2. Bach font family

Bach is an ANSI font, which has 256 character spaces. It contains 141 unique musical symbols while retaining much of the ordinary alpha-numeric symbols in Roman type-face. Under normal circumstances, the set of symbols provided in Bach font is sufficient. Still, the needs for extra symbols arose from time to time, which eventually became the introduction of the supplementary fonts which are explained briefly in this section. For a more detailed description, please refer to the documentation provided in each font package (compressed in ZIP), which can be downloaded from the link provided.

(a) Bach [download]

Bach41.TTF is the main font on which all the other associated fonts are based. It is important therefore to have a clear understanding of what this font does, what symbols it contains, and how it is designed to be used, which is explained in detail under section "3. Font Definition".

From revision 4.0 (released on 3 January 2001), Bach is accompanied by nine supplementary fonts which give small variations in the representation of symbols in the areas of stem direction and heights, as demonstrated in the following example.

This effect is achieved by applying on each component of the constructed symbols a variant of Bach font shown below:

Filename Font name Stem direction  Pitch level 
BACH4D.TTF Bach stem-down reverse of Bach same as Bach
BACH4D2H.TTF Bach stem-down 2h reverse of Bach 2nd higher
BACH4D2L.TTF Bach stem-down 2l reverse of Bach 2nd lower
BACH4D3H.TTF Bach stem-down 3h reverse of Bach 3rd higher
BACH4D3L.TTF Bach stem-down 3l reverse of Bach 3rd lower
BACH4U2H.TTF Bach stem-up 2nd higher same as Bach 2nd higher
BACH4U2L.TTF Bach stem-up 2nd lower same as Bach 2nd lower
BACH4U3H.TTF Bach stem-up 3rd higher same as Bach 3rd higher
BACH4U3L.TTF Bach stem-up 3rd lower same as Bach 3rd lower

Constructing these rhythmic symbols can be very time consuming. There is a macro program for Microsoft Word to automate the imput of these complex combination of symbols. See "5. How to use the fonts" for details.

(b) Bach-slurs [download]

Bach-slur (bachslr4.TTF) is a separate font which adds the capability of inserting slurs and triplet symbols above or below beamed notes, which were not supported in the original design of Bach. The length of slurs can be chosen from a collection of six sizes, as shown in the following demonostration:

All the symbols used in Bach are retained in this font except these additional slurs and triplet symbols which make use of character spaces originally occupied by alpha-numeric characters. (In other words, it is no longer possible to write ordinary sentences when this font is applied.).

Note that the stems of all the beamed symbols are slightly shorter than the original design of Bach (in order to accommodate the extra symbols above or below).

(c) Bach-antico [download]

Bach-antico is variant of Bach, specifically designed for Renaissance music scholars. Released in February 2008, Bach-antico.TTF (which replaces Bach4JP.TTF -- a beta release) contains many time-signature symbols used before the time of Bach.

Still, much of the symbols are shared. Beamed notes are basically the same except that Bach-antico.TTF has white note-head.

(d) Bach-ts [download]

Bach-ts.TTF is a font designed to extend the range of time-signature-related symbols contained in Bach. It is capable of creating time-signature from 1/1 to 24/24 in any combinations.

These symbols are assigned to the codes for alpha-numeric characters (0-9, A-Z), arranged in QWERTY row of a computer keyboard.

(e) Kodaly [download]

Kodaly font (Kodaly.TTF) is basically a set of Bach fonts without note-head, as shown below:

Last updated on 15 February 2009