Welcome Eckert. Sounds like a pretty ambitious project. Before you
start, you may want to check out other's efforts along these same
lines. A good starting point is the abc homepage:
From there you can find links to other software packages and collections
A nice, searchable database is available at:
This already searches almost all of the larger abc collections, can
print gif files, play midi files, etc, all from a web interface.
Another searchable abc database is at:
As for playing tunes, there are several that create MIDI files on the
fly. Some are freeware, my favorite is (list member) Henrik Norbeck's
abcmus, although I've used abcMIDIfier and AbcPlay successfully as
well. Henrik's is nice because it creates nice ornaments and has a nice
(and user adjustable) amount of swing, as well as many other nice
As for creating sheet music, again there are freewares out there but my
favorite is the shareware abc2win by (again, list member) Jim Vint.
Others will probably give you their favorites as well. Questions of
course are welcome!