Questions tagged [keyboard]

A family of musical instruments both acoustic (piano, harpsichord, etc.) and electronic which is played by depressing keys, each of which represent a musical tone. In electronic music, keyboards are often used to imitate other instruments or utilize wholly electronic sounds.

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57 votes
6 answers
66k views

Is there a standard width for piano keys?

Is there a standard width for piano keys? If not, how much variation is there? Do other keyboard instruments have significantly different widths of keys?
50 votes
5 answers
68k views

What to look for when buying a digital piano for a beginner?

My wife has recently started learning to play the piano and needs something at home on which to practise. I'm inclined towards a digital piano as it is more practical (Mainly space but also no tuning ...
42 votes
10 answers
20k views

Software that allows playing in different temperaments

Do you know of any software out there that will allow me to play in different musical temperaments (e.g. Well temperament and Meantone temperament)? I'm especially interested in software that accepts ...
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35 votes
4 answers
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Using keyboard/MIDI controller to learn piano

I'm an adult just starting to learn music from scratch. The piano I have been using is sometimes not available for me to use, so I would like to buy a keyboard/MIDI controller so I can practice ...
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34 votes
9 answers
129k views

Will a 61-key keyboard severely restrict my piano repertoire?

I'm planning on trading my 88-key digital piano for a 61-key portable music workstation as I'm more inclined into rock keyboards as of late than classical music. However, I do enjoy playing classical ...
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28 votes
3 answers
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Why does a 97 / 92 key piano exist by Bösendorfer?

Pianos normally have 88 keys, ranging from A0 to C8. One of Bösendorfer's pianos go down to F below the low A. The other model goes down to C. How did this happen?
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23 votes
9 answers
8k views

Why don't organs have weighted keys?

An organ (especially a pipe organ in a church) is the most expensive instrument in the world, I saw some even cost in the millions of dollars. I've read a lot of mixed things about weighted/unweighted ...
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21 votes
5 answers
4k views

Why did equal temperament become the standard tuning system for keyboard instruments?

Some people seem to make the case that having some keys beat more than others (as is in the case in the older well-tempered tuning systems) is a feature not a bug. But on the other hand, the equal ...
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21 votes
8 answers
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What are the practical advantages of keyboards with non-weighted keys vs. weighted hammer action?

This is not a question about what type toy keyboard a beginning piano student should learn on if a real piano is not an option. I am talking about professional quality keyboards in the above (to well ...
20 votes
8 answers
5k views

Do piano composers often start out with C major?

I'm wondering if composers write their pieces starting with C major since it's just the white keys, and then later transpose the finished song to the key of their choice? Or will starting with the ...
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19 votes
5 answers
7k views

Was Bach the first to use thumbs on a keyboard?

This question reminded me of a claim that I've heard before, namely, that J. S. Bach was the first keyboardist to utilize the thumbs in his playing technique. I'm not sure where I've heard this, but ...
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19 votes
6 answers
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Origin of the asymmetrical keyboard layout of a piano

The piano keyboard has white keys based on the C Diatonic scale plus black keys, which add the remaining notes used in western music. The asymmetrical way in which the black and white keys are placed ...
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18 votes
9 answers
27k views

Is there a color code for notes?

A few days ago, to learn to play music, I bought a keyboard (Yamaha, EZ-30). It has lighted keys and all light red. It somehow felt wrong that all keys light up red. If A lights up red, then C should ...
18 votes
3 answers
3k views

What's the proper piano notation for adding one note at a time to a chord and holding all the notes?

I came across a bar that sounds like this while transcribing a piece for keyboard. Is there a correct/better way to write this?
18 votes
6 answers
8k views

The same note on two staves

On rare occasions, I encounter the same note on two staves with overlapping durations. Attached is an example from an arragement of "The Long and Winding Road" by The Beatles (The note in ...
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16 votes
9 answers
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Is there such thing as a piano-like keyboard with all whole tones between two adjacent white keys?

Just a quick question, which came to my mind several days ago. I thought that it would be much easier to learn to play a piano (or a keyboard), which has a consistent structure - a black key (halfstep)...
15 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the rationale of electronic keyboards having the voices that they do?

