Music and Programming

Music and Programming: A Talk With Dave Recchione

When a friend asked if he can try out the Scratch Coder Course, I thought it would be great.  That friend is also a professional with over 30 years of software programming experience. I wasn’t sure what he would think.  He used a word… not a 4 letter word but a 3 letter word. FUN.

I sat down with David Recchione this week as one software programmer to another. He wanted to tell everyone what he thought about Scratch and the Scratch Coder Course that is available at


Dave is a fantastic guy who has seen technology evolve from the mainframe to the internet of things.  He talks about his journey of learning BASIC in the early days of computing to his role as lead software developer for a financial software application.  BASIC was also featured in the television series Stranger Things and I did a break down of Bob’s BASIC program in a prior post.

GetMeCoding NCR MainframeWhat is mainframe computing?

Mainframe computing is where you have a central computer that does all the thinking (aka processing).  Programmers would use terminals to write code and then process it on the mainframe. The terminals were often monochrome displays and keyboards. 

This is all before the personal computer and the internet.  A much different programming world than today.


New to Scratch

Dave never used Scratch before and he was surprised at how it easily taught programming concepts he uses in his day to day programming tasks.  “It was alot of fun.”  He feels that kids or anyone else can do this, have fun, and learn the fundamentals of programming.

In our talk, Dave touches on the key programming principles that the course fosters.  It is exactly why I feel Scratch is great to learn programming.

One of the things many of us who have been around programming for a while really enjoy about this type of tool is that it gives you immediate results.  In other words, you build something and you can instantly see it in action.

Do musicians make good programmers?

Dave is also a professional musician.  Make no mistake, he is a creative type and is living proof that music and programming feed off each other.  His website is where you can work with Dave on creating music for your work.  One of his most notable projects is the creation of the podcast musical intro for Lou Mongello’s WDWRadio Podcast. Sketches AlbumHe also has a collection of 12 songs taken from the Walt Disney Music library called “Sketches”.  These are new arrangements from jazz to gospel.  You can purchase the collection here.

When creating a software program you think in a logical way as you write the code.  This analytical approach is also a skill many musicians use when writing or performing musical works.

An article appearing on Medium delves into the notion of visualization.  How musicians view music in their head is similar to how programmers visualize algorithms and coding.

For me, I played an instrument throughout middle school and high school.  It wasn’t until I sat down with Dave did I realize how much my mediocre clarinet and saxophone playing may have helped shape my brain for programming.

I should call and thank my middle school music teacher for keeping me engaged in music otherwise I might not be where I am today!

Happy coding!! Mr Fred

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