This book is informative. Too informative. It explains everything you ever wanted to know about MIDI and in the process explains very little. Much is due to the datedness of the examples but also the over-technical presentations.
I have a recording degree and have been working with MIDI for years and years, so I know a thing or two about MIDI, recording, etc. But this book, while highly championed for the educational landscape, tends to be one of those "assigned but never read" projects in academia. Within a few pages, the authors are extremely self-indulgent about the minutest details of hexidecimal code. It takes no time to become lost and discouraged, and completely misunderstand what MIDI is all about. The problem is, this book isn't written for programmers either. So who is the target audience? Well, everyone, really, and that's the disorganized, wandering tendency you're sifting through, as the book tries to make everyone happy. There are pages that are far too technical for all but the most geekish of programmers, and pages that are so boring and elementary for the most inexperienced of newbies. There's no clear separation as to where one is to go. Nomatter who you are, you'll be following along fine one minute, then stranded in the land of hex the next.
I find this book extremely self-satisfying and an insult to those who have a legitimate interest in truly learning the ways of MIDI. For the time it was written, it certainly left no stone unturned, but at times it drags on and on about a dead-and-buried point of non-interest, and other times it doesn't explain itself enough. It's intent is noble and unbelievable amounts of effort have gone into the world of MIDI but I can tell you one thing, if you know nothing about MIDI and really need to learn, this book will make you want to give up before you even get started. I can't think of the right demographic to recommend this to, so unfortunately I do not recommend it at all.