"Griffschrift" transformation script

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buttonbox styrian style

Transformation of standard notation 
into „Griffschrift“(Tabulature)




Actual transformation

Call of "The_Ziach_A"

Call of "The Ziach B" and correction

Call of "The Ziach C" and correction



You want to produce „Griffschrift“? That is now possible with Capella Notation program version professionell, price performance ratio is favourable, and it functions without major problems.

On the page www.capella.de you can get Capella 2004 German version and/or updates and upgrades in addition, the Link to the English version is: www.capella-software.com.

On Peter Becker’s page www.peter-becker-cap.de you will find the script "Ziach”, also in english, the newest version (24. 09. 2022) is available free of charge to download. You need all three parts (A, B and C). The script  is constantly developed further, however it is already quite useful.

In addition you should install the character set "Ziach.ttf” available for download at the same source. To install the new character set go to "start-settings- control panel” Folder, Font folder" and there " File-install new font" search for the file on your computer, select the previously saved file and do the installation.top


The Steirische is quite limited in respect to the repertoire it is possible to play, a lot off melodies are not really playable, because of missing bass chords or bass notes, because of missing semi tones (half-tones) or also only because the sound is mismatched for certain pieces. Therefore with this script you will not succeed in converting the “Donauwalzer of Strauß”, the “ninth Symphonie of Beethoven” nor will you be able to translate with skirt “rock around the clock” and many other tunes as it is thought in the first place.

At present, this script supports the 3-row Steirische accordion and major scales. The key layouts of this accordion can be found on Christian Amons page members.yline.com/~arizona/harmonika headline: 3-Reiher, 33 Tasten Normal, whereby the most diverse kinds of scales are selectable, on the same site you find the key layouts of the bass buttons under the headline: „3-Reiher Basssysteme - zit. bei Maurer S. 158“, likewise the most diverse kinds of scales are selectable. This is the traditional layout for standard models in Styria.

Minor can only be converted with work arounds, for example: it is better, a step 6 minor progression to change into the step 4 major progression first. „Griffschrift“ for the four-row cannot be produced directly at present time.

Up to three neighbouring major scales can be converted at once, they must be next to each other on the circle of 5ths.

It is only possible to translate notes present on the traditional Steirische key layout, semi tones or auxiliary keys for accidentals present on some other layouts can’t be translated. These extra buttons aren’t supported yet.top


First you need a Capella file with standard notation in any major key, with one note line and one voice as staring point. This voice can contain more notes, but all note heads have to share the same stem. If there are more lines or voices for the tune, you have to edit the standard notation. (To delete an unnecessary voice, you can use the keys F11 in combination with Strg + Del. See your Capella documentation)

Accompanying basses (fundamental basses, bass progressions) are absolutely necessary, they can be added as simple text or transposable symbols. From this the bass voice and push or pull is then derived.

The following major chords are supported at present time:

C-major: C , F, G, G7, Dm, d F-major: F, Bb, C, C7, Gm, g
G-major: G , C, D, D7, Am, a Bb-major: Bb , Eb, F, F7, Cm, c
D-major: D , G, A, A7, Em, e Eb-major: Eb , Ab, Bb, Bb7, Fm, f
A-major: A, D, E, E7, Bm, b Ab-major: Ab, Db, Eb, Eb7, Bbm, bb
E-major: E, A, B, B7, F#m, f# Db-major: Db, Gb, Ab, Ab7, Ebm, eb
B-major: B , E, F#, F#7, C#m, c# Gb-major: Gb. Cb, Db, Db7, Abm, ab
Fis-major:  F# , B, C#, C#7, G#m, g# Cb-major: Cb, Fb, Gb, Gb7, Dbm, db
Cis-major: C# , F#, G#, G#7, d#m. d#

Transposable symbols must correspond to this way of writing! Possibly by trial and error you can verify whether your own way of writing is supported or not.

The Accompanying chord must fit as a fundamental chord to the scale notes used in the respective treble measure. Otherwise, the results of the conversion is completely unreasonable and useless! Tonic (first step progression) are usable, dominant (fifth step progressions), Sub dominant (fourth step progressions), double dominant (major triad on top of the 2nd step progressions), now also 2nd step progressions (1st step progressions minor chord), however these are converted into the Sub dominant (fourth step progressions). top


First you should make a backup copy of the file which will be converted, in order to be able to step back in case of problems.

The preludes are converted into push direction. If a prelude should to be played in pull direction (dominant 5 step progression) or in another kind of scale, insert the appropriate accompanying chord here as well, after converting you can edit the bass line to represent the more complex fingering for runs or similar things.

Depending on the desired degree of difficulty, you can simplify tunes with more voices in advance, by deletion of the more unimportant (the lower notes of chord) notes. Practically, fast runs should be played with single keys. Deleting individual notes from a chord is managed with Capella by simply typing this note in the chord again.

If the tune contains tones which are part of the Tonic (accompanying step 1 progression), but only available in pull direction, you can assign the Dominant accompanying 5th step progression to these tones and then to the next note or sometimes to one note later in this measure the required Tonic (accompanying 1st step progression) again.

