Next week, when you don headphones to relax to music during the daily commute, the melody could be unique--your very own composition. A week is time enough for even outright neophytes to learn to patch together simple tunes with the QY10 Music Sequencer from Yamaha Corp. of America in Buena Park, Calif. Yet the system is so sophisticated that music professionals should also find the Walkman-size gadget helpful, Yamaha says.
The QY10 comes with plenty of building blocks that anyone can assemble and adapt: digitally recorded notes in 30 instrument "voices," from classical brass and strings to rock organ, plus 26 drum beats and 76 background rhythms, including swing, reggae, and funk. You create original tunes by picking an instrument and playing your notes on the QY10's miniature piano-style keyboard. Semiconductor memory chips provide eight recording tracks--four for bass and rhythm sounds, four others for melody and chord lines. Punch a button to change the chord or key, and everything else automatically follows the new beat. When you're satisfied, just plug the $400 sequencer into a tape deck and transfer your composition to cassette. The QY10 is showing up in local stores now.