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An easily customizable Kotlin multi-platform View to display guitar (and other stringed instrument) chords. Simple to use and beautifully designed.

Current Version: GitHub tag (latest by date)

Sample Screenshot Sample Screenshot

This library has been updated significantly from its original version and the process is detailed in this blog post which was featured in Android Weekly issue #398. Badge

Building the library

The library is provided through Checkout the releases page to get the latest version.
GitHub tag (latest by date)


repositories {
    maven { url = uri("") }







There are a few main components to using the library:

  • ChordWidget is the ChordView implementation that displays the chord.
  • ChordChart is a class that represents information about the chord chart that will be displayed.
  • Chord is a class that represents the markers on a chord that will be displayed.

Creating an instance of ChordWidget


<!-- Specify an exact size (MATCH_PARENT, MATCH_CONSTRAINTS, DP value). -->

Kotlin JS:

val widget = ChordWidget(htmlCanvas)

Jetpack Compose:

    modifier = Modifier.size(width = 200.dp, height = 200.dp),
    chord = chord,
    chart = chart

Assigning a ChordChart to a ChordWidget

chordWidget?.chart = ChordChart(
    fretStart = FretNumber(1),
    fretEnd = FretNumber(2),
    stringCount = 6,
    stringLabels = setOf(
        StringLabel(string = StringNumber(1), label = "e"),
        StringLabel(string = StringNumber(2), label = "B"),
        StringLabel(string = StringNumber(3), label = "G"),
        StringLabel(string = StringNumber(4), label = "D"),
        StringLabel(string = StringNumber(5), label = "A"),
        StringLabel(string = StringNumber(6), label = "E")

Creating a Chord using the DSL

val chord = chord("G") {
        fret = FretNumber(3),
        finger = Finger.MIDDLE,
        string = StringNumber(6)
        fret = FretNumber(2),
        finger = Finger.INDEX,
        string = StringNumber(5)
    +ChordMarker.Open(string = StringNumber(4))
    +ChordMarker.Open(string = StringNumber(3))
        fret = FretNumber(3),
        finger = Finger.RING,
        string = StringNumber(2)
        fret = FretNumber(3),
        finger = Finger.PINKY,
        string = StringNumber(1)

Assigning a Chord to a ChordWidget

chordWidget?.chord = chord

Note: This library doesn't try to coerce values to fit into a chart or exclude values that exceed the chart bounds. If the ChordChart and Chord have inconsistent values, the ChordWidget may look peculiar. It's important for the user of the library to properly handle coordinating the different components.

Parsing Chords from other formats

The ChordParser interface takes in an input type and outputs a ChordParseResult. This interface can be implemented for different format input types. There are a couple provided ChordParser implementations.


AsciiChordParser parses a String input of an ASCII Chord Diagram and outputs a ChordParseResult containing a Chord.

val chordDiagram = """
    e |-----0------|
    B |-----1------|
    G |-----0------|
    D |-----2------|
    A |-----3------|
    E |------------|

val parser = AsciiChordParser()

launch {
    // parse() is a suspending function and needs to be called from another suspending
    // function or a coroutine
    val result = parser.parse(chordDiagram)

    val chord: Chord = result.chord
    val stringLabels: Set<StringLabel> = result.stringLabels
    val baseFret: FretNumber? = result.baseFret


ChordProParser parses a String input of a Chord Pro (Chord or Define) Directive and outputs a ChordParseResult containing a Chord.

val chordDiagram = "{define: Bes base-fret 1 frets 1 1 3 3 3 1 fingers 1 1 2 3 4 1}"

val parser = ChordProParser()

launch {
    // parse() is a suspending function and needs to be called from another suspending
    // function or a coroutine
    val result = parser.parse(chordDiagram)

    val chord: Chord = result.chord
    val stringLabels: Set<StringLabel> = result.stringLabels
    val baseFret: FretNumber? = result.baseFret

Customizing the appearance

ChordWidget implements the ChordView interface which contains properties to alter the appearance of the view.


interface ChordView {


    var fitToHeight: Boolean

    var showFretNumbers: Boolean

    var showFingerNumbers: Boolean

    var stringLabelState: StringLabelState

    var mutedStringText: String

    var openStringText: String

    var fretColor: ColorInt

    var fretLabelTextColor: ColorInt

    var stringColor: ColorInt

    var stringLabelTextColor: ColorInt

    var noteColor: ColorInt

    var noteLabelTextColor: ColorInt


Updating properties directly on ChordWidget:

chordWidget?.noteColor = Color.BLUE
chordWidget?.openStringText = "o"

Note: That in Kotlin JS, you have to explicitly call the render() function after updating properties on the ChordWidget.

