Reseaching early keyboard layouts, Wiki states that early keyboards, to facilitate Gregorian chant, had eight white keys per octave, leaving just four 'black keys' - which may well have been white, as the colours were reversed - another story!

It's well known that along with A, B, C, D. E, F and G, B♭ was incorporated in pieces. Hence B♮ was called (and still is) H in German.

Question is - why would B♭ and B♮ be arranged in such a way that the lower pitched B♭ was on the right of the higher pitched B♮. Logically, that doesn't make sense.

  • Possible duplicate of music.stackexchange.com/q/14954/9426 – Brian THOMAS Apr 29 '20 at 11:34
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    If you're referring to the quote in the question this possibly duplicates, "The earliest designs of keyboards were based heavily on the notes used in Gregorian chant (the seven diatonic notes plus B-flat) and as such would often include B♭ and B♮ both as diatonic "white notes," with the B♮ at the leftmost side of the keyboard and the B♭ at the rightmost." - I can't eliminate the possibility this quote refers to B♮ being the leftmost note on the keyboard and B♭ being the rightmost, with B♭ always placed to the left of B♮ unless it's at the very end of the keyboard. – Dekkadeci Apr 29 '20 at 13:08
  • @Dekkadeci - You are most likely correct. The way it's phrased does say 'with Bnat at the leftmost side of the keyboard etc. BUT that says to me there's only one Bnat, which again defies logic. Maybe it should say 'Bnat. at the leftmost side of each octave. That would then make sense, and put Bb as the top note of each octave, with Bnat. following. But it doesn't say that !! Maybe change your comment into an answer - with explanation..? – Tim Apr 29 '20 at 13:39
  • which exact Wikipedia page are you referring to? – Carl Witthoft Apr 29 '20 at 15:33
  • @CarlWitthoft - 'Musical keyboards', the para. just before 'electronic keyboards'. – Tim Apr 29 '20 at 15:35

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