Urban myths

Popped over to mudcat yesterday to announce the new website.

Within a few hours there was a reply from Joe Offer saying that he didn’t realise I had invented abc, and then a reply to that saying:

Chris Walshaw invented abc when he was on holiday in France, encountered some French musicians with interesting tunes, and lacked manuscript paper to write them down. So he just wrote the names of the notes along with a multiplier for the length as necessary, and a bit of header information required to read the rest. Later, faced with a pile of scraps of paper with tunes written in text he wrote the first version of abc2mtex as a way of converting this material to conventional musical notation.

At first I thought¬† – no, that’s nonsense, I was in Bath at the time (no, not the bath a la Archimedes, but Bath the Georgian city where I was a student) and wrote the tunes out in a fledgling abc notation to take abroad with me.

(Admittedly, a few years later I did collect a load of tunes in France, but I did it with a tape recorder like anyone else … and then transcribed them into abc.)

So then I checked the history page, which has been on the abc site for ages.

And guess what …¬† it could easily be misinterpreted to tell the new version (obviously the page isn’t as clear as I thought).

And actually … I rather like the new version.

So … believe which version you prefer. That’s what urban myths are for.


Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses to “Urban myths”

  1. Flash says:

    Hmm. Is it true? :-)

  2. Chris says:

    Of course. Everything you read on the interweb is true.

    Except this.