Mockingbird: a composer’s amanuensis


Maxwell, J. T.; Ornstein, S. M. Mockingbird: a composer’s amanuensis. PARC technical report CSL-83-2; 1983 January.


Mockingbird is a computer-based, display-oriented music notation editor. It is especially focused on helping a composer to capture his ideas. It can play scores on the synthesizer as well as display and print them in standard notational form. IT can accept both graphical input and input played on a synthesizer keyboard attached to the computer. In the latter case, the user must edit the music to turn it into standard notational form, and much of Mockingbird’s interest lies in the methods by which this conversion is accomplished. The editor is highly interactive, presenting the illusion that the user can reach in and move elements of the score around as desired. This illusion is preserved by always showing the detail of the score exactly as it might be printed.

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