The seed for this book was planted in 1993. I found myself frustrated by the obstinate, poorly documented, and woefully inadequate MIDI functions available to me as a Windows programmer. So, I set out to write a set of routines that would allow me to write music applications without sweating the MIDI details.
This seemed like a straightforward goal at the time. Giddy with hubris and a false sense of security, I embarked on my mission. I expected to knock out this bit of code in a few days.
After hundreds of development hours (the long-suffering spousal unit estimates thousands), watered with the purest rainwater, bathed in golden-hour sunlight, and fertilized using the highest quality bovine output, a simple "toolkit" of MIDI functions took root. Since that first version, copious quantities of hair-pulling, testing, writing, and rewriting have helped improve it and along the way produced the book you hold in your hands and the software that is supplied on the accompanying CDROM.
Many programmers long to write applications that combine two powerful life forces: music and computers. Because of the scarcity of information about MIDI programming this has been a difficult task to do well. As a result, only the most fanatical have succeeded. But now, armed with this book and the MaxMidi ToolKit, musically-inclined programmers of all abilities can make their MIDI dreams reality. You can use the ToolKit, royalty-free, to write your own C and C++ MIDI applications to provide accompaniment for games and multimedia; aid you in writing music; control musical instruments, stage lighting, video- and audio-tape machines; and provide a basis for musical experimentation. May this ToolKit and book be as entertaining for you to use as they have been for me to create. Enjoy!