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README.md

Skoar and Skoarcery

Skoar is a high-level language for coding music.

It runs on SuperCollider, a free and fantastic audio programming environment.

Skoarcery is a set of tools to define, test, and build the Skoar language.

Example

listen on soundcloud

<? Zelda Theme - inspired by piano arrangement by Shinobu Amayake ?>

130 => )

.alice    @default => @instrument [#####   ] => @amp
.bob      @default => @instrument [#####   ] => @amp
.bass    @sawpulse => @instrument [###     ] => @amp  o~~~~
.hats        @hats => @instrument [##      ] => @amp
.snare      @snare => @instrument [##      ] => @amp
.kick        @kick => @instrument [###     ] => @amp

{! bass_end<x>    !! !x ) ) ) ] ]     !}
{! bass_climb     !! | _e ]] _a# ]] c# ]  e ]] a# ]] ~o c# ] e ) } | f ) o~ _f ]] ]] ] ) } | !}

{! bassline_a !!
  <a#, g#, f#, c#, b, a#, c>.{: .) ]] ]] ] ) ) :}
  !bass_end<f>
!}

{! bassline_b !!
  <a#, g#, f#, f>.{: ) ]] ]] ] ) ) :}
  !bass_climb !bass_climb
  <b, a#, c     >.{: ) ]] ]] ] ) ) :} !bass_end<f>
!}


{! intro !!

  .hats  {: }}} :: 4 times :}
  .snare {: }}} :: 4 times :}
  .kick  {: }}} :: 4 times :}

  .alice | _a# ))        o/. ]]  ]] ]] ] |     ]. _g#  ]] _a# )        o/.  ]]  ]] ]] ] |
  .bob   | _d  ))        o/. ]]  ]] ]] ] | _c  ].      ]]     )        o/.  ]]  ]] ]] ] |
  .bass  |  a# ) ]] ]] ] )       ]] ]] ] |  g# )              ]] ]] ]  )        ]] ]] ] |

  .alice |     ]. _g# ]] _a# )       o/. ]] ]] ]] ] |   ]    _f ]] ]]  ] ]] ]]  ] ]] ]]  ]     ] |
  .bob   | _c# ].     ]]     )       o/. ]] ]] ]] ] |   ] o~ _a ]] ]]  ] ]] ]]  ] ]] ]]  ]     ] |
  .bass  |  f# )             ]] ]] ] )      ]] ]] ] | f )              )        )      g ]   a ] |
!}

{! melody_a !!

  .bass !bassline_a

  .hats  {: }}} :: 7 times :} | ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] |
  .snare {: }}} :: 8 times :}
  .kick  {: }}} :: 8 times :}

  .alice | _a# ) _f )__          o/. _a# ]]  ]]   c ]]  d ]] d# ]] |
  .bob   | _d  )    ]] ]] _c ] _d ].     ]]  ]] _d# ]] _f ]] _g ]] |

  .alice |  f  ))                             o/ ]   f ]  f# ]] g# ]] |
  .bob   | _g# ]. _a# ]] ]] c ]] d ]] d# ]] f )    _g# ] _a# ]] c  ]] |

  .alice |  a# ))                                  o/ a# ]  ]  g# ]]  f# ]] |
  .bob   |  c# ]. _f# ]]  ]] _g# ]] _a# ]] c ]] c# ]. ]]    ]  c  ]] _a# ]] |

  .alice | g# ].  f# ]]  f ))                      )               |
  .bob   | c# ]. _g# ]]    ]] ]] _f# ]  _g# ]. ]]  ]] _f# ]] _g# ] |

  .alice |  d# ] ]]  f ]]  f# ))                  f ] d#  ] |
  .bob   | _f# ] ]] _f ]] _f# ] ]] _g# ]] _a# ) _g# ] _f# ] |

  .alice |  c# ] ]]  d# ]]  f ))                 d# ]  c# ] |
  .bob   | _f  ] ]] _d# ]] _f ] ]] _f# ]] _g# ) _f# ] _d# ] |

  .alice |  c ] ]]  d ]]  e ))                      g )     |
  .bob   | _e ] ]] _d ]] _e ] ]] _g ] ]] _a ]] ]] _a# ] c ] |

  .alice |  f ]     _f ]] ]]  ] ]] ]]   ] ]] ]]   ]  ]    |
  .bob   | _a ] o~  _a ]] ]]  ] ]] ]]   ] ]] ]]   ]  ] ~o |

!}


{! melody_b !!

