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Contrast Software
Tony Rickwood
Utility: Music
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne


COMPOSER is another of those programs which allow their users, with a little practice, to play, compose, edit and save BEEPing sounds which bear some resemblance to tunes on the 48K Spectrum.

Using the BEEP instruction on the Spectrum is not a difficult matter. The manual explains it clearly in four pages and expects the user to be able to program the computer to play Mahler's first symphony at the end of that time. The instructions for Composer are longer than that chapter and add nothing to the user's programming knowledge.

Composer is a fairly difficult program to master, for the unexciting screen layout contains many abbreviations which are confusing even to those experienced in musical theory. Further, the instructions on the cassette insert, which are supposed to form a kind of crib sheet, contain a misprint which makes the matter even more difficult.

Before buying the program it is worth reading chapter 19 of the manual. If that is comprehensible, Composer is unnecessary; if it as incomprehensible, there is every likelihood that the Composer instructions will be as well. Check, too, if you have no experience of composition that you have a supply of sheet music to hand before attempting to program a piece of music, or the results will not prove worthwhile.

Composer is produced by Contrast Software, Farnham Road, West Liss, Hampshire GU33 6JU.

Memory: 48K
Price: £5.95