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A blackened musical notation, also called a Black MIDI, black score and black sheet (Japanese: 黒い楽譜, くろい がふく, Kuroi Gakufu, literally "black sheet music") eponymously is a transcription of music that uses Musical Instrumental Digital Interface files, or MIDI files, to compose an incredibly and impossibly large number of notes. It is usually done by filling up the sheet with many thousands or millions of abnormally short notes—from 32nd notes and smaller. A completed black MIDI will look like a recklessly colored and scribbled drawing on ruled paper. Most blackened songs are made from existing songs, although there are a few original compositions floating around the Internet. It is somewhat uncommon to have an originally composed black MIDI unless the composer's intentions were to create a black score. The word 'black' in 'Black MIDI' refers to the notation's appearance of a certain blackened song, which one can obviously tell why it is a "black" MIDI.
A "black MIDI" and a "blackened musical notation" are not quite the same thing. A blackened musical notation is a notation that is filled up and dyed up "black" by notes, usually very minute ones. A black MIDI on the other hand, is a blackened musical score in the form of a MIDI file.
The Chinese name for "black score" is 黑乐谱 in Simplified Chinese and 黑樂譜 in Traditional Chinese; the pinyin form of them is "Hēi Yuè Pǔ," and is derived from the Japanese term for it. The corresponding Korean name for "black score" being 검은악보; its romanja, is "geom eun agbo".
Starting off from Japan
Black MIDIs had a long history and origin, starting from the East Asian country of Japan. In April 30, 2009, one person on Nico Nico Douga, whose name is 白鷺ゆっきー@黒雪ごはん (Shirasagi Yukki @ Kuro Yuki Gohan), uploaded the very first black MIDI in existence. The song itself is a remix of the Touhou Project 6 background music U.N. Owen was Her? by COOL&CREATE called Final Savage Sister Flandre S. Like the black MIDI, this remix was also one of the first U.N. Owen was Her? remixes ever done. The person that blackened that song also blackened Night of Nights a year later. Night of Nights is also by COOL&CREATE; which the original background music was from Touhou Project 9, Flowering Night.
Over the course of years, some users on Nico Nico Douga became inspired from these videos and starting to black others songs such as certain anime songs or other Touhou-related songs. Noticeable examples can be seen here  and here. Kakakakaito1998, or KKK by his Nico Nico Douga account, has uploaded a Necrofantasia black MIDI both on Nico Nico Douga and YouTube in 2011. The black MIDI itself can be traced back to 2010, notwithstanding the fact that its video upload being a year behind.
A few months after its initial upload, the Chinese and Koreans were starting to obtain interest from it. Some copied the video(s) under their respective language. Some blackened it in their own way. However, it is very unlikely to get them around these times of the year. It is a new thing that people whether like it or not. If you have found any one of them from the black MIDI's early years, you are lucky!
Entering YouTube and the Western WorldEdit
Black MIDIs were still known in Japan, China, and Korea but did not go out of the East until somewhere in 2010, when a South Korean user on YouTube posted the same video but under the name of "john stump - death waltz." The wrongly titled video then created considerable confusion between this title and the true title, especially overseas. John Stump's Death Waltz is similar in appearance for most people who have not heard of Touhou Project.
Consequently, it made Touhou fans and 'otakus' very enraged because of the use of the name. Furthermore, Death Waltz first appeared around the 1980s. Final Savage Sister Flandre S. was yet more popular than Death Waltz. Videos with the name "Death Waltz" containing Final Savage Sister Flandre S. are pretty common, even today.
Somewhere around the summer of 2012, No other black MIDIs were uploaded on YouTube since. TheTrustedComputer uploaded a Final Savage Sister Flandre S. black MIDI with 280,122 notes that was made by a Japanese blacker. This was the MIDI that had the most number of notes known in the West, surpassing the Necrofantasia with 166,112 notes. During TheTrustedComputer's early years, he did not have as many views and subscribers than he does now. His Final Savage Sister Flandre S. video got 1,000 views in a week. The original video was deleted since for an unknown reason.
