Apr 21, 2011

MIDI Composition

MIDI Composition is one of the CA's (Continual Assessments) in GEK1519/PC1327 Science of Music, which I read in my 4th semester (AY10/11 Semester 2) in NUS.

The breakdown of the grading is as follow:
25% Mid-term test (24%)
25% End-of-term test (25%)
20% Essay (Nil)
20% MIDI Composition (Nil)
10% Tutorial attendance (10%)

Bracketed are scores attained. I did one stupid mistake in the Mid-term test, making my score imperfect.

The criteria of MIDI composition are:
At least 20 seconds, but not more than 60 seconds.
• It should be for at least two different General MIDI (GM) instruments, and for not more than five different General MIDI (GM) instruments.
• Any GM instruments can be used except for instruments no. 121 to 128.
• Whatever number of GM instruments used from two to five should all be different instruments i.e. if the same instrument is used twice for more than one track/channel, it will be considered as one instrument.
• It must begin with not more than two GM instruments, and continue this for at least 8 seconds. Additional GM instruments should only enter the music after 8 seconds.
Channel 10 percussion instruments will be counted as one instrument.

I made use of the criteria by using total of five instruments, using two for exactly the first 8 seconds and my piece is exactly 60 seconds.

Instead of using Anvil Studio introduced by the lecturer, I used Sibelius 4, which I've been using for 5 years.

I think I spent roughly 4 hours composing the MIDI on one of the days in the recess week.
This is my MIDI composition in MP3 format which I've mixed from the MIDI file. It's named mU096095W.mid because that's the submission file name format, where m stands for MIDI and U096095W was my matriculation number. Hope you'll like it.

You might find these past year papers useful:
GEK 1519 Class Test (with solutions)

*UPDATE: Click here if you're interested to know my results.

Javin Tham MSc, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB, CQPA, CQIA, MSOE, MIPlantE Industrie 4.0 Consultant | Pop Piano Coach | YouTube Coverist


  1. omg lucky i never take with u lol. u'll skew the bell curve. did u export midi to our keyboard for the audio recording, or was the audio track generated using the sibelius?

  2. MIDI was exported from Sibelius and imported to FL Studio to generate the audio track.

  3. Hey Javin! Just wondering- what instrument in Sibelius did you use for the chimes sound at the start of your piece? :) Gosh your song's really good!

  4. Hi Chan, thank yohu for reading my blog.
    As I mentioned in the blog entry, the soundtrack you listened to is in MP3 format which I've mixed from the MIDI file.
    However, is it possible to write wind chimes for MIDI. For Sibelius 4, it's a C6 note (2 octaves above middle C) on a drum set or drum kit stave, if you take the clef to be a treble clef, in other words, it's the note on the top 2nd ledger line.
    For the MIDI sound output, it depends on the synthesizer your computer is using, normally MIDI is played through Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth.
    The professor might use a different synthesizer to listen to your music. No one knows.

  5. Thanks for the tip! Kinda worried here because I'm a Sibelius user and my piece in Sib. format is super different from what is played as Midi from the Midi file exported. How can I minimize that? And the Midi format sounds damn terrible. What instrument did you use for the main melody? Haha sounds like Theremin but then again it doesn't.

  6. The instrument I used as melody is Electric Piano (GM no.4 for a 0-127 instruments list), sort of like Rhodes.
    General MIDI played through typical synthesizer on computers sounds really "general", you can only change the volume and panning, you can't change the sound produced unless you have a different synthesizer.
    Don't worry about that, as MIDI stores information, like programming, it doesn't store sound, sound produced depends on the synthesizer used.

  7. Hi Javin! Sorry to be asking so many questions haha. Hope you don't mind; your piece really caught me and my friends' attention and I'm asking for all of us SOM peeps haha. Last question- so did you need to do anything after exporting the MIDI file from Sibelius? Or did you submit the exported midi file from Sibelius straight away? :)

  8. You don't have to, the exported MIDI file (.mid extension) is what required by the professor. You can consider adjusting the volume or pan to left/right for each channel from the mixer in Sibelius before exporting to MIDI file.

  9. Hi Javin, really thank you so much for sharing your MIDI file here. I've also recommended your blog to some of my SOM friends and they really love your piece and your other musical posts. Just a final question; for the music essay, what are some things you recommend, be written in it? Especially for the technicalities of music? :)

  10. I really have no idea what to write for essay, as the professor didn't specify the criteria. You might want to write something about consonance/dissonance based on your feeling.

  11. Thank you for all the help and advice! Scored my A for this module. :)

  12. Hey Javin, the link to download the test bank for Gek 1519 doesnt seems to be work. do you mind sending it to my email? weely91@gmail.com thank you in advance!!:)

  13. Hi Javin, could you please send the past year paper to my email as the link doesn't seem to work. thriftencounters@gmail.com
    Thanks a lot! :)

  14. Hi Javin. I stumble upon your blog while looking for info on GEK1519. could you please email me the past year papers? as Im not able to access it from your link. mitchelle1304@gmail.com

  15. Hello Javin, I couldn't access the links for the mid terms and end of year sci of music papers as well.
    It'll be greatly appreciated if you send it to my email, liang575@gmail.com
    Thank you!=)

  16. hi Javin! if you still have the SOM past year papers, could you email them to me (ruthyeo03@gmail.com) as well? would really appreciate it, thanks!! 😊😊

  17. hey Javin,
    came across your blog post while looking for info on GEK1519. is it possible to send the past year papers to my email if it's not too much trouble? :)(kiyachia02@hotmail.com) thank you so much!

  18. Hi Javin,
    would really appreciate your help if you could send the end of term past year papers to my email (claratanqy@gmail.com). Thank you very much! :)

  19. Hey Javin! :-) hope life hasn't been giving you lemons hahaha i'd appreciate it very much if you could send the PYPs to karyngunawan890@hotmail.com once again, thank you so much! :-)))

  20. Hey Javin,
    Do you mind sending the past years papers to me at goh_yinshiuan@hotmail.com as well? Would really appreciate your help bro! Thanks so much! =)

  21. Hi Javin, do you mind sending the past year papers to me at chew.wenyi@gmail.com? Appreciate the kind gesture! Thank you :D

  22. Hi Javin, im taking Science of Music this semester in NUS. If its not too much trouble, do you mind sending me the past year papers? My email is priyaseverajan@gmail.com! Thank you so much for your help, really do appreciate it!! :)

    1. Sent to your email. The link is actually provided in this post entry already.

  23. Hi Javin! Thank you for your module review. I m currently taking SOM this sem and I tried to click on the link for the past year papers,but it isn't working. Sorry to trouble you, but can you send it to my email account? That will be very much appreciated! Email is : Hapzcl.4567@gmail.com! Thanks a lot:)

    1. Sent. It's the same link as the one in this post entry.