes  
Harmony Assistantcommercialyesyes  
Melody Assistantsharewareyesyes  
Runabc.tclfreeyesyes  
TablEditcommercialyesyes  
abctab2psfreeyes  yes
abcm2psfreeyes   
abcluanewfree yes yes
abc2lyfree   yes
MidiZyx2abcfree   yes
Mxml2abcfree   yes
abc to xmlfree / commercial   yes
MAIDENSfree   yes

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Linux/Unix software

 Feature
ProgramCostDisplay musicPlay soundTransposeOther utilities
music21freeyesyesyesyes
abctoolfreeyesyesyesyes
ABCJfreeyesyes  
Five Line Skinkfreeyesyes  
flabcfreeyesyes  
Harmony Assistantcommercialyesyes  
Melody Assistantsharewareyesyes  
Runabc.tclfreeyesyes  
ABCMusiExfreeyesyes  
abc2mtexfreeyes yes 
abctab2psfreeyes  yes
abcm2psfreeyes   
abc2psfreeyes   
jaabc2psfreeyes   
jcabc2psfreeyes   
YAPSfreeyes   
abcMIDIfree yesyes 
abcluanewfree yes yes
playabcfree yes  
ModPlug XMMSfree yes  
abc2lyfree   yes
MidiZyx2abcfree   yes
Mxml2abcfree   yes
abc2indexfree   yes
abc2prtfree   yes
abc4jfree   yes
ABCpfree   yes
abcppfree   yes
AbcUtilitiesfree   yes
abc-vimfree   yes
Code Soundingfree   yes
microabcfree   yes
ooo_abcfree   yes
word_abcfree   yes
abc-mode.elfree   yes
JedABCfree   yes

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Mobile (iPhone, Android, Palm, etc) software

 Feature
ProgramCostDisplay musicPlay soundTransposeOther utilities
TunePal (iPhone, iPad, android)small feeyesyes yes
The Craic (iPhone, iPad)small feeyesyes yes
ABassC (palm)freeyesyes  
iPABC (iPhone)small feeyesyes  
Zap's abc (android)freeyesyes  
ABCViewer (palm)freeyes   
TuneBook (iPhone)small feeyes   
PalmABC (palm)free yes  
PocketABC (pocket PC)free yes  
Blue Notes (iPhone)small fee  yesyes
TradTunes (iPhone)small fee   yes

See also Moshe Braner's forum post on handling abc on Palm OS devices.

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Command Line software

 Feature
ProgramCostDisplay musicPlay soundTransposeOther utilities
abctoolfreeyesyesyesyes
abc2mtexfreeyes yes 
abcm2psfreeyes   
abc2psfreeyes   
jaabc2psfreeyes   
jcabc2psfreeyes   
YAPSfreeyes   
abcMIDIfree yesyes 
abc2cvmfree yes yes
abc2sco.tclfree yes yes
abcsoundfree yes yes
playabcfree yes  
abcplay.pyfree yes  
abc2lyfree   yes
MidiZyx2abcfree   yes
Mxml2abcfree   yes
abc2indexfree   yes
abc2prtfree   yes
abc4jfree   yes
ABCpfree   yes
abcppfree   yes
AbcUtilitiesfree   yes
abc-vimfree   yes
Code Soundingfree   yes
m2gfree   yes
microabcfree   yes
abc2harpfree   yes
abc2mmafree   yes
abc2xml / xml2abcfree   yes
Abc Music Notation Utilitiesfree   yes
Haskell abcnotation packagefree   yes
raga2abc.awkfree   yes

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Multi-platform software

ProgramWebWinMacLinuxMobile
abc2ly yesyesyes 
ABCJyesyesyesyes 
abclua yesyesyes 
abcm2ps yesyesyes 
ABCMusiEx yes yes 
abctab2ps yesyesyes 
abc to xmlyesyesyes  
EasyABC yesyes  
Five Line Skink yesyesyes 
flabc yesyesyes 
Harmony Assistant yesyesyes 
MAIDENS yesyes  
Melody Assistant yesyesyes 
MidiZyx2abc yesyesyes 
music21 yesyesyes 
MusicEase yesyes  
Mxml2abc yesyesyes 
ooo_abc yes yes 
Runabc.tcl yesyesyes 
TablEdit yesyes  
TunePal (iPhone, iPad, android)yes   yes
word_abc yes yes 

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abc software packages

Note that to handle Postscript files (generated by several of these packages including abc2ps and its variants, and abc2mtex) you may need to install Ghostscript and GSView.

Software list (alphabetic order):-

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