Questions about Fandango

Will Fandango replace DjangoTab? Yes and no. Fandango is a totally new program, with a different directory structure and different registry entries, and of course a new program name and installation package. So it can coexist with DjangoTab on the same system. This will ensure that your work with DjangoTab will not be lost, in those cases where Fandango does not render files the exact same way DjangoTab did.

Can you open Django (*.jtb) and DjangoTab files (*.jtz and *.jtxml) with Fandango? Yes. Fandango is based on DjangoTab and it takes advantage of the old file format in a way that was not possible with DjangoTab, for complicated reasons. It also retains the ability to read Django files although it is likely to do a worse job than DjangoTab. But there has been a two year transition period so I hope most *.jtb files have already been converted to the XML format.

When can we expect a first release of Fandango? Pretty soon.

Currently going on in Fandango development:

Most of the development involves both a simplification and extension of some features. This requires in-depth changes to the code, that may affect the rendering of older files. The most important changes I made makes it possible to support many different types of tablature as well as allow better control individual rendering of staves.

Colored voices in tablature

Enhanced alfabeto features and Battuto display.

I have completely reviewed the alfabeto tools and displays. This allows in particular for the insertion of individual notes in addition to an alfabeto chord. The alfabeto feature now also allows to display custom chord grids above a regular notation staff. Alfabeto definitions can be saved and retrieved across documents. This can be useful if you need to create different chord definitions based on for instance tonality.

Notice that left and right hand fingerings can now be floated around their note.

Battuto display. If you don't want to show rhythm flags, simply use the No flags option in the instrument's flag group style options.

Italian/Spanish style, with strumming on repeated chords, and a melody line.

Tablature only with lyrics

Alfabeto toolbar

This revised toolbar now docks at the bottom of the screen, together with the keyboard input toolbar. The top buttons allows you to manage chord dictionaries, modify existing chords (to add strumming or to raise the chord position on the neck), as well as switch between three display in Alfabeto letter in Letter mode, brand new chord in chord mode, or chord chart in chord grid mode. As before you can easily switch between alfabeto display and regular tablature display.

Alfabeto toolbar in alfabeto mode: grayed squares indicate un-defined chords.

Alfabeto toolbar in chord mode: if you double-click a chord, a new chord will be input into the document.

Alfabeto toolbar in chord grid mode: if you double-click a chord, a chord chart will be added at the cursor position.

Notation additions and improvements

New G+F clef: unlike the grand staff option, the distance between the two staves is fixed, but it is much easier switch to and it fits the tessiture of the lute better than the G8 clef for a quick visualization in notation mode. It is also easier to edit individual voices in that display.

Relative size of notes adjustment. Until now, the size of notes on a notation staff was fixed and strictly dependent upon the font size and the resulting intervals between staff lines. You can now adjust the "fattiness" of the notes. In the example below, the three staves use the same font size and staff height.

New options for note shapes.

Options now include 7 styles: regular notation, Renaissance, handwriting, harmonics or small diamond, rectangles, flat diamond, and Jazz style handwriting. I added new G, F and C clefs glyphs for the Jazz style.

You can set a notation style for a whole instrument:

... Or switch between notation styles within an instrument's staff.

New Jazz style display in notation

New section option to display the time signature at the beginning of the section.

This works for both notation and tablature and it is easier than adding a metaevent at the beginning when you are editing multiple instruments.

Improvements to basso continuo (still on-going)

Improved tablature modern display

German tablature support

This includes a small input toolbar that represents the neck of a lute, as well as the ability to input tablature glyphs directly.

Keyboard tablature

Keyboard tablature was a logical necessary addition and it is very similar to German lute tablature. Although this feature is virtually finished as a proof of concept, it will need serious user input if they want some historically meaningful implementation. The same model could be implemented to support harp tablature -- like the Robert ap Huw one, which seems to be totally inspired by keyboard tablature with its division between left and right hand and the use of note names. Idem for accordion tablature.

New guitar neck toolbar


That toolbar functions like the keyboard input toolbar and you can toggle the display between keybord and guitar neck fromt he top toolbar.