  .bass !bassline_b

  .hats  {: ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]] ]] :: 12 times :}
  .kick  {: )   }   )   }       :: 12 times :}
  .snare {: }   )   }   )       :: 11 times :} | ] ]]  ]]  ] ]] ]]  ]  ] |

  .alice | _a# ) _f )             o/.  _a# ]]  ]]   c ]]  d ]] d# ]] |
  .bob   | _d  )    ]] ]] _c ]  _d ].      ]]  ]] _d# ]] _f ]] _g ]] |

  .alice |  f  ))                             o/ ]   f ]  f# ]] g# ]] |
  .bob   | _g# ]. _a# ]] ]] c ]] d ]] d# ]] f )    _g# ] _a# ]] c  ]] |

  .alice | a# )). ~o c# ) | c  ) o~ a )) f  ) |  f# )).  a# ) | a )  f )) ) |
  .bob   | c# )).    e  ) | d# )    c )) _a ) | _b  )).  c# ) | c ) _a )) ) |

  .alice |  f# )). a# ) | a )  f )) d ) |  d# )).  f# ) |  f  )  c# )) _a# ) |
  .bob   | _b  )). c# ) | c ) _a ))   ) | _f# )). _b  ) | _a# ) _f  )) _c# ) |

  .alice |  c ] ]]  d ]]  e ))                        g  )     |
  .bob   | _e ] ]] _d ]] _e ] ]] _f ]] _g ] ]] _a ]] _a# ] c ] |

  .alice |  f ]    _f ]] ]]  ] ]] ]]   ] ]] ]]   ]  ]    |
  .bob   | _a ] o~ _a ]] ]]  ] ]] ]]   ] ]] ]]   ]  ] ~o |

!}

{! fill !!
  .alice |  f ]    _f ]] ]]  ] ]] ]]   ] ]] ]]   ]  ]    |
  .bob   | _a ] o~ _a ]] ]]  ] ]] ]]   ] ]] ]]   ]  ] ~o |
  .snare |    ]       ]] ]]  ] ]] ]]   ] ]] ]]   ]  ]    |
  .hats  |    ]       ]      ] ]       ] ]       ]  ]    |
  .kick  |    )              }         )         )       |
  .bass !bass_end<f>
!}

!intro
!melody_a
!fill
!melody_b
!fill

listen on soundcloud

More examples: examples.md

See also: listen to dungeontimes

And also: listen to brand new shoes

Skoar

Skoar is a language for coding music, combining a grand-staff-like notation with a flexible programming notation.

beats and rests

__beats_______________   __rests_______________

))) - whole               }}} - whole
))  - half                 }} - quarter
)   - quarter               } - quarter
]   - eighth               o/ - eighth
]]  - sixteenth           oo/ - sixteenth
]]] - thirty secondth    ooo/ - thirthy secondth

fancy beats - dotted, staccato, ties

).  - dotted quarter
]]. - dotted sixteenth
o/. - dotted eighth rest

.)   - staccato quarter
.]]. - staccato and dotted sixteenth

)__  - quarter with a tie (ties to the next beat)
)__. - dotted quarter with a tie

noats

We call them noats, not notes, you see, notes are already things; nor are these noats the nearly named noads, which are also totally things..

<? use # or b after the noat to sharp or flat it. Or use scale degree numbers. ?>

c ) d ) eb ) f ]] ]] g ] ] g# )

<? you get two octaves to work with, prepend _ for the lower octave. ?>

<_c, _d, _e, _f, _g, _a, _b, c, d, e, f, g, a, b>.choose ]]

key

{! foo !! <0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7>.{: ]] :} !}

Am => @key !foo
Fb => @key !foo

<E, @dorian> => @key !foo
<F, @minorPentatonic> => @key !foo

transpose

Just set @tranpose.

-3 => @transpose

tempo

Sort of like a metronome marker, set the bpm to a beat length:

80 => ) <? 80 quarter notes per minute ?>
80 => ] <? 80 eighth notes per minute ?>

choards

A Am A#m Asus2 Adim etc..

Or we can use lists of noats:

<_a,c,e> )  <_a,c#,e> ) <0,2,4> ))

changing the octave

<? up one octave ?>    <? down one ?>
~o                     o~
8va                    8vb
ottava alta            ottava bassa

<? up two ?>           <? down two ?>
~~o                    o~~
15ma                   15mb
alla quindicesima

dynamics

We have to use the full word forte, f is a noat.

fff ffforte ppp pppiano piano mp mf ff pp p 

or, use a hash level, and set @amp:

.strings  [###  ] => @amp
.piano    [#### ] => @amp
.bass     [#### ] => @amp

Hash levels can be any length:

[ ] is 0
[#] is 1
[## ] is 0.66ish

repeats

Colons:

|: _a ]]] c ]]] e ]]] :| g ]]] ooo/ ]]] :|

Segnos and Codas: (Codas currently not implemented)

| _a ) c ) e ) | ,segno` ) ]] ]] e ]] | f D.S. al fine ) ) ) fine

| ,segno` c ]] e ]] (+) ]] ]] D.S. al Coda '.......'  (+) | a) c) e) } |

Infinite repeats:

<? from the top ?>
| _a] c] e] | D.C. <? also accept Da Capo ?>

<? from the segno ?>
| _a] c] e] o/ | ,segno` _f] f] _f] o/ Dal Segno |

variables

We can set and get values from a dictionary local to the voice. Anything set here will be copied into the resulting event every beat; which we can use to configure the voice.

