Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 4, NO. 2 / JUNE 1985

The Musician

Type-in "music construction" software


Powerful and versatile "music construction" program. You can easily compose songs with three-part chord backgrounds-or simply copy the notes and chord symbols from sheet music. This BASIC program runs on any Atari computer with 32K memory. Disk or cassette.

With The Musician, you can easily enter and hear playback of any song on your Atari- with a full background of three-part chords. Only an elementary knowledge of music is required. In fact, you can simply copy your favorite songs directly from sheet music. You set The Musician to play harmony chords by simply naming them-the program fills in the required notes!
   Type in Listing 1, checking it with TYPO II and SAVE it to either cassette or disk. Antic Disk subscribers will find a short demonstration song bonus file. Here's how to use The Musician.

When you RUN The Musician, you will see an introductory screen for a few seconds as the program initializes. A music staff will then appear on the screen with a single red note.
   Use your joystick to move the note up and down on the staff. If you are working from sheet music, simply place the note in the same position you see it on the sheet music. To enter the note, press the joystick button. The note will turn white. Then The Musician will briefly play your chosen note and a new red note will appear.

Placing your note on the staff just gives you the basic pitch. You must still set time values, indicate if a note is sharp or flat, and enter rests or dotted and sustained notes.
   You select these various note types by pressing keys on the Atari. Here is how it works.
   Whole notes          W
   Half notes           H
   Quarter notes        Q
   Eighth notes         8
   Sixteenth notes      6
   Thirty-second notes  3
   Dotted notes         .
   Sustained notes      S
   Sharp notes          #
   Flatted notes        B
   Natural notes        N
   Rests                R
   A little music information here:
There are various "time signatures" possible at the start of a piece of music. In the most common types, 4/4 (standard) and 3/4 (waltz), a quarter note would be held for one beat, half note is two beats and whole note is four beats. An eighth note is half. a beat, sixteenth note is one-fourth of a beat and a thirty-second note is one-eighth of a beat.
   Dotted notes increase the time a note is held by half its normal value. A dotted half note gets held for three beats of a measure. Sustained notes slide into the note which follows them instead of playing as separate notes.
   To choose a dotted, sustained eighth note, you would press the following three keys-[.] [8] [S]. The Musician isn't fussy You may press keys in any order for a multiple-key note command.
   When you use the [#] or [B] to make sharps or flats, The Musician will stay in the sharp or flat mode until you press [N] for Natural.
   Rests are times when no note is played. To choose a quarter rest, first press [Q] to make a quarter note, then press [R] to make it a rest. Similarly to make an eighth rest, press [8] [R]. Half rests are [H] [R].
   Once you have selected the correct type of note and placed it in the right position on the staff, press your joystick button to enter it.
   Press [C] to Cancel the note if you change your mind. [C] always cancels the last note or the last chord entered.

The Musician will recognize even the most advanced kinds of chords. Entering chords is a snap since you enter them by name, not by notes. Press the asterisk [*] key to tell The Musician you want to enter a chord. The Musician will display:


   To enter a C chord, press [*] followed by [C], then press [RETURN]. The Musician will display the name of the chord you have keyed in, and briefly play the chord.
   Using the Key of C as an example, here is a complete list of chord types recognized by The Musician.

   C     C major
   CM    C minor
   CM7   C minor seventh
   C7    C seventh
   CM6   C minor sixth
   C6    C sixth
   CMAJ  C major seventh
   C +   C augmented fifth
   C-    C diminished fifth
   CD    C diminished

   Sharp and flat chords are entered by adding the [#] or [B] keys. For instance, here's how to enter a C sharp minor seventh chord:
   Press [*]
   Press [C]
   Press [#]
   Press [M]
   Press [7]
   Press [RETURN]

   Chords in other keys are entered in exactly the same manner. For instance, you enter a G seventh as G7.
   If a chord is to play simultaneously with a certain note, enter the chord first, then enter the note.
   If you make a mistake when entering a chord and wish to exit from chord mode, simply press [*] again. The chord will not be entered and you will return to note entry mode again. To re-enter the chord, press [*] again.
   Chords will continue to play in the background until they are changed to something else or turned off. To turn off a background chord, press [O]. The Musician will display: CHORD OFF

To hear a playback of the song you have entered, press [P]. The song will play automatically and each note will appear on the staff as it plays. You may change the tempo of the song by pressing [T] before pressing [P]. The Musician will display:


   Press the joystick button to slow down the tempo. To speed up the tempo, first move the joystick forward. The word SLOWER will change to FASTER. Pressing the joystick button will then speed up the tempo.
   After playing a song, it remains in the computer memory. You may continue adding notes to the end of the song. You may clear it from memory. Or you may SAVE it to cassette or disk.
   Pressing [ESC] while a song is playing causes The Musician to immediately stop playing the song and return to note entry mode.

To SAVE a song, press [A] for Archive. The Musician will display:


   If you are saving to cassette, just press [RETURN]. You will hear two beeps. Put your recorder on record, then press [RETURN].
   If you are using disk, type in the song name. Do not use more than eight characters, since this becomes the file name. Three-character extensions are allowed if you like using them. Press [RETURN]. The Musician will write out your song.

To load a previously saved song, press [L]. The Musician will ask you for the name of the song file.
   If you are entering the song from cassette, position the tape to the beginning of the song and press [RETURN].]
   If you are using disk, type in the song name and press [RETURN].
   The Musician will load in the song and play it for you. Once a song is loaded it remains in memory until you clear it out. If you add notes after loading a song, they get appended to the end of the song. In this way you can finish songs you saved only partially completed.

To clear a song from memory press [CLEAR]. Do NOT use the [SHIFT] key. Now you may begin entering a new song.
   To exit The Musician, press [E]. The Musician will display


Press [Y] to confirm your choice. The program will end and return you to

Angelo Giambra is a senior programmer for Marine Midland Bank in Rochester N.Y His "Eight Queens Problem" appeared in the April, 1984 Antic

Listing 1   MUSIC.BAS Download