A musical workstation system produces a display presentation in one of a musical composition responsive to musical composition data and responsive to one or both of input variables and a selected operating mode. The system is comprised of (1) means to provide the musical composition data (such as local storage (ROM, RAM, CD-ROM, hard disk etc.), or via a communications interface to an external device (such as another music workstation, a master controller, a computer), a memory, a selection subsystem, a controller, and a display subsystem. The memory selectively stores the received original musical compositions. The selection subsystem determines a selected operating mode and display format. The controller, responsive to the selection subsystem, provides means for selectively controlling the storing of the musical composition data in memory and selectively processing (e.g. altering) the stored musical composition data responsive to the selected operating mode and the input variables to produce a particular one of a plurality of processed results, such as external communications, operating, mode, transformation to derivative musical compositions, etc. The music workstation can coordinate communications, or be a slave device, with one or more external devices, such as other music workstations, a master workstation, a controller, etc. The display system provides for selection of original compositions, creation of derivative compositions, distribution of compositions, monitoring of each performer's performance, group virtual performances, and also allows for local and distributed retrieval and editing of musical compositions.