WO1993002438A1 - Music training instrument and method - Google Patents

Music training instrument and method Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1993002438A1
WO1993002438A1 PCT/US1992/006031 US9206031W WO9302438A1 WO 1993002438 A1 WO1993002438 A1 WO 1993002438A1 US 9206031 W US9206031 W US 9206031W WO 9302438 A1 WO9302438 A1 WO 9302438A1
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WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
musical
instrument
notes
musical instrument
data
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US1992/006031
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
John R. Shaffer
Craig Bradley
Original Assignee
Shaffer John R
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09BEDUCATIONAL OR DEMONSTRATION APPLIANCES; APPLIANCES FOR TEACHING, OR COMMUNICATING WITH, THE BLIND, DEAF OR MUTE; MODELS; PLANETARIA; GLOBES; MAPS; DIAGRAMS
    • G09B15/00Teaching music
    • G09B15/001Boards or like means for providing an indication of chords
    • G09B15/002Electrically operated systems
    • G09B15/003Electrically operated systems with indication of the keys or strings to be played on instruments
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09BEDUCATIONAL OR DEMONSTRATION APPLIANCES; APPLIANCES FOR TEACHING, OR COMMUNICATING WITH, THE BLIND, DEAF OR MUTE; MODELS; PLANETARIA; GLOBES; MAPS; DIAGRAMS
    • G09B15/00Teaching music
    • G09B15/02Boards or like means for providing an indication of notes
    • G09B15/04Boards or like means for providing an indication of notes with sound emitters
    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10HELECTROPHONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    • G10H1/00Details of electrophonic musical instruments
    • G10H1/0008Associated control or indicating means
    • G10H1/0016Means for indicating which keys, frets or strings are to be actuated, e.g. using lights or leds
    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10HELECTROPHONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    • G10H2220/00Input/output interfacing specifically adapted for electrophonic musical tools or instruments
    • G10H2220/021Indicator, i.e. non-screen output user interfacing, e.g. visual or tactile instrument status or guidance information using lights, LEDs, seven segments displays
    • G10H2220/026Indicator, i.e. non-screen output user interfacing, e.g. visual or tactile instrument status or guidance information using lights, LEDs, seven segments displays associated with a key or other user input device, e.g. key indicator lights
    • G10H2220/051Fret indicator, e.g. for playing guidance on a string instrument or string instrument emulator
    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10HELECTROPHONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    • G10H2220/00Input/output interfacing specifically adapted for electrophonic musical tools or instruments
    • G10H2220/021Indicator, i.e. non-screen output user interfacing, e.g. visual or tactile instrument status or guidance information using lights, LEDs, seven segments displays
    • G10H2220/026Indicator, i.e. non-screen output user interfacing, e.g. visual or tactile instrument status or guidance information using lights, LEDs, seven segments displays associated with a key or other user input device, e.g. key indicator lights
    • G10H2220/061LED, i.e. using a light-emitting diode as indicator

Abstract

An improved method and apparatus (15) for learning to play a musical instrument retrieve a stored sequence of musical notes and other data from a source (13) and determine locations on the musical instrument (14) corresponding to the sequential music data from the source, and then indicate to the user upon the musical instrument the locations (14) thereon where the instrument should be engaged to produce the note or chord to be played in the sequence.

Description

MUSIC TRAINING INSTRUMENT AND METHOD

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to musical instruments, and more particularly to an improved musical instrument for aiding a person to learn musical compositions by playing the instrument following visual cues provided by the instrument.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART Dynamic note indicating music devices, like the player piano, are limited in their capabilities of aiding a person to learn how to play a musical instrument because the user does not play the notes himself. At best, the user may attempt to follow the fingerings generated by the device. In addition, these instruments lack the ability to receive musical data from sources external to the instrument.