Updating properties using a ViewModel and Binder:

val binder = ChordViewBinder(chordWidget)

val viewModel = ChordViewModel(
    fretColor = Color.BLACK,
    fretLabelTextColor = Color.WHITE,
    stringLabelTextColor = Color.BLACK,
    stringColor = Color.BLACK,
    noteColor = Color.BLACK,
    noteLabelTextColor = Color.WHITE


Note: That in Kotlin JS, there is a convenience function ChordViewBinder.bindAndRender() which will bind the properties from the ChordViewModel to the ChordWidget and call render().

Updating properties in Android XML:


Available Android XML Attributes:

<attr name="fretColor" format="color"/>
<attr name="fretLabelTextColor" format="color"/>
<attr name="stringColor" format="color"/>
<attr name="stringLabelTextColor" format="color"/>
<attr name="noteColor" format="color"/>
<attr name="noteLabelTextColor" format="color"/>
<attr name="mutedStringText" format="string"/>
<attr name="openStringText" format="string"/>
<attr name="showFingerNumbers" format="boolean"/>
<attr name="showFretNumbers" format="boolean"/>
<attr name="stringLabelState" format="enum">
<enum name="number" value="0"/>
<enum name="label" value="1"/>
<enum name="hide" value="2"/>
<attr name="fitToHeight" format="boolean"/>
<attr name="fretLabelTypeface" format="reference"/>
<attr name="noteLabelTypeface" format="reference"/>
<attr name="stringLabelTypeface" format="reference"/>

Selectable Chord names in Text using Android Spans

The library comes with a ChordSpan which allows the pairing of text with a Chord. And when the ChordSpan is selected, a listener is alerted with the Chord.

Adding a ChordSpan to a TextView:

val text = SpannableString("G")
val span = ChordSpan(chord, this) // "this" refers to the listener

text.setSpan(span, 0, 1, Spannable.SPAN_INCLUSIVE_EXCLUSIVE)

textView?.text = text
// Need to specify LinkTouchMovementMethod as the movement method for clicks to work
textView?.movementMethod = LinkTouchMovementMethod()

Using DSL functions to add a ChordSpan to a TextView:

val textBuilder = buildSpannableString {
    +chordSpan(chord, listener)

    +chordSpan("G", chord) {
        // Handle click event

    +styledChordSpan(chord, listener) {
        this.backgroundColor = Color.BLUE

textView?.text = textBuilder
// Need to specify LinkTouchMovementMethod as the movement method for clicks to work
textView?.movementMethod = LinkTouchMovementMethod()

Listening to Chord selected events:

class MainActivity : AppCompatActivity(),
    ChordSpan.ChordSelectedListener {

    override fun onChordSpanSelected(chord: Chord) {
        // Perform action with chord

Customizing the ChordSpan appearance:

ChordSpan extends from TouchableSpan which inherits from TouchableSpanView and has the following customizable properties:

var backgroundColor = Color.TRANSPARENT
var selectedBackgroundColor = Color.TRANSPARENT
var textColor = Color.BLUE
var selectedTextColor = Color.BLUE
var isUnderlined = false
var isUnderlinedWhenSelected = false
var textTypeface = Typeface.DEFAULT
var selectedTextTypeface = Typeface.DEFAULT

These properties can be changed on the span:

span.textColor = Color.RED

Passing Chords between Android components

The model classes are not Parcelable because they are in a Kotlin multi-platform module and don't have access to Android Framework classes. But the Android library module does have wrapper classes that handle the serialization and de-serialization of the Chord and ChordChart models.

These classes are ParcelableChordWrapper and ParcelableChartWrapper. To pass Chord and ChordChart between components, such as, in a Bundle, just wrap them with their respective wrapper models.

arguments =
    Bundle().apply {
        putParcelable(KEY_CHORD, ParcelableChordWrapper(chord))
        putParcelable(KEY_CHART, ParcelableChartWrapper(chart))

Then retrieve the wrappers just as you would with any other Parcelable object.


For convenience, there are extension functions on the Bundle and Intent objects which handle the wrapping and unwrapping of the Chord and ChordChart objects.


arguments =
    Bundle().apply {
        putChord(KEY_CHORD, chord)
        putChordChart(KEY_CHART, chart)

val chord = arguments?.getChord(KEY_CHORD)
val chart = arguments?.getChordChart(KEY_CHART)


intent.putChord(KEY_CHORD, chord)
intent.putChordChart(KEY_CHART, chart)

val chord = intent.getChordExtra(KEY_CHORD)
val chart = intent.getChordChartExtra(KEY_CHART)

There is also a convenience ChordAndChart class (with similar Parcelable extension functions) for when both a Chord and a ChordChart need to be passed between Android components together.

val chordAndChart = ChordAndChart(chord = chord, chart = chordChart)

// Bundle
arguments = bundle.putChordAndChart(KEY_CHORD_AND_CHART, chordAndChart)

// Intent
intent.putChordAndChartExtra(KEY_CHORD_AND_CHART, chordAndChart)


Checkout the sample modules for examples on using the library.


Copyright 2020 chRyNaN

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.