I've felt for a considerable time, that if you can include playable musical examples with text that explains musical situations, even visitors to that material who are musical neophytes can follow and profit from that material.

When I've done those kinds of posts around the web, I've found that examples expressed in MIDI format are the most serviceable. They are small objects, so storing and serving them costs a web site little in storage and data transmission site.

MP3s are a thousand times larger, so they are a thousand times more expensive to use as examples along both cost dimensions.

MIDI sequences are easily editable, so that a MIDI example can be customized in many ways, so that it can serve as seed material for the practice, composing, improvising or study that a musician is doing.

MP3s have much better fidelity and sound quality which makes listening to them a more musical experience.

But their great disadvantage is that it is very difficult to reach into such objects and affect only one of the constituent parts of the recording that have been mixed together. Changing the pitch of even one note in MP3 performance is a major technical undertaking.

Musically speaking, for the production of new music, mp3s are most valuable for sampling and various forms of collaging, techniques that don't lend themselves easily to the practicing, composing and improvising skills that musicians are trying to exercise and improve. It is possible to analyze and intuit the way a piece of music develops from direct listening to a performance, but this skill is slow to develop and remains an occult art for many musicians.

It is relatively easy and extremely quick process to transform a MIDI representation of a musical passage into a readable score, which is the object that most musicians need to perfect their performance of a composition, to study the harmonic and melodic construction of a piece so that they can profit from knowledge of a composer's ideas and do likewise, and to use as a musical ratchet tool so that they can preserve their own musical ideas so that they don't dissolve into oblivion.

Given the utility of MIDI sequences, shouldn't we have a way to post MIDI sequences to music.stackexchange and play them within the site's Q&A's?

The big technical impediment for playing MIDI sequences and music examples recorded using other formats is that they are performed using the EMBED construct in HTML. This form of HTML is ignored when it is posted to Stackexchange today.

Should we request of Stackexchange technical support that usage of EMBED be enabled for musical subsites like this one and the guitar subsite, which would profit from the inclusion of musical examples with posts?

If we do enable EMBED's, which playable formats will we be able to post?

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2 Answers 2

I think SongTrellis provides a very valuable third-party service for this. See the answer to Is there some sort of mark-up for music notation where http://www.songtrellis.com/tunetext is offered and explained.

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