Music Teacher 1

 

Music Teacher 1 is a music composition tool similar to Music Composer on the Atari 8-bit computers, but much more simplistic.  The cartridge offers two options: Play/Record and Learn A Song.  Play/Record allows the user to enter any combination of notes and have the VideoBrain play them back, while Learn A Song attempts to teach the user how to read music by displaying a note on the screen (in music notation) and having the player press the correct note on the keyboard.  Learn A Song has two different songs the user can use to help them learn notes: Row Row Row Your Boat and Happy Birthday.

 

The main problem with Music Teacher 1 is that the VideoBrain's strange keyboard makes entering notes awkward and needlessly difficult.  The VB's limited sound capabilities certainly doesn't help, although for such an early computer they really aren't that bad.  While Music Teacher 1 may have been acceptable back in 1977, it was completely eclipsed by the release of Music Composer in 1979 which was able to take advantage of Atari's wonderful POKEY chip.

 

Oddly Music Teacher 1 doesn't support the Expander 1 module (a cassette interface), so the user can't save their compositions.  It is unknown why VideoBrain decided to do this, as this would have been a perfect use of the technology.  In case you're wondering about the 1 after the title, there was a planned Music Teacher 2 cartridge, but the name was later changed to Musicianship for unknown reasons.  Musicianship however was never released.

 

 

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