Bagpipe music is available on the Web in a number of formats. This site includes music for some of the tunes in several formats: MIDI, GIF, BWW, and TEX. MIDI is a "player piano" format that describes the notes to be played by a sound system and which is reasonably efficient to transmit over the Web, but it does not provide good support for printed music. The other formats are primarily for producing printed musical scores. Other formats are also used on the Web, including ABC and Set6, but these are more commonly used for general folk music rather than bagpipe music.
MIDI files require a browser plug-in in order to hear the music. Most modern browsers come with a default plug-in although you can often customize this if you want something fancier. For more information see your browser's home pages. For most MIDI playback plug-ins, you can right-click on the MIDI control panel in your browser and select "Save As" in order to save the MIDI file on your computer.
GIF is simply a graphical image of the printed page. You should be able to view these files with any browser. Its disadvantages are that it does not provide any editing or playback capabilities, and the files are relatively large compared to files designed specifically for writing music.
BWW stands for Bagpipe Music Writer for Windows, a popular software program for typesetting bagpipe music. It produces acceptable printed output and also has playback capabilities. Commonly available features such as a variable playback speed and a "bouncing ball" over the notes as the computer plays the score make this format ideal if you need help sight-reading the music. The most popular program for processing BWW files is the commercial Bagpipe Music Writer. In order to view these files, you must have this or another program that understands BMW/BWW files.
TeX is a general-purpose typesetting package designed by Donald Knuth. Versions are available for almost all computer systems, including Linux, Unix, Windows, Mac, and DOS. You can find TeX at the TeX User's Group site. It produces superb printed output but can be difficult to use; also, since it is specifically a typesetting package, it has no support for playback of the music. The GIF music scores on this site were created using TeX. In order to use the TeX files provided here, you will need to have the Bagpipe.tex macro package and either the MusicTeX or MusixTeX macro package. MusicTeX and MusixTeX are general-purpose music typesetting packages for TeX and were written by Daniel Taupin. Bagpipe.tex is an additional set of macros that makes MusicTeX or MusixTeX easier to use when typesetting bagpipe music, and was written by Walter Innes. TeX, MusicTeX, MusixTeX, and Bagpipe.tex are all freeware.
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