If tones occur in the tune, which are not at all present on the usual accordion, these tones are recognizable (at latest) by red coloration . You cannot play this tune on the accordion as it is written. If necessary you can delete unimportant notes or you can replace the note with another note existing on the accordion. If you have accidentals on your instrument it is up to you, you may leave the red note or do some remarks later.

Possible minor chords must be replaced by major accompanying chords in the following pattern:

If your accordion possesses minor chords in pull direction, it is best to take one of the Dominant accompanying chords and replace this after transformation, by hand with the appropriate bass letter.

If your accordion possesses minor chords in the push direction, it is best to take one of the Tonic accompanying chords and replace this after transformation, by hand with the appropriate bass letter.

If your accordion does not possess minor chords, you cannot really convert minor parts. However the fourth step major progression, can be used instead and nearly always fits instead of the second step.

You can experience More about minors on the Steirischen on your own, on my site "bass systems".top

Actual transformation

Call of "The_Ziach_A"

This script prepares the score for the actual conversion to „Griffschrift“, by transposing chords and notes for a 3-row accordion in G/D/A scales.

In this stage the decision is made which notes is played on push or pull .

If a tune uses only one diatonic scale you can select the preferred row.

If the tune uses 2 diatonic scales next to each other in the circle of 5ths you also can select the preferred row.top

Call of "The_Ziach_B"

This script translates the prepared score into „Griffschrift“.

You have the following options:

Produce note lines with „Griffschrift“ only.

Please test, what corresponds to your needs.

What is to happen with unplayable notes?

suppress and/or don't indicate?

Only recommended, if you saved time by not preparing the score accordingly and hoping to obtain nevertheless a useful result.

If only individual notes are untranslatable in a chord, the result can be quite useless. If the whole chord is not translatable, the result becomes at present still useless.

Represent in red?

Helps more, to indicate directly unplayable notes. These are not converted, but are printed red. You can try to convert and colour, if you like, you can edit these red notes by hand, with format colour you can change the colour to black again.

Notes, which are not convertible in push direction, very probably however are present in pull direction, you can give it a second try by assigning a major 5th step progression, or you can position them with O + error keys to the correct position by hand.

How are the ¼ note heads of the internal row represented?

The classical head form with the “x” set in front or the alternative form with the “x” as head are both normal.

Accompanying rhythm in quarter or in eighth notes (waltz or march usually uses quarter, Polka usually eighths).

Attitude of various line spaces.

If the Octave position is not optimal in individual rows, this can be changed individually, if necessary in a second try after using the undo last command of Capella.

After this transformation with script B you can make further changes, e.g.:

Line spaces

Character sizes

Correct overlaid “x”s with second notes and distances by pushing “x” heads to the other side


Call of "The_Ziach_C"top

In addition, this script makes optical corrections, e.g. appearance of the print, introduces accompanying (small bass letters).

You can adjust:

Bass line

Tab sign (TAB): without, small, large

Connecting line to the bass: leave it, delete it completely, delete it partly.

After using script C you can adapt the accompanying letters to your needs:

You can exchange or substitute symbols for minor for your minor letters (right mouse button - editing)

You can delete unnecessary bass letters (right mouse button - deletion), for example in the conclusion chords or with the preludes.

You can change bass letters, insert 3rd bass or bass runs.

You can convert red notes, not converted, by hand to playable keys:

You can delete individual unplayable notes in chords.

You can change the note (or the chord) to pull, if you did not already make this change before, in addition the underline must be changed too.

You can try to find a similar or a playable note, without changing the tune too much.

You can also, if you want and if you know how, change the Fundamental bass to Alternating bass.

In push direction (underline) every second Fundamental bass note has to be changed, from B to A or C to B.

In pull direction (without underline) every second Fundamental bass note has to be changed too, but starting with the first Note (1st, 3rd, 5th,…)

But be careful, this is only correct if the numbers of the measures are straight. (2,4,6,..) if the progressions is something else as 1 to 5 with alternating bass, then it is different or not used.


If after using the scripts you get some results you dislike, like too high or too low position of keys, to many unconvertable chords, then you can try to repeat the translation with new changes by editing the original again and making another attempt to get a usable result. But don’t forget to save the original, so that this process is possible again.

You can try to adapt the original file, explained above in Preparations to get better results.

As a final task you can “mark everything” and run “transpose/adapt without transpose active” to correct the “Bindebögen” (ties/slurs).top


Through editing with an external script like „The_Ziach_B“ it is possible, that some notes with a second interval are on top of each other. After saving and reloading the picture is corrected again. However an undo is not possible after this process!

Undo is usually possible in every Step of this process, sometimes it brings problems. You should save backups of the original or even from some other steps in the work process.

In this context I would also like to bring back to attention the old bug still not fixed by Capella. If one uses undo, the lay out can get in disorder sometimes also only by the use of a script. The result is then extremely long note stems and other errors in the formatting. With Peter Beckers script „Layout_fix“ also available on his site people.freenet.de/peter.becker, this can be fixed in nearly every case. The best practice is to run this script first every time you save your work, not to get an unwanted surprise when opening the file.top

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