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2 note ratingReview of Tunes for Windows




eed a new chord to add to your repertoire? Tunes for Windows, Version 1.0 is a database of chords and scales for guitar and keyboard. Under this shareware version, mouse support is very limited, so you'll use arrow, enter, and escape keys to maneuver around its menus.



Options under CHORDS offer you standard triads and 7th chords, as well as common jazz chords. Illustrative dots on a keyboard or fretboard show you where to position your hand(s), so it's not necessary to know how to read standard musical notation. If you ask for a C Major 7 on the keyboard, for instance, dots will appear on every C, E, G, and B. It is difficult to isolate the chord because you'll see it repeated over every part of the keyboard. Although you have the option under VIEW/RANGE FINDER to see one iteration instead of several, it would be useful for the program to default into this mode.

In addition to chords, Tunes for Windows illustrates scales in various modes, including major, minor, Greek, and blues. Under EDIT, it also allows you to substitute fingering or letter names for the identifying dots. If your printer supports the "standard" ASCII character set which is used to construct the graphics, you can print hard copies to share or keep for reference.

The program's primary usefulness is its database; however, you can choose from a list of ten MIDI tunes under FILE, and hear them played. The program can show you how to play your selection by stepping you through each note; however, a beginning student is likely to find the see-and-copy format cumbersome. Curiously, some of the sample chords under FILE/KEYBOARD DIAGRAM don't appear in root position, which makes their construction much less intuitive.

In testing by a second reviewer, we identified a minor, but frustrating problem. When the Tunes "nag" screen disappears, the Tunes window is not properly rewritten, leaving a rectangular white blank area over part of the keyboard depiction. We could not get rid of this by minimizing and then maximizing the Tunes window to force a window rewrite or by moving the window around on the screen. Our graphic above shows one result of this problem.

Teachers will miss the standard musical notation, but hobbyists wanting to create sounds by rote will find Tunes for Windows more inviting than a potentially overwhelming reference book on chords and scales. You'll find their technical support and HELP screens friendly and informative. If you register Tunes for Windows at $29.95, you'll also receive Ear Training for Tunes and the (entire) Chord Library for Tunes. A manufacturer's newsletter is available which offers information on product upgrades and add-ons.

Amy Y. O'Grady

Tunes for Windows, Version 1.0. Spartan Software, 200 Washington Avenue, Box 7405, Endicott, New York 13760. Phone: (607) 785-3671. Tech support e-mail: File size: 282k. Registration for full version: $29.95.
Page created: 9/3/97
Last updated: 01/30/15
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