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Blackened Musical Notation

A blackened musical notation, also called a Black MIDI, black score and black sheet (Japanese: 黒楽譜, くろがくふ, Kuro Gakufu, literally "black sheet music") eponymously is a transcription of music that uses Musical Instrumental Digital Interface files, or MIDI files, to compose an incredibly and impossibly large number of notes. It is usually done by filling up the sheet with many thousands or millions of abnormally short notes—from 32nd notes and smaller. A completed black MIDI will look like a recklessly colored and scribbled drawing on ruled paper. Most blackened songs are remixes from existing songs, although there are a few original compositions floating around the Internet. The word 'black' in 'Black MIDI' refers to the notation's appearance of a certain blackened song, which one can obviously tell why it is a "black" MIDI.[1]

A "black MIDI" and a "blackened musical notation" are not quite the same thing. A blackened musical notation is a notation that is filled up and dyed up "black" by notes, usually very minute ones. A black MIDI on the other hand, is a blackened musical score in the form of a MIDI file.

The Chinese name for "black score" is 黑乐谱 in Simplified Chinese and 黑樂譜 in Traditional Chinese; the pinyin form of them is "Hēi Yuè Pǔ," and is derived from the Japanese term for it. The corresponding Korean name for "black score" being 검은악보 (geom eun agbo).

Warning: Black MIDI songs have flashing images that can cause epileptic and loud sounds.


Starting off from Japan Black MIDIs had a long history and origin, starting from the East Asian country of Japan. In April 30, 2009, one person on Nico Nico Douga, whose name is 白鷺ゆっきー@黒雪ごはん (Shirasagi Yukki @ Kuro Yuki Gohan), uploaded the very first black MIDI in existence.[2][3] The song itself is a remix of the Touhou Project 6 background music U.N. Owen was Her? by COOL&CREATE called Final Savage Sister Flandre S. Like the black MIDI, this remix was also one of the first U.N. Owen was Her? remixes ever[4] The person that blackened that song also blackened Night of Nights a year later.[5] Night of Nights is also by COOL&CREATE; which the original background music was from Touhou Project 9, Flowering Night.

Over the course of years, some users on Nico Nico Douga became inspired from these videos and starting to black others songs such as certain anime songs or other Touhou-related songs. Noticeable examples can be seen here and here. Kakakakaito1998 has uploaded a Necrofantasia black MIDI both on Nico Nico Douga and YouTube in 2011.[6][7] The black MIDI itself can be traced back to 2010, notwithstanding the fact that its video upload being a year behind.

A few months after its initial upload, the Chinese and Koreans were starting to obtain interest from it. Some copied the video(s) under their respective language. Some blackened it in their own way. However, it is very unlikely to get them around these times of the year. It is a new thing that people whether like it or not. If you have found any one of them from the black MIDI's early years, you are lucky!

Entering YouTube and the Western World

Black MIDIs were still known in Japan, China, and Korea but did not go out of the East until somewhere in 2010, when a South Korean user on YouTube posted the same video but under the name of "john stump - death waltz." The wrongly titled video then created considerable confusion between this title and the true title, especially overseas. John Stump's Death Waltz is similar in appearance for most people who have not heard of Touhou Project.

Consequently, it made Touhou fans and 'otakus' very enraged because of the use of the name. Furthermore, Death Waltz first appeared around the 1980s. Final Savage Sister Flandre S. was yet more popular than Death Waltz. Videos with the name "Death Waltz" containing Final Savage Sister Flandre S. are pretty common, even today.


Somewhere around the summer of 2012, No other black MIDIs were uploaded on YouTube since. TheTrustedComputer uploaded a Final Savage Sister Flandre S. black MIDI with 280,122 notes that was made by a Japanese blacker. This was the MIDI that had the most number of notes known in the West, surpassing the Necrofantasia with 166,112 notes. During TheTrustedComputer's early years, he did not have as many views and subscribers than he does now. His Final Savage Sister Flandre S. video got 1,000 views in a week. The original video was deleted since for an unknown reason.

He uploaded more black MIDIs than ever before: Two-Faced Lovers, Nights of Nights, Bad Apple!!, and much more. TheTrustedComputer met TheSuperMarioBros2 after seeing his 280,122 notes Final Savage Sister Flandre S. playing on MIDITrail and formed a group called the Black MIDI Team. One day, TheTrustedComputer's video, "Synthesia - Night of Nights 1.1 Million" went viral a few months after the upload on October 26, 2012.


According to several articles, they defined a black MIDI as "a normal MIDI file that consists of millions of notes," although it is correct only if a black MIDI has a million or more notes; the majority of them have less than a million notes.[8][9][10] TheTrustedComputer’s Necrofantasia 1 Million notes MIDI was the first million MIDI ever done. TheSuperMarioBros2 proceeded and made a Bad Apple!! 1 Million notes MIDI, subsequently after TTC created his 1 million note MIDI.

Rhizome has attempted to depict how a black MIDI works, with some accuracy; moreover, Rhizome also compared black MIDIs with Conlon Nancarrow's music back in the late 1940s where unplayable music he composed were played on player pianos.[11] Dubbhism said that the black MIDI scene is taking the "whole quantity thing" to the next level.[12]

Gawker claimed that black MIDIs are "insane but totally mesmerizing robot music" which wraps up the sound that comes out of it.[13]


Along with the growth of impossible music, Black MIDI popularity also growing. The most popular video the Black MIDI Team has created is MusiMasta's video of Sir Spork's "In The Hall of the Mountain King".[14]


Black MIDIs in general sound like real music for most people, but some think differently of the music and hate black MIDIs for numbers of reasons.

Some people think black MIDIs are lame because of the way they sound. Often, people will say that black MIDIs sound nothing like the original song and with the added notes, they sound even worse. Others may not comprehend how black MIDIs appeal or their purpose. Some serious haters may even call black MIDIs "garbage", "rubbish", or "noise". Black MIDI professionalists do not make their black MIDIs sound like a collection of haphazardly placed notes, and they are not made to destroy the original song.

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