ABC-Collections on this site

"" are dedicated to the preservation of Danish folk danses and melodies. They offer musicxml-downloads on their website
which enabled me to convert them to abc using this website (see the import function above the texarea). They originate from the collection "358 Danske Folkedansemelodier" informally called the "grnne bger" - i.e. the "green books" that are the "bible" for Danish folk dancers. If you only need 1st voice uncheck unneeded voices in the "Show Voice(s)" section below the tunes.
From what I've learned there is a kind of split in the Danish folk-traditions - spillemandskredsen apparently focuses more on fixed sets and the dances are led by an instructor. You can search for their dances at as well.

The other great and more informal collection for Danish tunes is spillefolk - all their music is here: - they offer music as pdf, sometimes musescore, sometimes musicxml as well. They focus on learning from others by ear according to .
All the same the tunes contained in "358 Danske Folkedansemelodier" are used from musicians from both traditions - probably just in a different way.

All the best, Jens W.

Margrit Vogt hat in ihrem Buch "Alte Niederdeutsche Volkstänze", erschienen im F. Coppenrath Verlag in Münster im Jahr 1986 unter der ISBN 3-88547-300-3 Tanzmelodien aus Westfalen und Norddeutschland - d.h. vor der holländischen Grenze bis Ostpreuen und im Süden bis zum Main - also aus dem Raum, in dem "plattdeutsch" gesprochen wird - gesammelt.
Das Buch ist kostenlos - nur zum eigenen Gebrauch - auf der Seite des Landschaftsverbands Westfalen Lippe als PDF herunterladbar - vgl.
Indem ich sie hier im ABC-Format veröffentliche, möchte ich sie einem breiteren folk-interessierten Publikum zugänglich machen. (399 tunes)

This is a collection of tunes that we play on our weekly session at "Alte Mu" in Kiel every Thursday at 8pm - . It's far from being complete, though, since we learn most tunes simply by ear...
The session used to be at the pub "Die Erbse" in Kiel and the session has been active since the 1990s as far as I know. There is a basic set list that was mostly taught at a folk workshop in "Hof Akkerboom" - originally started by Bernd Unstedt and Volker Schroeren. I've converted it to abc and it's now available on this site. In the last few years we've also been playing a lot of other music from all over Europe and beyond, but especially Scandinavia as we are close neighbours to Denmark.
Since there is ongoing contact to other sessions in other German and Danish towns there is a session network reaching from Kiel to Heide (Tellingstedt), Kappeln, Flensburg (see also ) - to the island of Fyn - in Denmark.

All the best, Jens W. (74 tunes)

Here I've written down the tunes from the Danish North Sea island of Fan.
They have been published in the book "Tidsbillede" by Peter M. Uhrbrand who has dedicated his life to the "snderhoning" tradition - with his permission I've tried to write them as accurately as possible in the abc-format.
The funny thing is the rythm - it's written in 2/4 but the dance goes in 3/4 - so you have to play it in a sort of "wavy" way that every step is treated equally if you get what I mean. Sort-of relaxed. A number of bands have Fan music in their repertoire - you will find youtube-videos from these bands and individuals under the tunes.
It's the best thing to learn directly by listening - the notes can only give a vague impression of how to play it anyway - it should really be "hjertemusik" - i.e. coming from the heart.

J' Sweevers -


Kristian Bugge -

The Good Tune -

Danish String Quartet -

Fan Fiddlers -

Dreamers' Circus -

Mads Hansens Kapel -

Baltic Crossing -

Habadekuk -

de Fries & D. Beck -

By the way - if you want to learn the dance:
- or with instructions by "Nordic Danse" -

- just try it out!

All the best, Jens W. (70 tunes)

At the "Kulturcafe Tableau" located at Kurze Straße 1 in Flensburg - the bordertown between Germany and Denmark - there is a "hyggelig" Anglo-Nordic-Baltic session with musicians mostly from Denmark and Germany. It takes place on every fourth Saturday each month starting at 6pm just for musicians. At 8pm the pub opens for the general public and the session usually lasts until 11pm or midnight.
You'll find it listed on the Danish site for folk events .

Die Hartwig-Handschrift bzw. die "Handschrift Stockmann B" von 1877 befand sich im Nachlass des Musikethnologen Erich Stockmann.
Stockmann schrieb in seiner Beschreibung der Handschrift:

"Auf S. 6 tritt hinter dem Namen des Schreibers die einzige Jahreszahl
dieses Heftes auf: _H. Hartwig 1877_ ."

