|The "What's a MIDI file?" file. :-)|
To state it as plainly as possible, a MIDI file is written music, like sheet music, only it's written in a different notation system
than the old familiar one with the Grand Staff, the clefs, key signatures, time signatures, measures, notes, and rests.
By using software much like a music-enabled word processor --- actually a note processor --- any would-be author of music can
create a computer file, called a MIDI file, which contains pretty elaborate notation for a piece of instrumental music, represented
by a numerical system of notation called the "Musical Instrument Digital Interface."
So, to write down a song, one opens this program to an empty file and just goes to work and writes the music. Once it's written in
MIDI language, practically any computer can play the music the way the composer intended it to sound, subject to some significant
and rather bothersome differences in the sounds of the instruments --- due to the fact that many different manufacturers are making
Some people don't like MIDI music very much, and have the opinion that it's pretty inferior to live music, but that's like comparing
apples and oranges. They're not all that thrilled with the sound of sheet music, either. At least MIDI can give them a hint what
the music written in them sounds like. Sheet music just lays on a table, being PRETTY QUIET.