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ChordPro Format Description

A text based format that originated in the early days of the internet, and was mainly used in news groups to exchange chords. It usually has one of the following file extensions: pro, chopro, chordpro, cpm, and occasionally txt or crd, though the later usually refers to regular text chords.

(Note: by "text based" i mean plain text, as in files created in Notepad on windows or TextEdit on a mac. There are of course many such editors, which might be better for some, and allow for more advanced options, like notepad++ on windows, or Text Wrangler on mac)

Chords are written in brackets, "[]", in-line with the lyrics at the position that chords are to be played. In example:

A[G]lways l[Em]ook on the l[Am]ight s[D7]ide of l[G]ife

would result in:
 G      Em          Am    D7      G
Always look on the light side of life

The rest of the format is based on lines containing commands in curled brackets, "{}", and lines containing invisible comments that start with a number sign, "#". The following table contains the different available commands which are the most common commands used (there are more commands which were originated from the different implementations of the format):

Command
Description
{title:X} or {t:X}
Sets the title of the song. Usually at the top of the file.
{subtitle:X} or {st:X}Sets the subtitle, and usually used for the artist or composer of the song. Usually at the top of the file.
{comment:X} or {c:X}
Used to add a visible comment to the song. For example, specifying that the song should be played with a capo, or an alternative tuning.
{start_of_chorus} or {soc}
{end_of_chorus} or {eoc}
Marks the chorus in the song
{start_of_tab} or {sot}
{end_of_tab} or {eot}
Marks a part of the file which should be interpret as plain-text. Used mainly to add parts containing text tablature.
{define CHORD OFFSET S6 S5 S4 S3 S2 S1}
or
define CHORD base-offset OFFSET frets S6..S1
Define how to play a certain chord. CHORD is the name of the chord; S6-S1 is the position of the fret on each string relative to the OFFSET.

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