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Debian Stretch Am Confused about /dev/dsp

	After successfully installing stretch on a system, there
was no /dev/dsp.  I needed to play some mp3 files and so
installed mplayer.  The mp3's played and I also discovered
/dev/dsp for the on-board sound chip and /dev/dsp1 for a USB card
which began to work when used with an application I wrote that is
a few years old and makes use of /dev/dsp.

	I was thankful that the install of mplayer and several
dependent libraries seemed to have restored the dsp devices so I
powered down the system and have brought it up today to find that
once again, no /dev/dsp.  Something got turned on during the
installation process that doesn't default to on.  Where should I
look as I can do that quicker than I can rewrite the application
to do whatever you must do these days to speak to a sound device.

	The system has alsa-utils but I was under the impression
that these days, one should not install alsa-base.  As I
reported, this system is capable of /dev/dsp but it seems to have
lost it again.  That is why I am confused.

Thanks for any constructive suggestions.
Martin McCormick