It inevitably starts with a piano voice, then electric piano voices. Chromatically pitched percussion, guitars, strings, and so on, ending with drums. Even the most limited of keyboards have this ...
15 votes
8 answers
12k views

How to translate rock guitar style to keyboards?

The particular property of the guitar, at least to my ear, is that it can easily "fill the room", as it were, even when playing simple chords or patterns. The keyboard seems to want... more complexity....
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15 votes
7 answers
4k views

Where should I press white keys - between black keys or below them?

I've been learning to play piano for couple of weeks, and I've faced a question that has some controversial answers on the internet: What is the correct position of 2-3-4 fingers on white keys (WK) ...
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15 votes
10 answers
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How can I learn to play the chords by listening to the song (like I do with notes)?

I have started learning to play piano (I am from a poor family and can't afford a teacher). So,I've learned some popular songs and the notes from the internet. From there I started listening to songs ...
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15 votes
2 answers
837 views

Did baroque composers expect you to "bring out" the voices in their pieces, the way today's critics seem to enjoy in players?

So, I recently had a, sadly, way too short conversation with a pianist on the train. According to the guy, in the 17th and 18th century polyphonic keyboard works were not played in such a way that ...
14 votes
13 answers
5k views

Is it possible to learn theory without sight reading?

I'm learning music theory by myself with online books and video lessons. I don't have much trouble understanding the basics of theory, such as intervals, basic scales and modes, but I have a huge ...
13 votes
6 answers
61k views

Cheap way to make sound from a MIDI keyboard, without PC

I have a USB MIDI keyboard which is totally useless when not plugged in into a PC and playing a digital instrument. Is there a cheap way, for example some type of box which has predefined sounds, ...
13 votes
6 answers
14k views

What are some tips for battling forearm fatigue for performing long passages of fast notes (keyboard)?

I am unable to play, for example Chopin etudes (most of them) and Fantaisie-Impromptu because less than 30 seconds in, my forearms fatigue. I slow down a lot and it is physically painful to proceed ...
13 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is the polyphony limit on a Digital piano tied to the sound engine?

I don't want to end up paying more for a digital piano for a higher polyphonic capability if I don't need it. I was wondering if the polyphony limit on digital pianos is tied to the sound engines they ...
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5 answers
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How to use VST (virtual instruments) on a live gig

I am a seasoned keyboardist playing mainly live gigs (Soul, Funk, Rock, Pop). I am very impressed by the capabilities of VST instruments, so I am wondering if it would be possible to use them in a ...
12 votes
6 answers
4k views

Would you recommend a keyboard for beginners with or without lights in keys for learning?

For my kid, we want to buy a first piano keyboard. There are nice options under 200 EUR. But now we have a dilemma: do we need helping lights in keys do we need to connect to Tablet (we don't have ...
12 votes
4 answers
4k views

Unusual keyboard in a picture

I came across the picture which represents the piano keyboard with equally spaced black keys (as if two missing were added to ordinary keyboard). The picture is a painting by Silvestro Lega, named Il ...
12 votes
3 answers
8k views

Why shouldn't you use your thumb on black notes (Harmonium / Keyboard)

When I was younger I took a couple Harmonium classes and the teacher taught us how to play all of the scales. We weren't allowed to place our thumbs on the black notes. I haven't had any piano ...
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12 votes
3 answers
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Best option to practice piano whilst away from home?

In a few weeks, I will be on a holiday that will last just over a month. Most of my hobbies can be bought with me, however I fear that this will not be the case with piano. This answer outlines some ...
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Trill in Bach fugue WTC 1 BWV 851

In the second bar of the J.S. Bach d-minor Fugue in WTC 1 (BWV 851), we have How should this trill be played?
12 votes
1 answer
180 views

Unknown Ornament Notation - Three horizontal short lines

This nonation appears on Partite diverse sopra l'Aria 'Schweiget mir von Weiber nehmen' by Reincken, Johann Adam, IMSLP #04945.
11 votes
7 answers
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How do you practice trills on piano?

