THE MUSICIAN'S TOOLBOX
This program is shareware. It is supplied as a self-extracting archive
which may be de-compressed by simply typing TOOLBOX
prompt. You may freely distribute copies of the complete archive which
remain subject to the conditions of supply.
The conditions of supply are that the software may be used free of
charge for an initial evaluation period of two weeks. If the software
is retained beyond that period users are requested to register through
payment of a fee of ten pounds to the address shown below.
The registration fee of ten pounds should be forwarded to:
D T Richards
3, Streatfield Road
East Sussex TN22 2BG
The fee licenses a single-user to retain and use the software. It also
covers the provision of upgrades and bug-fixes (genuine IBM clones
only). Upgrades in preparation include graphics output for the
Transposer and additional rule-based intelligence to improve the
playability of the more complex guitar chords. Schools or other
institutions wishing to install the software on a network or multi-user
system are requested to contact the author for agreement of site license
The software requires an EGA or VGA display and is not suitable for use
on CGA or monochrome monitors.
The use of the software is largely self-explanatory. The programme is
run by typing MUS at the DOS prompt. Select menu options by pressing
the relevant key. ESC(ape) is used consistently to exit any screen or
to proceed to the next screen.
The facilities provided are:
The Chord Analyser:
Provides the musical spelling of the chord symbols printed on most
sheet music. The relevant notes are sounded and displayed graphically
on a simulated keyboard. The Analyser accepts a variety of styles of
chord symbols and no difficulty should be experienced on this account.
However, as some symbols are not easily produced on conventional
keyboards (e.g. the crossed circle for a half diminished chord and the
triangle for a major seventh) use of their textual equivalents is
recommended (m7b5, maj7 etc). The use of "o" for diminished chords is
acceptable. A lower case "b" should be used to denote the flat sign.
Guitar Chord Dictionary:
By pressing the space bar after using the keyboard Chord Analyser, a
graphical display of the equivalent chord shape for guitar may be
obtained. Three alternative possibilities are given which may vary in
suitability depending on the current playing position on the guitar
neck, the degree of proficiency of the player, etc. It is also
necessary to simplify some of the more complex chords (as is frequently
done in modern jazz guitar styles). For example, a full voicing of a
dominant 13th chord is not possible as the chord contains seven tones
while the guitar had only six strings. Optional notes and open strings
are shown in different colours. Unplayed strings are denoted by a red
Most musicians are aware of the importance of ear training (particularly
in improvised music). This is also a requirement in the examinations of
the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and similar bodies.
This module plays random intervals and requires the student to select
the appropriate description. Intervals are played in descending as
well as ascending order - the former being, in general, the more
difficult. A score is provided at the end of each session in order to
allow progress to be monitored.
Provides a usable metronome, supporting all pratical tempos and any
time signature in either simple or compound time. The audio output is
accompanied by a matching visual display. Certain machines (notably the
older Amstrads) have an internal timer which may be visibly slowed by
the presence in memory of a mouse driver or other TSR programme. As
this will affect the metronome, take care to unload these from memory if
this problem is experienced.
Provides an instant reference for transposition of notes between any two
keys. As the transposition is shown for the entire chromatic scale
(so allowing for the inclusion of accidentals) it is irrelevant whether
the key is major or minor. For this reason, only the tonic note of the
key should be entered (e.g. "G" rather than "Gminor" or "Gm").
Provides details of the range and usability of all the most common
instruments of the orchestra. This information is indispensable to
musicians who wish to arrange for ensembles of instruments with which
they may not be wholly familiar.