|Paul Makepeace > Inchoate > 2005 > 07 > How To Find And Create Your Own She
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I've recently (re)started learning the flute. My last attempt in 1998 was aborted by a house burglary in which my new flute was pinched. Thanks to Teresa who leant me her old (30+yrs!) one I've been interested enough to buy my own. So then, to find some music to play.
Two solutions: download, and create your own!
First, a word on the utterly astounding Lilypond software. Lilypond turns a textual description of music into printable sheet music. It is so good I nearly fell off my chair - their treatise on engraving is well worth a read to appreciate the typography of creating sheet music. Lilypond's open source so it's free too!
The Mutopia Project contains now over 500 pieces of royalty-free sheet music, and it's all engraved by Lilypond.
All fine, but what if you want a specific piece of music? Last night I stumbled on the first bar of the Beverly Hills theme, Axel F and wondered what the rest of it was. I battled with it by ear but my flute and aural skills are not quite up to it. Here's what I did:
First, find the MIDI file. I found a couple here and here just by searching on "axel f midi". Both these would be enough for someone with a good ear and motor skills, but I'm not that person. I need to see the music in front of me.
It so happens Lilypond comes with some MIDI to Ly software, turning the audio file into the textual description format Lilypond uses, .ly. This then is simply run through Lilypond to generate sheet music! I installed lilypond on one of my linux machines, ran the script, and out popped a PDF. One produced somewhat bizarre output, the other entirely sane. Here's what they look like:
Axel F in C
Axel F in D
Both these were produced by Lilypond 2.4.5; 2.7.3 may well be even better. Lilypond works equally on Windows but I was too lazy to figure out how to run the included midi2ly.py software; I'd have to install the python scripting language.
Comments turned off. Sorry.Posted by Paul Makepeace at July 28, 2005 00:19 | TrackBack