TradTuneDB version 1.2.2

TradTuneDb is a database of Irish, Scottish, Scandinavian and klezmer tunes. You can search for tunes and then view the scores or hear them played. Of course, having them played on a rather tinny midi piano is no substitute for hearing the real thing, but it may help you to learn the basics of a tune because you can vary the tempo. Currently, the player works with the latest releases of all the major browsers other than Internet Explorer. The best quality sound output is to be found with Chrome.

Once you have registered with TradTuneDB, you can then submit a new tune to the database. As soon as you have done this, it will be given a unique URL (which is all you have to use if you want to share it with a friend) and you will also be able to listen to your tune. Tunes are submitted in ABC notation but there are some rules to keep in mind:

  • Only submit one tune at a time.
  • If the tune has a name that contains non-ASCII characters (such as Polska fran Hälleforsnäs) then please use a Unicode editor to enter the name as it should naturally look and don't use the older ABC mechanism of backslashes.
  • You need to supply a recognized key signature (ABC K header) and a rhythm (ABC R header) as well as a title (T). The search dropdowns will show you what values are supported.
  • Try to keep the tune notation relatively simple. For example, do not indicate chords (this confuses the player). You may need to experiment with ornamentation markers because these may detract a little from the melody once it's played.
  • When indicating a repeating section of a tune, balance the |: and :| markers that frame the section.
  • This site is not really intended for your own compositions (unless they have started to gain traction in the session scene).

If in doubt, have a look at the ABC notation for tunes that have been submitted and play properly

Because of the one tune at a time rule, you cannot submit various variants of a tune from a single ABC file. Instead amend the titles of the variants by adding the text variant 1, variant 2 etc and submit them separately. That way, all variants will turn up in searches for the tune title.

You may find that you're disappointed with the way the tune sounds or have spotted some mistake. If so, navigate to the ABC page for the tune, delete it and then re-submit the corrected version. Or if you prefer, you can use the try it out button. This does not load the tune to the database but does show you its score. You can then edit your ABC and continue to try it out until you think the score is correct before submitting it to the database.