What's Been Said About "Music Mouse"?

pawprint bullet
MacUser Magazine - "5 Mice. Music Mouse is a music program in a genre all its own. Called an "intelligent instrument", Music Mouse gives you instant musical feedback as you move the mouse and type on the keyboard, which controls tempo, vibrato, volume, etc. One of the more innovative music programs available for any personal computer... Immediately immerses you in the act of making music."

"Music Mouse is the kind of application that leaves you feeling completely charmed... it turns your Mac into a unique musical instrument... Most of you will call it just plain fun. This is a music program unlike any other ever written for personal computers. Music Mouse is computer-assisted improvisation, automating parts of the improvisation process, leaving you free to shape and direct the flow of the music... You can play slow, arching melodies with rich harmonic accompaniment. Or you can play glittering, shimmering textures with rapidly cascading inner patterns. The Music Mouse helps you express yourself."

pawprint bullet MacWorld Magazine - "Music Mouse is hard to describe. It is sort of a synthesizer with intelligence... you have considerable power to shape the music by setting some simple parameters. You can set patterns in motion, strike harmonies, and create all sorts of highly evocative phrases. What comes out often resembles film soundtracks, for movies that cound be anything from moody romances to spine-chilling horror flicks... a blow against "tyranny" in the music establishment... more than a musical tool. In fact, the program is so powerful that it goes beyond categorization... easy to use... at the same time... an intricate musical composition aid..."

pawprint bullet Byte Magazine - "Music Mouse takes an approach to making music that is similar to Mathematica's approach to manipulating mathematics: Neither requires you to be an expert in the field to make good use of it... It's difficult for me to explain how Music Mouse works since it's such a visceral experience... While the effect and action are hard to describe, the results are stunning... The Music Mouse can be used by first-time and professional musicians. If you're a novice, it's fun to explore..."

pawprint bullet Sing Out! Magazine (in Pete Seeger's "Appleseeds" column) - "NYC composer Laurie Spiegel has developed a floppy disc called Music Mouse for computer nuts who like to try "composing music" with the sophisticated sounds and prepared notes she gives them. The Copyright Office in Washington doesn't know what to do with her. She believes the information revolution will overthrow the intellectual property system and foresees a day when computer pieces will be like folksongs, anonymous common property to be altered by each new user. She would like to get music out of the concert hall and back into the living room."

pawprint bullet The Village Voice - "Everyone has the same initial reaction to Music Mouse... I tapped the mouse and jumped when brilliant harpsichord-tinged, string orchestra sonorities burst from the synthesizer... I switched to the piano setting and mellowed into a perfect Keith Jarrett imitation; selected an atonal palette and pulled off a plausible late-Ligeti etude; punched in some gamelan sounds and automated my own Lou Harrison concerto. You're power-crazed on your first encounter, then you realize you have to slow down and get subtle to coax from Music Mouse your own personalized composition... Music Mouse is designed to provide flexibility of style, from New Age prettiness to atonal Viennese angst." (in Kyle Gann's column)

pawprint bullet Keyboard Magazine - "The product of desire to move sounds intuitively ... Music Mouse is not a sequencer, but rather a mouse-driven music generator ... equally useful to trained musicians and rank amateurs. This program will help you explore and develope modal compositions, and then let you carry those ideas far beyond the capabilities of your ten fingers. Has performance controls that allow you to change almost every aspect of the music you produce... You can really get some great progressions ... crank up the tempo so fast that individual notes become indescernable ... produce really nice simulated filter sweeps and other timbral changes. This is more than a toy. Whether you're using it as your only musical tool for experimental things or creating background washes for more traditional music, this product is definitely worth $_____ of your Earth dollars."

pawprint bullet Musician Magazine - "So original and so cheap ... sophisticated contrapuntal compositions in real time ... an intuitive composing machine ... making really usable evocative music. Some of our non-keyboard-playing readers would kill for a program like this."

pawprint bullet MSC (Music, Computers, and Software) Magazine "A complete software-based, thinking musical instrument - a unique piece of software ... that applies the theory of Expert Systems. Given the basis of harmonic and melodic theory contained in the program's algorithms, any user can sound accomplished almost immediately . For synthesists who have little or no keyboard chops, classroom application and change of pace appeal for [professionals]. Really takes advantage of the computer's logic capability ... provides a totally different method of sonic creation. Besides, it's just plain fun."

pawprint bullet MACazine - "Might qualify as my choice of Music Product of the Year. The Mac can now be a live performance instrument that is totally unique. One of Spiegel's goals in creating Music Mouse was to free the performer from traditional problems of performance technique so that inspiration and musical spontaneity could be unleashed. To a large extent she has succeeded."

pawprint bullet Electronic Musician Magazine - "This is 'intelligent' software for the Mac that creates its own harmonic and melodic accompaniments according to mouse movements ... in the hands of a good player, very impressive."

pawprint bullet Wendy Carlos, in Keyboard - "Music Mouse is a positive step away from mechanized music. It's not automation at all. I hope to see more of this kind of thing."

pawprint bullet Boston Phoenix Audio Supplement - "Created by Laurie Spiegel, a New York composer and one of the pioneers of computer music, a real-time performance instrument .. controls melody and harmony in a highly interactive fashion. It's not a conventional music program by any means ... an awful lot of fun ... capable of some astonishing effects ... represents an extreme in the movement away from keyboard controlled electronic music."

pawprint bullet EAR Magazine - "Music Mouse charts a unique course in music software ... a unique program and cannot be compared with anything currently available ... a great program for immediate gratification ... designed to foster the exploration / discovery approach to music rather than the theoretical / analytical approach. The documentation is simple and easy to understand. Music Mouse is a composition, a game, educational, and could have interesting professional applications."

pawprint bullet SCAN (Small Computers in the Arts Network) Reviews - "Leaving behind most of the formalized conventions of music and striking out into interesting and relatively unexplored territory ... many obstacles to musical creativity have been eliminated ... making it possible for both unrealized and active musicians to approach a new instrument with the same advantages and limitations ... there is no real limit to the possibilities for creativity ... satisfying results almost immediately ... not only raw information processing power but distilled personalized intelligence ... good work."

pawprint bullet International MIDI Association Bulletin - "Music Mouse puts the joy of performing back into sophisticated computer-generated MIDI performance."

pawprint bullet PC Computing Magazine - "...a delightful program... Music Mouse requires no musical keyboard, little musical knowledge, and almost no knowledge of MIDI technology. Despite its relative simplicity, Music Mouse can produce a surprising range of musical effects - and it gives appealing results almost instantly. Getting started is a snap... grand gestures involving many note events can be accomplished with little effort. Music Mouse was originally written for the Macintosh. It's now available for the Amiga... An Atari version is in the works too, but the IBM-compatible world appears shut out for the foreseeable future."

Laurie's Home Page Composing Software Writings