The Music Kit was a software package for the NeXT
Next, Inc. was an American computer company headquartered in Redwood City, California, that developed and manufactured a series of computer workstations intended for the higher education and business markets...
computer. First developed by David A. Jaffe
David Aaron Jaffe is an American composer who has written over ninety works for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensembles, and electronics. He is best known for his use of technology as an electronic-music or computer-music composer in works such as Silicon Valley Breakdown, though his non-electronic...
and Julius O. Smith, it supported the Motorolla 56001 DSP that was included on the NeXT mother board. It was also the first architecture to unify the Music-N and MIDI paradigms. Thus it combined the generality of the former with the interactivity and performance capabilities of the latter.
First demonstrated in 1988 at Davies Symphony Hall, the 1.0 release shipped in 1989 with the NeXT computer and included an Objective-C library for creating music and sound applications, a score language that included expression evaluation, MIDI, sound and DSP drivers, several command-line utilities and a simple score-playing application called ScorePlayer. The Music Kit was integrated into a variety of music applications, including Finale
Finale may indicate the final movement of a sonata, symphony, or concerto or of another piece of non-vocal classical music which has several movements, or a prolonged final sequence at the end of an act of an opera or musical theatre work....
and Creation Station. It was also used in video games and even document processors.
The 2.0 release of the NeXT computer included additional bundled applications, including Ensemble, a fractal-based improvisation tool developed by Michael Mcnabb. Others involved in the NeXT Music Kit project included Douglas Fulton (documentation and demos), Doug Keislar (3rd party support), Greg Kellogg and Lee Boynton (drivers) and Dana Massie (development.) In addition, consultants brought in early on included Andy Moorer (DSP software architecture), Roger Dannenberg (data structures) and John Strawn (DSP software).
In 1992 (NeXT 3.0 release), the Music Kit was un-bundled from the NeXT software and was released as a copyrighted open source package to the Stanford Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), where Julius O. Smith was a professor. Stanford University hired David A. Jaffe as a consultant to continue to develop the Music Kit. Among the additions at that time were support for the Airel QuintProcessor, a 5-DSP board for the NeXT Cube, support for audio directly via the DSP56001 serial port (which was brought out to the back of the NeXT cube), and support for NextSTEP and the use of DSP processing using the Turtle Beach DSP56001 card. A set of eight Motorolla evaluation boards were combined into a chasis for the prototype "Frankenstein" platform, used by the Sondius program of the Stanford Office of Technology Licensing to develop physical models of musical instruments. In addition Jaffe was hired by a third party to add MIDI time code support to the Music Kit.