The original program,
Chord, was written
Martin Leclerc and Mario Dorion.
Chord was dreamed up (and the chord notation
invented) by the authors in june 1991 after having arrived early at
the Tennis court for their game and having to wait for 30 minutes.
Later that day Mario had his first date with his wife-to-be, though it
is not clear whether that had anything to do with the development of
The simple but effective file format used to describe the chords and
lyrics was quickly adopted by many users all around the world, and for
still unknown reasons these files became known as
The content is written in a Domain Specific Language called the
ChordPro language, or short, ChordPro.
|Chord Version||Release Date||Remarks|
|1.0||1992-05-20||reconstructed from internet archives|
|1.0PL1||1992-05-28||reconstructed from internet archives|
|1.2||1992-09-03||reconstructed from internet archives|
|the dark ages|
|3.6||1995-03||date from the manual|
|3.6.2||1995-03||date from the manual|
For convenience, the ChordPro language version supported by the latter
programs is set to
3, to reflect the major version number of the
Johan Vromans adopted
Chord in 1992 and for several
years enhanced the program for his own personal needs,
since Martin and Mario stopped development and maintenance
and seemingly disappeared from the internet.
In 2007 Adam Monsen, also a grateful user of the tool, convinced
Chord may not get lost for the public, and after failure
to contact the original authors they decided to take over the program,
upgrade it to modern standards, and release it, again, to the
In its first reincarnation, the name
Chordie was used.
Since this would cause confusion with the chordie.com website,
the name was changed into
to be pronounced as chord-ee-ee.
To avoid confusion, the first version of
Chordii was 4.0.
The added improvements formed the base of ChordPro language version
The last known distribution of the original
program is 3.6.2 and dates from july 1995. It includes a statement
Chord is licensed following the conditions of the
general GNU license, but with some additional restrictions. These
restrictions formed an obstacle for
Chordii to be included in official
In december 2009 Johan Vromans finally succeeded to track down the
original authors and they agreed to create a new, GPL-only release.
This release was called 3.6.4 to avoid confusion with an already
existing unofficial 3.6.3 version. Following the
Chord GPL release
Chordii was rebased on the 3.6.4 version, making
it officially and legally GPL.
|Chordii Version||Release Date||Remarks|
|2020-02-02||Post-EOL fix for legacy packages|
Chordii development was tracked in a public repository on
ChordPro language version
5 added a number of new features,
pushing the limits of the very old program.
Unicode support would have been very hard to add,
and the whole program centered around PostScript generation,
which has been superseded by PDF today.
So Johan Vromans set out to create a new program from the ground up. He choose the programming language Perl because it is fun and flexible with good support for Unicode and other relevant features.
The result is
ChordPro, a program named after the file format.
It supports almost all of the features of
Chordii and a lot more,
such as native PDF generation, Unicode input and fully customizable layout, fonts and sizes.
The first release of
ChordPro, an alpha version, was on June 4, 2016.
ChordPro development is tracked in a public repository on
Its development follows the Release Early, Release Often approach;
as of July 2021 there have been more than 67 releases.