Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

New Toy

So there I was, a couple of days ago, getting ready to post a message to this blog to the effect of, "What the world really needs is a program that lets you input lute tablature and outputs MIDI!". Fortunately, it occurred to me that doing a little research would be appropriate before spouting off about the unavailability of this unlikely-sounding device.

Well, Google to the rescue again. It took only a few minutes of digging around to find Django. This seems to be more or less the program I wanted. It lets you input data for stringed instruments in a zillion different ways, and plays the results through the computer's speakers. It has a plethora of features, most of which I'm entirely clueless about, but it does what I want.

The point of this is dance music, BTW. The Accademia della Danza, our weekly dance workshop, has been working on Il Ballarino by Caroso recently. Problem is, the considerable majority of the dances in the book have music that is only given in lute tablature, which requires real translation to turn into modern notation, and few recordings exist. So the list of dances we're able to play with is very constrained by the available music. In theory, though, Django will allow me to input the lute tab literally into the program, and it just plays. I tried the demo version last night, and with a little fiddling I was able to get the first half of Gracca Amorosa playing nicely. I just sent payment for the full version, so hopefully I'll actually be able to save files soon.

Eventually, after I've transcribed the first half-dozen dances, it's going to become work and I'll wind up slacking off. For now, though, this is a very cool (and useful) new toy for me...

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