Continuing our exploration of early music notation, here is a lively dance tune called "Saltarello 2" from a Medieval Tuscan collection from the late 14th Century. It is the 2nd of 3 Saltarellos in the collection, and the music clearly shows a characteristic jumping figure which gives the dance its name. Here are midi files for two versions of this piece:
Beethoven's 6th Symphony in F is called the Pastoral since it's all about the countryside. The 1st movement sets the scene musically by describing the peace and tranquility after arriving in the countryside. Here is a midi file for the first movement, available to download:
Franz Liszt (1811-1886) is best known as a pianist and composer of piano music, but he was very influential as a composer and musician. Among his solo piano works is a set of 3 Liebestraum of which No.3 is the best known. We now have midi files for No.3 available in 2 versions:
Frederic Chopin is credited with 21 Nocturnes for piano, and many of these are ripe for arranging to suit different instruments and combinations. Here are midi files of his famous Nocturne in E-flat Op.9 No.2, the original for piano and two different arrangements:
Mozart's 4th Horn Concerto is his most famous, particularly the 3rd movement "Rondo" which will remind listeners that today's orchestral french horn was developed from hunting horns. The main theme uses intervals similar to hunting horns while the tempo and rhythm are reminiscent of a gallop. Here are midi files for this 3rd movement in two different versions:
The Largo from Dvorak's New World Symphony has been relaxing people for years, frequently used on TV to accompany homely, rural and nostalgic scenes. Below are midi files of 3 different arrangements of Dvorak's Largo (from his 9th Symphony):
Here are two more piano rags by Scott Joplin the King of Ragtime, including "Peacherine Rag" and "The Cascades which Joplin composed for the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Here are the new midi files or check the Ragtime page for more.
Best known for his Royal Music, Handel composed a wealth of music used frequently in church services and on television and film. Here are new midi files for Handel's Largo and his famous keyboard Sarabande:
It is surprising how much Russian music is familiar in the West. Here is a selection of Russian Folk Songs which you've probably heard before. Each is available as a piano arrangement in midi format for free download.
Nursery Rhymes are folk songs aimed at children. Many have a long history and have been shared and adapted across different cultures. The range is wide, from Lullabies & Nonsense Songs to Counting Songs & Dances. Our article had music for 50+ nursery rhymes and children's songs, or download in midi format from the Traditional Midi page.
We've made further additions to our collection of traditional Christian Hymns with some of these tying in with our review of the music for the recent remake of True Grit, which adapts old hymns in its soundtrack:
Edvard Grieg composed his Holberg Suite to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ludvig Holberg, a Norwegian writer, and chose the style of his Suite to reflect period music "From Holberg's Time". Although Grieg later arranged the Holberg Suite for string orchestra we present the 3rd movement "Gavotte" from the original version for piano solo. Here is a midi file of the Gavotte which is ready to download:
"Flowers of the Forest" is an old Scottish Folk Song, found in an early 17th Century manuscript. Here we have 4 different Midi files: the original melody (guitar substituting for mandore/lute), a slightly newer version (often played as a Lament) on solo bagpipes, arranged for Piano Solo, and arranged for oboe with piano accompaniment:
Franz Schubert composed more than 600 songs in total, though "Ständchen" (or Serenade) was published after his death as part of a collection called "Swan Song" by the publisher. Here are midi files for the original song and several instrumental arrangements:
Joseph Haydn has 104 numbered symphonies to his name. The Symphony No.88 in G major falls between his "Paris" Symphonies and "London" ones, and one of his better known. Here is a midi file for the first movement, available to download:
Here are some shorter, less well-known works by Bach. From his Lute Suite in E minor BWV996, the Bourrée is very adaptable and can be played on Piano, Guitar or as a Duet. His Little Prelude in C minor BWV999 is not one of his 48 Preludes & Fugues but similar in concept, and well suited to either Piano or Guitar. Here are Midi files for each of these arrangements:
Sergei Rachmaninoff was a Russian born composer and pianist who later settled in the US. Among his works for piano solo are a total of 24 preludes one in each major and minor key. Here are midi files for two of his most famous preludes:
In total Beethoven composed 32 Piano Sonatas and 10 Violin Sonatas. However his most famous works are often converted into music for other instruments. Here are midi files of some famous piano sonatas arranged for other instruments and also a sample from his first violin sonata:
Here's some new Midi files of Guitar Music including 2 pieces by Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909), often considered to be the "Father of Classical Guitar". The other 2 pieces are by Luis Narváez and "Anonymous" and all the works include midi & mp3 files plus PDF Sheet Music:
Here are two very different funeral marches. Frederic Chopin's Funeral March is perhaps the most famous and comes from his 2nd Piano Concerto. The much earlier Funeral March presented here is from the music composed for the funeral of Queen Mary II by Henry Purcell, the original work being for 3 trumpets and 1 trombone.
"The Carnival of the Animals" is one of the most famous pieces by the composer Camille Saint-Saens. It is a fun suite mostly depicting various members of the animal kingdom, and here are midi files of 2 contrasting movements: the graceful Swan and the lumbering Elephant. More...
Mozart's genius is apparent in his symphonies, concertos, masses and operas, but it also shows in his chamber music. He learned to play keyboards from an early age, and his piano sonatas seem to spring from an endless supply of musical inspiration:
The Lullaby by Johannes Brahms is one of his best known songs. It also works very well as an instrumental piece. Here is the Lullaby and other works by Brahms: