Files in midi format are particularly suitable for choir learning. These files are not recordings like files in formats such as wav, mp3 or wma. Instead they contain code which suitable player software can use to reproduce the intended sound. Midi files have the advantage of offering great flexibility to the user.
Typically a piece of choral music will be represented by a number of channels with each channel carrying a particular voice part (soprano, alto, etc.). Up to 16 channels are available which is enough to give an 8-part chorus, and still leave room for soloists and accompaniment.
In the files on this site the voicing of the parts (that is, the assignment of a particular instrument to each part) has been done with the objective of providing a distinctive and clearly audible sound for each, and one that is as suitable for sustained notes as for short ones.
With a good midi player many aspects of the playback can be controlled. The playing volume of each channel can be adjusted to highlight a particular part. The tempo of the music can be changed too, perhaps slowed down for initial learning and then brought up to performance tempo when ready. Bar numbers are supported so that a piece may easily be started wherever required. A passage may be played in a loop, from bar x to bar y, over and over again until stopped.
The choice of midi player is crucial. While some devices have built in players that can play midi files, it is better to use a more specialised player that can offer some or all of the facilities mentioned above.
For information and advice on available players, click Midi Players.
To get started, just download a midi file and see if you can play it. You may find that there is a player already on your device that will play it, or you can download a free (or very cheap) player that is good enough for initial testing. If you like what you hear and are interested in going further, you can then look at the better options in midi players.
Of the files now available below, the best choice to use for testing is probably Bruckner's Locus iste since it is a single short and well-known piece.
The first part currently has just three works: two short pieces and a major oratorio.
For each work there are two clickable icons: for PDF and for ZIP.
By clicking the PDF icon you can view the Info document for that work. This gives information about the work and about the contents of the download package. Depending on your browser you may see this Info document either directly in the browser or in a default PDF viewer. Your browser settings may allow you more specific choices. In any event it shouldn’t matter for this purpose: all you need is to be able to read the Info document to help decide if you want to go for the download. Click your browser's back button when you are finished reading.
Clicking the ZIP icon will cause the download of a ZIP folder containing all the files for the work. This will include the midi files and any other relevant files. It also includes the Info document that you may have already viewed; this will be useful again when you come to play the midi files.
The downloaded files will need to be extracted from their Zip folder. They should be saved to an appropriate location, ideally to a folder in a structure where you keep your choral music.
These are works that still need a little further labour. The midi files are complete but need to be checked to ensure they are all in a standard layout. Also the necessary accompanying information has to be prepared. If you see anything here that is of special interest to you, please let me know. I might be able to prioritise it.
The pipeline list below is not yet complete. There are still some fifty or so short pieces to be added.
Christus factus est
Bach: Erkenne mich, mein Hüter (chorale from St. Matthew Passion)
Bach: Gloria in excelsis Deo (in D, from Magnificat BWV 243)
Samuel Barber: Agnus Dei
Bennet: Weep, O Mine Eyes
Berlioz: Le chant des Bretons (TTBB)
Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem)
Brahms: Neckerein, Op. 31/2
Brahms: Der Gang zum Liebchen, Op. 31/3
Bruckner: Mass in D minor
Dvorak: Mass in D major
Elgar: Ave verum corpus
Elgar: Love, Op. 18/2
Elgar: Te Deum and Benedictus, Op. 34
Elgar: The Dance, Op 27/1
Elgar: False Love, Op 27/2
Elgar: On the Alm, Op 27/5
Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine
Fauré: Madrigal, Op. 35
Handel: The King Shall Rejoice
Handel: Zadok the Priest
Haydn: Die Jahreszeiten, (The Seasons)
Haydn: Die Schöpfung, (The Creation)
Haydn: Missa Sancti Bernardi von Offida (“Heiligmesse”)
Haydn: Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo (“Little Organ Mass”)
Hummel: Mass in B flat
Hummel: Mass in D
Marco Antonio Ingegneri: O Bone Jesu (formerly attributed to Palestrina)
Liszt: Ave maris stella,(in G major) S 34.1
Liszt: Pater noster (in F major), S 41
Mahler: Symphony No. 8 in E flat major (“Symphony of a Thousand”)
Mozart: Ave verum corpus
Mozart: De Profundis, KV 93 (see Reutter)
Mozart: Laudate Dominum (from Vespers, KV 339)
Mozart: Missa brevis in B flat, KV 275
Mozart: Requiem in D minor, KV 626
Mozart: Veni Sancte Spiritus, KV 47
Palestrina: Adoramus te, Christe
Palestrina: Exaudi Domine
Palestrina: Missa Aeterna Christi munera
Palestrina: Missa brevis in F
Palestrina: O Bone Jesu (see Ingegneri)
Palestrina: O Domine Jesu Christe
Palestrina: Salvator mundi
Arvo Pärt: Littlemore Tractus
Hubert Parry: Blest Pair of Sirens
Georg Reutter: De Profundis (formerly ascribed to Mozart, KV 93)
Rossini: Petite messe solenelle
John Rutter: A Clare Benediction
John Rutter: Gloria (first movement)
John Rutter: Requiem
Saint-Saëns: Ave verum (in E flat)
Alessandro Scarlatti: Exultate Deo
Domenico Scarlatti: Misa de Madrid (Missa Quatuor Vocum)
Schubert: Bootgesang, D 835 (for male chorus)
Schubert: Fischerlied, D 364
Schubert: Mass in G, D 167
Stanford: Songs of the Fleet
Johann Strauss II: Nuns’ Chorus from Casanova (SSA)
Tippet: A Child of Our Time
Thomas Tomkins: I am the resurrection and the life
Thomas Tomkins: O let me live for true love (Parts 1 & 2)
Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony
Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music
Verdi: La vergine degli angeli (from La Forza del Destino)
Verdi: Va, pensiero (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco)
Victoria: Alma Redemptoris Mater a 8
Victoria: Ecce nunc benedicite Dominum
Victoria: Jerusalem, from Incipit oratio Jeremiae
Victoria: Laudate Dominum omnes gentes
Victoria: Missa Salve
Victoria: Veni Sancte Spiritus
Vivaldi: Credo, RV 591
Vivaldi: Gloria, RV 589 (all movements)
Vivaldi: Magnificat, RV 610
Wagner: Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin
John Wilbye: Adieu, sweet Amaryllis