Development of the Muse Simulator is nearly complete. All features described in the
specification are included in the current (May 3, 1997) build. A few questions
remain about whether the behavior of the current code matches the original Triadex
What is the Muse?
The Muse Simulator is a MIDI sequence generator.
It takes a few parameters from its front panel
controls and generates a series of MIDI note on and note off messages.
It also sends program
change messages. MIDI Device and Channel number can be selected.
For a more accurate simulation of the original, the Simulator can also produce
The Muse Simulator is based on an early electronic musical instrument, the Triadex Muse.
It has been claimed that the Triadex Muse was the first digital device
for making music.
The original Muse was designed by Edward Fredkin, now at Carnegie-Mellon; and
now at the M.I.T. Media Lab; in the late 1960's.
Pictures of the Triadex Muse may be found at various on-line sources, including Hal Layer's
Mind Machine Museum
and the Virtual Synthesizer Museum.
The Muse is the subject of U. S.
which gives much detail, but clarifies nothing.
An article by Don Lancaster in the February 1971 issue of
Popular Electronics magazine described the "Psych-Tone", based on the same concepts,
but not as complex as the original Muse. This article includes a side bar with a picture of
the Triadex Muse and the text:
"A recently introduced unit which is quite similar to the Psych-Tone is the Muse. ... With
14 trillion note combinations, the Muse has four switches for volume, tempo, pitch, and fine
pitch and eight slide switches. Four of the latter vary the interval and thus determine
the notes, while the other four control the theme and varaiations of the melody."
SWTPC (South-West Technical
Products Corporation) produced a kit of parts for the Psych-Tone.
The internal logic of the Muse was described in detail in Hal Chamberlin's book,
Musical Applications of Microprocessors.
An earlier program, based on some of the same descriptions as my latest version,
but capable of five-note polyphonic output, has been found at
FTP site in the Netherlands. It is also available from the author, at
(EXE and related files).
This program is called "ANKLUNG" and was written by
Paul Kriwaczek in 1994, using
Visual Basic, version 2. The older program will presumably run under 16-bit Windows.
Thanks to Greg Williams, one of the Friends of the Muse, for this information.
A functional specification for the latest version of the Muse Simulator is available
here. This program is designed to use the same
internal logic as the original Triadex product.
This page has a link to the Muse Simulator. If you click on the picture below,
your browser will download the file muse11.zip via ftp.
The Muse Simulator is a Windows 95 application. It was built with MFC 4.2 and uses
Windows 95 Common Controls in the MFC and AFX libraries. It will probably run under
Windows NT as well. It requires the file MFC42.DLL. If you don't have MFC42.DLL,
may be able to give you a copy.
Muse Simulator, version 1.1
This program is Freeware. It is supplied "as is" with no warranties regarding its operation
or possible side effects. Use at your own risk. This version is an early beta release.
The documentation is on the next page.
The Muse is not in the public domain. It may not be sold or redistributed without
permission from the owner. Please feel free to link to this page, or send me email
with questions or comments.
Thanks to my Beta testers: Terry Leigh Britton
and Bruce Adams, who have provided many helpful comments and corrections, and an icon.
Special thanks to Tim Thompson for
sending me excerpts from Hal Chamberlin's book, giving
the original logic of the Triadex device. I am grateful for
Tim's advice, and his archive of computer music literature.
Thanks to Hal Layer for advice and for sharing an anecdote regarding the inventors.
Thanks to Alex Takessian for sending a copy of the original owner's manual for the Muse.
This helped clear up some important details of the implementation.
Thanks to Bill Wetzel for a copy of the original white paper from Triadex, and copies
of a number of press clippings.
And thanks to the other Muse owners and fans who have sent messages. Your feedback
makes this fun.