Auf der Seite befindet sich die Originaldatei, die von Sebastian Hartwig im abc-Format aufgeschrieben wurde. Mit seiner Erlaubnis verffentliche ich diese jetzt hier.
Darin vermerkt er folgendes:
Dies ist keine diplomatische Abschrift.
Abkrzungen wurden aufgelst und offensichtliche Fehler stillschweigend korrigiert.
Fehlende Noten oder Takte wurden ergnzt und in den Anmerkungen kenntlich gemacht.
S. H., Februar 2018

Zu einigen Stcken aus der Handschrift gibt es auerdem eine Youtube-Playlist (18 tunes)

Inge-Marie Højmann from the isle of Fyn, Denmark makes new Danish folk. She is also one of the organizers of JamCon - see (15 tunes)

JamCon takes place twice a year on the isle of Fyn in Denmark. It's a folk-session weekend focusing mostly on Danish folk music for up to about 20 participants lasting from Friday to Sunday - it's privately organized and takes place in
different locations. There is always a certain topic connected with a tune-workshop - e.g. the music from a particular region, focus on rythm, how to get more confident jamming... The website is in case you're interested.
jens (20 tunes)

This a collection of my (Jens Wollschlger)'s tunes that I have composed since about 2003. I mostly play the fiddle these days but also like the mandolin and the tin whistle. I mostly play tunes others have written, though. (37 tunes)

In this file I'm making a collection of the sets I've heard at Knox's Pub in Ennis, Ireland, when I was there around Easter 2023.
I think the pub hosts sessions almost every day during the summer. (30 tunes)

This is a collection of melodies from northern Germany and Denmark collected by Olaf Wiesner.
ole (163 tunes)

This collection also stems from the xml-files provided by Spillemandskredsen at
There it also reads that "spillemand" Ole (Balleby Andersen) Kjr was born in Humlum on the 18th of October, 1807 and died on the 4th of December 1846 at the age of only 34.
He moved to Ringkbing as a young man becoming a weaver. He played 14 different instruments and composed over 100 melodies. He became a kind of legend and was also called "Vestjyllands Paganini".
svenske (175 tunes)

This collection also stems from the xml-files provided by Spillemandskredsen at . According to the information on Svenske Nils as he was called or Nils Andersson was born in Sketarp in Skaane, Sweden in 1833. In the 1850s he migrated to Denmark where he went on foot all the way to Vendsyssel in the north of Jylland. Wandering around the north he took violin classes with P.C. Kjr, i.e. Ole Kjr's nephew. He composed many melodies and also taught the violin to others. Moreover he sold his compositions.
He died in 1879 at the age of 46.

Website news - history - current functions - what's planned

This tool has been around more or less since 2006. In its original function it just changes around the letters of the abc - from A to B, from C to D, etc. - via javascript - resulting in a transposition by full steps. And there was no visual output. I used to host it on some free webspace back then because I didn't have my own in those days (see discussion on thesession from 2007). I declared the transposing feature as open source and some people people implemented it on their websites. Some of them are still around, but they lack all the cool new visual features: Sessionite and Sláinte.
After being on a portion of my wife's website - who works as a very gifted illustrator - I've finally got my own domain for this tool on this site.

Current development history:
December 2022  
the site stopped working - I had used it for a number of years to generate tin whistle and mandolin tabs online. I teach a large group of beginner students "Irish trad" every year - and they need those tabs as a support after learning tunes by ear.
So I started digging into the matter and realized there are already two javascript libraries capable of converting abc notation into sheet music available on the web that can be built into your own projects. One is called abc2svg - developed by Jean François (or Jef?) Moine, the other is abcjs by Paul Rosen and Gregory Dyke. The latter proved easier to implement, although abc2svg seems to support more functions. So I opted for abcjs. These are the results so far:

New in 2023
: Instant visual output of tunes - therefore you can use the text field as an editor, play/save midi and print/save sheet music with optional tabs as PDF.
March 2023
: Different tin whistle keys supported. Drag the text field to the right in the right bottom corner to change the size of the sheet music - when drawn too much to the right the sheet music is displayed below the editing textarea. It's configured to deal with different screen sizes - it also works right on smartphones.
June 2023
- Editing single tune in a large collection works on the spot now. Earlier all tunes were rendered again which took ages ;-)
End of June 2023
: I've just realized there was a bug when choosing different whistle keys - it now renders correctly again.
You can also open abc-files stored on your computer. Moreover uncompressed musicXML files can be opened. The javascript library I'm using for this is actually configured for use with abc2svg - so I had to adapt it quite a bit for good results. Unfortunately it still has problems importing musicXML containing more than one tune - so you may have to adapt the resulting abc manually. Lately I've improved the musicxml import function - there used to be a lot of problems with files containing two voices - most of these issues have been overcome now.

