Tin Soldier

Black MIDI History Month

As some of you may know, Black MIDI History Month is coming up. For those of you who don’t quite get it, we at the Tin Soldier are here to help!

What is Black MIDI History Month?

Black MIDI History Month is when we as a community take some time out of each day to appreciate the many contributions Black MIDI has brought to our civilization. We often overlook the effects of Black MIDI in our history due to the all the Rock propaganda that has been published over the years, especially after World War 2.

Ummm, why isn’t there a Rock History Month? Is this equality, or Black MIDI supremacy?

Look, every month is Rock History Month already. Every waking hour, the history of Rock is plastered on our playlists and blasted through our earbuds. We all know about the feats of Hendrix, Elvis and The Beatles. What we’re trying to do here is shine a light on the often ignored contributions of Black MIDI on our cultural landscape.

Isn’t the correct term “Black Key MIDI”?

No, this is a very uncommon misconception, but just in case you were going to bring this up, I’ll settle this. The reason this genre is called “Black MIDI” is not because of the use of black keys, but because if a black MIDI composition were written out as sheet music, the sheet would be pretty much entirely black. Humans cannot play these on a real life piano, it would be physically impossible.

If you got infinite monkeys, gave each of them a piano, and waited an infinite amount of time, could they play a Black MIDI piece?

That is very insensitive to Black MIDI composers (aka “Blackers”). Please don’t go around asking this.

But if you really must know, problems would arise due to the speed of sound and heat death of the universe.

Was Conlon Nancarrow’s work Black MIDI?

This is a complex issue and neither this article nor the Black MIDI aficionados in your life should be expected to answer this. Really, nobody owes you an explanation. It is your job to educate yourself on such matters. I’d recommend that you read The Guide To Black MIDI for a proper analysis.

Has Black MIDI had any impact on the progress of science and technology?

Black MIDI has always been pushing the limits of computing resources and audio applications. Some would have you believe that the recent massive gains in GPU power were due to the demands of gamers. What those in power don’t want to tell you is that the contribution of Black MIDI demand in this area. Displaying all the fast moving keys of a Black MIDI piece taxes the GPU, and that’s before even considering the actual music. You need to understand that while Black MIDI is involved in the efforts of Silicon Valley today, the Silicon Industrial Complex has always had a very Rock supremacist agenda.

It’s kind of strange how closely Black MIDI is associated with Touhou Project…

That is not true, nor is it a question.

Why April?

April starts with a “Fool’s Day”, where we as a community can humble ourselves. It is a good reminder of the fact that so much of what we think we know is in fact simplified, distorted or totally false.

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