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
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 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.