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Electronic and Computer Music$
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Peter Manning

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746392.001.0001

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From Microcomputer to Music Computer: The MIDI Perspective

From Microcomputer to Music Computer: The MIDI Perspective

Chapter:
(p.311) 16 From Microcomputer to Music Computer: The MIDI Perspective
Source:
Electronic and Computer Music
Author(s):

Peter Manning

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746392.003.0016

The early years of the microcomputer were characterized by a proliferation of machine architectures, each associated with a unique set of operating characteristics. As a result, many models enjoyed a relatively short production life, which in turn militated against the development of suitably robust and well-crafted software tools, especially in more specialist areas of activity such as music. By the dawn of the MIDI era, however, the design and development of these prototypes for the personal computer was proceeding on a more rational basis. Manufacturers had started to concentrate on generic approaches to the production of new models, in many instances designed specifically to accommodate applications developed for earlier technologies. These in turn facilitated early versions of the two architectures that have dominated subsequent developments to the present day, one pioneered by Apple, the other by Microsoft. Such environments were soon to prove increasingly attractive to musical applications, not least those that used the personal computer to control the functional characteristics of MIDI-based hardware. These included the control of performance characteristics using sequencing software, and also the editing of sound samples.

Keywords:   Chapter keywords: Apple, hardware, Microsoft, MIDI, personal computer, sequencing, software

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