Archive for the ‘music’ Category

LeMMA 0.8 alpha release

LeMMA 0.8 is now available as an alpha version. A more ‘contemporary’ look-and-feel has been adopted for this version. I’ve also added various usability improvements (e.g. keyboard navigation using arrow keys), and some attempts at supporting the Mac platform better. A new .ini-like configuration file format is used, using the built-in Python config file parsing library, replacing the previous Pickled file format.

If there are any Mac python programmers using this, I’m interested in learning what’s the proper way to package a Mac python application, and any other advice you can give me.

Here’s a screenshot of the new GUI:

Get it from the usual place.

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Minor enhancement: I finally added an install script for Linux users, and support the saving of settings in ~/.lemma, so you can finally install it into /usr or /usr/local. And along with that, a simple Debian package. I use checkinstall to generate it. I can’t seem to specify Python as a pre-requisite using checkinstall, but the package installs and removes just fine. Go get it now.

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LeMMA 0.7 is out

One year after my last LeMMA release, here’s version 0.7. It’s a little embarrassing actually, because the last version contained some stupid bugs, especially on the Windows platform, and it was out there for one full year. So version 0.7 is largely a bug fix and “bulletproofing” (I added debug mode and codes for error handling) release. I did squeeze in some minor enhancements though.

Lately I got a couple of emails from folks who got the impression that LeMMA can open any MMA file, in particular the ones that are bundled with MMA. Sorry to disappoint, but that’s not what LeMMA is. LeMMA is meant to just provide an easy way to generate chord progressions. I’m also not certain that it is feasible, or even possible, to create a full-fledged GUI interface to MMA.

Anyway, I hope this release works for all of you, and thanks for the interest!

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White Christmas

It’s been 10 years since I did a guitar arrangement of this song, and it’s been a while since I last recorded anything. So finally here’s the “official” recording done by yours truly, 32Kbps low bitrate version since I want to save bandwidth. This is played on my electric, which I still can’t get the hang of (I very much prefer the feel of nylon strings). I recorded this to minidisk first, then recorded in Ubuntu, using Kristal over Wine, but there are some skips due to buffer underruns. I remember there are some tweaks I’m supposed to do but I think they were lost with the last OS upgrade. This is the one thing I missed from Windows. Anyway, enjoy and merry christmas!

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chordcalc.py – initial release

I finally wrote that program to generate chord fingerings for any fretted instrument. It’s written in Python and meant to be run at the command-line. It’s quite a pleasure writing this in Python – I was surprised to finish writing the core algorithm in just one morning.

Why another chord generation program when there are so many of them on the web already? Well, a variety of reasons: there doesn’t seem to one in Python yet, I want a command-line version (it’s more efficient in some ways), and I want to be able to fine-tune the algorithms. I can slap on a GUI later. Python’s list manipulation capabilities means that I can support instruments of any number of strings, and in any tuning.

I wrote it on my Ubuntu box, but it should work for any platform that Python runs on. It’s written in Python 2.5. I’m still unsure about moving on to Python 3.0.

Interested folks can download the initial release here: chordcalc.py

Let me know if you find any errors e.g. in the chord definitions.

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My brother pointed me to this hilarious Youtube clip of a comedian ranting about everyone’s favorite classical song “Canon in D”. How true, how true! It strikes a resonant chord (oh look, a pun!) in me, coz when I was teaching guitar part-time that’s basically what I told my students – “It’s (almost) all Canon in D chords (or some variation thereof)”, and they wouldn’t believe it, until many lessons and songs later…This is even more common in Chinese pop. In fact, I’ve known people who don’t like listening to Chinese pop coz “it’s all Canon in D”. Well, okay, there’s more to the musical landscape (including Chinese pop) than Canon in D to keep the lessons interesting, but it’s funny whenever they bring one of the latest pop song to class, and ask me for the chords, and I identified it as Canon in D. ^_^

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Solo mandolin transcriptions

Uploaded my transcriptions of various classical mandolin pieces today, and here they are:

I hope I got all the notes right. Now all I have to do is to actually learn how to play them. 😛

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