Computer music 25 years ago


I happened across a post about early notation software, Music Construction Set in particular (I never used the initial MCS program, but I did use Deluxe Music Construction Set for the Commodore Amiga). The Wild Koba has unearthed a 25-year-old episode of a TV program called The Computer Chronicles, which aired in the US and other from 1983 until 2002 (it wasn’t ever aired in the UK, as far as I know), all about computer music.

This episode features 15-year-old programmer Will Harvey showing off MCS running on an Apple II, and John Chowning, Director of Stanford’s Center For Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Chowning shows off a print-out from Leland Smith’s SCORE program, the first notation software to produce publication-quality output. This is timely because Leland Smith has recently announced the imminent release of SCORE 5.0, the first update to the venerable software for well over a decade, and SCORE is finally available for Windows; the previous version ran under MS-DOS, and among the small community of professionals who continue to use SCORE there has always been a concern that they would eventually be unable to continue running the program as hardware capable of running MS-DOS natively becomes increasingly scarce.

Anyway, enjoy this episode of The Computer Chronicles!

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