The First Maestro Max

Bruce Von Stiers

A little while back I tested out a program from Harmonic Vision. The program was Music Ace 2. I decided to go ahead a take a peek at the previous version, Music Ace. What I found was an extremely easy to use (and fun) learning tool for music. This program has won a ton of awards, from both the education and music sectors. Music Ace even got a "Best Bet" rating from the PC Gamer Holiday Buyer?s Guide.

In the beginning of the program you get introduced to Maestro Max. He is your host and guide through the program. The folks at Harmonic Vision built a little history for Max. It seems that he came from a small village in Austria. He studied music and became quite good. He sang the baritone lead in quite a few operas. The due to an accident, Max could no longer sing. He then became a world famous Maestro. Max has taken time out from his very busy schedule to help guide you through the Music Ace program.

Up to six people can use the program at one time. There is Lesson Progress Page in the game that keeps track of each user's progress. There are a total of 24 lessons in the program. The lessons range from listening skills and not reading to learning major scales and key signatures.

The program teaches you about the piano keyboard. Learn what note each key represents. Learn about octaves and how they relate to the piano keyboard.

In Music Ace you are taught how to read music. Learn that a Treble Staff is and how it differs from a Bass or Grand Staff. Learn what a half step is in music and how changing between octaves affects the tempo of a song.

In the Main Menu you are given several choices. Go to the Doodle Pad to play around. Listen to songs and create your own. Go to the Lesson section to have the program lead you through a regular lesson. Going into the Game section can be both fun and frustrating. If you've done well in a lesson, then the Game that goes with it should be a snap, right? Not necessarily. The more advance you get in the program, the harder the games become. You can also check out your progress by clicking the Progress button.

After completing a lesson, you are afforded the opportunity to move on to the next.

You don't need much in the way of computer hardware to use Music Ace. You only need a 486/33 PC with 8 MB of RAM. You will need as little as 5 MB of free hard drive space for system files. You will need a CD-ROM drive and a 640x480 256-color video display.

Music Ace is a good program to teach people of all ages about music. It is a fun and entertaining way to learn music fundamentals. The grade school that my son attended uses this program. My son even pointed out that although his middle (jr. high) school doesn't use it, some sixth, seventh and eighth grade students might benefit from Music Ace.

You can pick up Music Ace at your local software store. If you can't find it or want more information on Harmonic Vision products, visit their web site at You can also reach them on the phone at 800 644 - 4994.


Copyright © 2000 Bruce E. Von Stiers