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 Musys, Minicomputers and Mouse........ 
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:23 am
Posts: 157
Another retrocomputer rabbit hole....

In 1967 Peter Zinovieff acquired a PDP-8/S for the then princely sum of £5000. (About the cost of a 4-bed London house).

With David Cockerell assembling hardware, Peter Grogono doing coding and Tristram Cary working on musical compositions, together they created Electronic Music Studios (London) Ltd.

It was located in a shed at the end of Zinovieff's garden, on the banks of the Thames, near Putney Bridge.

Collaborative projects with Delia Derbyshire of BBC Radiophonic workshop and other early electronic music pioneers led to a major influence in British rock music in the early 1970s.

Pink Floyd, Hawkwind and Roxy Music were all early adopters of the new sounds made possible by a computer controlled synthesiser.

Paul McCartney visited with Delia Derbyshire and has recollections of the studio at the bottom of the garden.

The Thames flooded at some point around 1969 and the studio hastily had to be rescued from the shed and rebuilt on the groundfloor of Zinovieff's house.

Most of this is summed up in a 2007 documentary "What the Future Sounded Like"

The PDP8/S was used for oscillator, filter and amplifier control. In 1968 a PDP-8/L was purchased that ultimately became the first music sequencer and eventually a primitive sound sampler.

The PDP-8/S appears at timecode 10:45 and later throughout the documentary. The video includes psychedelics, drug taking, flashing lights, stoned hippies and nudity - you have been warned.

Peter Grogono joined EMS in 1969 and wrote most of the software for the PDP-8, including a bytecode interpreter used for music composition on the PDP-8/L called MUSYS.

Grogono describes some of the aspects of MUSYS, and how it was an integral part of the studio automation/production system.

Image here from 1970 clearly shows PDP-8/L, ASR-33 teletype and PDP-8/S ... spic2.html

Some 10 years later, Grogono updated and extended MUSYS and released it as the microcomputer language "Mouse".

Here's the original BYTE article from July 1979 ... 7/mode/1up

And an article by Grogono from his webpages: ... mouse.html

Sat Jan 30, 2021 2:26 am

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:40 pm
Posts: 213
Location: Huntsville, AL
What a blast from the past.

Somewhere around 1982-1983, I bought the Peter Grogono book. I used it to learn Pascal, although I never actually implemented the Mouse language interpreter that described in the book. Over the years, I have periodically pulled out the book, and used as inspiration for a number of projects.

Had no idea that Mr. Grogono was part of the British music scene.

Thanks for the post.

Michael A.

Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:30 am
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