[Blindapple] "polyphonic" music on the 2 E?

JM Casey crystallogic at ca.inter.net
Mon Oct 16 13:03:30 EDT 2017

Hi everyone. I was just thinking of something last night. I haven't gone
through all the disks available on the Apple archive pertinent to this list,
and I certainly haven't tried downloading inaccessible (as in, textalker
won't work) disk images from other sources, but I know there's a lot of
music stuff in the archive. When I had an Apple 2 E myself, there were a few
disks containing music and sound stuff that were occasionally fun to play
with. All of them, though, played monophonic music - as in, music with just
one voice: a melody line without any harmony, counterpoint or anything like
that. There was one disk that we got for my sighted sister, though, that had
at least an intro that played a little tune with two simultaneous voices. As
far as I know, this was the only time I ever heard the 2 E do this, so I'm
guessing it's not very common at all. I don't know what the disk was called
and it was certainly not blind-person friendly. I actually remember trying
to access the disk because I was curious about it, but it dixdn't seem
compatible with either Prodos or Dos 3.3.


But anyway, I'm not wondering about that particular disk or anything, but
rather about the idea of multi-voiced music on the 2 E in general. Is this
really hard to pull off? How common is it exactly? I know the sound
capabilities of the 2 E were rather limited, maybe even compared with those
of the contemporaenous Commodore computers, for example (I seem to recall my
cousin's C64 having games that played tunes with harmony and so on). I just
thought it was weird that out of all the disks I had, only this one silly
kids' game where you had to match pictures or something played anything
resembling music with more than one voice. I'm guessing this had to be done
in machine language and that the programmes may have been so large that they
would have overwritten textalker, or something like that? Otherwise, why
wouldn't programmers do this more often? 

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