The MIDI Association is offering the MIDI 1.0 specifications for download at no charge to their members at Until now, 300+ page document has only been available at a charge of $60 to cover the cost of printing and shipping.

The MIDI Association

The MIDI 1.0 Detailed Specification is an important resource for developers, hobbyists, technicians, and others who want to know about the inner workings of MIDI. The document includes sections on the following topics:

MIDI 1.0 (Electrical Specification and Protocol)

  • General MIDI 1 (including GM Developer Guidelines)
  • Standard MIDI Files
  • MIDI Show Control
  • MIDI Machine Control
  • MIDI Time Code

Also available on the website are all the additions to the MIDI Specification developed since the document’s completion in 1996, up to and including the recently-added specification for transmission of MIDI data over Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Also included are reference tables to make it quick and easy to research a particular MIDI message number, locate a Manufacturer ID number, find international standards that incorporate MIDI, and more.

To access the specifications, go to and register for free as member of the MIDI Association. Members get access not only to the downloadable specifications, but a wealth of member-only premium content, including a wide range of information on how to get the most out of MIDI. The member portal also provides the gateway to members-only contests, including the current #DigMyRig contest, featuring prizes of MIDI gear worth over $3000.

More information: The MIDI Association