This is my small music piece (ABC notation):

T: part one  
|: [^F^c]5 [^G^d]5 [^Gc]5 [^G^c]5 :|  

The problem is that when I play this (I'm using EasyABC), the two last chords sound exactly the same. (c and ^c sound the same) I've also had this problem on previous occasions, but I can't seem to find the solution to it. How can I ensure that both chords are played correctly?

1 Answer 1


I tried pasting your code into http://www.drawthedots.com/abcjs, and I saw the problem you're talking about. But I also saw, from the score, why it's doing that.

In ABC notation, accidentals last for the entire bar, and barlines are not automatically added. So in the first chord, you have a ^c. This affects all other c's in the measure, so that the c in [^Gc] is interpreted as a C#. This makes the ^ redundant in the final chord.

You can either add barlines if appropriate -- it looks likes there's something odd going on with the rhythm, anyway (each of your chords should be lasting for 5/8th notes, but that's not how its being notated). Alternately, you can explicitly make the c in the third chord be a c-natural: [^G=c]

  • A half-note is worth 4 eighths, and a dotted half note is worth 6 eighths, but there is no single note value worth 5 eighth notes. Nov 20, 2023 at 10:17
  • "and barlines are not automatically added" It may help OP to know that EasyABC has a setting for that: Settings > ABC typing assistance > Add bar > [Disabled, Using spacebar, Automatic]
    – user87621
    Nov 30, 2023 at 5:58

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