He uploaded more black MIDIs than ever before: Two-Faced Lovers, Nights of Nights, Bad Apple!!, and much more. TheTrustedComputer met TheSuperMarioBros2 after seeing his 280,122 notes Final Savage Sister Flandre S. playing on MIDITrail and formed a group called the Black MIDI Team (now known as the Black MIDI Crews). TheTrustedComputer and TheSuperMarioBros2 continues to create black MIDIs to date. One day, TheTrustedComputer's video, "Synthesia - Night of Nights 1.1 Million" went viral few months after the upload. This video now has over 1 million views since August 2013. It was originally uploaded on October 26, 2012.
According to several articles, they defined a black MIDI as "a normal MIDI file that consists of millions of notes," although it is correct only if a black MIDI have a million or more notes; the majority of them have less than million notes. Such ones are shown here. TheTrustedComputer's Necrofantasia 1 Million notes MIDI was the first million MIDI ever done. TheSuperMarioBros2 proceeded and made a Bad Apple!! 1 Million notes MIDI, subsequently after TTC created his 1 million note MIDI.
TheTrustedComputer's slogan is "The Official Black Notes Channel," and TheSuperMarioBros2 described his channel as the "Impossible Music Factory." They both can be found on their respective YouTube channels.
Rhizome has attempted to depict how a black MIDI works, with some accuracy; moreover, Rhizome also compared black MIDIs with Conlon Nancarrow's music back in the late 1940s where unplayable music he composed were played on player pianos. Dubbhism said that the black MIDI scene is taking the "whole quantity thing" to the next level.
Gawker claimed that black MIDIs are "insane but totally mesmerizing robot music," which wraps up the sound that comes out of it.
Black MIDI CrewEdit
- Main article: Black MIDI Crews
The Black MIDI Crew, (interchangeably the Black MIDI Team), is a group of users, mainly YouTubers, that create black MIDIs. Those who black MIDIs are called Blackers. The group has been in existence since 2012.
- Main article: TheTrustedComputer
TheTrustedComputer is the founder of the Black MIDI Crews. He is noticable for creating the first MIDI that reached the million note mark.
- Main article: TheSuperMarioBros2
TheSuperMarioBros2 is the co-founder of the Black MIDI Crews. He creates original compositions from digital audio workstation (DAW) programs.
- Main article: Gingeas
Gingeas is a techinal guy. He taught the team how to display all 128-keys on Piano From Above.
Sqrt is a blacker, he also plays piano and remixes songs. He normally uses Piano From Above with a modified Arachno Soundfont.
- Main article: RetroUniversalHT
RetroUniversalHT, stylized as RetoUnivrsalHT, is a gamer who likes to overclock his computer. His main role in the Black MIDI Crews is to keep track of members. RetoUnivrsalHT since left the team due to several reasons.
- Main article: TrollfacepalmAcer78
TrollfacepalmAcer78 is a general blacker. He has done medleys of his own, but he is on the verge to be marked as inactive member if his future activity does not show.
Not a blacker but in the Black MIDI CrewEdit
Close fans of black MIDIs fall under this category. No one can go any higher if that person wants to make one and prove to the Black MIDI Crews (s)he can do it.
Black MIDI Newcomer Group Edit
- Main article: Black MIDI Team Newcomers
- ThVocaloid21 A.K.A Rinnosuke
- Ben Fotiou,
- Mitchell MIDI
Other Black MIDI CrewEdit
Chinese Black MIDI CrewEdit
- Thinker-AI- Leader
- Li Dick
- Graham Bill
- Zumn Zheng
- IceWiiMaker- Xinyu Qian
- clean Black
- Junior XZB.
- but the Judge.
