Bill's Original Midi Gallery

I have been playing around with music for many years, plunking out little tunes on the piano for my own amusement and scribbling down the notes on scraps of paper. Recently I got the idea of printing some of it out in a legible format, so I went out and bought some cheap software that creates sheet music. As a bonus, this software also creates midi files.

The sheet music prints out rather nicely, but the midi software seems to be rather primitive and limited. I would ask the curious listener to keep these limitations in mind while browsing this modest gallery of some of my musical ideas.

I am not a musician, nor do I claim to be one. Anyone who has looked around on my website for any length of time can clearly see that I've got other things on my mind besides music. For me it's an amateurish passtime at best, and the only good thing I can say about my music is that it is original.

Having said that, let me put in my 2 cents worth regarding original midi files. I have browsed lots of other personal websites out there with original midi music files, and I have to admit that I have been quite disappointed in what I've found. About 95% of this stuff is -- in my humble opinion -- not very good. Although most of these pieces are masterfully executed with beautifully clean, clear, and smooth midi instrumentation, all you actually hear are just a couple of random chords thrown together, droning on back and forth in a dreamy fashion, with a lot percussion in the background to jazz it up. I suppose that for a lot of people this sounds "really neat", but I personally find it rather insipid and unimaginative. Rarely have I found any fellow amateurs out there who can actually create an original tune or a catchy melody or some clever counterpoint; - you know, something that sticks in your head after you hear it a couple times. That's what I try to do, anyway, and I think I've had at least a certain degree of success in some of the things I've put together. But it's all a matter of taste, I suppose, and the people whose midi creations I have just maligned will probably think that it's my music that stinks. Ah, well...

(One site I do like is Hans Zimmermann's "Neun liederliche Lieder", the four pieces BBBCCC (the part from 3:57 to the end is fascinating), ESESDES, CAFGDH, and CBASBAS.)

Also bear in mind that the instrumentation chosen is not always essential to the piece itself. I have chosen a variety of midi voice instrumentations from piece to piece just to break the monotony. I think that a lot of people tend to listen to the voicing of these pieces rather than the actual notes. A case in point: I once played the "Kakerlaken" piece below for a friend of mine, and he immediately blurted out, "That's the theme from 'The Third Man'!" Well, no, it's not the theme from "The Third Man", nor is there any resemblance to that theme, other than the fact that they both have that solo guitar sound at the beginning. He was listening to the instruments rather than listening to the actual melody. Many of these pieces could easily have been created with completely different instrumentation - e.g., guitar, clarinet, or synthesizer instead of piano - and in most cases they would sound just fine that way. My point is that I am more interested in the actual music itself, i.e., the combination of notes created, rather than in the voices that portray this music. I know that a lot of people don't feel this way. They just want to hear some "cool sounds" and they don't give a hoot about how insipid or brainless the actual music score might be. But I'm more interested in content than in packaging. 'Nuff said; you get my point.

Note also that these pieces will sound different depending on which midi player you use. They used to sound pretty good in QuickTime Player, but with the newest version of QuickTime (7.5) they are all so muted that I have to crank up the volume full blast just to hear anything at all. Windows Media Player does a pretty good job, but for some odd reason (probably the buggy midi software I'm using) the music cuts off too abruptly at the end of nearly every piece. Grrr.

colonelsclock, 1 minute 45 seconds
"The Colonel's Clock".

jackfruithaircut, 54 seconds.
"Jackfruit Haircut"
(Sounds best with Windows Media Player.)

chocolatecookies, 56 seconds.
"Chocolate Cookies", a lively little piano piece.

happyecho, 1 minute 42 seconds.
"The Happy Echo"
happyecho2, 1 minute 42 seconds.
"The Happy Echo", with banjo instead of piano.

barcelonacatnip, 58 seconds
"Barcelona Catnip".

daisybabble, 44 seconds
"Daisy Babble".

winningmove, 1 minute 18 seconds.
"The Winning Move".

cinnamonjump, 1 minute 20 seconds.
"Cinnamon Jump".

atfourtoten, 38 seconds.
"At Four to Ten"

marchsaltritz, 51 seconds
The "March Salt Ritz". A strange little piece with a persistent beat.

jellocircus, 2 minutes 13 seconds
"Jello Circus".