To help a person learn to play a musical instrument, the instrument ideally would allow the user to generate music with the instrument after receiving real-time, easy to follow cues on the musical instrument. Much of the music desired to be learned would include single notes and chords, to be played together simultaneously and in sequence. Additionally, this music would include pauses, or rests, as well. A useful learning device would visually assist the user by dynamically displaying playing locations on the musical instrument at the desired tempo of one or more notes simultaneously from a musical composition desired to be learned. Such a method would allow the user to more easily learn to play the predetermined sequence. U.S. Patent No. 4,915,005 to Shaffer et al., the full disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference for all purposes, discloses a fingering display for a musical instrument. After the user selects a musical key and scales. notes, or chords, the instrument statically displays those corresponding locations on the musical instrument where the user should engage it to play those desired notes. The notes displayed are limited to those stored in the registers and correspond to a selected key. Thus, the disclosed device does not dynamically display sequences of notes, and cannot receive musical data from an external source.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a learning system and associated apparatus capable of aiding the user to learn a sequence of notes, chords and other groups of notes by playing that sequence of notes indicated upon the musical instrument. For example, the sequence of notes may be a song or an instructional lesson. The method and apparatus of the present invention retrieve musical data stored in a predefined order, determine the locations on the musical instrument corresponding to selected notes of the retrieved musical data, and indicate to the user the determined locations on the musical instrument corresponding to the stored musical data. The musical data sequence may include data representing musical notes, tempo, and musical key. The apparatus includes a display and a controller having an input port for receiving musical data. Preferably, the apparatus will be incorporated in an actual stringed musical instrument, such as a guitar or piano, which produces sounds through the vibration of strings when struck or plucked by the user. The display is usually disposed on the instrument to indicate the locations where the user is to physically engage the instrument, e.g. on the fingerboard of a guitar or in the keys of a piano.

By having the user see and play a sequence in a predetermined order, the user is more likely to quickly learn and remember that sequence. Because the invention incorporates an actual musical instrument of the type which is being learned, the user is able to play the same instrument for learning purposes as that which would be played once a degree of skill has been attained. ' The learning process is thereby accelerated, and the sound quality improved over devices which merely simulate the sound and physical features of the instrument. Further, by locating the display in the precise locations where the user is to engage the instrument, rather than in a separate position, the need to shift one's eyes from the display to the strings or keys and back to the display is eliminated, thereby improving the learning process. The invention further permits the user to alter the note indication rate, or tempo, to help the user learn the sequence more easily. The invention preferably includes the step of providing an audio output independent of the musical instrument corresponding to the notes to be played by the user in order to provide additional sensory cues. The pitch of the notes produced by the audio output is maintained regardless of tempo. In addition, the invention provides an open structure for retrieval of the note sequences from its input port. The controller may be coupled to a standard Musical Instrument Digital interface (MIDI) for computer controlled music data compatibility. Further, the display of the apparatus of the invention may be turned off, allowing the user to practice or perform with the instrument in the manner in which such instruments are commonly played, without visual cues and with a high level of sound quality.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Fig. 1 is a block diagram illustrating the musical instrument according to the present invention;

Fig. 2 is a block schematic diagram of one preferred embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 3 is a flow chart illustrating the operation of the apparatus of Fig. 1; and

Fig. 4 is a flow chart illustrating the operation of the embodiment of the present invention that is illustrated in Fig. 2. DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to Fig. 1, the main structural components of the improved musical instrument learning system 15 of the present invention include a display 14 and a controller 10 having an input port 12 for receiving musical data. The musical data may be stored in interchangeable memory storage devices 13. Preferably, the apparatus further includes several devices connected to the controller including a MIDI 16, a user input control 18, and a digital to analog converter 20 for providing audio output signals from the stored digital musical data.

Usually, learning system 15 is incorporated into an actual musical instrument such as a guitar or piano, which produces sound through the vibration of strings which are physically engaged by the user's fingers or by a hammer actuated by a key pressed by the user. In a preferred embodiment, display 14 is disposed on the instrument to indicate the locations where the user should physically engage the instrument, such as near the frets of a guitar, or on the keys of a piano, as described below. Controller 10 and interchangeable memory storage devices 13 are preferably housed in the body of a guitar or in an appropriate mounting location in a piano, such as in the frame structure behind the keys. Referring now to Fig. 2, the display 14 of the apparatus is preferably an individually addressable Light Knitting Diode (LED) matrix 22. In the case of a guitar, the LED matrix 22 is mounted in a fingerboard in close registration with the strings, with the LEDs corresponding to positions along the frets, as illustrated in Figs. 14 and 15 of U.S. Patent No. 4,915,005, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. Signals from the controller 10 are supplied to the display via a display driver 32 which illuminates the individual LEDs based upon the address signals generated by a processing unit 30 and an address and timing decoder 28. In the case of a piano, LED matrix is mounted directly in the keyboard, with at least one LED on each key. Alternatively, all or part of the keys themselves may be of a translucent material such that the keys themselves are illuminated in response to signals from controller 10.

In one form, a switch may serve as the input control 18 but other user interface devices such as an alphanumeric keyboard, a mouse controller, or a joystick may also be used. The input control 18 is connected to the processing unit 30 for interrupting on-going processes and selecting the processing modes. Mode information may be presented either on the LED matrix 22 located on the instrument at the potential fingering locations operated as a dot-matrix display, or by a separate alphanumeric display 34.

