PiDP-8/I Software

MUSIC: PDP-8 Music Playing Program
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A program that inputs musical scores and outputs sound using a PDP-8 either by radio frequency interference, or a special IOT instruction that would be implemented in hardware.

A collection of scores is included.

Originally distributed as DECUS 8-804.

Upstream source: Vince Slyngstad's DECUS archive 8-804.

There is another set of sources on the dbit ftp site.

The score files are also available in an RK05 image at Dave Gesswein's Archive: diag-games-kermit.rk05.

I'm not quite sure which source I used. This set of sources includes a patch to CCL PLAYOV, (that may not work for some versions of CCL) to add a PLAY command.

SIMH does not have support to get useful sound from this program. However Randy Dawson in 2017 came up with a hack that enabled SIMH to output something that was post-processed into audible sound.

A detailed instruction manual can be found in the file decus-8-884.pdf.

Original DECUS Writeup:

8-804 MUSIC: PDP-8 Music Playing Program

Author: Richard Wilson and others Digital Equipment Corporation, Maynard, MA Operating System: Paper Tape or OS/8

Source Language: PAL-8

Memory Required: 4K


MUSIC is a program which will play music in four part harmony on any PDP-8 family core memory computer, except the 8/S or PDP-12. The music to be played is input to the program as a standard OS/8 ASCII file. The music may be picked up by the use of an AM radio, or by a simple interface. The OS/8 distribution media include the source of the player, which can be customized for various configurations, along with approximately 45 minutes of music, such as Joplin, Bach, Beetho- ven, movie tunes, etc.

The binary paper tape is intended for any 1.5 microsecond PDP-8, and runs in 4K, but will only play short tunes. Several short tunes are available on paper tape.

Media Price Code: A2, F5, H32, K54

Format: OS/8

Catalog: August 1978