MUSICMASTER, for the 48K Spectrum is supplied in the now standard Sinclair presentation box and includes an instruction manual and a keyboard overlay. During loading you are given a screen display of two music staves which are re-drawn once the program has loaded. That is obviously a waste of time on a long program.
In use, the program, which is menu-driven, gives you the option of a stave display which spans two octaves or a keyboard display which has only one. You then have a choice of notes on music, create a tune, play, amend, save or load a tune, stop or switch mode - keyboard or stave; there is also the option to COPY your tune.
The notes on music begin by playing and drawing a very slow chromatic scale in both modes. It then explains the use of key signatures very well, using sound and a visual display. That is probably one of the most valuable parts of the program but is slightly spoiled because the Spectrum does not BEEP precisely in tune.
When writing a tune the program is again interesting and fairly effective. You set your own time and key signatures - you can use only accidentals in stave mode - and each note is sounded and appears on the stave as you key it it is possible to play back the tune at any point and at any speed by entering the number of crochets per minute. The only problem is that the stave is rather short, allowing you to see only about three bars of music at one time.
After a slow start it warms up to become an interesting program with educational possibilities, especially for children who are more excited by the idea of computing than ordinary music teaching. Available from Sinclair Research Ltd.