Last modification: 9/24/98

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MIDI stuff

Look This page of mine is devoted to MIDI music. I am mainly interested in 20th century "academic" music. You are invited to read the glossary or my views on the history of music and my essay on the music styles and tell me what you think about this.

None of the material on this page, including MIDI files, is copyrighted, it is all in public domain. If you make an improved version of one of the files, I'll be happy to put it up here as well.


MIDI Resources on the Web

in no particular order

Fellow GeoCitizens:


MIDI files made by myself

I make MIDI files on my PC using things like a weighted piano keyboard (Yamaha Clavinova CLP123). I use live recording technique for piano music, that is, for the music I can actually play :) and step recording followed by extensive tempo editing by hand for organ music.

Organ music

The organ pieces below are sequenced in an "orchestrated organ" technique I developed. In this technique, each voice is assigned simultaneously to several instruments (such as flute, trumpet, or choir) which then play in unison, imitating the mixing of stops in a real pipe organ. I have not used any of the "organ" MIDI patches because I think they don't really sound like an organ. The result depends on the MIDI module you are using, YMMV, and you are free to remap the patches to your liking.
I would be interested to hear your comments on this. [The email address is a bit garbled, so please clean it up before emailing me :]

Picture of Reger Max Reger (1873-1915) was a German composer and organist of the late romantic school. His organ music is overly complicated and somewhat hard to listen to (and of course hard to play); his organ style is heavily influenced by Bach, but is nevertheless original; for one thing, his favorite minor key was D minor, not Bach's C minor :)

Picture of Dupre Marcel Dupré (1882 -- 1971) was a French composer, virtuoso organist and improvisateur. He once performed all of Bach's organ music from memory (!) in a series of concerts. His music is a mix of impressionism, late romanticism and a little baroque, in a perceptibly 20th century harmonic setting.

Picture of Durufle Maurice Duruflé (1902 -- 1986) was a French organ virtuoso who had also studied composition under Paul Dukas. His output comprises only about a dozen pieces mostly for the organ, of which the most widely known is the Requiem Op. 9 for choir and organ or orchestra where he created a satisfying mixture of impressionistic harmonic language of the 20th century with the traditional Gregorian chant. All of his organ pieces exhibit much the same stylistic features and demand an extraordinary technique.

Picture of Messiaen Olivier Messiaen (1908 -- 1992) was a relatively well-known French composer and organist. His organ music usually has a tonal focus, but sometimes lacks a fixed meter and is heavily dissonant. Most of his output is based on religious and mystical themes.

Piano music

Here you can find some interesting piano music that I sequenced. Most of it is recorded on the Yamaha Clavinova digital piano, and the volume ("velocity") of individual notes may not sound quite right on another synthesizer. For some files, I made the "General MIDI" versions which are the same realtime recordings except that I transformed the velocities of individual notes to make them sound better on an average wavetable card. Hopefully they do. :)

Picture of Scriabin Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) was a Russian composer and pianist. His work was romantic and impressionist throughout, although his style became fairly avant-garde in his late years. I put his works in chronological order, so you can appreciate the extent of change in Scriabin's musical language during his short creative life.

A note about some of the Scriabin pieces below: the files marked as "MIDI scores" don't generally sound well and are intended for studying or printing of the scores. Listen to a real CD quality recording or to a "performance" MIDI to appreciate the music.

Picture of Shostakovich Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) was a Russian composer who worked during the most oppresive years of the Communist regime. The ruling powers heavily criticized his work and forced him to move his style in a more conventional direction as a matter of professional survival. Much of his music alternates between a sarcastic view of the prescribed hypocritical optimism and introverted, depressive moods of an individual crushed by the oppressive regime.

Misc. piano music

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