Alas, the Percussion example here doesn't work for me:

  1. It renders differently, in that it's on a 5- rather than 1-line staff and the clef shows as a single "hollow" box rather than the 2 black lines.
  2. More importantly though, it doesn't play. (Other files do play, so my EasyABC is working, as is my system's sound.)

I have EasyABC, Windows 10.

Does anyone have any suggestions to get it to work please?

  • 2
    The hollow box is an alternative percussion clef. The default midi output is probably channel 1 but it might output percussion on channel 10.
    – PiedPiper
    Commented Jan 20 at 12:42
  • I've tried program 10 @PiedPiper, as well as 9 and 11- I noticed in the past it's sometimes off by 1- no change. Even if the program is wrong and it doesn't sound, shouldn't the note head change to orange when it's played?
    – user96355
    Commented Jan 20 at 14:28

1 Answer 1


EasyABC is a little different to the ABCjs that’s running on this site, so you’ll need to make a few adjustments.

The following works for my setup (EasyABC on macOS Sonoma 14).

Staff and Clef

  • Set the key signature to something:
    K:none (or K:C)

  • Unfortunately, I don’t think you can change the percussion clef symbol (without changing the music font).
    But, if you’re trying to display a rhythm part (as apposed to an actual percussion part), you might want to remove the clef symbol entirely:

  • Remove the spaces around the equals sign when declaring the number of staff lines:

Stem direction (optional)

  • Set the stem direction in the voice field:
    V:1 stem=up

MIDI Output

  • Send the MIDI output to the percussion channel:
    %%MIDI channel 10

  • Choose a percussion instrument using standard MIDI percussion mapping numbers.*
    For example: to put Acoustic Snare (38) on the middle staff-line (“B”):
    %%MIDI drummap B 38

Working Code

T:Percussion example
K:none clef=perc stafflines=1
V:1 stem=up
%%MIDI channel 10
%%MIDI drummap B 38
BB B2 B2 B/2B/2B/2B/2 |

* Such as table A.8.2 Percussion Instruments, as found in Guido Gonzato’s Making Music with ABC 2, p. 184.


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