The controller 10 contains the processing unit 30, which may comprise a conventional microprocessor. The address and timing. decoder 28 interprets display address information from the processing unit 30 for the display 14. In addition, the address and timing decoder 28 provides timing signals for interfacing the memory 26, input port 12, display driver 32, digital to analog converter 20, and processing unit 30.

The controller additionally includes memory 26, including both Read Only Memory (ROM) and Random Access Memory (RAM) . The ROM stores the program instructions for the operation of the apparatus while the RAM temporarily stores data for the execution of the program. The MIDI 16 is connected to a serial input of the processing unit 30. A digital to analog converter 20 receives digital signals representing musical sound information from the MIDI 16 or the input port 12 and converts the signals for the analog audio output 24. Pitch of an audio output note is the same for all tempos. Referring now to Fig. 3, the method of the present invention for visually assisting a person to learn how to play a musical instrument begins with the controller 10 retrieving 36 musical data of a sequence stored 35 in a predetermined order through the input port 12 or MIDI 16. Interchangeable memory storage devices 13 which store the musical data may be connected to the input port 12. Then, the processing unit 30 determines 38 a location on the musical instrument corresponding to the musical data. The display 14 indicates 40 to the user, in one preferred embodiment on the LED matrix 22, the determined location where the user should physically engage the instrument in order to produce the corresponding notes. Preferably, the instrument is an actual guitar or piano, such that sound is produced by the vibration of strings- which are engaged by the user or by keys, the strings or keys engaged at the positions indicated by display 14.

Referring now to Fig. 4, the preferred embodiment of the method for visually assisting a person to learn how to play a musical instrument begins by initializing the apparatus 15 and displaying the mode information 42 on the LED matrix 22 operated as a dot-matrix display 14 or on a separate alphanumeric display 34. The processing unit 30 checks if the input control 18 has been activated 44. If the input control 18 is activated, then the processing unit 30 in conjunction with the address and timing decoder 28 produces an output signal for the LED dot-matrix display 14 or the separate alphanumeric display 34 to indicate the configuration mode settings. The mode indications are changed corresponding to user input control manipulation 50 and subsequent processing unit 30 mode changes.

The processing unit 30 then checks its registers for whether the play mode is on 52. If the play mode is on, then the processing unit 30 retrieves 36 selected music data from the memory storage device 13 through the input port 12 or the MIDI 16 and places the music data into the memory 26. The music data may include notes, groups of notes, chords, and intentional predetermined musical pauses, or rests. The processing unit 30 checks its registers as to whether delay is needed 56 to adjust the timing of the playing location indications to produce the desired playing tempo. If delay is necessary to have more time between indications on the display 14, then the processing unit 30 waits a sufficient time between successive fingering indications to correspond to the desired tempo' 56.

Next, the processing unit 30 checks its registers as to whether the sound mode is on 58. If the sound mode is on, the digital to analog converter 20 produces an analog output signal 60 based upon the digital music data retrieved 36. The analog sound is output 62 through the audio output 24 of the instrument. Even if the tempo is altered, the original analog audio output pitch is maintained. The processing unit 30 determines 38 a location on the musical instrument corresponding to the musical data. The LED matrix 22 indicates 40 to the user the determined location on the instrument where the user should physically engage to produce the corresponding notes on the instrument. The user then engages the instrument at the indicated location, and sound is produced by vibration of the string so engaged. Usually, in the case of a guitar, the sound is amplified to a more audible level by a hollow guitar body, or through the use of electro¬ magnetic pick-ups on the guitar which convert the vibration of the strings to an electrical signal, which is then used to drive a speaker to produce the sound. These steps continue until there is no more music data to retrieve or until the play mode is set to off with the input control 18.

If the play mode is set to off, display 14 will be deactivated. However, the instrument may still be played without the use of visual cues on the instrument. The instrument of the present invention, being an actual musical instrument such as a guitar or piano, produces sounds not by electronic simulation, but through the vibration of strings which are acoustically amplified. Thus, even without the display 14 turned on, the instrument is useful for both learning and performing purposes. The instrument therefore will not lose its utility once the user has reached a level of skill where the display is no longer needed. Further, even for skillful players, the invention will be useful for providing visual reminders of scales, songs, and instrumental parts, without sacrificing sound quality or instrument features.

In summary, the present invention of a musical training instrument includes both a method and an apparatus.

The method consists of the steps of storing 35 a predetermined sequence of musical data, retrieving 36 a segment of the musical data, determining 38 a location on the musical instrument corresponding to the where the user should physically engage the instrument to produce a notes, group of notes, or chord, and indicating 40 to the user the location where the user should physically engage the instrument to produce the note, group of notes, or chord corresponding to the stored musical data sequence.

