Digital Sound & Music: Concepts, Applications, & Science, Chapter 6, last updated 6/25/2013
Figure 6.15 Types of MIDI messages
Hexadecimal* Binary** Number
of Data
Channel Voice Messages
8n 1000mmmm 2 Note Off
9n 1001mmmm 2 Note On
An 1010mmmm 2 Polyphonic Key Pressure/Aftertouch
Bn 1011mmmm 2 Control Change***
Cn 1100mmmm 1 Program Change
Dn 1101mmmm 1 Channel Pressure/Aftertouch
En 1110mmmm 2 Pitch Bend Change
Channel Mode Messages
Bn 1101mmmm 2 Selects Channel Mode
System Messages
F3 11110011 1 Song Select
F8 11111000 0 Timing Clock
F0 11110000 variable System Exclusive
*Each n is a hex digit between 0 and F.
**Each m is a binary digit between 0 and 1.
***Channel Mode messages are a special case of Control Change messages. The
difference is in the first data byte. Data byte values 0x79 through 0x7F have been
reserved in the Control Change message for information about mode changes.
Table 6.1 Examples of MIDI messages
Consider the MIDI message shown in all three numerical bases in Figure 6.16. In the
first byte, the most significant bit is 1, identifying this as a status byte. This a
Note On message. Since it is a channel message, it has the channel in its least
significant four bits. These four bits can range from 0000 to 1111,
corresponding to channels 1 through 16. (Notice that the binary value is one
less than the channel number as it appears on our sequencer interface. A Note
On message with 0000 in the least significant nibble indicates channel 1, one
with 0001 indicates channel 2, and so forth.)
A Note On message is always followed by two data bytes. Data bytes
always have a most significant bit of 0. The note to be played is 0x41, which
MIDI Defense
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