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Learning your voice-parts

Updated: Apr 23

The internet provides a wonderful selection of audio practice files that can be downloaded and played directly on your computer or (in many cases) also played on portable MP3 players. In addition to a number of commercial on-line businesses offering practice files, there are also many choral music enthusiasts who create these files and very generously make them freely available for download. It is perhaps appropriate to mention that at least two of these sites have a mechanism (i.e. PayPal) to make a donation toward their support and which you may consider doing if you choose to use those files.

Although there are many possible file formats, the two most common are the MIDI (i.e. .mid) and the MP3 (i.e. .mp3) . Where there is a choice, you will of course need to select the format that meets your particular need.If you’d like to be able to see the score, control the tempo and  be able to start and stop your playback at particular bar lines then you should use midi files when they are available.  This does however require you to use your desktop, laptop or even a mobile devise for the playback. Assuming you have a Windows 7 or 8 or Mac OS 10.4 or later operating system, I’d recommend that you download a programme called Midi Sheet Music available from here. When the page opens, click the button labeled “Download Windows” or “Download Mac OSX” as appropriate. A pop-up titled “Opening MidiSheetMusic-2.6.exe”  should then appear. Assuming the pop-up does appear, click the  “Save File” button on that pop-up to get this piece of software downloaded to your computer. If the pop-up didn’t appear then click the Midi Sheet Music ( the white text on black background) and then click the green “Download MidiSheetMusic-2.6.exe”. When the download is complete, go to your download folder (that folder will be called Download in Window machines, unless you’ve changed it) and click on the file labelled MidiSheetMusic-2.6.exe to make it run.

When the programme opens, click “File”, then “Open” and then select the midi file you wish to play – you should have already downloaded your .midi practice files. Note that this programme will download very rapidly as it is only 1.372 MBytes in size and does NOT install itselfon your machine i.e. it is a free standing application like the Notepad and Calculator programmes on your Windows computer.

If you prefer to listen to your downloads on a CD player, then it is possible to convert “.mid” and “.mp3” files to an intermediate format (named as “.wav”) and then into a format suitable for burning onto a blank CD-R disk. Unfortunately, you will need the appropriate software and hardware to do this.

The list below identifies a selection of commercial and open source sites and provides the site’s name, its URL (a.k.a. web address) and some general comments that you may find helpful in deciding which one to use.



Note Perfect

CDs and a limited selection of MIDI & Scorch formats.


CDs and vocal scores also available.Telephone number: 01285 644845


CDs also available



John Fletcher

The largest selection of files in MP3, MIDI and two Scorch formats available anyway (probably).


MP3 with electronic voicing (also helps with learning the words).


Midi files only.

John Hooper

Good selection but in midi format only.



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