LTT – Lute Tablature Transcriber Software for DOS

Lute Tablature Transcriber (DOS)


The Lute Tablature Transcriber is a “helper” program for The Note Processor, a DOS music notation program. If you own The Note Processor, read on. The Lute Tablature Transcriber does not produce printable music notation. Rather, after inputting the tablature and setting it up, the program produces a text file in DARMS code, which can then be read by The Note Processor, (or any other music notation program that imports DARMS code) and realized graphically. (DARMS is for Digital Alternate Representation of Musical Scores.)

How does it work?

Tablature is written to the screen using a specially designed keyboard, so that once learned, input is very fast. The computer assigns each tablature cipher to one of up to six polyphonic voices, and gives it a color. In the transcription, each voice is rhythmically independent, with the correct notes values and rests, etc. You can change voice number for individual tab ciphers to shape the transcription as you wish, or let the program do it automatically. You then decide how you want the transcription to appear. The possibilities include setting all of the voices together on one or two staves or keeping one voice per stave; deciding which clefs to use; deciding whether to set the tablature stave above or below the transcription (or to omit the transcription altogether), etc. When making the transcription, the program performs a musical analysis of each bar to decide when to include or exclude sharps and flats, yet these things can also be determined manually. There are many control variables, so that almost every aspect of the transcription can be determined.

Some features:

  • Complete tablature editing commands, including cut and paste, insert file, undo, search, goto, insert comment or bookmark, etc.
  • Tablature signs: ties and slurs, left hand ornaments, right hand fingerings, barees and many more.
  • Automatic (on screen) conversion between French, Italian and four kinds of German tablature.
  • Transpose tablature up or down by a selected interval.
  • Convert tablature between lutes with different tunings (renaissance lute to theorbo to d-minor tuning, etc).
  • Merge two tablature files together.
  • Eliminate a selected voice or voices in the tablature (for creating duet parts, for example).
  • Double or halve rhythmic values globally.