MIDI Lesson Files

MIDI Files with Style

(Jun 4, 2022) I found my midi files that I used to give keyboard lessons. These midi files are combined with the style from which they are played. We did this as follows. First, we played the song ( mostly my friend Dick ) with a working style and created the midi file. Then, in most cases, the style is made from the midi file. Then we print the score list to play the melody. (if you would like the song lyrics and chords, these are available for 570 songs in this text files.zip file.) The pupil played first the whole song together with the midi file Then, we mute the melody line. After awhile, when the pupil was ready, he or she could play the song with the style. This method has worked very well.

The "MIDI Lesson" files were originally submitted in small groups of 15 to 45 songs. The songs were available individually and the styles only in a zip file for each submission. I have combined all these smaller submissions into Midi Lesson (ML) packages of about 100 songs. Each ML zip file includes both the midi file and the associated style file.

How to recognize a style

(Aug 29, 2023) There are many music styles of which a number are displayed and below. You may immediately recognize a few styles, such as a Waltz or Tango, but a number of styles are close to each other and still have their own charm, especially when dancing to them.

Each zip file below holds a style folder containing a number of MIDI songs in that style. You sometimes recognize a music style better, especially if you know or remember the song in question.

The folders contain songs that are played in the style as the folder name is. So in the Samba folder you will find a few songs in the Samba style, where it is immediately noticeable that the samba is not a tight fact but can be varied. With some practice you can of course play songs in a different style that is close to it, but this exercise is also only to support your hearing and recognizing a style.

Click on any of the zip files below to load that style folder. The number of midi files in that folder are indicated by the number attached to each style. Click on SongsByStyle.txt for a complete list of all 133 songs included.

Sample MIDI Files by Style
Bamba - 5 Blues - 29 Bolero - 5 Bossa nova - 5
Cha cha cha - 5 Charleston - 3 Foxtrot - 5 Java - 3
Jive - 4 Mambo - 4 March - 6 Merenque - 8
Polka - 7 Raggea - 5 Rap - 4 Rhumba - 4
Rocknroll - 4 Salsa - 8 Tango - 7 `Twist - 6
Waltz - 6      

PLEASE NOTE !! In this exercise, only a limited number of styles are covered above. Click on one of these Wikipedia links where you will find just about all the music styles out there: English: List of styles , Dutch: List of styles.

More MIDI Lessons

How to use these midi files at home.
  • Download one of the collection zip files below, unzip it and then move the folder of midi files to a USB stick.
  • Insert the stick into the USB port of your sequencer (or your computer). You can also load the file in a computer with the right software. For example, cubase, cakewalk a.s.o.
  • Choose a melody in the window (1 to 8) and Press PLAY to start.
  • The sequencer is connected to channel 5. Do not use channels 1 to 4 of the mixer for instruments, BUT ONLY FOR A MICROPHONE TO SING ALONG.
  • Do you have a keyboard without speakers or do you want all sounds from the speakers, then close your Instrument on channel 6 (one above the other L plus R) If necessary, put a plug 6.3 mm in your headphone output so that the keyboard does not play along.
  • ALWAYS set the total volume of the mixer (the red button) to 0 (zero) first.

If you want to go practice the following.

  • All channels that light up during playback are played.
  • With the tempo button you can control the playback speed.
  • With the transpose button you control the pitch NOTE Choose ALL otherwise it sounds false.
  • UP is 1/2 tone higher, DOWN is 1/2 tone lower, and so on.
  • With the on/off button under the channels, you can turn a channel on or off.
  • You can adjust the volume of the sequencer on the mixer with channel 5.
  • You play with more instruments than channels 7 to 12.
  • For Trumpet, Saxophone, Flute or Keyboard - Turn off the melody channel.
  • For bass guitar - Turn off the bass channel.
  • For stroke guitar - Turn off the chord channel. And so on.
  • Start the sequencer and control the volume.
  • Control the volume of your instrument.

Now you're ready to go. Enjoy your lesson.


The midi file also contains lyrics mostly in track 4. In cakewalk, click right on the track and choose lyrics. You see the lyrics in a screen. Choose for all. Then CTRL + C = copy. Open a word document and choose CTRL + V = paste. There are the song lyrics.

How to print the score from a track

A midi file consists of instructions for an instrument that can play midi files. Furthermore, a midi file has a number of tracks or tracks. These contain the separate instruction for each instrument. One track is fixed, namely track 10, which is almost always used for drum instruction. All other tracks may contain instructions for an instrument, including the notes of the melody. However, there are also exclusive messages in a track. These are e.g. the volume, which instrument, portamento etc but do not contain notes. We assume that you use cakewalk, the program that we also use in the lessons, but of course you can also use other programs. So if you want a printout of the notes played, select one track. Then choose properties (bottom) Then choose score and then print or print preview first. Then you can print the score. The print will not always be perfect from cakewalk, but there are several programs with which you can adjust the print.

MIDI files added on Mar 16, 2004: