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Protocol for transmission of musical data between digital components, such as synthesizers and a computer's sound card. MIDI uses 8-bit asynchronous serial transmission with a data rate of 31.25 kilobytes per second. The transmitted data do not directly represent musical sound but specify various aspects (pitch, loudness, starting and stopping points in time). The data are then applied to waveforms stored digitally on a computer chip to create a specific sound.
Variants of MIDI
MIDI in full Musical Instrument Digital Interface
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on MIDI, visit Britannica.com.