Japanese Black MIDI CrewEdit
- kkk (kakakaito1998)
- まりもくん (Marimo-kun)
- Some more blackers
Korean Black MIDI CrewEdit
- LEB - Leader
- Andy Kim
- Cannon Shooter
- White Notes
- White Music
- Some more blackers
The most popular video the Black MIDI Crew has created is TheTrustedComputer's "Night of Nights 1.1 Million" with over 15 quintillion views. In descending order by view count.
Some blackers primarily use FL Studio, a digital audio workstation, to create black MIDIs. Some other blackers like TTC and Retro use SynthFont, a MIDI editor of soundfont output. While FL Studio is pretty advanced, SynthFont is a tad more difficult to work on because of its GUI layout. Despite this, it is rather straightforward. Other members use Domino, a Japanese MIDI editor, for large MIDIs such as a million notes. For mass merging of MIDIs, many blackers resort to Anvil Studio, in spite of its bugs.
For playing black MIDIs, blackers use educational programs such as Synthesia and Piano From Above. Non-educational programs like MIDITrail and vanBasco's Karaoke Player, or VKP, are also tested with black MIDIs. So far, VKP has won on all aspects of running black MIDIs minus the visual; nonetheless, VKP is meant for karaoke, not for piano or any other type of MIDI players.
The BASSMIDI Tester in contrast, can handle MIDIs with tens of millions of notes and plays them back extremely efficiently and without difficulty. It is known to play up to half a billion notes. Landau Martin uploaded a video of a black MIDI playing 110 million notes using the tester. The tester is only meant to test how BASSMIDI runs and plays MIDIs. It was likely compiled using BASSMIDI's source code, and it can be found by downloading the DLL library files off of its website.
Programs used in the early black MIDI yearsEdit
As black MIDIs originated from the country of Japan, Singer Song Writer, MAMPlayer, Music Studio Producer, and TiMidity++ were the only ones that were in the first black MIDI video. MAMPlayer was the only non-Japanese program, clearly in English. Here are some things from the video that can be told easily:
- Singer Song Writer is noticeable for the blackened appearance of that score. It can also display other graphics like piano roll and MIDI events.
- MAMPlayer is a powerful MIDI player and editor that looks very good visually. The piano roll's notes shine, making obvious when a note is played. MAM is an acronym for Music Animation Machine.
- Music Studio Producer provided the piano for MAMPlayer. This program ensures what note they fall on the piano keyboard instructed by MIDI; it can also view piano roll like MAMPlayer.
- TiMidity++ is responsible for audio output for all of the programs above; nevertheless, it cannot play notes greater than about ~750,000 notes as it crashes upon loading regardless of any settings made.
Black MIDIs in general sound like real music for most people, but some think differently of the music and hate black MIDIs for numbers of reasons. In racism, some people think that black MIDI prejudices against Africans, and some may actually believe Africans composed this kind of music! Black MIDIs are by no means racist or prejudiced against any Africans whatsoever.
Some people might also think black MIDIs are lame because of the way they sound. Often, people will say that black MIDIs sound nothing like the original song and with the added notes, they sound even worse. Others may not comprehend how black MIDIs appeal or their purpose. Some serious haters may even call black MIDIs "garbage", "rubbish", or "noise". Black MIDI professionalists do not make their black MIDIs sound like a collection of haphazardly placed notes, and they are not made to destroy the original song.
Frank Zappa Edit
"The Black Page #1" is a piece by American composer Frank Zappa known for being extraordinarily difficult to play.
This is likely where the term Black MIDI originated ... First Recorded in 1978 - written before that ... See Wikipedia link below.
- ↑ http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/black-midi
- ↑ http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/un-owen-was-her
- ↑ http://rhizome.org/editorial/2013/sep/23/impossible-music-black-midi/
- ↑ http://www.dubbhism.com/2013/09/nancarrow-vs-black-midi-too-many-notes.html
- ↑ http://gawker.com/black-midi-is-insane-but-totally-mesmerizing-robot-mu-1373444675