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Not Known
Utility: Music
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Jon Bates, Graeme Kidd
Chris Bourne

This program is in a different league to all the others reviewed in this column. It is not a LOAD AND RUN FUN program, but a musical utility which has limited graphical presentation, lengthy and complicated documentation and is designed to be used by someone who has a fair knowledge of both music and programming.

Notes are written to the 'play' program using BEEP statements, but putting in abbreviations for the standard names of musical notes rather than timings. A fair bit of pen and paper work is required before you start composing, and in many respects the program is a half way house for programmers who can't be bothered to work out the BEEP section of their Spectrum Manual.

The type and transpose program allows you to type notes onto bass and treble staves and then transpose from one page to another. The music typewriter controls are more complicated than the average Chinese typewriter and the end result is less than graphically stunning although the transposition facility could be useful enough to a non-musician to justify the effort of getting there!

All in all a very complicated package, with a large explanatory manual which is less than straightforward. It could be worth the mental anguish necessary to get to grips with the programs but there's very little offered in the way of musical explanation and there's no way someone could work out how to input a piece of music without prior musical knowledge.

The program is in a fairly primitive state, and has obviously been written by a dedicated hobbyist, well wrapped up the subject material. An oddity which could be easy to dismiss out of hand; it 's hard to work out quite who this package would appeal to. When it was first written several years ago it would have been 'state of the art', but the art has advanced by leaps since, and left it far behind.