GeoCities: The Midi Master

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The website I found is located in the Stage neighborhood of Sunset Strip, a category I assumed would be all about different musical artists that people were enjoying at the time. I found a lot of these, including ones for Tool, Metallica and Fiona Apple, but sadly these were not as fleshed out and expansive as I wanted to find. I then fell upon one site with the most pretentious title I have ever seen pasted anywhere: “Words are the pen of the heart, but music is the pen of the soul……..” (yes there were that many periods). I was immediately intrigued and was expecting to find something equally as pretentious, but instead I stumbled upon one of the most passionate people I think I have seen on the early Internet or maybe the Internet period.

The page starts with a very dark, sinister-looking background formatted in the classic, old-Internet same image repeated a bunch of times, style. Contrasting this darker background are very fun moving graphics of two pixelated people dancing and a jukebox. These graphics let the viewer know that this site is about music, but the cover page does not give much more information, instead opting to display the year it was published in large comically green font: “!!!!1998!!!!” and the title of the site beneath it. The core of the site is in the links underneath the title: a collection of bands and genres from The Beatles to Country Music, but also more miscellaneous topics such as Jokes and Television & Movie Themes. By clicking on these links, one is taken to an expansive list of different songs in that category all turned into MIDI files. That is the core of this website, a collection of MIDI files created by and compiled by the original anonymous composer… and then also the Jokes category which is literally just a long list of honestly kind of offensive jokes just roasting blonde women. Ignoring that one category, the rest of the categories are very impressive and interesting providing MIDIs from everything from popular rock bands to video games to cinema. 

How does the creator portray these categories though? Well, unlike more modern music compilations sites, things like Genius, which are very clearly business-oriented and in turn don’t hold a single personality who works as the face of the site, this site is very clearly representing the creator. The best example can be seen in the list of MIDIs as all are prefaced with little messages about the kind of links on the channel: (Ex: Here I will put high quality Pink Floyd Midis.”) These give the site a level of individuality more akin to a passion project than a business being used to promote an individual. The fact that these are also free for use highlights the fact that the creator treats this site more as a way of sharing his passion with people to listen to or use for themselves as opposed to a money making or business-promoting webpage. 

This fact is bolstered by the site’s inclusion of a Sign page to add your name and a message to a Guestbook. The site is quite popular with the View page (where to see the guestbook messages) having a lot of people, all greatly supporting the site and the creator’s compositions. This turns the website into a very nice community-based location for fans of MIDI compositions and deep-dive audiophiles as a whole, who want to share their excitement for music of all different kinds with another superfan. This site appeals both to the casual listener who can simply listen to the compositions and enjoy them, but also to the more hardcore fans who can discuss music with people from across the continent thanks to this site.

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