The title says it all: my trills on piano are really terrible, unless they are 1-2 or 2-3. Anything involving the 5th finger is especially awful. I have the same feeling of frustration of when I ...
11 votes
2 answers
4k views

As of 2012, are there any companies producing electro-mechanical keyboards?

By electro-mechanical I mean that the instrument electronically amplifies the signal from some mechanically vibrating (or rotating) component, i.e. any of the tone-wheels from a Hammond organ, ...
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10 votes
5 answers
837 views

What is the relationship between where and how a vibrating string is activated?

My understanding is that each string on a musical instrument/chordophone has a "sweet spot", such that when a string is activated at that point, the "best" sound is produced. ...
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10 votes
1 answer
109k views

How to play a MIDI controller keyboard on Windows? [duplicate]

I bought a second-hand MIDI controller keyboard recently hoping to be able to plug it in to my Windows laptop and play away. It has not been as easy as I hoped, and I have not been able to get my ...
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9 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is it okay to use different fingers every time while playing a song on a keyboard? Is it considered a bad practice?

I'm new to the keyboard and am learning it myself. However, I've learnt Indian classical for three years. I want to know if a song that I play has to be played with the same fingers every time. If not,...
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does 'fingered' mean with regard to accompaniment on an electronic keyboard?

I have those strange buttons in my keyboard so I was wondering what are they for ? When I press on one of them, the leftmost notes output weird sounds whenever I play them I can't understand ??
9 votes
1 answer
9k views

What to consider when selecting the number of keys for a keyboard

I might be planning to buy a keyboard in the near feature, now I see they come in different amount of keys. It makes me wonder for how many keys I should go, more allows more complex music... But how ...
9 votes
10 answers
43k views

How can I make my keyboard sound like a Hammond organ?

I have a keyboard. It can play the basic MIDI sounds. I would like it to have a Hammond organ sound. Since I'm not sure if I can upload new sounds to its MIDI bank, I'm looking for a way to 'effect' ...
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9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is it a G flat or a G natural?

I've got a doubt here. Do I play G flat or G natural?? The accidental doesn't come in till the 3rd beat while the key signature does not have G flat, while the lyric has an accidental but at the ...
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9 votes
4 answers
4k views

Playing on white notes only

My keyboard has a transpose function which lets me transpose its keys up and down a given number of semitones. This consists of a button with # and a button with b. So lets say I'm playing a tune ...
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9 votes
5 answers
368 views

Notating for the pianist to lift the pedal slowly?

So in various sections of a piece I want the pianist to lift the pedal slower than usual, achieving an interesting effects as the harmonics fade. In some areas the pedal lift might be slower or faster,...
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8 votes
5 answers
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How can I learn thoroughbass?

I've done some reading and I've discovered that our modern system of music theory (I'm looking at you Roman numeral analysis) is not the same system that most of the great composers used, including ...
8 votes
3 answers
629 views

In keyboard style harmony should there be a rest for each voice?

Here is a picture, and you can see the melody voice has a rest for the last 8th note, but I also added a rest for the alto and tenor. Is this correct, or would one rest have been ok?
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8 votes
1 answer
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How to write down a note that is sustained while there are other simultaneous pitches in the same bar?

I'm writing down piano sheet music and I'm not sure how correctly to write a specific section. The left hand is playing a little arpeggio and I want the first note to be sustained. I came up with two ...
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8 votes
9 answers
671 views

What are some resources for applying my computer skills to augmenting my musical performance?

I'm a professional software developer and a perpetual novice guitar player. I've also recently started to learn to play (piano) keyboard. I enjoy my playing, but even after years of torturing my ...
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Locating a key on the keyboard

I'm trying to figure out what the correct technique is for locating a key on the piano keyboard. As far as I can tell, there are the following clues (names invented on the spot): "absolute position", ...
8 votes
3 answers
576 views

Piano for small hands (disabled)

I started learning the piano about a year ago (turning 17 this year), and fell in love with it. Unfortunately, school came in between and I had to put learning the piano on pause. During the time I ...
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why do the top ends of piano keys extend beyond the rest of the keys?

The upper part of the white key of the piano is extruded (I don't know if anyone will get my point so I'll put a picture here)? Is it just for ornamental use or does it actually have a practical ...

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