The apparatus of the present invention includes a controller 10 and a display 14 incorporated into an actual stringed musical instrument. The display has multiple indicators located in close proximity such that the indicators signal the locations where the user should physically engage the instrument to produce the notes, group of notes, or chords which correspond to the stored sequence of musical data. The controller 10 regulates the individually addressable indicator display 14 to illuminate those locations where the user should physically engage to produce the sequence.

Claims

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. A method for visually assisting a user to learn how to play a stringed musical instrument, said method comprising the steps of: storing a musical data sequence, arranged in a predetermined order, where said musical data includes data representing musical notes; retrieving a segment of the musical data sequence in its predetermined order; determining a location on the musical instrument corresponding to musical data where the user should physically engage the instrument to produce a selection of musical notes; indicating to the user upon the musical instrument the determined location at which the user should engage the instrument in order to produce notes in the sequence corresponding to the selection of musical notes in the stored musical data; and producing a vibration in at least one string of said instrument to generate an audible musical note.
2. The method according to claim 1, wherein said selection of musical notes may comprise at least one of notes, chords, and rests.
3. The method according to claim 1, wherein said musical data may comprise at least one of notes, chords, scales, compositions and songs.
4. The method according to claim 1 comprising the additional step of controlling the rate at which the sequence of notes is indicated.
5. The method according to claim 1 comprising the additional step of selecting a segment of the sequence to be retrieved and determined and indicated.
6. The method according to claim 1 comprising the additional step of audibly producing the notes independently of the notes produced on the instrument by the vibration of said string.
7. A stringed musical instrument providing visual user assistance, said instrument comprising: at least one string for producing an audible note musical note, said note produced at least partially by vibration of the string; display means including a plurality of individual annunciators, each disposed at a location on the musical instrument at which the user should physically engage the musical instrument to produce a note; and controller means having an input port for receiving musical data, said musical data representative of a selection of musical data to be played on the musical instrument in a sequence, said controller analyzing musical data received at said input port to supply actuating signals to selected ones of the annunciators of the display means in the sequence.
8. The musical instrument according to claim 7 further comprising input control means coupled to the controller means for producing control signals in response to user manipulation of said input control means, said control signals comprising mode settings selected from the group consisting of sound settings, music data segment settings, tempo settings and display settings.
9. The musical instrument according to claim 7 wherein said stringed musical instrument is a guitar.
10. The musical instrument according to claim 7 wherein said stringed musical instrument is a piano.
11. The musical instrument according to claim 7, wherein said musical data corresponding to musical notes may comprise at least one of notes, chords, and rests.
12. The musical instrument according to claim 7 further comprising a plurality of interchangeable memory devices having a port for coupling with said input port of said controller.
13. The musical instrument according to claim 7, wherein said controller comprises a conventional microprocessor.
14. The musical instrument according to claim 7 further comprising a Musical Instrument Digital Interface coupled to the input port of the controller for receiving standardized computer controlled music data.
15. The musical instrument according to claim 7 further comprising a digital to analog converter and an audio output for audibly producing notes corresponding to said musical data independently of the notes produced on the instrument by the vibration of said string.
16. The musical instrument according to claim 7 wherein said plurality of individual annunciators are disposed on a fingerboard of the stringed instrument, said plurality of individual annunciators in close registration with the strings of the instrument.
17. The musical instrument according to claim 10 wherein said plurality of individual annunciators are located in keys of the piano.
PCT/US1992/006031 1991-07-18 1992-07-17 Music training instrument and method WO1993002438A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US73249591 true 1991-07-18 1991-07-18
US732,495 1991-07-18

Applications Claiming Priority (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU2382892A AU664379B2 (en) 1991-07-18 1992-07-17 Stringed music training instrument and method
EP19920916655 EP0596002A4 (en) 1991-07-18 1992-07-17 Music training instrument and method.
JP50300493A JPH06509189A (en) 1991-07-18 1992-07-17

Publications (1)

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WO1993002438A1 true true WO1993002438A1 (en) 1993-02-04

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PCT/US1992/006031 WO1993002438A1 (en) 1991-07-18 1992-07-17 Music training instrument and method

Country Status (4)

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EP (1) EP0596002A4 (en)
JP (1) JPH06509189A (en)
CA (1) CA2113276A1 (en)
WO (1) WO1993002438A1 (en)

