rp26 SMF Language and Display Extensions.pdf
This Recommended Practice establishes 5 Reserved Characters for use in Lyric Meta Events to establish Command Codes used for Text Display, allow for Multi-byte Character Code Sets, and include Song Information in Standard MIDI Files. The Lyric Meta Events are renamed Lyric/Display Meta Events.
Prior to this practice, lyrics could be described in Standard MIDI Files by using Lyric Meta Events, but the only character code defined for SMF was ASCII. Also, display formatting for Karaoke (including common Far East practices such as "Ruby" display) was not considered. This new recommended practice ensures compatibility among Standard MIDI files by defining the rules for (and usage of) alternate character codes for multi-language support. The text includes rules for adding display formatting and song information to a MIDI file, which is typically needed for Karaoke applications, but might also be useful in any MIDI file player.