Pedal Steel Guitar support


I have restored support for pedals and greatly improved the functionality for pedal steel guitar. Fandango supports custom tuning for up to 16 strings per instrument and allows you to program up to 10 pedals, which makes it ideal to support 8-string to 12-string or more tablature staves. You can even input tablature from the piano keyboard toolbar! I will provide a template and an example file in the distribution to help you get started.

Changes to ornaments, fingerings and slurs

  • Slurs: individual values for tablature and notation. Extension of horizontal range to 15 chords. Depth control. Note: some values remain common to tablature and notation: horizontal extent, primarily, and type: curved line, dotted line, tenuto, hammer on, etc.
  • Fingerings: complete rehaul to better handle right-hand ambiguities between tablature (dots) and notation (pima). Individual positioning of fingerings: you can rotate the position of fingerings according to the values of the compass: North, North West, South, South East, etc.
  • Left-hand fingerings: individual positioning implemented (same as above). (status: Italian style using dots not quite there yet)
  • Ornaments: Individual positioning of ornaments slightly different from fingerings: Left, right, centered, below staff, above staff. When you input an ornament, the position is set by the default definition set in the Custom ornaments tables. It can then be modified during editing. (status: almost complete)

Because of the extent of the changes, the first release of Fandango may not be available for some time. While DangoTab files should be read directly by Fandango, Django files might not render as cleanly. So it is a good idea to convert your Django (*.jtb) files to the DjangoTab format (*.jtxml/*.jtz) if you have done so. I will release a transitional DjangoTab version to maintain some kind of compatibility between the two softwares.

Add some color to your tabs ...



Facebook link


Over 1000 pieces already available by Galilei, Capirola, Borrono, Dowland, John Johnson,  etc.

Latest videos

Facsimile Index

Facsimile index This site hosts a searchable index to individual pieces found in digital facsimiles. See this video to learn more about its usage and capabilities. So far, over 5000 pieces are indexed, representing over 10,000 images. Many more are waiting to be indexed, with your help and support. For more details on this project, see this page.

Alfabeto notation

Transcribing Baroque guitar music in alfabeto notation This video shows how you can use the new Corbetta template to transcribe baroque guitar music including alfabeto symbols. The template is available for download on this site and it makes it easy to decipher some of this particular and fascinating repertoire. You can see a sample of a transcription in the showcase area.

Notation voicing tutorial

Notation voicing tutorial -- This video shows how to create voicing directly in notation mode, how you can change the flag values of individual notes, and how to break chord groups.

Automated voice parsing

Automated voice parsing -- This video shows how to convert tablature to two-voice regular notation. The conversion includes a demonstration of the parsing algorithm and points to a number of manual adjustments that have to be done. Automatic conversion of alfabeto chords is also supported.


  • Try it!

    DjangoTab is a sofware for lute, guitar, ukulele, bandora, theorbo, mandolin, fiddle, banjoes, bouzoukis, etc.

    Its powerful tuning customization tools lets you design an infinity of combinations, only limited by a maximum of 16 strings and 24 frets

  • Book format

    DjangoTab provides full support for title pages and preliminaries, such as preface and table of contents. No need to worry about pagination! You can also integrate illustrations, section comments, facsimiles directly within the printed output.

  • Environments

    DjangoTab runs on Windows 8, WINE on LINUX or Macs equipped with a virtual machine like VMWare or Parallels.

  • Easily switch from tablature to notation or display both at the same time.

    DjangoTab's approach is that tablature is a complete mode of representation of music, that can stand totally on its own, as proven by centuries of historical publications.

    However, both notation and tablature have their own inherent limitations, hence the need to support both, whether independently or together.

  • 3 tablature modes

    DjangoTab supports three tablature mode: French, Italian and Modern and lets you swithc form one to the other with a simple click of the mouse.

    You can also select from 11 different styles of tablature flags and 6 different styles of flag groups.

  • Chord charts in DjangoTab are fully customizable - Millions of chords are available at your finger tips, in any tuning imaginable, including re-rentrant.

