Author Topic: Five Line Skink is used to create music staff notation using the abc standard  (Read 1116 times)

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Five Line Skink is used to create music staff notation using the abc standard - cross platform!

Five Line Skink
Five Line Skink is a desktop application which is used to create music staff notation using the abc standard described at

Skink is available for the Macintosh, Windows and Linux platforms (early versions were also tested on Solaris), but requires that Java be installed - at least Java 1.4 for Skink version 1.x and Java 5 for Skink version 2.x. If you are running on a Macintosh, Java is installed for you.

Wil Macaulay

Skink version 2.0j0 (public beta) 16 June 2009

This version is still under construction - please send any feedback (positive or negative!) to wil_dot_macaulay_at_gmail_dot_com . If you really like it, feel free to donate through PayPal below.

For Mac OS 10.7:

For Mac OS 10.4.x to 10.6.x:

for Windows with Java 5 or better:

for Linux with Sun Java 5 or better:

- Linux and Windows version also available as a tar file if you have no file unzipper:

This is a prerelease version of Five Line Skink. Major differences between Skink 2.0 and Skink 1.x include:

    Skink 2.0 supports multi-voice abc, as well as related features such as alto, tenor and bass clefs
    Skink 2.0 can invoke abcm2ps directly.
    Support for multiple open files in separate windows
    window menu
    support for abcm2ps format files
    preferences menu can be used to update abcm2ps path and format file
    sample format file (skink.fmt) to produce abcm2ps output similar to Skink output
    tested on Mac OSX 10.5.7 with Java 5, Windows XP with Java 6 and Ubuntu 9.04 with Sun Java 6

Some other enhancements include:

    improvements to layout
    more consistent handling of the interaction between continuous layout mode and playback - in continuous mode, Skink will now only display the tune in which data is being entered, and will play that tune when play is invoked from the menu
    the abc file directory is now 'sticky' - Skink will remember the last directory from which abc files were opened after restart.

Note that in this version there are a number of restrictions, some of which are documented here:

    Skink 2.0 requires Java 1.5 or better, and thus must run on Mac OS X 10.4.x or better
    In order for Skink to invoke abcm2ps, it must be installed separately, and must appear in the path. The pre-built abcm2ps that is available at


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