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MIDI Animations (MIDIアニメ) are user-created videos that illustrate MIDI compositions visually through a careful arrangement of color-coded musical blocks. Using a MIDI software called the Music Animation Machine MIDI Player, or simply MAM, each artist can create his/her own “visual representation” of any MIDI file, with each colored block corresponding to every musical note registered in the song. MIDI animations first became popular in October 2007 on the Japanese video-sharing website Nico Nico Douga.
Sometime during 1985, a man by the name of Stephen Malinowski (smalin on Youtube) along with his wife, Lisa Turetsky, invented the MAM as a means to help people read and play musical scores in a much simpler fashion compared to traditional sheet music. Malinowski continues to upload his latest MIDI animations (mainly of classical compositions) on his YouTube page.
Here is an example of one of Stephen’s MAM videos.
- To read a full history of the MAM in Stephen’s own words, go here.
Nico Nico Douga
On October 31st, 2007, the first MIDI animation “Cheetah Man” was uploaded by an active NND user Ginger P. In the following days, Ginger P uploaded several other versions based on popular theme songs from Super Mario Bros., Kirby, etc.
Despite being the first of its kind on Nico Nico Douga, Ginger P’s MIDI animations were visually striking and intricately deigned, inspiring other NND users to create their own iterations. Beginning in November 2007, a series of MIDI animation videos followed on the video sharing site.
Many derivative videos can be found on video-sharing websites such as NND and Youtube. Here are a few examples:
[[You may add any other MIDI Animations you find into the comments section if you want]]
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