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

JM Casey crystallogic at ca.inter.net
Mon Oct 16 19:25:58 EDT 2017

Neat! Yes, I’ll take a look. I know it’s maybe a little silly to be wondering about this now when computer-based music has obviously come such a long way, but it’s always something I’ve been curious about ever since my days of using the Apple in the 80s. A lot of what I read suggested that it was only the GS that could make multi-voiced music, but my experience with that one disk told me that really wasn’t the case. 





From: BlindApple [mailto:blindapple-bounces at bluegrasspals.com] On Behalf Of Jeff Weiss
Sent: October 16, 2017 7:20 PM
To: Blind Apple Discussions
Subject: Re: [Blindapple] "polyphonic" music on the 2 E?


Try some of the 12 music disks in the Apple Talk disk library under 


Talking Apple Archive

Jeff Weiss

Disk library



There is a lot of variety here—from single note songs, sounds, all the way to the

Music Jukebox songs which were prepared with some type of software package which actually could produce some good stuff with upto 4 voices.


There is also some nice music in some of the UpTime magazine issues which are under periodicals on Dropbox.

Jeff Weiss






From: JM Casey <mailto:crystallogic at ca.inter.net>  

Sent: Monday, October 16, 2017 12:03 PM

To: Blind Apple Discussions <mailto:blindapple at bluegrasspals.com>  

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


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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