  • DjangoTab is perhaps the only editor that supports the alfabeto system for Baroque guitar.

    DjangoTab also gives you access to an infinity of chord charts based upon the specific custom tuning you need.

  • Ornaments are customizable for both tablature mode and notation mode. Each set contains 32 possible ornaments that can be associated with over 100 different glyphs.

    DjangoTab also supports grace notes for more complex renditions.

  • Ornaments and fingerings
  • Index your documents and access every single piece easily directly from within the editor. No more searching for files on your hard disk!

  • Design and create your own instrument definitions. Those instruments can be organized into groups and categories for easy access.

  • Input notation or tablature directly from a piano keyboard tool.

    Even if you know nothing about an instrument's tuning, you can still create scores for them. Of course, it helps to know an instrument, but on the odd chance you don't, the software will help you generate tablature. All notes are input at first fret position.

  • PDF Showcase

    Please visit the PDF gallery to get a better idea of all the possibilities offered by DjangoTab

PDF Showcase

Current samples

Title Description
Thomas I cannot From Playford
La jeune fillette - Manuscrit Schele Tablature francaise pour luth a 9 choeurs
Fantasia - Francesco da Milano Fantasia in G from the Intabolatura de leuto di diversi autori [f3r-4v] (1536)
La Dedicasse Modern notation transcription of first piece from La Rhetorique des Dieux by Denis Gautier
Corbetta -- Scherzo Using the Corbetta template for Alfabeto notation
Sarabande from the Milleran MS More interesting use of color
An Alman by Robert Johnson Basic tablature with regular notation transcription for guitar
Villanella from the Capirola lute book Add some color to your life!
Cherbury Lute Book sample (Legal format) 14 pieces from the Cherbury MS for Renaissance lute
Barrow Foster's Dream The viol way - from the Ballet lute book
Gran Vals, Francesco Tarrega Transcription trying to match a printed publication
Alman by Robert Johnson 16th century English tablature
Ave Maria, Arcadelt SATB vocal piece
Scottish reels A collection of dance tunes imported from the abc archives
Paganini, Larghetto for violin and guitar Attempt at a faithfull reproduction of a printed publication
Farewell A piece for fiddle with chord names
Away with these self loving lads! Dowland song with facsimile of original publication

After you register with an account on this site you can view more scores in the Collections area on this site.



This project relies entirely on new contributions and it is currently at high risk of failing. Please consider becoming a contributor. This will not only help you, but it will also help many young beginners by providing access to a large and growing collection of music.

Note: To register, you must create an account on this site. If you have an account for the old Django site, that account will not work! After you create an account, follow the registration links provided at the top and bottom of the screens to actually register as a contributor.

Are you interested in collaborating?

If you would like to contribute files, help with proof reading or convert tablature to notation, or provide positive skills of any kind, you are welcome to contact me. In fact, if you become a contributor, you can already use the collections interface to upload scores. Although designed primarily for DjangoTab files, you can also add scores in the most common formats easily.

State of the project

After 1 year of development in the background, the first release versions of DjangoTab are available for download and testing. Please check out the latest beta version, and review the notes for details on new features and changes from the last DjangoTab release.

Beta versions downloadable here are unlimited in functionality only for a set period of time, usually about a couple of weeks. After that period of time, the software reverts to a limited functionality and will not let you save or print DjangoTab files. Beta version only require that you open an account on this site.

Release candidate versions have not time limit setting and are accessible to contributors.

You will find here the latest beta versions of the software as well as additional resources, such as fonts, templates, and instrument definitions. You can also communicate with other members and the developer, and share some resources with them. Eventually, this will become the main Django tablature software WEB site. In the meantime, this site is mostly of interest to those who wish to actively contribute to the development of the software.

If you are visiting this site for the first time, please see the main changes page to get an idea of the most important features. Additionally, you can check the details of changes in each beta version.

Check the announcement section below for the latest news and the Html->link('Django beta page', array('controller'=>'beta_version'));?> for the newest releases of the software. These beta versions are fully functional and not restricted in any way but they will expire about a month after their release.