[LAU] MIDI pedigree

Sam Kuper sampablokuper at posteo.net
Thu Apr 15 00:28:27 CEST 2021

On Mon, Apr 05, 2021 at 03:24:15PM +0200, David Kastrup wrote:
> So I have two working theories: there is some other version of "(Don't
> Fear) the Reaper".

Possible, but seems unlikely BOC would have used a C instead of a B.

> The other is that all MIDI files have a common ancestor that got it
> wrong and never looked twice, in spite of very meticulously
> transcribing all the solos.

This seems likely.

IIUC, several of music's major publishing rights holders (used to?) work
with specific companies to monetise their works in different formats.

For instance, some popular music publishing rights holders worked with
Cherry Lane, or Hal Leonard or one of its imprints, to publish songs or
albums as sheet music:



Similarly, I think several rights holders partnered with Gracenote to
publish lyrics and metadata:


Finally, and to the point, I think several rights holders partnered with
specific companies (but I don't know *which* companies, sorry!) to
create MIDI transcriptions that could then in turn be sold/licensed for
karaoke bars/disks/etc.  For instance, Roland used to offer "MIDI File
Disks" for their hardware MIDI file players (MT-80S, MT-90S, MT-120S,
Sound Brush SB-55, etc), although I don't know if Roland created the
transcriptions themselves or bought them in from a different

If the MIDI files you found have a common ancestor, my guess is it came
via the route described in the paragraph above.


[1]: A quick web search turned up this PicClick page, with details of a
product called "Roland MIDI File Disk - Hits Of The 80s First Half":

If you scroll down the page, you will find many other Roland MIDI file
disks: "Best of the 80s Vol 3", "Hits of 1986", "Bee Gees", "Eagles",
"ABBA", "Carpenters", "Love Ballads of the 70s", etc.  I didn't spot a
Blue Oyster Cult disk, but I'd be very surprised if (Don't Fear) The
Reaper managed to escape publication on a Roland MIDI file disk.

I believe PicClick scrapes eBay listings.  So, if you do some digging,
maybe you will find out whether my hunch was right - and if so, you
might even someone selling the relevant disk secondhand.  The progenitor
of the pedigree, perhaps!

A: When it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: When is top-posting a bad thing?

()  ASCII ribbon campaign. Please avoid HTML emails & proprietary
/\  file formats. (Why? See e.g. https://v.gd/jrmGbS ). Thank you.

More information about the Linux-audio-user mailing list