It's possible to display ABC-collections stored on the server directly on this site now. So... if you have a tune collection in abc from your session or so you could send it to me and one could load it with a simple click directly from this page. You'll find my e-mail address at the bottom of this page.
It's possible to share tunes as a so-called abc-link - the entire abc is thus stored as a URL contained in a QR-code - however, large tunes may result in an unscannable too large QR-code. That's why I've introduced the tune-link looking like this: URL + ? - it directly links to single tunes if they are stored on the server. The resulting QR-code is much smaller and reads on the spot.

Beginning of July
: I've just removed a bug which caused the tunes to rerender on scrolling on a mobile - making the qr-code disappear when clicking - it works smoothly now. Moreover it will automatically choose 5 tunes per page on a mobile and 10 per page on a device with a larger screen in order to limit loading times. You can choose whether you want to display 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 or 100 tunes per page on your own, though.

it also reads sets - in your abc-file just add a G: field in the head section of the abc followed by the desired set-name. Do the same with the following one or two tunes - and your set is ready - it will be represented as a clickable button.

it's possible to share sets as a set-link. Tunes that are not saved on my server can still be shared via abc-link (see above). Just as with the tune-link the setname is transmitted via the URL...
URL + ?

I've removed the possibility to download tunes as midi-files because the feature feels superfluous... You can play the sound anyway...

End of July
: Now it has a search function for the current tunebook - also for tune fragments - no matter what key - e.g. if you look for abcabc it will also search for bcdbcd or cdecde etc. Just enter letters, no numbers. And in the "guitar" section I've added a gimmick - a chord remover ;-)

If your sheet has only one voice it's possible to click on a note and the cursor will jump to the corresponding note in the abc-textfield. It makes editing much easier if you have to correct mistakes.
Chord adding button 
added. In the guitar section (scroll down all the way below the tune in the grey field) you can click on the corresponding button. When clicking on a note it will insert the quotation marks needed for chords at the correct spot - just click on the note and then type the chord - e.g. Dm - it's much faster / less hassle this way.
End of September 2023 
- F: field in header is interpreted in a way that you can put links and descriptions in there. Youtube-URLs will result in a playable preview youtube window below the score, other URLs are displayed as normal links and automatically shortened if too long. Normal text in the F: field is displayed as normal text - e.g. if you wish to comment on a youtube-video or a link and display that. Click on to see it in action!

October 2023: 
I've improved the input function for musicxml with different voices. If the the musicxml is "clean" - i.e. without any text-labels within the sheet music it is now imported alright. You can check the musicxml by opening it directly in Musescore. Then get rid of all kinds of labels - in my case I found lots of little "m"s that caused the import to fail... - and save again. I imported around 700 musicxml-files provided by the Danish association "spillemandskredsen" on their downloadsite successfully. Only about 5 percent did not work. For the "faulty" ones I will try to export the musicxml files from Musescore to PDF and then make a new musicxml from that PDF again hoping that this one will be imported correctly. I use Audiveris for that.
Once you've installed it you can run it from command line: (here for linux):

./gradlew run --stacktrace -PcmdLineArgs="-batch,-export,-output,/My/output/folder/,/My/input/folder/myfilename.pdf"

This will result in a compressed musicxml file (.mxl) which you can unzip - it contains an xml file that can be imported by my site.
So - here's the proof that the musicxml import actually worked.

As a bonus I've added some buttons allowing you to display only the voices in your sheet music you with to see - e.g. the second voice and the 4th voice combined.
When I want to "explore" new tunes I only want hear the first voice - so I uncheck all the others... That way you can also print out your desired voice if that's what you need.

November 2023: 
This tool is from now on at I've completely changed the design - hopefully it's a bit more user-friendly now.

You can search for tunes posted on The Session now. Links to Youtube-videos discussed by users on "thesession" are extracted and added to the F: section of the first setting of a tune found on The video-links are also retained when sharing the tune with others - that way you can listen to how this could be played in real-life.
December 2023: 
You can look for personal tune collections personal sets made on thesession now - and share them with others of course.

