About MIDI and Pipe Organs
In this age of computers, microprocessor-controlled musical
instruments can communicate with other microprocessor-controlled
machines. Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc. was a pioneer in
bringing MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) to pipe organs
beginning with experimental systems in 1987. A highly sophisticated
MIDI control system for pipe organs has been available from Peterson
since 1993. (See ABOUT PETERSON AND PIPE ORGANS)
What is MIDI?
MIDI is the computer 'language' used to send and receive information
between two electronic devices which create or record music. Bytes of
information are conveyed from one MIDI-equipped machine to another
such that what is played on one instrument can be performed on
another, or stored for use in repeating the performance at other
times. Pipe organ MIDI messages convey not only which notes have
been sounded when but also the vast nuances of style that comprise a
performance. An exact recording of this performance information can
be made such that MIDI-equipped pipe organs become the computer-age
equivalent of player pianos. An organist can then play his pipe organ
with a computer disk as well as at the console.
MIDI Multiplies Musical Possibilities
Since MIDI was introduced to pipe organs, organists in churches and
elsewhere have rapidly created musical innovations with MIDI. Some
ways MIDI is commonly used by church organists include:
-FOUR-HAND AND FOUR-FEET PERFORMANCES
By prerecording parts of more complex
compositions and then playing the other part live, organists have
expanded their repertoire of songs.
modern electronic musical instruments can be played from a pipe organ
console equipped with MIDI. Instead of having to master many
instruments, organists can create these diverse sounds using controls
with which they are entirely familiar.
-CONTEMPORARY CHURCH MUSIC
With MIDI, the sounds of other instruments can be used alone or in
combination with the pipes of the organ. In this way, gospel songs,
rock, and other contemporary music can be played by the pipe organ.
(See Pipe Organs and Contemporary Church Music)
By prerecording selected songs for weddings, funerals, and other
occasions, organists can offer fellow congregants important musical
choices without necessarily sitting through time-consuming rehearsals.
Recordings of performances can be made and listened to from
an audience vantage point to facilitate study and critique of the
Software programs allow organists to
transcribe, edit, and print out music after it is played. This speeds
preparation time for worship services and performances.
Computers can be used to write or edit music that is later played on
the organ in player piano fashion.
For more information on MIDI ---
"The MIDI Companion", by Jeffrey Rona, l994 Hal Leonard Corporation,
see also Pipe Organs and Contemporary Church Music
Questions, Comments, Concerns
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