[NTG-context] midi

Mojca Miklavec mojca.miklavec.lists at gmail.com
Thu Feb 4 15:55:26 CET 2021

On Wed, 3 Feb 2021 at 19:40, Hans Hagen wrote:

> On 2/3/2021 7:09 PM, Henning Hraban Ramm wrote:
> >
> >> Am 03.02.2021 um 18:09 schrieb Hans Hagen <j.hagen at xs4all.nl>:
> >>
> >> Hi,
> >>
> >> So, in context, we can do text, and we can do graphics, and also fonts,
> now do we also need an interface to midi?
> >
> > Are you thinking about Knuth’s ĩ🛎TeX?
> That is way too ambitious, maybe more like 🎹TeX (but in order to suite
> tex/mp extreme precision we would have to support microtones which is
> not in midi so that immediate abandons the project). Of course, when
> Mojca had ever push for 🪗TeX I'd given it a try. Too late now.

I kept misusing Lilypond for generating the MIDIs, and either Timidity (and
something else that I forgot the name of, even though I think I packaged it
for MacPorts) or Arduino + RPi (with some python-based synthesizer) to
play them from the toy wood-laser-cut accordion.

Lilypond was a good-enough approximation / similar user experience as what
ConTeXt provides for typesetting text, which is why I never
requested support for music in ConTeXt. A good support for
c d e f
and passing the work to lilypond should be more than enough (I have an
impression that I've already seen some code doing exactly that).
I always used full-page scores, so I didn't really need support for short
snippets either.

I got stuck (read as: never took the time to finish it) at lighting up a
led strip (with individually addressable colours, "neopixel"-like) at
predefined places on a musical instrument to aid learning how to play new
songs. (Someone who knows how to play could record a midi, then the
"student" would load the midi at reduced speed and hit the keys that have
been litten up.)

I'm not saying that ConTeXt wouldn't be helpful in the process, but you
would then ideally need some new backends for producing movies: video &
audio output ;)
I could surely use a metapost-drawn image of the instrument and fill the
keys that need to be pressed in the video output ;)

Anyway, reading midi is probably straightforward, but it really sounds like
a too limited feature unless one could use video/audio output or music
typesetting (which is hard enough and outside of scope of ConTeXt, I would

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