On this Page: Preface | How to Use the MIDI Files | Frequently Asked Questions
Note: For difficulty accessing the MIDI Index and Files please click HERE.
Welcome to the MIDI site of the International Double Reed Society! This site contains MIDI files for intonation, scale and arpeggio practice (practice disks); accompaniments for double reed solo literature; and accompaniments for double reed orchestral excerpts. The MIDI Index is the directory for all these files.
All of the files by Terry Ewell were prepared on a Yamaha Clavinova (CVP-92). I want to thank Kleeb's Music and the Yamaha Corporation for the loan of the Clavinova.
The practice disk files (PracDsk1, PracDsk2, etc.) contain MIDI documents used by bassoon students at West Virginia University for intonation practice, scale practice, and arpeggio practice. All scales and arpeggios start on the lowest tonic (note name) on the bassoon, progress to the highest scale note (listed below), then down to the lowest scale note on the bassoon, then up to the lowest tonic.
Even though the practice disks were composed with the bassoonist in mind, oboists will find at least the first twelve files in Practice Disk 1 helpful. These are droning pitches (organ pedal notes) which may be employed to check intonation with scales, arpeggios, and selections of music. An index to all the available drones are contained in ..//PUB/Drones.htm.
Each practice disk folder contains no more than 60 MIDI files, which is the maximum number a Yamaha Clavinova (CVP-92) will access on a single disk.
Each accompaniment file name for solo literature and orchestra excerpts includes the first letter(s) of the composer's surname, the number of the piece or movement or section, and in most cases the tempo. See each index for a complete description. Those using the MIDI files with a Clavinova should have the option of turning on the metronome. Since these are practice accompaniments, few tempo deviations are made.
Some bassoon accompaniments by Terry Ewell contain MIDI files recorded during lessons with students. In many cases he was sight reading the music, so please forgive the wrong notes and occasional skeletal accompaniments. Terry has made an effort to post as many files on the site as quickly as possible to in order to demonstrate the site's potential and further future contributions by others. We hope replace many of these files with better accompaniments.
Ideas for Using Droning Pitches in the Practice Disks
In an earlier article, "Bassoon Lessons with Arnold Schwarzenegger..." (page 102) Terry Ewell noted that playing passages of music over a droning pitch is a great aid to improving intonation. While electronic tuners (such as a KORG) have their place, tuning to another pitch better simulates true performance conditions. Electronic tuners make use of the eye not the ear for pitch adjustments. Students may become quite adept at visual tuning yet all the while neglecting to tune with their ears. Tuning to a droning pitch, however, helps student develop the aural skills they need to play in tune with other musicians.
A second article, "Keyboard Technology in the Double Reed Studio," The Double Reed, Journal Issue 22/2 (1999): 57-61 contains further details on using MIDI files. You can view this as a PDF file here.
Drones (sustained organ tones) for pitch levels at A440, A442,
and A444 are in the index ../MIDI/PUB/Drones.htm.
Here is a list of some ideas you might wish to use with droning
pitches for bassoon, oboe, and English horn and for contrabassoon:
|Long Tone Exercises|
|Octave tuning (for instance, play every "C" on your instrument over a C drone)|
|Tune Passages of Music (set drone for the tonic or dominant pitch of the passage)|
|Check the Intonation on Low Register Attacks|
Ideas for Using the Scale and Arpeggio Files in the Practice Disks
Practice disks 1 and 2 contain scale and arpeggio files. This are helpful for practicing in certain ways. There is a clear difference between "pure" and "tempered" intonation. Practicing with the drones will enhance your ability to adjust pure intervals. However, in many instances the double reed player needs to adjust to equal tempered intonation, especially when performing with a keyboard instrument. Practicing with MIDI files containing scales and arpeggios will aid your placement of pitches in equal temperament.
In addition to practicing the scales in unison (the same pitch), you might also want to practice the scales at the intervals of a 3rd or a fifth apart from the scale played on the piano in the files. For instance, when the piano starts to play a C major scale on C start playing your C major scale on the note E. The piano then plays D, you play F, etc. Likewise the arpeggios can be varied. Try playing one note before or after the arpeggio played on the piano. For instance, when the piano start a C arpeggio on C, play E; when the piano plays E, play G; etc.
Making Use of the Orchestral Excerpt Accompaniments
The mastery of a difficult orchestral passage is dependent not only upon technical mastery, but also upon an understanding of how the solo part fits with the accompaniment. The MIDI files for orchestral accompaniments for select excerpts are included here to further the student's understanding of each passage and to provide the student with the feel of performing the excerpt with an orchestra. In many instances I have reduced the orchestral accompaniments to just 4 or 5 principal lines (tracks). Consequently many doublings are omitted.
I strongly encourage students and teachers to refer to the orchestral score when practicing the excerpt with the MIDI accompaniment. This will greatly clarify how the solo line should be played with the MIDI accompaniment.
How do I play a MIDI file?
You have several ways to play the MIDI files depending upon your computer, software, and access to a Clavinova. From a computer equipped with multimedia (software, sound card, and speakers) you can:
1) choose to play the MIDI file directly from the MIDI Index and accompanying files by clicking on the underlined file names in the table.2) choose to download the MIDI file to your computer.
Can I change the tempo of the accompaniments?
Yes, I know of two ways. You can alter the tempo of MIDI files played on Yamaha Clavinova. Also many sequencing programs will allow you to alter the tempo of MIDI files. We have placed several versions of MIDI files on the site in different tempos for those who do not have access to a Clavinova or sequencing programs.
How can I get a more realistic tone out of the accompaniments?
The quality of your sound system and computer software determines
the realism of the accompaniments. Upgrades to your computer sound
system, sound card, or software; or playing the MIDI files on
a Clavinova or similar instrument will greatly improve the sound.
Please understand that the General MIDI instruments are only a
meager facsimile of genuine orchestral instruments, therefore
these files will never sound as good as an orchestral recording
I am having problems accessing the MIDI Index and the MIDI files. Why is this?
This page you are now reading resides in a different directory in the IDRS server than the MIDI Index and files. It is sent in a different manner to your computer than the MIDI Index and files, so some users may be able to access this page and not the MIDI site. We are still experimenting with the MIDI site to improve the delivery of files to all web browsers. Here might be some reasons you were unable to access the MIDI Index and files: