"Marvelous to name tunes that run around in your head"
Version: Musical Discovery Themes 1.3.6
The juke box plays a nice selection of tuneful music. The descriptions that pop up while a piece of music is playing are interesting. It's really neat the way it ties together information on composers, styles, instruments etc. with the music itself.
If you mistake one note, when playing the first ten of a tune in order to identify it, the program can't find it. Also, the quality of the sound is a bit poor when played back through generic MIDI sound cards.
I like the way this program concentrates on the tuneful parts of the classical repertoire. It's also got lots of folk songs from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany and other countries. Some of these are very well-known tunes that I've always known and loved, but others are gems that I hadn't heard before. It's good that it's also got the lyrics for most of these songs.
At first I wasn't completely sure what the program's main uses were, but I found it quite easy to try out all the features, and when I discovered the help system, that made it easier still! It seems to me that its main purpose is to help people become acquainted with the core classical repertoire. The tune quiz is fun too!
I disliked the way that the instruments are totally based on the 128 general MIDI instruments. So it includes ridiculous things like a bottle-blow, and a dog barking, but it doesn't include a cornet, for example, so you can't compare the sound of a trumpet with that of a cornet. And it has a large collection of different electric guitar sounds, which are totally irrelevant to classical music lovers like me!
Whilst most of the movie sequences it does contain, with real people playing real instruments, are fairly good, there are heaps of instruments with no movies!! I hope the program will be updated in the near future with a more comprehensive set of live instrument movies.
I was pleasantly surprised by the history information contained in the time line, this could be used as a summary of important dates in a history lesson, even without reference to music. But there's one problem with the UK history, this just has Kings and Queens of England, no Prime Ministers or other key UK historical events, except for those which are in the World History time-line.
I like the way I can add my own MIDI files to the database. It took me a little time to ensure that all the cataloging info is entered properly, but I've got used to that now. I can see that this program could be used by jazz, world music, folk, or rock enthusiasts to catalogue their own collections, and then take advantage of the quiz, the tune recognition and the juke box features. But I'm just happy to expand my collection of classical music.
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