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Computer Tutor
Not Known
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Rosetta McLeod
Chris Bourne

As someone who loathed every minute of her enforced piano lessons as a child, I approached this program with some trepidation. However, I need not have worried I had a marvellous time!

On one side of the tape, Melody Maker has two games Piano Player and Composer. The graphics on Piano Player show the piano keyboard with white and black keys, and the screen display will tell you the note you have played, the octave and the note length. By pressing the appropriate keys on the computer keyboard, you can move up or down octaves, and change the length of notes played.

This, of course, will never take the place of a real piano keyboard, but it is probably a less daunting way for a complete novice to begin.

Composer encourages the player to write simple tunes which the computer will then play back. It can cope with up to 1.000 notes, and the tune san be SAVEd when complete. By choosing the appropriate option the player can listen to the demo tune (Jingle Bells) and watch the notes coming up one at a time on the stave. Then, to compose your own tune, you can choose the notes, specify their length and position them on the stave.

My initial efforts would not cause Andrew Lloyd Webber any sleepless nights (unless they were played to him), but I was so pleased with myself that my husband was commanded to come and listen as the computer played my completed composition.

Side two of the tape has a Musical Ouiz with questions based on the Grade One Exam: An octave is the term given to the distance between how many notes , 6B 10 'Fine ' means a) finely: hl the end, c) the beginning When all the questions have been answered, the computer will play the tune you have selected from . Twinkle Twinkle Little Star; Mary Had a Little Lamb; Jingle Bells; Can Can; Baa Baa Black Sheep or Little Bo Peep.

Again, the Parents' Page allows the questions to be reset to cater for children of different levels and abilities.


Control Keys: Piano Player - Q-U for white keys, 2-7 for black; SPACE/ENTER to move up/down an octave; K/M to makes notes longer/shorter; R to repeat instructions; Composer - P/O to move pointer left/right; X/Z to move pointer right/left; 6/7 to move note type pointer up/down; ENTER to enter a note, C to correct
Keyboard Play: Very good indeed, and the music played comes across loud and clear
Use of Colour: simple
Graphics: excellent representation of piano keyboard
General Rating: This is a value-for-money package which would provide a novice piano student with much enjoyment.

Not Rated