MIDI Pure Data exercise:

objective: discover how MIDI works


1. make sure you MIDI keyboard is plugged in and on

  • Note: nothing in this exercise makes sound


2. open Pd-0.48-0 (search for it in spotlight or in the applications folder ... make sure you do not open Pd-0.47)

  • click the "Yes" button when asked "Do you want Pd to create a documents directory ..."


3. use the keyboard shortcut    command+N    to start a new patch


4. use the keyboard shortcut    command+1    to "Put" a new "Object" on the patch canvas


5. type "notein" into the dotted bordered box that makes up the new "Object"

  • then click the mouse anywhere in the new patch except on the new "Object"


6. you should now have this:









7. right click on the [notein] object you created and click on "Help"


8. from the Media menu at the top of the screen, choose "MIDI Settings..."

  • choose the MIDI keyboard hooked to your computer under "Input Devices"
  • click the "Save All Settings" button
  • click the "OK" button


9. discover all you can about MIDI protocol:

  • monitor the values displayed as you experiment with all parts of the MIDI keyboard controller
  • be ready to discuss what you discovered


--  wait for instructions on what to do next

Introduction to Notation Software


Free notation software


notation software I suggest you purchase = Dorico


If there is something you are unable to do in Finale:

    • look it up in the index of the user manual (found in the Help menu within the program)
    • search the Finale Knowledge Base online
    • search for answers using Google
    • submit a question to the Finale Support Team (they are very nice and helpful)


download Elgar's score


Guided Speedy Entry Lesson

Notation + Sequencing Exercise:


Open Finale:

1. input the first six measures of the violin part into Finale using Speedy Entry

2. add a slur over the first four notes of the first bar


3. choose File > Export > MIDI File ...

  • choose to save it somewhere you can find it easily ... press "save"
  • then it will ask you to choose the MIDI File Type ... choose Format 1 - All Instruments Saved to Separate Tracks


4. choose File > Export > MusicXML ...

5. open the TextWranger app (use Spotlight or browse the Applications folder)

  • click "continue" through the upgrade screen
  • drag the MusicXML file onto the TextWrangler icon
  • try viewing the MIDI file in TextWrangler also


6. open both the MIDI (File > Open...) and the MusicXML (File > Import > MusicXML ...) files back into Finale


7. internally reflect on what you have learned: what are the differences between the MIDI and MusicXML files?


--  You are now done with Finale for today


Open GarageBand ... (open an "empty project")

8. drag and drop the Elgar MIDI file you exported from Finale into a blank location below the default track

  • this should create a new track out of the MIDI file
  • change the timbre (the instrument) of the track (to violin or anything) ... this is changing the MIDI program or patch

9. add more!

  • add a new MIDI (keyboard) track and record the cello line into it ... quantize it
  • add other harmonies from Elgar's score into GarageBand ... even add a drummer track
  • keep discovering what MIDI can do in GarageBand through experimentation ... you are MIDI sequencing


--  If you want to save your MIDI sequence to an audio file, go to the "Share" menu

Google Slides from today