Traditional B/C and C#/D Irish Button Box Tablature Generator

Batch Pre-processor for ABC Tunebooks

Instructions:  Jump to Tool

1) Click "Open an existing .ABC file" to open a file or paste one or more ABC tunes into the box below.

2) Enter your preferred ABC font sizes, %%staffsep, %%musicspace, and preferred bellows direction indication character values.

3) If you would like to use a bar over the button name to indicate draw instead of using the bellows direction indication characters, check "Use a bar over button name to indicate Draw (overrides Push and Draw characters)"

4) Select your instrument style: (B/C or C#/D) from the "Style" dropdown.

5) Select whether you want the tablature to appear above or below the notation from the "Tab Location" dropdown.

6) If tablature is set to appear over the notation, existing chords in the ABC are always stripped.

If tablature is set to appear under the notation, and you want to leave existing chords above the staff, uncheck "Strip all chords before injecting tablature".

7) Click "Generate Tablature".

The generated ABC with tablature will appear in the "Processed ABC Output, with Tablature" box.

8) Save, Copy or Test the results:

Click "Save Output to a file" to save the results to a file.

Click "Copy Output to the clipboard" to copy the results to the system clipboard for pasting into other applications.

Click "Test Output in the ABC Transcription Tools" to open and test the results in my ABC Transcription Tools

ABC Input:

  Inject %%MIDI directives to mute bass/chords

Font family:Recommended: Palatino

Title font size:Recommended: 22

Subtitle font size:Recommended: 18

Info font size:Recommended: 14

Tablature font size:Recommended: 11

%%staffsep value:Recommended: 80

%%musicspace value:Recommended: 10

Character(s) for bellows Push:

Character(s) for bellows Draw:

  Use a bar over button name to indicate Draw (overrides Push and Draw characters)

Style:   Tab Location:  

Processed ABC Output, with Tablature:

How to Read the Box Tablature

The tablature assumes a standard 21-button instrument.

If playing a 23-button instrument, you will need to offset from the tab one button.

Numbers represent the button number on the primary row:

C-row for B/C, D-row for C#/D.

Number in circles represent the button number on the secondary row:

B-row for B/C, C#-row for C#/D

Push is represented by a "↓" under the button number.

Draw is represented by a "↑" under the button number.

Walkthrough and Demo Video

Example Tunebooks

I've created several large tunebooks with tablature for both B/C and C#D Box using this tool to pre-process the original source ABC files, then bringing the output of the tool into my ABC Transcription Tools for PDF generation including a Table of Contents, Index, and playback links.

Check them out here:

Tunebooks with Tablature for B/C and C#/D Box

Known Issues

Fails when converting multi-voice tunes:

For best results, use source ABC tunes that have a single voice. (i.e. no V: tags)

Unpredictable results may occur with multi-voice ABC files.

Tunes with key changes mid-tune may not generate correct tablature after the key change:

The tablature solutions only use the original key of the tune.

If the key changes mid-tune, the tablature solution after that point may not be correct.

Tunes with [GBd] style chords in square brackets do not generate the correct tablature:

You'll need to reduce these down to a single note for the tool to work.

Tip Jars

If you find this tool useful, please consider buying me a beer
by tossing a few bucks into one of my virtual tip jars:



Complete source code for this utility may be found on GitHub

Irish Box Tab Generator on Github