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO1994018656A1 (en) * 1993-02-08 1994-08-18 Dowani Establishment Learning aid in the form of a sound recording medium
EP0731432A1 (en) * 1995-03-10 1996-09-11 COMUS S.p.A. Electronic device for the study and practice of a musical instrument, particularly a set of percussion instruments
WO1997008681A1 (en) * 1995-08-30 1997-03-06 Raoul Parienti Portable foldable electronic piano
WO2000046785A1 (en) * 1999-02-02 2000-08-10 The Guitron Corporation Electronic stringed musical instrument
EP1039430A2 (en) 1999-03-19 2000-09-27 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Performance training apparatus, and recording mediums which prestore a performance training program
DE10002907A1 (en) * 2000-01-19 2001-08-16 Augsten Gunther Teaching guitar with light point fingering system operated via microcomputer for indicating fingering positions for different chords
WO2002031710A1 (en) * 2000-10-09 2002-04-18 Lake Technology Limited Authoring system
DE10018052B4 (en) * 1999-04-13 2006-04-13 Yamaha Corp., Hamamatsu Training system for music game so equipped keyboard musical instrument and keyboard training

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US4480521A (en) * 1981-06-24 1984-11-06 Schmoyer Arthur R System and method for instruction in the operation of a keyboard musical instrument
US4694723A (en) * 1985-05-07 1987-09-22 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Training type electronic musical instrument with keyboard indicators
US4791848A (en) * 1987-12-16 1988-12-20 Blum Jr Kenneth L System for facilitating instruction of musicians
US4915005A (en) * 1988-08-25 1990-04-10 Shaffer John R Fingering display for musical instrument
US5040447A (en) * 1986-09-10 1991-08-20 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Electronic stringed instrument with fingering operating data memory system and navigate display device

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FR2479516A1 (en) * 1980-03-31 1981-10-02 Durand Pierre Visual piano key selecting instructing appts. - has coloured light diodes above each key controlled by one channel from cassette deck to provide key guide to music played
NL8401918A (en) * 1984-06-18 1986-01-16 Joseph Marie Pierre Fransicus A system for providing visual cues for playing a musical instrument.

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4480521A (en) * 1981-06-24 1984-11-06 Schmoyer Arthur R System and method for instruction in the operation of a keyboard musical instrument
US4694723A (en) * 1985-05-07 1987-09-22 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Training type electronic musical instrument with keyboard indicators
US5040447A (en) * 1986-09-10 1991-08-20 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Electronic stringed instrument with fingering operating data memory system and navigate display device
US4791848A (en) * 1987-12-16 1988-12-20 Blum Jr Kenneth L System for facilitating instruction of musicians
US4915005A (en) * 1988-08-25 1990-04-10 Shaffer John R Fingering display for musical instrument

Non-Patent Citations (1)

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Title
See also references of EP0596002A4 *

Cited By (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO1994018656A1 (en) * 1993-02-08 1994-08-18 Dowani Establishment Learning aid in the form of a sound recording medium
EP0731432A1 (en) * 1995-03-10 1996-09-11 COMUS S.p.A. Electronic device for the study and practice of a musical instrument, particularly a set of percussion instruments
WO1997008681A1 (en) * 1995-08-30 1997-03-06 Raoul Parienti Portable foldable electronic piano
FR2738380A1 (en) * 1995-08-30 1997-03-07 Parienti Raoul foldable electronic piano
WO2000046785A1 (en) * 1999-02-02 2000-08-10 The Guitron Corporation Electronic stringed musical instrument
US6191350B1 (en) 1999-02-02 2001-02-20 The Guitron Corporation Electronic stringed musical instrument
EP1039430A2 (en) 1999-03-19 2000-09-27 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Performance training apparatus, and recording mediums which prestore a performance training program
EP1039430A3 (en) * 1999-03-19 2009-04-29 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Performance training apparatus, and recording mediums which prestore a performance training program
DE10018052B4 (en) * 1999-04-13 2006-04-13 Yamaha Corp., Hamamatsu Training system for music game so equipped keyboard musical instrument and keyboard training
DE10002907A1 (en) * 2000-01-19 2001-08-16 Augsten Gunther Teaching guitar with light point fingering system operated via microcomputer for indicating fingering positions for different chords
WO2002031710A1 (en) * 2000-10-09 2002-04-18 Lake Technology Limited Authoring system
US7068290B2 (en) 2000-10-09 2006-06-27 Lake Technology Limited Authoring system

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
EP0596002A1 (en) 1994-05-11 application
CA2113276A1 (en) 1993-02-04 application
JPH06509189A (en) 1994-10-13 application
EP0596002A4 (en) 1995-06-14 application

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