<? names of things start with @ ?>
@smooth => @instrument
<0,3,5> => @detune

<? to lookup the values, we use ! in place of @.... more on ! below.. ?>
a# => @foo
!foo )

loops

This is a simple loop:

{: ]] oo/ ]] ]] :: 8 times :} 

You can send a loop to an array as a message to implement a foreach loop:

<_a, _c, c, _e, e, _a>.{: ] ]] ]] :}

If you also put a boolean condition, it will keep foreaching while the condition is true.

<_a, _c, c, _e, e, _a>.{: ] ]] ]] :: !groovy == 5 :}

conditionals

An if example:

{? !x == !y ?? ]]] ?}

An if with else example:

{? !x == !y ?? ]]] ?? ooo/ ?}

Acceptable boolean operators:

== != >= <= and or xor

At the moment, don't use < or >

Skoarpions

The Skoarpion is like a function, but more like a subroutine, plus a magical fairy with a very short term memory.

{! name<args> !!
  body
  ...
!}

Let's make a skoarpion:

{! drumsBasic<x> !! 4/4
    .h  {: ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] :: !x times :}
    .s  {: }   )   }   )   :: !x times :}
    .k  {: ))      ))      :: !x times :}
!}

If drumsBasic is called by the .h voice, then {: ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] :: !x times :} is executed; .s voice: {: } ) } ) :: !x times :}, .k etc..

If any lines are not voiced (like that 4/4), they will be run by every voice.

Skoarpions normally have scope, but they can be inlined with .inline, which can be convenient:

{! alice !! ~o mp
  <c#, e, _a, g#> => @favorites
          <0,5,7> => @detune
            @acid => @instrument
!}

{! bob<x> !! o~~ forte
  @bass => @instrument
     !x => @favorites
!}

<? here's an anonymous skoarpion ?>
{! <x> !! <0, 4, !x> => @detune !} => @charlie

.a !alice.inline
.b !bob<<a,e>>.inline
.c !charlie<<5,7,9>.choose>.inline
...

Skoarpions don't return values. But, every value leaves an impression on the magical fairy, and so it can be said that in a way, skoarpions "return" things. But, that's not what really going on.

{! foo<x,y> !! !x + !y !}

!foo<2,3> => @x   <? x is now 5 ?>

Wait, magical fairy?

The Magical Fairy

"Any sufficiently defined magic, is indistinguishable from technology."

There is a magical fairy, who is following along the skoar when it is performed.

Whenever the fairy encounters any kind of value, it leaves a short term impression on her.

Whenever you do 5 => @x, the fairy's last impression (here, 5) is saved to @x.

The fairy can be directly referenced with $.

If you need to save the impression, whatever it is at the moment, you can do $ => @x

Complex expressions are handled by the fairy via arcane magic.

Values and operators will be operated on in the order they appear. SuperCollider users are familiar with this concept.

5 + 2 * 3 => @x       <? x is now 21, certainly not 10 ?>

<0, $+1, $+2> => @x   <? x is now <0,1,3> ?>

Math

0 + 2 == 2
<0> + 2 == <0, 2>
<_a, c> + e == <_a, c, e>

0 * 2 == 0
2 * 2 == 4

increments and decrements:

2 => @x    <? x is now 2 ?>
2 +> @x    <? x is now 4 ?>
1 -> @x    <? x is now 3 ?>
2 *> @x    <? x is now 6 ?>

Randomness

.rand for numbers, .choose for lists.

<? save into @food, a random number between zero and five ?>
5.rand => @food

<? choose a random note ?>
<c,d,e,f,g,a,b>.choose

These are messages passed down to supercollider. You say .rand because in SC, Integer has a .rand method, Array has .choose

Cats

We don't have nil in Skoar. We do, however, have cats.

=^.^=   <? a cat ?>

Cats eat variables. If you need to unset a variable, use a cat.

'foo' => @x     <? x is now 'foo' ?>

=^.^= => @x     <? x is gone ?>

If you make a list of cats, they will stay.

< =^.^=, =^.^= >    <? a list of cats. In supercollider, this will be [nil, nil] ?>

If you declare a skoarpion to take arguments, but don't supply them, cats will be supplied.

