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Film music on a PC near you

Maestro CD-Rom for Windows multimedia PCs IMK software, Liverpool 0151 291 7200 Wirral Education Inspectorate 0151 346 1182.

In a good movie, Alfred Hitchcock once said, "the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on". But most film-makers have seen the relationship between sound and vision as more equal. Maestro, a software package on CD-Rom that allows you to write your own music for a range of film clips, shows why.

You can edit an original soundtrack or write a new one. The studio facility allows frame-by-frame review of the clip and includes access to Windows Recorder, where the homespun sound-track can be edited and effects such as echo can be added.

The package provides samples of alternative music for some of the clips that give a good idea of how powerfully the impact of visual work is affected by the accompanying sound. There are some excellent examples too of different animations inspired by the same piece of music.

This is a versatile package, ideal for older key stage 1 through to key stage 3. For younger pupils there is a good introduction to media studies with lots of follow-up work. There is no need to be a music specialist to use it.

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