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Re: Why is midiInstrument a Staff property

From: David Raleigh Arnold
Subject: Re: Why is midiInstrument a Staff property
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2001 09:52:48 -0500

MIDI can specify only one instrument per
But it also explicitly provides more than one track for some

Guitar has "nylon string", "harmonics", and "fret noise" and of course a
cello pizzicato sound may be imitated, all of these are one *real*
instrument, not to mention using more than one basic sound to imitate
playing *sul ponticello* xor very near the center of the string or
various percussive effects. *At least* two of each of these may be
simultaneous. There is nothing uncommon or exceptional in any of it.
Some of it also applies to solo violin and other strings as well as
lutes and harps.

Mozart's *Alla Turca* was intended to be played with butcher paper laid
on the bass strings to mix a quasi snare drum sound with the bass notes.
Hence the title.

Strauss' "Tales of the Vienna Woods" is an Austrian zither solo with
string accompaniment. It requires a roomful of zithers to do a proper
job, because they are not very loud. Perhaps some blend of midi
instruments could emulate the sound of a roomful of zithers?

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that midi velocity (which means
volume) has only integral values 0 to 7, because that's about as well as
midi keyboards could do when midi was initiated. For writing symphonies
or anything else without solos one could get more subtle dynamics by
varying the overall volume (yes? no? I don't know.) but also by varying
the number of flutes, for example, playing a particular flute part
and/or by changing the velocities of some of them. This is not very
elegant, but midi is primitive. (It is not fair to call it inelegant.)
Do you want more staves to do this, or more voices?

That's not a rhetorical question. You know the answer. I don't. I just
want easy data entry. :-)

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