57

The main point of weighted keys are that they give more feel for the dynamic response of a piano-like instrument. Specifically, weighted keys make it so that gentle playing only results in gentle velo, i.e. low dynamic level. To play forte on a weighted keyboard, you literally need to put in some force, and that makes sense for the performance. With an ...


39

A so-called "tracker action" organ keyboard, where there is a direct mechanical connection between the key and the valve that lets air into the pipes to play the notes, has a very distinctive feel that is completely different from a piano "hammer action" and from the "dead" feel of a cheap spring-loaded keyboard. The force to start pressing the key down is ...


37

replete's answer is correct that the original reason was to have a bigger range, as needed for some organ music. However, I don't think that's the reason those Imperial models are so sought-for over all these years – actually playing the lowest notest is scarcely musically useful. The reason why people want Bösendorfer Imperial is that they sound awesome, ...


30

This question got me curious, so I started googling. Keyboard size is not officially standardized (there is no committee creating and enforcing standards), but in practice, there is very little variation. Browsing through forum topics on www.pianoworld.com, people measured 88 key keyboards from anywhere between 48 inches to 48 1/2". Wikipedia (http://en....


30

A piano doesn't have weighted keys to "feel premium", but because the hammer is part of how the piano works. The hammer isn't part of how an organ works, so it doesn't have weighted keys. the general consensus is people consider weighted keys to feel more "premium" If you're talking about a keyboard to trigger a piano or piano-like sound, there's ...


27

Partly to allow the same, diatonic, piece to be played at different pitches as @Tim suggests. But also, I think, because music started getting more tonally adventurous within the SAME piece. When you start wanting to visit (say) the mediant key as well as just the dominant and subdominant, equal temperament is a must.


24

I think this is one of those questions where the answer is "it depends." I would imagine that many composers who are uncomfortable with black keys for whatever reason do compose in C major or a minor and then transpose. On the other hand, composers who are not uncomfortable with black keys or who are writing to fit a particular range are probably more ...


24

Without. Point blank. Lights look fun to start with, but a beginner will end up watching them rather than learning to read. Note, you can usually switch them off, so you don't have to choose a keyboard that doesn't have them. I have no recommendations on mobile teaching apps, I've never used them.


24

Yes, MIDI is primarily a communications protocol. But it also includes specifications for the General MIDI sound set. 128 sounds. Here they are, with their Program Change numbers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_MIDI#Piano It wasn't ALL that long ago that sound files were unmanageably large for sending over the internet. So a lot of music was ...


20

Let's apply some perspective warping here. You'll see that the black keys, viewed from the front, come in alternating groups of 2 and 3 after all. Their arrangement does not correspond all that well with the lines separating the white keys, but then we are talking about a detail with very limited visibility. So I strongly lean towards this being just a ...


18

What I've found is that the acoustic piano is the most expressive when played softly. We all like loud, but anything can be loud and the ear will tune loud OUT after a while. But it pays attention when things get quiet. And that's where weighted keys really help - on a digital too. If you don't have that weight, you'll get a more frequent oops-BANG ...


17

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. Yes, but I don't think that was ever a major consideration. Originally, all tuning systems just tried to give good approximation to just intonation (JI). At first just for a few neighbouring ...


16

The first way is correct, and yes, the initial quarter rest is important. It might not seem important in this example, but in more complex environments these rests are vitally important. A performer will probably know what you mean if you were to write the second measure, but it's needlessly "busy." It also doesn't clarify that it's two separate musical ...


16

Simply so that any music could be played in any key and it would sound the same. Problem with tuning to another temperament means that pieces sounded particularly good in some keys, and particularly bad in others. And re-tuning often isn't a quick answer - especially on instruments such as piano! Non-fretted stringed instruments, such as violins, trombones ...


15

"KSP" means "Keyboard Stereo Panning", that means for these voices, the placement of the instrument changes in the stereo panorama, depending on the position on the keyboard. So, "low notes" come from "left", "middle notes" "from the middle" and "high notes" "from right" (viewed from the player). For the versions of the Voices WITHOUT "KSP", the position in ...


15

Don't bother with lights. The player will be forever chasing them. In fact, for a few weeks I recommend not trying to read dots either. Just get used to the instrument, what it can do, and have fun. I would hope that pound for pound, a keyboard without lights would have other, better features.Most will have speakers or a headphone port. Buying pre-loved ...


14

I've looked into this before, and there really don't seem to be any keyboards like this available apart from the Jankó Keyboard. Whether that's because it's really a bad idea or more due to the current layout being a heavily established convention I couldn't say for sure. Some pros and cons: Pros: There are only two major scales to learn instead of 12 - ...


14

Apart from what's already been said, it is somewhat dependent on the instrument the composer is using as a reference point. For example, a lot of guitar-based music - pop and classical, is composed in guitar-friendly keys, like E/Em and A/Am. If it's a sax player, they may well be in other keys rather than C, and that goes for all other transposing ...


14

You are overthinking this. You are free to use whichever fingers you like when playing a piece but obviously some fingerings will work better than others. What you need to do is to find a fingering that works for you and then try to always do that. Your "muscle memory" will simply work when you have practiced enough. If you find a passage where there are ...


14

Yes, it's correct that there is a MIDI standard which relates to your question, but what you are talking about predates MIDI and has more to do with the history of sample-based keyboard instruments. The MIDI 1.0 Specification was published in 1985, but didn't include specific instrument voices like you are talking about, and was only an abstract ...


13

While I see no reason to dispute the answers already presented I thought I would follow up with posting the measurements that I proposed in my comment under the question. Measuring several keys near middle C with a calibrated digital caliper: 1915 Steinway Model M (New York) with original action: 22.1 to 22. 9 mm (slight variance), +/- fractions of 0.86 ...


13

Consider the following two measures from the piano transcription of the song "You'll Be Back" from Hamilton: In case it's not clear, the top line of music is the vocals, the middle line is the right hand piano part, and the bottom line of music is the left hand piano part. This shows a very common style of arrangement. The singer sings the vocal melody, ...


12

If you are playing an organ sound, you might want a keyboard that can feel and respond like an organ, rather than a piano It's possible to make a very shallow non-weighted action, which is helpful for some techniques (I like it better for triggering percussive sounds, for example) It's cheaper to make, so instruments are cheaper. The instrument is lighter ...


12

Well, the thing to remember is that the harpsichord and organ have no touch sensitivity like piano, and the piano wasn't invented yet. So any kind of keyboard music was written to be played all at the same volume, and composers made the sound fuller or emptier by managing the voicing. If you play a Bach fugue on a piano, you can add dynamics but it won't ...


12

That would be a "turn" - a common ornament in the baroque period. You can find a (fairly basic) explanation here on Wikipedia, and there are more detailed explanations in many books and articles on Baroque ornamentation. You can also see Bach's own explanation here on the Dolmetsch website. Here is Bach's own explanation, from the Dolmetsch website, ...


12

So you can play two, or three, or four different sounds at the same time. Like a split-keyboard on a synthesizer. Note that many professional keyboard players have several keyboards on stage that they can play at the same time. Regarding old-world pipe organs, there are many aspects of European churches that are meant to be grand, impressive, imposing, and ...


12

First, get rid of the idea that LH chords, RH melody is 'normal'. If solo keyboard, who's doing the bass line? If in a band, your role may be to play melody, play a counter-melody or 'fill-ins' or play chords. Probably just one of those. Back to your question. Maybe it's the sort of song that could be effectively accompanied by simple guitar strumming. ...


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