SUMMARY: Playing SongWright tunes through SPARC audio

From: Steve Putz (
Date: Sun Sep 27 1992 - 02:39:31 CDT

In article <>, I wrote asking for
a program to play tunes (as opposed to audio files) through a Sun
SPARCstation's audio device.
I wanted this because I have access to a database containing 1300 folk
music tunes in a format produced by a PC program called SongWright.

I ended up getting a copy of the MIT Media Lab's Csound program by
Barry Vercoe (compiling it for the Sun but printing the documentation
using a Macintosh).

I then wrote an awk script to convert the SongWright files to SCOT score
files which the csound program can convert to SPARC audio format in real
time. I play the tunes with commands like:

        tune2scot file >
        csound -dhuo /dev/audio tune.orc -S

Although Csound is more sophisticated than what I originally wanted,
it turned out to be a good choice, since in the process of testing
my conversion script I discovered that some of the tunes I had included
multiple voices (harmony or rounds), which was easy to implement with

Someone also pointed me at the "sparctracker" program, which is able to
play Amiga "tracker" audio modules on a Sun SPARCstation. However I did
not discover any way to generate tracker modules on the Sun, so that
approach did not help me.

I had to guess at much of the SongWright score format, but I think I got it
almost all right (at least for the tunes I have). However if anyone knows
any actual details about SongWright format, please contact me.

Also, are there some nice sounding standard instruments (.orc files)
available for Csound? I used a variation of the example bachm.orc
file, but I would be interested in other simple instruments (that don't
take too much computation for playing in real time).

Thanks to all that responded to my query.

Steve Putz <>
Xerox Palo Alto Research Center
Palo Alto, California

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