Well, I kind of expected I might get to hear about new abc collections and software by relaunching the site, but I hadn’t anticipated LOTRO.

Apparently,  LOTRO (Lord of the Rings Online) is a multiplayer online role-playing game that has adopted abc notation for music making by the players.

I was alerted to it by one of the first replies to my poll on people’s favourite abc software.

And it turns out that there are thousands of abc tunes compiled by LOTRO players – including pop and rock classics (from Abba to ZZ Top) and classical pieces from Bach, Beethoven and others.

Some of them are quantized midi files (i.e. probably played in on a midi keyboard and then converted to abc) which means they don’t always have bar lines. Also, if the quantizing hasn’t worked perfectly, you get some very odd note lengths (I saw one abc note with the length 45/8!).

Nonetheless, it’s a fascinating (and welcome) development for abc notation and one which I would never have guessed at.

Now, where did I put my lute …


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