Timidity is a command-line MIDI file player, along the lines of playmidi, but it is made specifically for non-wavetable audio cards.
Timidity reads Gravis-Ultrasound compatible patch files, and uses these to generate the necessary audio-output for a simple (non-wavetable) audio device.
In short, this means that people with ordinary sound-cards (of the pre-wavetable vintage) can enjoy reasonable quality sound from their MIDI-files.
The current version of Timidity (as at March 1997) is timidity-0.2i
Timidity is also available from sunsite-mirrors, in the same directory as playmidi.
In addition to the Timidity software, you will also need a collection of sound-patches in Gravis-Ultrasound ".PAT" format. GUS sound patches are available by anonymous FTP from the sites listed previously in the section Sound-Patches - How and Why