The Official MIDI Specifications

MIDI 1.0 Detailed Specifications

The "Complete" MIDI 1.0 Detailed Specification captured the state of MIDI as of 1996 and is for developers, hobbyists, technicians, and others who want to know about the inner workings of MIDI, and includes sections on the following topics:

  • MIDI 1.0 Detailed Specification (Electrical Specification and Protocol)
  • Standard MIDI Files
  • MIDI Show Control
  • MIDI Machine Control
  • MIDI Time Code

Despite the name, this document is not "complete" as it does not contain the numerous supplements and addenda to the MIDI Specifications which were made after 1996. Those are available (separately, below and elsewhere on this website) and must be consulted to have a current understanding of MIDI technology.

This document is available for download here (see link below), and is identical to last printed version with some minor corrections and reformatting for publication as a PDF. It does not contain any of the new MIDI Messages and/or Recommended Practices that are listed below.

Download the Complete MIDI 1.0 Detailed Specification Document (1996)

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MIDI 1.0 Specification Addenda [after 1996]

The following changes/additions became part of the MIDI 1.0 Specification after the "96.1" publication and should be consulted to have a current understanding of MIDI technology. Click on the names to download the documents:

SMF Specification Changes [after 1996]

The following changes were made to the Standard MIDI File Specification after the "96.1" publication and should be consulted to have a current understanding of Stanndard MIDI Files. Click on the names to download the documents:

General MIDI Specification Changes [after 1996]

The General MIDI Level 1 Specification was updated to Level 2, and a General MIDI "Lite" version for cell phones was also developed after the "96.1" publication. See the GM section of this website to download those documents.

Supplemental Specifications [after 1996]

The following Specifications and Recommended Practice documents were developed after the "96.1" publication and are available through the links below:

All of these documents are provided free of charge to members of the MIDI Association. Please register to download... it's Free!