Alda is a new programming language that lets you compose music in a text editor

Alda is a new programming language that lets you compose music in a text editor

For years, composers and producers have used complex tools to digitally score music. Developer Dave Yarwood wants to change all that with Alda, a new programming language he created to help people write scores with little to no coding experience.

Yarwood found GUI-based scoring and production tools like Sibelius distracting and limiting when it came to actually penning music. Alda strips all that away and presents users with a simple syntax that they can use to compose MIDI scores in a text editor, without the need to learn a new software interface.

A basic score with its syntax in Alda
A basic score with its syntax in Alda

Alda supports commands for various note lengths, accidentals, multiple instruments and more. In its current state, it’s a handy tool for basic notation, but features like key transposition and repeats are still in the works.

Yarwood has written up a detailed guide to Alda, and says that he has plans to extend its scope to support samples and sounds beyond the General MIDI sound set it currently uses.

➤ Alda [GitHub]

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