Foundations Of Music is an easy-to-digest look at the building blocks of music and music theory—scales, modes, chords, rhythms are more—presented in MIDI format. Reference material—what does a diminished scale sound like? What’s the difference between a major seventh and a minor seventh?
The library is aimed students and teachers alike and can be used both as study guide and study buddy.
As MIDI data, everything can be tailored to your own sounds, your own tempo, your own pitch, your own context, and your own learning capacity or requirements.
Improving your music chops—learn how to write in Lydian mode (the comedy mode!), what’s a I, VI, II, V, I chord progression?
Individual practice—loop a salsa, samba, polka etc and play over it at different tempos.
Inspiration—discover beats from around the musical world, discover the modes!
Ear training—play and learn to recognize intervals, chords, chord progressions.
Use whichever files you like, when you like, how you like. Drag and drop one of the files into any Digital Audio Workstation that can incorporate MIDI files (GarageBand, Cubase, Reaper, ProTools…), make basic instrument assignments and hit Play.
As MIDI data you can also most likely view any file on a musical stave and/or print it out.
This file contains 11 tracks that play all of the intervals in a Western Scale. Each track plays the interval up and down from ‘C,’ then plays the interval simultaneously with ‘C.’ This helps establish what an interval is both in terms of individual, sequential notes, and notes in a chord. Adjust the tempo, key, and playback instrument to suit your own individual needs.
Eleven short demonstration pieces showing each of these intervals as themes in a piece of music can be found in the INTERVALS_DEMOS.MID file.
This file contains 6 tracks, each of which plays each scale up and down two octaves in the key of ‘C’.
This file comprises all the modes. Each scale is played over two octaves, up and down in the key of ‘C.’ Short demonstration pieces showing how each of these modes can be used in a piece of music can be found in the MODES_DEMOS.MID file.
This file contains 4 tracks of triads in root position, 1st inversion, and 2nd inversion, based on the following chords: You will hear the first interval followed by the second interval followed by the full chord.
This file contains the most common complex chord structures from sevenths to ninths onwards… On each track you will hear the first interval followed by the second, sometimes followed by the third or fourth and finally the full chord.
CIRCLE OF FIFTHS.MID
This file contains 2 tracks that play the ‘Circle of Fifths,’ one ascending, one descending from a major triad of ‘C.’
This file contains the following 8 common chord progressions based upon ‘I’ being in the key of C. As MIDI data you can freely transpose any file into any key, plus alter playback tempo, instrument, etc. Most DAWs will also let you view - and print out – each track as music on a musical stave.
JAZZ SWING RHYTHM SECTION.MID
This file contains a 4-bar section of music comprising a classic ‘walking bassline’ (on Track 2—for best results set your device to an upright bass sound) and ‘swing drums’ (on Track 1). This can be used both for demonstration or as a backing track that can be looped, transposed, and used as guide for playing solos. Transpose the bassline to any key. Adjust the tempo to suit your individual application.
This file contains 13 tracks, each of which demonstrates a particular ornament, i.e. a device or technique used to embellish a musical performance.
These can be used both purely for demonstration (apply different instruments to hear the difference between trills on a piano or on a flute, or a violin), and can also be pasted into a composition needing embellishments. The ornaments can be transposed to fit any ‘note’ and can be moved incrementally so as to play at the correct moment.
These files demonstrate three basic shapes of guitar chord, the 4-string ‘D’ shape, 5-string ‘A’ shape, and 6-string ‘E’ shape. Each of these is presented as a single ‘down’ strum. These were generated using a MIDI guitar and so will sound authentic in terms of strumming style when played back using a guitar patch.
44 TIME SIGNATURE
This folder contains 12 individual files that play a variety of drum beats in 4/4 time. These beats have all been created by a real drummer playing MIDI drums. The value of this is that you can then hear how an actual drummer plays these rhythms, not simply a mechanical version of one.
OTHER TIME SIGNATURES
This folder contains files that demonstrate compound and complex time signatures, from simple 3/4 rhythms to 11/8 and 13/8. As with the previous folder, these files were created using MIDI drums being played by real players and so provide an authentic representation of how these time signatures are played in real life.
This folder contains 15 classic ‘rhythms’ from around the world. These can be used both as teaching/learning aids, or simply to practice over or as backings to inspire composition. Kits and tempo are user-definable, as ever.
RUDIMENTS AND TECHNIQUES
This folder contains a number of rudiment and technique files, from rolls and swells to flams and paradiddles, to fills.