Whaaaat, nobody remembers the MIDI that came packaged in virtually every OS Microsoft shipped in the 1990's? Such a shame to see how this tune can fall so quickly out of the public eye. I'm assuming that it was included to test the range and quality of the sound cards and speakers which it got matched with. As a result, Canyon (clocking in at just over 2 minutes long) covers the limited spectrum of Musical Instrument Digital Interface- and beautifully.

The soaring beginning segues right into the piece's melody, followed by the countermelody musically dueling with selections from the high-pitched intro. A guitar solo exactly halfway through the work heralds the song's second half, which toys with variations on the first minute's sections before its satisfying conclusion, which takes up about a quarter of its length. But I'm not one to complain. Sheer aural bliss, especially if you can combine the masterpiece with a sound card produced after 1995 or so.

Its full title, as stated by its MIDI notation information, is "Canyon Music." It was created in 1991, produced by The Music Data Company, and distributed by Passport Systems, Inc., a company that went under in 1998 and was bought by GVOX. The latter still distributes the Encore music notation software that Passport was famous for, which is apparently still well-regarded in the right circles. The pieces that comprise Canyon are two Rhythm Guitars, a Distortion Guitar, Synth Pads, a Synthesizer, an Acoustic Piano, an Electric Bass, a "Melody" instrument, a Glockenspiel, and the ubiquitous Drum Set. (Anyone who's more adept in decoding MIDI names than I is free to correct me on any of the above.)

Canyon was definitely a Microsoft staple for 3.1, 95, and 98. As far as I can remember, it's not on XP, and I never used 2K or ME, so I don't know about its presence or lack thereof on those systems.

Another tune that came with most of those was "Passport", technically titled something like "Passport, Please." It was nice and jazzy, but never seemed to have the outright inspiration that Canyon carried so gracefully. A friend of mine insists that another MIDI by the name of "Star Tower" was on Windows 3.1. 3.1 having been my first interface with a computer, I remember it quite well, and I just do not recall seeing a file with that name on the short list of MIDIs that were on its software. The tune itself is quite nice (for a MIDI, that is), but nothing I remember hearing way back in my elementary-school days of computing--and, of course, nothing that can even compare to the indescribable acoustic hyper-Nirvana that is Canyon.

The author takes no responsibility for negative effects that stem from possible hyperbole in this node. You have been warned.

Can"yon (?), n.

The English form of the Spanish word Canon.


© Webster 1913.

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