|This section features a selection of musical compositions and sonic environments by Adolf Schaller. Born in Chicago in 1956 into an immigrant musical family with a strong folk Hungarian influence on his mother's side, he cultivated a life-long passion for serious music. As a young child he daydreamed musical tunes accompanied by visual patterns and geometric forms in his imagination. This powerful visual correlation with music continues to distinguish his contemporary work. Schaller's first instrument was a half-sized accordion his father purchased on the day he was born. By the age of 7, under the tutelage of his maternal uncle-musician and expert continental accordionist Karl Rauscher, he had mastered many simple songs; a year later he began experimenting with his own variations on a larger instrument. He performed in a number of early grade school concerts, and when the family acquired a piano when he was 9, he took it up as his main instrument. Before long he began serious private study of musical theory and composition. As a young teenager, he was the drummer (and later impromptu keyboardist, when his younger brother Eric - a musician and composer in his own right - took over the drums) in several incarnations of rock and blues bands together with his guitarist uncles Hans and Karl. While he retains a special fondness for blues, rock and jazz forms, it is in the realm of orchestral and symphonic composition where his heart finds its deepest expression, and where most of the thematic content of his work is devoted to the celebration of Science and Nature. For more information on Adolf Schaller, see About OCS.|
For those who are unfamiliar with "MIDI" (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), a word about .midi files:
A "midi" music file is a set of digital instructions designed to be read by a computer, which renders the information with the available digitally-synthesized instrument samples in its system. These files are not encoded with actual audio information like that in ordinary audio CD's, .wav or .mp3 files - or "old" vinyl and magnetic tape recordings for that matter; there is no actual music present, any more than, by analogy, there is any actual sound information contained within a printed score. Only the encoded digital instructions required to render a musical composition by your computer is present. In effect, your computer reads the "notes" and does all the performing - what you hear is your computer playing the music it reads in the midi file.
To fully enjoy the music, we recommend the use of a good-quality sound card along with a range of instrument samples available in many midi rendering software packages which are affordably priced. We also recommend well-balanced speakers or head phones for best results. While many popular operating systems may include the basic requirements to render midi files, without more sophisticated equipment the renderings are likely to sound rather thin and flat - as a result it may sound rather comical, almost as if the instruments were plastic toys. But with the right equipment - a good sound card, speakers or headphone, and optional rendering software which can even enable one to specify the acoustic environment (to sound like a selection is being played in a large symphonic hall, for example) - compositions rendered from midi files can go surprisingly far in approaching the richness and dynamic range of a real orchestra, composed of acoustic instruments played by real musicians. (Although to the trained ear, nothing beats a live performance of the real thing!). While high-fidelity audio recordings are superior, one significant advantage of midi files are their modest size compared to almost all other forms of musical data storage or recordings: a given musical score set down in midi is a fraction of the size of the same piece arranged on a conventional digital cd audio recording, facilitating rapid download times. We encourage you to upgrade your system to fully enjoy these very special compositions by Adolf Schaller based on science and nature themes.
OmniCosm Studios will frequently update existing files and post additional compositions by Schaller in the future as he completes their transcriptions. We plan to make conventional high-quality audio disks of electronically-rendered versions of his musical compositions available in the future, and invite orchestras, ensembles and soloists to contact OCS for information regarding the use of these compositions for recordings or live performances. Be sure to return periodically for new developments.
Please feel free to continue browsing the imagery on the site to enhance your audio-visual experience: note that there is a strong correlation between Schaller's musical and visual works. For direct access to the OCS Visual Gallery while listening, CLICK HERE. To read from the OCS Word Library while listening, CLICK HERE. Links to notes are also available in the listing for many of the compositions themselves. For your convenience, separate windows will open to each of these directories.
If you choose to browse images while listening, however, be aware that in some systems multiple tasks may cause intemittant breaks in the playing of a midi file. (They may be characterized as "pops" or "hiccups"). Most systems should experience no serious problems, but how much interference of this kind takes place typically depends on whether your CPU is being overly taxed, or your RAM is occupied with other tasks, especially if other programs are running simultaneously. If this becomes excessively annoying, it is recommended that you download other files during moments when there are natural pauses in the music. In extreme cases, one is forced to forego opening other programs or files altogether in order to preserve the coherent flow of the music. If frequent interruptions occur, we recommend that you download the midi file to a separate folder and access it from there instead of opening the file directly from the site.
A word of caution: many of these compositions have a very wide dynamic range: The larger orchestral compositions - tone poems and symphonic works in particular - may contain both very soft and very loud passages and the entire continuum in between, in terms of volume. While midi files contain relative volume setting information which automatically informs your computer how loudly or softly to render various passages, what you will hear from your speakers or headphones depends on what volume levels they are set at. It is advisable to set external volume controls on either speakers or headphones to an optimum level at the outset in order to fully enjoy the music, and to avoid having to frequently readjust the volume during the "performances".
To help you set your volume and balance settings to an optimum level for these midi files, download the calibration tone scale HERE: You should hear a faint rendition of a piano playing a scale; on stereo systems, you should first hear a sequence on the left speaker, then on the right, then with both speakers alternating between notes. Set your speaker or headphone volume to the MINIMUM or softest level at which you can still clearly hear the ENTIRE scale. On stereo systems, try to achieve an even balance between them. Replay the sequence as necessary to allow time for you to properly set your balance and volume levels, and you are ready to listen to the music. (This calibration is intended to aid in adjusting the volume and if properly used will help you set it at near optimum levels. However, system sensitivity varys from machine to machine, and we cannot guarantee that all systems will respond in exactly the same way. Moreover, volume is a matter of taste just as musical form is, and the composer has endeavored to present his compositions in the most favorable volume range: the nature of some of these compositions require them to contain rather intense passages, so beware). Once you have calibrated your speakers or headphones, you're all set - pick a category, choose a selection, allow it to load, sit back in a darkened room, and allow the music to develop. Enjoy!
All compositions are copyright ©Adolf Schaller/OmniCosmStudios. Besides downloading files for personal or private perusal, these compositions may not be used, performed, copied, reproduced, distributed or otherwise employed in any form without the expressed written consent of OmniCosm Studios or Adolf Schaller. Though OmniCosm Studios asserts that the files on this page are completely safe to open and play when used as directed, neither the composer nor OmniCosm Studios assumes responsibility or liability for damages of any kind to equipment of any kind through the downloading and execution of the files on this site.
Adjust your speaker or headphone volume to the MINIMUM setting at which you can still clearly hear the complete scales; for stereo systems, try to achieve an even balance.
-- A. A. Schaller
|Symphony||Selections Coming soon|
|Tone Poem||Selections Now Available|
|Concerto||Selections Now Available|
|Chamber||Selections Coming soon|
|Variations||Selections Coming Soon|
|Solo Piano||Selections Now Available|
|Solo Instrument||Selections Coming soon|
|Ancient and Classical Forms||Selections Coming soon|
|Sonic Environments||Selections Coming soon|
|Experimental||Selections Coming soon|
|Miscellaneous||Selections Coming soon|
|Music Notes||Coming soon|
|Music Theory||Coming soon|
|Music Links||Coming soon|
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