My midi collection, but first an introduction explaining why I have a midi collection!
What's a MIDI?
MIDI is an acronym for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It provides a way to connect devices that make and control sound such as apps and computer programs, synthesizers, samplers, and in my case, an antique piano that has been retrofitted with QRS PNOMation.
You may remember way back when in the very early days of the internet, you'd stop off at some www page on the information superhighway and suddenly be inundated with music sounding like it was being played on your kids Fischer-Price toy piano. Those were midi files!
Depending on your midi player, either the default one that came with your computer, or a fancy one you downloaded from a shareware site, it could have sounded like a cheap toy or a fine digital concert recording.
If you were technologically inclined, you might also have connected your Casio electronic keyboard, or any other capable digital instrument, and the midi file could have played through it.
Music is converted into (or created directly as) a midi format file
My piano reads the midi file and plays the notes contained in the midi
Any new, used, vintage or antique piano (as long as it is properly working) can be retrofitted with modern player piano technology -- physical hardware and digital software -- that can both record and play back performances.
There are a few different companies who offer this type of system, a few being:
QRS Pnomation (my personal favorite)
I chose QRS PNOMation https://www.qrsmusic.com/ for my 1909 Kurtzmann upright.
Why? The QRS music catalogue included with the software contained more vintage music than its competitors. (I'm not interested in modern music for my piano, if you are then I would recommend one of the other systems instead.)
QRS Pnomation systems have one the largest music libraries in the world with over 12,000+ song titles in every genre, and growing.
Q: What is QRS?
A: QRS is a state of the art Player Piano System that can be retrofitted to any Piano
Q: Once a standard piano has been retrofitted with player piano technology, can you still sit down and play it?
A: Absolutely! You can still play the piano normally by hand, or you can control it with your computer or smartphone, so it will play by itself. You can even play it by hand while it is in player piano mode, so it sounds like four hands are playing.
Q: Do you have to download a bunch of midis in order for your piano to play?
A: No! There will be a catalogue of songs that come with the system you choose. QRS has over 12,000 vintage and modern music piano songs, PianoDisc has about 4000 (last I heard). You can also download free midi files and have your piano play them.
Q: Where do I get midi files?
A: Most of them are free on the internet! Thousands of great old songs in midi format are freely available in the Public Domain. Note: Some sites try to sell the free files, repackaging them in various handy collections. New music that is still under copyright must be purchased as you would an mp3 album or song on Amazon.
Want to learn more about midis and player pianos?
Here is an excellent resource page by Carol Beigel:
My Midi collection
Coming soon! I am still renaming each of the 2000+ files in consistent format. These are the songs that I am personally fond of, and play on my piano often. This resource will be available on my neocities website because my current webhost won't allow me to express myself in this way. grrr.
There are tens of thousands of others, that you might prefer, in all categories under the sun, from classical to ragtime and everything in between. Antique, vintage and retro public domain songs, possibly some modern piano pieces with Creative Commons (CC) licenses freely downloadable for your private use.
How to use:
When you find a song you're interested in, you can either stream it from its source, or download it to your computer.
-To stream it simply click on the link, if you have a midi player installed on your computer it will open with that and start playing.
-To download it, simply right-click and select save-as or save-link-as, then download it to a suitable location on your computer. To play the midi file from your computer, double-click it and it will open in whatever midi player is installed on your computer.
Don't have a midi player, or need a better one? The one I use is free to download here:
vanBasco's Karaoke Player 2.53
Here are a few of my trusted resources of free MIDI files:
(links active as of 10-Feb-2022)