Mel's Macintosh Universe: Macintosh Plus
Mel's Macintosh Universe

Music on the Macintosh Plus

Non-Existent Theme

Announcing the Release of Non-Existent Theme!

I wrote this piece of music for a piano class I took way back when. The inspiration for this is from an Elton John album track called "Theme From A Non-Existent TV Series " The music was transcribed and "recorded" to my Macintosh Plus in 1990 using the Music Works program that I bought a few years ago. At the time this and its B-side was recorded, I had absolutely no intention of every sharing this with anyone else.

A few weeks ago I was going through some old files that I once had on my Mac Plus external drive. Lo and behold I found this song and several others that I had recorded-composed in the early 1990s with a program called Music Works. The Music Works program was simple program that allowed users to compose and record their music at the same time into the program. It is similar to the more powerful Garage Band program that is available for Macs today. The wonder about this program is that it was sold on floppy disc and was able to run on any Mac using System 6 (and maybe System 7) ranging from the low end Mac Plus to something more robust, like a Mac IIci.

Music Works gave users options to mix up to 4 tracks of different parts for each song, assigning electronic "instruments" to each. Again similar to garage band. The only way to input music was through the keyboard or clicking on the music staff that allowed the user to compose.

Files were saved out into the program's own proprietory format. Songs could be played back and looped with the program.

I am sure I could re-record this song using Garage Band and put out a better sounding single, but hey... this is a showcase for my Macintosh Plus and here it is. In order to get the song to MP3 so that you can download it, I had to run the program and the entire Mac Plus environment on my Power Mac G4 using miniVMac, which is a great emulator program for running ancient Mac Plus stuff on your OSX Power Mac or even a Windows XP PC.

So I launch my virtual Mac Plus with miniVMac, load the system, and run the Music Works program. I choose the 2 musiic files I want to convert to MP3. On my Power Mac G4 I launch the Audio Hijack Pro application that I bought. I set Audio Hijack Pro to rip the sound stream from the vMac program. I activate the "record" function in Audio Hijack Pro and press "play" in the virtual Mac Plus emulator on the Music Works program. I set the song "Non Existent Theme" to loop 3 times through so that I can provide you with at least a minute's worth of recording.

After I stop the recording for "Non Existent Theme," I repeat the process for the B-side, "Ringing Crazy" (which is a very crude version of say... "Chopsticks") and save both files to my Music folder in OSX. The files saved by Audio Hijack Pro are AIFF and are ready to be ripped to a standard music CD. Hell why not? I ripped both songs to a couple of CDs producing my first and probably only CD single.

After that I load the 2 AIFF files into iTunes and run the conversion from the ADVANCED menu to make the AIFF files into MP3. And now we have the single available as an MP3 download, right here, right now. Take a chance, take a listen to how "great" music sounded on a Macintosh Plus! Enjoy.

DOWNLOAD (Option + Click or just click to stream a preview)

  • Download the A side "Non Existent Theme" (MP3)
  • Download the B side "Ringing Crazy" (MP3)

    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. Copyright 1990, 2007 by Melvin Ah Ching Productions. All rights reserved. Licensed under Creative Commons. It you have a Podcast, feel free to play these tracks on it. Tell me about your podcast if you have one.

  • Download the Cover Art (JPG) (or just drag the picture on top to your hard drive;
    add to your iTunes after getting the songs)

    If you would like a CD copy at the cost of $7 each (CD ripping + shipping & handling), email me and I'll send you details. I can't imagine why anyone would want to buy a CD of this since everything except the CD is here for free and you can make your own CD with iTunes.

    music works
    Screen shot of the Music Works program running on System 6.

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    Copyright 1998-2007 by Melvin Ah Ching Productions. Last update: May 12, 2007.