Black MIDI Wiki

Synthesia is a popular piano program made by Nicholas Piegdon. It was the original program that was widely used to play black MIDIs. Nowadays with better alternatives such as Piano From Above, MIDITrail, etc.

Synthesia is now only used to play smaller pieces, and/or is used as a "challenge" to have the least lag when playing bigger pieces. The program's latest released revision is 10.x.

Since Synthesia 10.0 is now shareware, you need to pay to get the "Learning Pack," in order to play MIDIs that are not pre-installed.

A metadata editor is also available, to add more informations to MIDI when playing them (GitHub).

PIano Hero[]

Main article: PIano Hero

Piano Hero was the older name for Synthesia until it got renamed due to copyright issues with Activision



  • Synthesia is graphically superior to other programs
  • When you load a MIDI, you have better control over tracks, and what they consist of (instruments, etc.)
  • Notes can easily be hidden by using the F5 key. This can be used to alleviate lag under most circumstances.


  • Poorly optimized; Synthesia lags the most out of all MIDI players, so as a result, Synthesia is rarely used for larger MIDIs.
  • Music pieces use way more RAM on Synthesia (excluding 10) than other alternatives (such as Piano From Above), and as a result, some pieces might not open due to the massive RAM usage.
  • Newer versions (8.4, 8.5, 8.6 and 9, excluding 10) lag more than older versions. The least laggy versions are 0.8.0/0.8.1/0.8.2/0.8.3/10.x
  • Only displays a maximum of 88 keys, as compared to Piano From Above's 128 Keys
  • 32 bit only (on Windows)

Version History[]

Changelogs can be found at:

Version history is for the Windows/macOS version, aranged by version number

Version Full version number Date Comments
Piano Hero 0.4.0 0.4.0 12/09/2006 Earliest known version
Piano Hero 0.5.0 0.5.0 01/27/2007
Piano Hero 0.5.1 0.5.1 02/20/2007 Last version known as Piano Hero
Synthesia 0.6.0 0.6.0 04/30/2007 First version known as Synthesia, first version for mac computers (both PowerPC and x86)
Synthesia 0.6.1 0.6.1 05/28/2007 Last open source version as of 2007
Synthesia 0.6.1a 0.6.1a 06/14/2008
PianoGame 0.6.1b 0.6.1b 05/04/2012 Last open source version, Synthesia trademark removed
Synthesia 0.6.2 0.6.2 08/29/2007 First version as closed source program
Synthesia 0.6.3 0.6.3 01/01/2008
Synthesia 0.6.4 0.6.4 06/05/2008
Synthesia 0.6.5 0.6.5 09/18/2008
Synthesia 0.7.0 0.7.0 09/19/2009
Synthesia 0.7.1 0.7.1 05/30/2010
Synthesia 0.7.2 0.7.2 06/30/2010
Synthesia 0.7.3 0.7.3.???? 08/01/2010
Synthesia 0.7.5 10/08/2010
Synthesia 0.8.0 11/13/2010 Used to be the go-to version Synthesia version for Black MIDI
Synthesia 0.8.1 06/11/2011 Used to be the go-to version Synthesia version for Black MIDI
Synthesia 0.8.2 11/07/2011 Used to be the go-to version Synthesia version for Black MIDI
Synthesia 0.8.3 04/05/2012 Last version for PowerPC macs
Synthesia 8.4 12/07/2012 New UI
Synthesia 8.5 03/01/2013
Synthesia 8.6 09/01/2013
Synthesia 9.0 10/17/2013 Last free version, first version with full multilanguage support. Mainly the go-to version of Synthesia for most Black MIDI users
Synthesia 10.0 12/12/2014 First paid version, UI revamp, free to play mode
Synthesia 10.1 01/06/2015 Last version with standalone configurator
Synthesia 10.2 08/23/2015 Last version able to not limit the amount of notes displayed during live playback, last version for Windows XP
Synthesia 10.3 09/13/2016
Synthesia 10.4 11/17/2017 Windows 10 MIDI support
Synthesia 10.5 11/28/2018 Built-in MIDI Synth
Synthesia 10.5.1 01/29/2019 Last version for Windows Vista
Synthesia 10.6 09/29/2019


  • Nicholas planned to add a video editor, called "Synthesia Video Creator", that allows people to record MIDIs without getting lag spikes/stuttering. It's currently under development.
  • A fork of Synthesia 0.6.1a for Linux exists, is called Linthesia and has been abandonned since 2010, doesn't work in current linux distributions.