weekenddrift, 3 minutes 4 seconds
"Weekend Drift".

redwineonions, 1 minute
"Red Wine and Onions".

whistlingonmoon, 1 minute 24 seconds
"Whistling on the Moon".

ducksandgeese, 1 minute 23 seconds
The "Ducks and Geese Rag".

aluminumhens, 55 seconds
"Aluminum Hens". If there were such a thing as aluminum hens, they would probably sound something like this.

sweetsour, 1 minute 17 seconds
"Sweet and Sour".

lieutenantsclock, 1 minute 14 seconds
"The Lieutenant's Clock".
(Windows Media Player works best here; QuickTime screws up on the voices in a couple spots.)

violetlantern, 1 minute 30 seconds
The "Violet Lantern Phalanx". A happy little piece with a persistent beat.

crazyqueue, 1 minute 6 seconds.
"Crazy Queue"
(Sounds best with Windows Media Player. QuickTime lags behind one note on all the instrumentation switching.)

madisonbiscuits, 50 seconds
"Madison Biscuits".

russianflu, 1 minute, 20 seconds
"The Russian Flu".

parkdicewaltz, 59 seconds
The "Park Dice Waltz".

fridaystrain, 1 minute 7 seconds.
"Friday's Train".

twainrainrag, 1 minute 36 seconds
The "Twain Rain Rag".
(Plays best, although not flawlessly, in Window Media Player. QuickTime messes up with the "percussion" instrumentation in a couple spots, again probably due to the buggy midi software I have.)

sugarcookies, 1 minute 10 seconds.
"Sugar Cookies", another lively little piano piece.

duedate, 1 minute 46 seconds
"The Due Date".

alvasprompts, 1 minute 7 seconds.
"Alva's Prompts".

mariesadvice, 1 minute 6 seconds.
"Marie's Advice", a little different from what I usually write.

majorsclock, 1 minute 34 seconds
"The Major's Clock".

fleas, 48 seconds
"Fleas in a Frying Pan". A graphic name for a bizarre little piece.
fleas2, 48 seconds
The same piece in piano; a little less grating on the ear.

kakerlaken.mid, 1 minute, 30 seconds
"Mitternachtstanz der Kakerlaken" ("Midnight Dance of the Cockroaches"). Listen to it and see if you can't picture the nasty little critters furtively creeping out from the cracks, one by one.

poochy, 54 seconds
I know this sounds really corny, but this piece was inspired by our cat Pucci ("Poochy").

orangeapple, 51 seconds.
"An Orange and an Apple"

cypressdejavu, 1 minute 38 seconds
"Cypress Dejavu".

cheburek, 1 minute 18 seconds

hotplasterstep, 51 seconds
"Hot Plaster Step".

captainsclock, 1 minute 36 seconds
"The Captain's Clock".

straycatrag, 1 minute 22 seconds
The "Stray Cat Rag".

redrobinboxes, 44 seconds
"Red Robin Boxes".

littleriverpotluck, 1 minute 15 seconds
The "Little River Potluck". A busy little piece with a persistent beat.
littleriverpotluck2, 1 minute 15 seconds
The same piece with "music box" instrumentation.

christmasmallrush, 57 seconds
"Christmas Mall Rush", written December 24, 2008.

febtriangle, 1 minute 43 seconds
The "February Triangle" - written, appropriately enough, in February.

privatesclock, 1 minute 53 seconds
"The Private's Clock".

wednesdayyogurt, 1 minute 30 seconds
"Wednesday's Yogurt".

monkeys, 1 minute 9 seconds
"Monkeys in White Shirts".

nov29, 1 minute 36 seconds
"November 29".

kongchaochocolate, 1 minute 23 seconds.
"Kong Chao Chocolate"
(Sounds best with Windows Media Player.)

windrally, 1 minute, 17 seconds
"Wind Rally", a bit restless and changeable.

tapiocafloaters, 1 minute 16 seconds.
"Tapioca Floaters".

alexthegorilla, 1 minute 36 seconds
"Alex the Gorilla".

99waltz.mid, 3minutes, 18 seconds
The "Ninety-nine Waltz". This one starts out slow and easy but gets a little crazy downstream.

Copyright 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 by Bill Price

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