Tag Archives: Music

In my anniversary post, I hinted at moving the Compositions list into a spin-off blog, and I’ve started work on it.

It’s called The Penguin Plays ♫♪ and it’s in public beta right now. (thanks to DR34DNOUGHT for suggesting the title!)

The Penguin Plays ♫♪ icon

The Penguin Plays ♫♪

It’ll be in public beta until I make my first post, at which point I’ll announce its official release here on `The Penguin’ says… .

In the meantime, head on over, have a look around, and leave me some feedback in the comments for this post.


It’s that time of year again: Pi Day.

Three and a bit:

The letter π is pronounced more like “pee” in Greek.

A canon in pi:

What Pi sounds like. by Michael Blake [YouTube]

A program written in Piet which outputs the digits of pi without the decimal point:

Pi by Richard Mitton.

“Pi” by Richard Mitton. “Naturally, a more accurate value can be obtained by using a bigger program.”

Sine …”

Just something quick for the weekend: my latest composition.

From the description:

Another ensemble piece! This is my first time playing around with the MuseScore mixer panel, so the audio should be more interesting to listen to.

One of my influences for this piece may be all the snow we’ve been getting in my area recently, and we haven’t gotten much snow in the past few years. We got the gift of snow this year, and this is my gift to you. Enjoy!

This piece was created with MuseScore and rendered with the FluidR3_GM SoundFont.

Listen to it on SoundCloud and view the score on

Chances are, you’ve seen this video already, but if not, you’re in for a treat. Here you are, The Piano Guys‘ rendition of Angels We Have Heard on High, all done on a single piano (watch it, don’t just listen):

Angels We Have Heard on High (Christmas w/ 32 fingers and 8 thumbs) – ThePianoGuys by ThePianoGuys [YouTube]

Even when you don’t think about all the coordination and practice it takes to successfully pull off something like this, it’s very impressive. Well done, Guys!

Earlier this week, I posted some of Microsoft’s MIDI tunes over the years. Microsoft also has music found outside of the C:\WINDOWS\MEDIA folder. Here are two more:

Ever since Windows 3.1, Microsoft has included MIDI files in the C:\WINDOWS\MEDIA folder so that if a user ever needed to troubleshoot a MIDI application, Microsoft support would have files that were reliably there.

Along with original compositions, there were also MIDI files of well-known classical works, like Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. I won’t be featuring these in this post, just the original compositions.

MIDI files are sometimes criticized for sounding terrible and dated. The reason for that is because the critic didn’t use a good SoundFont. MIDI files don’t actually store any sounds; it can be thought of like sheet music: the notes to play are contained in the file, and what it sounds like when played is up to the SoundFont used. In this post, I’ve rendered the MIDI files using one of two SoundFonts: Microsoft’s 2gmgsmt.sf2 and Finale’s synthgms.sf2. The SoundFont used to render the MIDI file is indicated after the filename.

Let’s go look in the MEDIA folder, shall we?

  1. PASSPORT.MID (synthgms)
    PASSPORT.MID was first included in Windows 3.1 and was included until (but not including) Windows XP. This was one of two files (the other being CANYON.MID) included to promote Passport Designs.
    It kind of sounds like the background music for a DOS game, like Commander Keen.
    I’ve tried searching for the composer, but without success (apparently, George Stone knows nothing about it).

Listen to the rest of the playlist →

It’s Peter Cetera’s birthday today (September 13)! He was born in 1944, which makes him 69 this year (2013). Here’s a recent picture of him:

Peter Cetera with a man reading about him in a newspaper

“I walked up to this man in Curitiba and look what he was reading.”

He’s my favourite artist (one of two, at least), and I hope he won’t be embarrassed by this mini “playlist”.

Questions 67 and 68 (Japanese Version) (1971)

This is the Japanese version of one of the songs on Chicago’s first album, The Chicago Transit Authority. It was released on a Japan-exclusive single in 1971. Chicago sings this version whenever they stop by in Japan.

Next up, Spanish… →