Meet Alda. Created by Dave Yarwood, it's a program designed to make composing music easier. How? Well, finding music composition software like the GUI-based Sibelius too distracting, Yarwood decided to look for a solution and found that solution in text.

In the Manifesto and Gentle Introduction, i.e. guide, for Alda, Yarwood outlines the thinking behind and at the core of his back-to-basics new programming language:

"I’ve put a lot of thought into making the syntax as intuitive and beginner-friendly as possible. In fact, one of the goals of Alda is to be simple for someone with little-to-no programming experience to pick up and start using. Alda’s tagline, a music programming language for musicians, conveys its goal of being useful to non-programmers."

Yarwood also reveals that Alda can be used to create MIDI scores, any instrument in the General MIDI sound set being currently available, with plans for expansion ahead. "In the near future," he continued, "Alda’s scope will be expanded to include sounds synthesized from basic waveforms, samples loaded from sound files, and perhaps other forms of synthesis."

Alongside relatively easy-to-use DAWs, as well as pre-installed ones like Garageband, it feels as if Alda spells a further democratisation of digital music creation. All you need is a text editor and the Alda .exe file, plus a bit of patience to learn, we guess. Yarwood concludes: "I’m envisioning a world where programmers and non-programmers alike can create all sorts of music, from classical to chiptune to experimental soundscapes, using only a text editor and the Alda executable."

Grab Alda and read the detailed guide.