March 2024: 
Since it has become possible to add youtube-links to the abc with the F: field the tunebooks have become enriched with a large quantity of youtube videos. If you want to just get to know the music without bothering so much about the notes you can now play them in a "jukebox".
This means that one video will be played after another in a separate browser tab - as a kind of automatic playlist or jukebox. You can activate a repeat button or slow down the music. The video-titles are generated automatically from the ids of the diffrent videos and are displayed in the shape of clickable buttons. Happy listening!


I might add a few more features - If other people with to publish tunebooks I'd have to develop a sign-up and login form for that. Then every user should be allowed to edit their own abc files one of which can possibly contain hundreds of tunes in abc format. As a user you will be able to decide whether you want to make your abc public or keep it private. If you keep it private you could for example use this as a private playlist for a gig... just a side-thought.
Since people don't seem to be interested in the above feature I probably won't develop such a login system.


I know there are a lot of old tunebooks in libraries and attics containing the music people have collected and written down in the last centuries. Many of these are not available to a large public, though, moreover the handwritings are not easy to read sometimes. So - I think they should be made public and written down in abc. I'm making a start with the collections of tunes from the North Sea island of Fanø, Denmark published in the tunebook "Tidsbillede" by Peter M. Uhrbrand as they are very dear to me and not as yet available in the abc format.
With a search function included you could browse through e.g. all the traditional music from lets say Denmark. Or all Swedish polskas. The Swedish have done a great job doing so (see Folkwiki) and so have the Irish (see the Session). I think it's very impressive everyone can contribute variations of tunes at - it's more a less a timestamp of how tunes are played at a certain time in a certain region.

Tage Aabech for example is making an impressive job for music from his home island of Fyn in Denmark. On his website he has uploaded scans of old Danish tunebooks from the region in which you can browse. Just click on a tunebook in the list and then on "bladr" (= Danish: browse).
Moreover he has got a search engineIf you want the whole list just leave the searchfield blank and press "søg" and then "vis node" on the left.
Just imagine they'd also be available in abc.
That way people who don't read notes easily could read them from tabs, listen to tunes at different speeds in order to learn them by ear, etc. - they'd be available to a much larger public.
But then of course someone would have to write them down in abc. I wonder if some people have already made some effort doing so - e.g. in Capella. It would be easy to export these files to musicxml there and import them on this site automatically converting them to abc. These could be stored in one large abc file which could also be linked to the original tunebooks found as scanned copies.
Maybe you know about other great projects for the preservation of our musical heritage? I could add some links here.

All the best, Jens W.


At you can exchange your favourite Irish tunes in ABC with other musicians and discuss traditional music.

The Danish site Spillefolk has a large number of Scandinavian tunes. On the top right you can check "Spil melodi" and as you move the mouse over the links the score will be displayed and the music will start playing! Clicking on the note will give you links to youtube, possibilities to slow down, repeat the music, etc. - just wonderful for learning!
Or browse through old Danish tune-manuscripts on the above mentioned site by Tage Aabech.

Folkwiki Looking for (mostly) Swedish music? Here you find a great selection in abc with a preview-function etc....

Riimiriihi lists Finnish tunes and songs in ABC format.

Orivesi All Stars from Finland have a collection of scores in different voices / for different instruments with corresponding Youtube videos online.

At Tanzmusikarchiv you will find mostly scans of old manuscripts with mostly northern German dancing tunes dating from the 17th to the 20th century.

TradTanzMusik is a youtube-channel focusung on new interpretations of German folk-melodies found in old manuscripts.

Tunepal Find traditional tunes by playing into your microphone.

ABC-notation search Looking for a tune? Try ABC-notation search!

Michael Eskin's Abc Transcription Tools has more or less the same functions as my "abctransposer" - it's actually a fork of it ;-)

Steve Mansfield's Abc music tutorial - learn how to write in the abc-format.

Abc Syntax - by Gerhard Schacherl - in German

This page uses some free Javascript libraries to generate the music, i.e.

abcjs by Paul Rosen and Gregory Dyke to convert abc to sheet music

html2canvas to prepare the html sheet music for PDF conversion

jsPDF to actually create the PDF

A Tin Whistle Fingering Font by Paul Merkel... to generate the whistle tabs.

xml2abc by Willem Vree... to convert MusicXml to abc.

and QRCode.js to generate a QR code of the abc-link for tune-sharing.

Without these free resources this project would not have been possible.

You can reach me by e-mail: jensis @ gmail . com