Controlling a PDF Reader

You can achieve "page turning" in a PDF score, using a PDF reader that get UDP/OSC messages. For instance, you can add a label to the event where you want a page turning and specifies these labels in a map that associates the label to the right page number in the PDF:

    ; define the events and the associated pages
    $pages := MAP {
        "section1" -> 1,
        "measure 12" -> 2,
        ; ...

    ; define an OSC receiver used by the PDF viewer
    ; here on the same host and port 23654
    oscsend pdfviewer localhost : 23654

    ; a whenever will trigger the OSC message each time a label is reached 
    whenever ($LAST_EVENT_LABEL)
       if ($pages.is_defined($LAST_EVENT_LABEL))
           ; the arguments of the message depends of the PDF reader that is used
           pdfviewer page ($pages($LAST_EVENT_LABEL))

    // Score 

    NOTE C4 1 section1

    ; ...

    NOTE C2 1 "measure 12"
    ; ...

This approach has the advantage to leave the score simple and to group the mechanism in one place and the PDF reader can be on another machine.

As an alternative solution, you can use AppleScript and a PDF reader that accept ActionScript command. This is the case for Skim. The commands accepted by Skim are described here: Scripts for Skim.

Create a script using “Script” with the following lines and save it in your ‘Downloads’ directory under the name ‘gotoskim.scpt’ :

on run argv
    set pageNum to (item 1 of argv) as integer
    tell application "Skim"
        set view settings of document 1 to {display mode:single page}
        tell document 1 to go to page pageNum
    end tell
end run

Then if you have an Antescofo score as below:

  $scorefile := "/Users/USER/Downloads/score.pdf"
  $script := "/Users/USER/Downloads/gotoskim.scpt"

  _ := @system("open -a skim " + $scorefile)

  NOTE C4 5
    _ := @system("osascript " + $script + " " + 10)

  NOTE C2 5
    _ := @system("osascript " + $script + " " + 20)

  NOTE D4 5
    _ := @system("osascript " + $script + " " + 30)
    print end

assuming that you replace USER by your actual user name in the score, then the execution will open the ‘score.pdf’ file and changes the page in the Skim viewer as the events occur.

The function @system executes a shell command:

  • The first one before the first musical event launch skim (assuming that the is installed on your computer).

  • The following commands launches the Apple Script that interacts with Skim to change the current page. The page to set is specified by the number in the @system() argument.The expression simply built the string to pass to the function @system (the + operators concatenates strings and convert its subsequent arguments into string if needed).

You can combine the previous methods that link a label with a page number and this mechanism to avoid to pollute our score with explicit turning commands. For additional commands, take a look at the Skim wiki.

Obviously, this is done on the same machine, but it is possible to launch remotely an Apple Script.