Creating Music

File Naming Convention and Structure

There is a specific format for the names of MIDI files to be loaded into Gloria. This file naming convention conforms to the way Gloria structures songs, which in turn is arranged to favour traditional hymns. A hymn typically has a lead-in or intro, followed by the first verse, the chorus (if there is one), the second verse and chorus, and so on until all the verses are sung.

All files names start with “p”, followed by a three-digit song number. Use leading zeros if the number is less than 100 (e.g. 005). All files end with the extension “.mid”. Letters can be upper or lower case.

At the very least a song needs a main file. This file contains one verse and chorus. It is played from beginning to end and repeated as many times as there are verses in the song. Example: “p128.mid”.

Usually the song will have an intro file. This file is only played once, at the beginning before the main file. The song transitions directly from the intro file into the main file, therefore there must be a main file. The intro cannot be the only file for the song. The user can optionally bypass the intro and start with the main file directly. The intro file name has the suffix “in”. Example: “p128in.mid”.

The song can have up to two additional renderings of the main file. One of those is typically a “second version” of the song, often with a different instrumental arrangement or a slower tempo. If this v2 file is the only additional rendering it will play on the last verse. If there are two additional renderings (see new key, below), the v2 file will play on the second to last verse. The v2 file usually plays only once, although if the user manually increases the number of verses to play while this file is playing, the file will repeat. The second version file name has the suffix “v2”. Example: “p128v2.mid”.

The second additional rendering of the song typically changes key, with a key-change transition at the beginning of the file. This new key file is played on the last verse, and once it is playing (i.e. the key-change transition has started) the user can’t manually increase the number of verses to play. The new key file will always play only once, and it will be the last file played in the song. The new key file name has the suffix “nk”. Example: “p128nk.mid”.

The user has the option of enabling or disabling the additional renderings. Selecting “Plain” will only play the main file and ignore the v2 and new key files. Selecting “Special” will play all available files.

So a minimal file arrangement will look like this:


A basic file arrangement will look like this:


A complete file arrangement will look like this:


A partial arrangement could be:


Or also:


The intro can be omitted:


There is an optional fifth type of file: fanfare. This is typically a snippet of the song, often the chorus, and can be selected and played by the user as a musical interlude. The fanfare file exists independently of the other files in the song, although it cannot be the only file for the song. There must be at least a main file. The fanfare file name has the suffix “f”. Example: “p128f.mid”.

Alternate Version

Each song can optionally include an alternate version. This is a set of files that start with “a” and follows the same convention as above. Gloria defaults to playing the standard version (the files that start with “p”), but if there is an alternate version the user can manually select that version to play instead. Once the user has played the alternate version it will become the default for that song. Gloria will play the alternate version by default from then on. The user can manually select the standard version to revert to that version.

The criteria for the standard version file names apply, so a full set of files will look like this:


The alternate version files belong together as a set, and the same rules apply for which files are optional and which are required. There must be a standard version of the song (at the very least a main file) for there to be an alternate version. A song can’t have an alternate version by itself.

Thus, at the very minimum a song will have one file (the standard version main file), and may have up to ten files total.