General MIDI

General MIDI is an addition to the original MIDI specification. It follows a standard that assigns 128 instrument sounds that are assigned to specific numbers. There are sixteen specific families or types of instruments and eight instruments within each group. A separate group of percussion sounds is usually available on MIDI channel ten, and they are assigned to specific notes on a MIDI keyboard.




 Synth F/X

 Chromatic Perc.






Synth Lead




 Synth Pad

 Sound F/X

Any MIDI device that conforms to the General MIDI Standard will assign each instrument to a specific number and will allocate at least a 24 note polyphonic capability. The General MIDI Standard was created so that generic Standard MIDI Files created on a sequencer or notation application may be played back on another device while preserving the integrity of the original selection.

This Standard has also been integrated into the Quick-Time Movie format in the form of the Musical Instruments Extension. This program allows the tracks from a Standard MIDI File to be loaded as a Quick-Time movie that may be played back without a MIDI module. Plug-ins on a web browser will use the same extension to play MIDI files on the web. Quick-Time 3.0 now supports all 128 voices. Listed below is the complete list of the General MIDI Instruments. Some of the voices below are programmed to play a MIDI file with the selected sound by pressing on the link.

General MIDI Instrument List

Piano return to the top
1.Acoustic Piano 2.BrtAcou Piano 3.ElecGrand Piano 4.Honky Tonk Piano
5.Elec.Piano 1 6.Elec.Piano 2 7.Harsichprd 8.Clavichord
Chromatic Percussion return to the top
9.Celesta 10.Glockenspiel 11.Music Box 12.Vibraphone
13.Marimba 14.Xylophone 15.Tubular Bells 16.Dulcimer
Organ return to the top
17.Drawbar Organ 18.Perc. Organ 19.Rock Organ 20.Church Organ
21.Reed Organ 22.Accordian 23.Harmonica 24.Tango Accordian
Guitar return to the top
25.Acoustic Guitar 26.SteelAcous. Guitar 27.El.Jazz Guitar 28.Electric Guitar
29.El. Muted Guitar 30.Overdriven Guitar 31.Distortion Guitar 32.Guitar Harmonic
Bass return to the top
33.Acoustic Bass 34.El.Bass Finger 35.El.Bass Pick 36.Fretless Bass
37.Slap Bass 1 38.Slap Bass 2 39.Synth Bass 1 40.Synth Bass 2
Strings return to the top
41.Violin 42. Viola 43.Cello 44.Contra Bass
45.Tremelo Strings 46.Pizz. Strings 47.Orch. Strings 48.Timpani
Ensemble return to the top
49.String Ens.1 50.String Ens.2 51.Synth.Strings 1 52.Synth.Strings 2
53.Choir Aahs 54. Voice Oohs 55. Synth Voice 56.Orchestra Hit
Brass return to the top
57.Trumpet 58.Trombone 59.Tuba 60.Muted Trumpet
61.French Horn 62.Brass Section 63.Synth Brass 1 64.Synth Brass 2
Reed return to the top
65.Soprano Sax 66.Alto Sax 67.Tenor Sax 68.Baritone Sax
69. Oboe 70.English Horn 71.Bassoon 72.Clarinet
Pipe return to the top
73.Piccolo 74.Flute 75.Recorder 76.Pan Flute
77.Blown Bottle 78.Shakuhachi 79.Whistle 80.Ocarina
Synth Lead return to the top
81.Lead1 Square 82.Lead2 Sawtooth 83.Lead3 Calliope 84.Lead4 Chiff
85.Lead5 Charang 86.Lead6 Voice 87.Lead7 Fifths 88.Lead8 Bass Ld
Synth Pad return to the top
89.Pad1 New Age 90.Pad2 Warm 91.Pad3 Polysynth 92.Pad4 Choir
93.Pad5 Bowed 94.Pad6 Metallic 95.Pad7 Halo 96.Pad8 Sweep
Synth F/X return to the top
97.FX1 Rain 98.FX2 Soundtrack 99.FX3 Crystal 100.FX4 Atmosphere
101.FX5 Brightness 102.FX6 Goblins 103.FX7 Echoes 104.FX8 Sci-Fi
Ethnic return to the top
105.Sitar 106.Banjo 107.Shamisen 108.Koto
109.Kalimba 110. Bagpipe 111. Fiddle 112. Shanai
Percussive return to the top
113.TinkerBell 114.Agogo 115.SteelDrums 116.Woodblock
117.TaikoDrum 118.Melodic Tom 119.SynthDrum 120.Reverse Cymbal
Sound F/X return to the top
121.Guitar Fret Noise 122. Breath Noise 123.Seashore 124.BirdTweet
125.Telephone 126.Helicopter 127.Applause 128.Gunshot

Exploring MIDI Home
What is MIDI?
MIDI Connections Java Enabled
MIDI Connections Non-Java
Understanding Decimal Binary & Hexadecimal
The MIDI Language
Types of Data Transmitted through MIDI
MIDI Channels and Modes
MIDI Controllers
General MIDI
Standard MIDI Files
Using MIDI on a Web Site
Applications that use MIDI
Audio vs. MIDI Files
MIDI Timing Concepts
Author Info and Comments