The Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) is a product of the computer age which is changing the way that music is composed, written, performed and learned. Through MIDI sequencing and editing, musicians now have access to thousands of voices and effects which were previously unavailable, giving rise to a new type of musician: one whose repertoire includes computer literacy as well as musical literacy. This research considers the effect of MIDI on music education, and ways in which MIDI is likely to be used in the education field in the future.
MIDI was developed in 1983 to enable musical synthesizers and samplers from different manufacturers to communicate with one another. This industry-wide standard provides a common language and hardware interface so musical instruments can communicate with each other and with any device that can accept MIDI commands.
The MIDI standard is implemented today by nearly every synthesizer and sampler manufacturer on the market, as well as almost every microcomputer sound board available. MIDI is used by engineers in recording studios to assist in complicated mixing situations, by Broadway theaters to control lighting and special effects, and by theme parks to automate attractions and complex displays such as those with hydraulic controls.
The basic commands of the MIDI language are, for the most part, musical information. Examples include the various commands to turn a musical note on, the specific note to play, the velocity (how loud) to play that note, and the command to turn a note off. Even though they represent only the most basic of MIDI commands, these four pieces of information can be used to control an array of equipment or play an entire song. By storing this MIDI information in a file and sending it to a sound card, the card synthesizer can convert it to music.
A MIDI sequencer in its simplest form provides the ability to record a series of actions (which produce MI...