{! foo<x> !! !x + 2 } !foo => @y   <? a cat eats y (because a cat + 2 is a cat) ?>

If you try to use a variable that doesn't exist, you will find a cat.

<? if x doesn't exist, set it to 3 ?>

{? !x == =^.^= ?? 3 => @x ?}

If you call a SuperCollider function, and it returns nil, you will have a cat.

Cthulhu

You can wake Cthulhu, crashing the skoar:

^^(;,;)^^

Cthulhu can also make assertions:

^^(;!octave == 5;)^^

If the octave isn't 5, Cthulhu will be so upset that he'll wake up and crash your skoar.

Cats definitely wake Cthulhu.

^^(;=^.^=;)^^

Recap of various skoar blocks

<? comment ?>

{: loop_part :: condition :}
    
{? condition ?? if_part ?? else_part ?}

{? condition ?? 
    .voice_1    if_part ?? else_part 
    .voice_2    if_part ?? else_part 
    ...
    .voice_n    if_part ?? else_part 
?}

{! skoarpion_name<args> !! skoarpion_body !}
{! skoarpion_name !! skoarpion_body !}
{! <args> !! skoarpion_body !}

{! skoarpion_name<args> !! 
    .voice_1    skoarpion_body 
    .voice_2    skoarpion_body 
    ...
    .voice_n    skoarpion_body 
!}

^^(; cthulhu_condition ;)^^

< list_item_1, list_item_2, ... >

Install

First, clone this git repo to, for example ~/GitHub/Skoarcery

Get the very latest SuperCollider 3.7

Point SuperCollider at the ~/GitHub/Skoarcery/SuperCollider/Skoar folder: In SuperCollider's interpreter options (edit->preferences->interpreter), include the folder ~/GitHub/Skoarcery and restart the interpreter.

Try the examples in examples. Dungeontimes is the simplest.

If you are seeing failures about UnitTest not found, be sure you have pointed SC at ~/GitHub/Skoarcery/SuperCollider/Skoar rather than ~/GitHub/Skoarcery.

Skoarcery

Skoarcery is the set of tools and tests that builds skoar compilers.

The lexical and syntactic analysers, lex.sc and rdpp.sc (ditto .py) are built with Skoarcery. They are built and written to .../SuperCollider/Skoar.

Currently the built code is checked in, you don't need to get Skoarcery working unless you want to work on the language.

terminals.py

  • Tokens by convention are UpperCamelCase.

  • Tokens are defined with regexes that have to work with both SuperCollider and Python. All we do is recognise, no capture groups.

  • Tokens are typically converted to Skoarpuscles in the top section of decorating.sc

nonterminals.py

  • Defines an LL(1) grammar suitable for building recursive decent predictive parsers for skoar.

  • Nonterminals by convention are like_this

  • + before a nonterminal indicates this is an intermediate step that can be skipped in the constructed parse tree, it will not create a new skoarnode, instead appending its noads to its parent's children list.

  • Semantics defined in the second half of decorating.sc

Misc Skoarcery

laboaratoary

  • These are our unit tests.
  • Test the grammar for LL(1), test that it compiles in sclang, test skoars, etc..

factoary

  • These are written as unit tests, they build our lexers and parsers. Done this way because we generate some information, test it, build on it, test that ...

  • The important one at the moment is Build_Sc.py, it will run tests, build files, run more tests, etc.. it builds Skoar. This one builds Skoar.

  • Code_Lexer_Py.py, Code_Lexer_Sc.py - Build lex.py, lex.sc

  • Code_Parser_Py.py, Code_Parser_Sc.py - Build rdpp.py, rdpp.sc

Skoar Code

The Generated Code

  • lex.sc - Lexical analyser, defines classes for each token, extending SkoarToke.

    • in Skoar, we call them Tokes, in Skoarcery, they are Terminals, or tokens.
  • rdpp.sc - Recursive descent predictive parser. Builds the parse tree.

The Hand Coded Code - Mostly The Runtime

  • skoar.sc - The skoar object you get from compiling your skoar. From here you get a pattern object and play it.
  • apparatus.sc - The parse tree code. Noads, searching, iteration, etc.
  • decorating.sc - Second stage, decorate the parse tree.
  • koar.sc - Each voice is performed on a koar by a minstrel.
  • minstrel.sc - Minstrels are agents who read and perform their own voice of a skoar piece.
  • skoarpions.sc - Implements the Skoarpion, our general purpose control-flow construct.
  • beaty.sc - The code for beats and rests.
  • pitchy.sc - The code for pitchy stuff. Noats, choards, etc.
  • toker.sc - Toker for the parser.
  • skoarpuscles.sc - Skoarpuscles, the thingy things are all skoarpuscles.