This is M-Tx 0.30, a beta test release of a music-from-text translator,
written by Dirk Laurie (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The M-Tx package contains a description of the M-Tx language and a
preprocessor that converts it to the PMX language. The description can
be printed if you have access to one of the following:
1. A HP Laserjet-compatible printer.
2. A Postscript printer.
3. A working installation of TeX, including the MusiXTeX fonts.
Otherwise, stop right here. You might as well delete M-Tx from your
system, because you will also need one of those to print your own music.
Your own computer must either have the ability to run MS-DOS programs
(most DOS emulators on other systems will work) or have a reasonably
up-to-date C compiler (i.e. one that can handel ANSI C).
You must have access to a working installation of PMX 1.3 and MusiXTeX
(T.73 or newer) on a computer near you (physically or cyberspatially)
before you can produce visible music output. If you do not know what PMX
(by Don Simons), TeX (by Donald Knuth) or MusiXTeX (by Daniel Taupin) are
(you need not know any of them well) I do not recommend that you use M-Tx
for any other purpose than reading the manual and looking at the examples.
Although a recent version of musixlyr.tex is included here, you should
get the fully documented, though older, version from a TeX archive like
ftp.gmd.de. Don't actually use the older version, just read the parts
of the documentation you need.
You have unzipped the file mtx030.zip into some suitable subdirectory.
You should have specified an option that converts text files to the
correct format for your system, e.g. unzip -a mtx030. If your unzipper
does not have such an option, your text files will only be correct if
your system happens to have the same text format as mine, and you may
need to convert them by using a system utility or a text editor.
In MSDOS just use EDIT: load the file and immediately save it without
You will have to move the file musixlyr.tex, provided by courtesy of
Rainer Dunker, to a directory in the TeX input path.
If you don't have MS-DOS or an emulator, you will need to build an
executable. On a UNIX or similar system you can go to the prepmx/p2c
directory and type:
cc *.c -o prepmx
In either case, move the executable to a directory in the execution path.
PRINT OUT A COPY OF THE DOCUMENTATION, i.e. one of the files
mtxdoc.lj (LaserJet), mtxdoc.ps (PostScript), mtxdoc.dvi (TeX DVI),
AND READ IT (or anyway its first few pages). These are formatted for
A4. To make the manual look perfect on US letter paper, you will need
to put mtxdoc.tex through steps 3 and 4 in the file doc/MAKEDOC.
Testing your installation
There are some .mtx files provided with this distribution. They have
been shown to work on both MS-DOS and Linux systems. Try them. Or
try re-making the manual -- see doc/MAKEDOC.
Command line and exit code
See the User's manual for the options. You select them by typing e.g.
prepmx -v basename
--- will print out information on the processing of the input.
prepmx -i basename
--- will treat errors as warnings and continue to the end of the input
Normally you just type:
A basename is a filename without its extension. M-Tx puts extensions
in by itself.
The program prepmx returns as exit code the number of error messages
written. Messages not clearly labelled ERROR are informative or at
Writing your own music
If you have followed the instructions carefully, and your output still
looks terrible, read the FAQ file. Read it anyway.
Make a file with extension .mtx using a text editor. Be careful with
upmarket wordprocessors or cute little tools that come with MS-Windows
etc. --- most of them need to be told explicitly that you are writing a
text (or ASCII) file. It is especially important to turn any paragraph
formatting or word-wrap features off, as the end of a line is of crucial
importance to M-Tx.
Now run prepmx, and it will make a file with extension .pmx that can be
used as input to PMX. Correct any errors that prepmx found. Many more
errors may only be found at the PMX stage, since prepmx passes through
much of what you type without analyzing it in any way. It might not be
easy to find out what mistake in the .mtx file caused this. So if you
yourself do not know PMX, MusiXTeX etc., you should only use M-Tx if
you can rely on help and advice from someone who does.
Once PMX is satisfied, the chances are good (but not 100%) that the .tex
file thus generated will pass through TeX, and eventually produce a nice
.dvi file that you can preview. When you are satisfied that it looks
OK, the TeX system can produce a .ps, or .lj file that you can print.
Then, of course, comes the proofreading, and the process is repeated ...
Other information files
BUGS: Contains a list of known bugs, restrictions, unimplemented but
planned features etc.
FAQ: Contains a list of questions that have been or ought to be
HISTORY: Contains a record of releases of M-Tx. Corrected bugs go here.
CHANGES: Contains a record of changes in the specification of M-Tx.
While intended to be improvements, such changes may cause older
.mtx files to behave differently and even not to work with
later versions of prepmx.
MAKEDOC: (in the doc directory) Describes how to put .mtx inserts into
a LaTeX file, using the M-Tx manual as an example.