Sunday, June 21, 2009

Music Shop

Music Shop is a music editor published by Broderbund for the Commodore 64. It is similar in terms of functionality to Activision’s Music Studio. The interface doesn’t have the bells and whistles of the Activision title but it gets the job done, as they say.

When it starts, Music Shop’s main window shows, besides the traditional staffs, three drop-down menus (a la windows):

* Setup Screen
* Get Notes (F1)
* Adjust Sound (F2)
* Verify Timing

THE MUSIC SHOP (score’s name)
* Load Score
* Save Score
* List Titles
* Enter Title
* Format Disk
* Print Page
* Print Score
* Clear Page
* Clear Score
* Exit
* Edit

* Cut
* Copy
* Clear
* Paste
* Undo

There are two additional mini-menus (boxes) on the main window. The box in the upper-right enables page changes: press the button and push up or down to change the page. The box in the upper-left is used to play the score: press the button to play and press RUN-STOP (Esc on a pc) to stop.

In the Tools menu, the Setup Screen enables you to choose between a one-staff or a two-staff setup and to select the key signature. In Get Notes, you can pick and choose which note/rest you wanna use to edit your music. Note that dotted notes and ties are available, which is quite comforting to see in a music editor. Also, repeat bars and repeat notation are there for the serious music scorer. As you know, the C64 has three sound channels so it is no surprise that you are given the option of changing the sound parameters of three voices (V1, V2, V3) in the Adjust Sound sub-menu. You can modify the main characteristics of each voice but also just change the instrument assigned, which is probably enough for most of us.

The Edit capabilities are pretty neat. You always start by selecting an area in the music editing window with Capture. Then, you can either cut, copy or clear the area. So, if you want to copy and paste, you need to Capture, Copy and then finally Paste to get Music Shop to do what you want.

In this video, I simply loaded one of the many demo songs and let Music Shop play it. This one is among the simpler ones. There are some pretty involved tunes in there including Pachelbel’s Canon in D, the wedding ceremony classic.

Activision’s Music Studio is probably more inviting than Broderbund’s Music Shop because of its (big) icon based interface. Music Shop caters probably more to the serious music composer. Between the two, it probably comes down to which one you are more comfortable playing or working with.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great piece of software that I remember using in my growing up childhood years. Thanks for the review!