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Piano From Above

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Piano From Above is a free program very similar to Synthesia created in 2010 by Brian Pantano. The purpose of this application is to teach people how to play the piano and to learn with a practice, play, and learn mode. It can run flawlessly regardless of its screen size.

Piano From Above uses a lightweight note display, making it a lot faster than the popular Synthesia. However, Piano From Above is a bit more complicated to maneuver, but it works well in every way. Like Synthesia, the program utilizes Direct3D, an API from DirectX to generate notes. 

This is a popular choice for playing Black MIDIs due to its lightweight graphics display, which means it is able to load and play larger files than a program like Synthesia, which is focused on aesthetics rather than performance.

Piano From Above

The Piano From Above startup screen in HD quality (1280x800) Piano roll note colors may vary.

Piano From Above is also favorable over other programs because of the features it has. Unlike Synthesia, Piano From Above is able to view all 128 keys when playing a file. Also unlike Synthesia, you can pick custom colors to use, and the falling note window span is much more customizable.

Derp

Piano From Above playing Bad Apple!! 7.67 Million

Latest version: 1.1.0

Version history: Can be found here

Max notes: ~500 Million (Limited)

Dance of the Reed Flutes

Riccardo Loi's remix of "Dance of the Reed Flutes"

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Faster than Synthesia
  • 64-bit as of June 2014

Cons

  • Larger MIDIs can take some time to load
  • Abandoned since June 2014
  • Poorly optimised; has lower midi performance than other MIDI players

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