This site offers a library of early music performances in a MIDI format. MIDI files are offered for a wide number of composers from the mediaeval and rennaissance periods.
Familiarity with early music literature, its context and authentic sound.
Target Student Population:
Music students of all ages. Of particular interest to music and literature students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
None but a familiarity with early music history would enrich the listening.
Type of Material:
A web site dedicated to early music and MIDI performances of early works. Some descriptive information is also available.
Historical overview of early music.
Up to date multimedia browser capable of performing MIDI files.
Evaluation and Observation
This is a single site that offers a broad overview of prominent early music compositions. A good attempt at imitating early music instrument sounds is made using the standard general midi library.
MIDI performances are not capable of creating the instrumental qualities of early music. Performance practice of the time is also difficult to imitate in a MIDI performance. Choral compositions do not map well into MIDI where the text may be a central component of the performance.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This is a centralized site for a student to gain a quick overview of the compositional practice from these early periods. The site offers examples from a wide range of known composers.
The performance practice for these periods are compromised some by the MIDI performances. Although historical accuracy is not exactly known live performances would allow for a wider range of performance expression. Therefore this site works much better as a source of compositional practice rather than performance practice of the period.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is quite transparent and easy to navigate.