How can I read Piano notes on Python

0 votes

I want to listen to the port having my midi output device (a piano) with my RPi, running on Debian. I've looked into pygame.midi, I managed to listen to the port, but somehow can not extract all midi information.  Can someone help me out?

Sep 7, 2018 in Python by aryya
• 7,450 points

1 answer to this question.

0 votes

First of all you need to find out which device-id your keyboard has inside pygame. I wrote this little function to find out:

import pygame.midi

def print_devices():
    for n in range(pygame.midi.get_count()):
        print (n,pygame.midi.get_device_info(n))

if __name__ == '__main__':

It looks something like this:

(0, ('MMSystem', 'Microsoft MIDI Mapper', 0, 1, 0))
(1, ('MMSystem', '6- Saffire 6USB', 1, 0, 0))
(2, ('MMSystem', 'MK-249C USB MIDI keyboard', 1, 0, 0))
(3, ('MMSystem', 'Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth', 0, 1, 0))

From the pygame manual you can learn that the first One inside this info-tuple determines this device as a suitable Input-Device. So let's read some data from it in an endless-loop:

def readInput(input_device):
    while True:
        if input_device.poll():
            event =
            print (event)

if __name__ == '__main__':
    my_input = pygame.midi.Input(2) #only in my case the id is 2

That shows:

[[[144, 24, 120, 0], 1321]]

that we have a list of a list with 2 items:

  • A list of midi-data and
  • a timestamp

The second value is the one you're interested in. So we print it out as a note:

def number_to_note(number):
    notes = ['c', 'c#', 'd', 'd#', 'e', 'f', 'f#', 'g', 'g#', 'a', 'a#', 'b']
    return notes[number%12]

def readInput(input_device):
    while True:
        if input_device.poll():
            event =[0]
            data = event[0]
            timestamp = event[1]
            note_number = data[1]
            velocity = data[2]
            print (number_to_note(note_number), velocity)
answered Sep 11, 2018 by charlie_brown
• 7,720 points
Excuse me,

when the program prints the note played, say 'f 64' or 'e 57', what does the number next to the note mean?
Hey! Can you please share the code that you used?

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