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Euphonic Piano Keyboard

For pianos, what Dvorak is to QWERTY
  [vote for,

It’s always bugged me that the notes closest to each other on a piano are the ones that sound the worst when played together. Because of this, if you make a mistake while playing, the note you hit usually sounds terrible. (Specifically, you get a minor or major second, which is dissonant with the note you wanted; this note often being duplicated in the rest of the harmony).

In addition, the eight easy chords that can be played using two adjacent fingers (thumb and index, index and middle, middle and ring, or ring and pinky) essentially can’t be used in classical music, because they are dissonances. That’s a waste of our physical ability and it prevents piano pieces from reaching their potential level of richness.

The solution is simple: Rearrange the notes within each octave so that any two notes next to each other form a pleasant interval. This could be easily accomplished on an electronic keyboard, allowing you to switch back and forth from Normal to Euphonic.

Here’s an example: Beginning with Middle C and playing upward, the keys would now produce the notes: C - E - G# - B - Eb - G - Bb - D - F# - A - C# - F

The intervals between adjacent notes are major and minor thirds and sixths (except for the final perfect 5th from F to the C of the next higher octave - but hopefully that can be accepted)

Note that this rearrangement, in addition to making available the potential adjacent-finger chords, fixes a limitation of the standard keyboard regarding chromatic scales: Since the notes in a chromatic scale are right next to each other, the pianist must use just 3 fingers to play the scale. This creates a certain clumsiness. But in the reformed keyboard, a chromatic scale upward starting from Middle C can be played easily: try it with your right hand and you’ll see the finger positions resemble a cascade of decreasing arpeggios which gets all 5 fingers involved.

Natural scales, on the other hand, will take some relearning. However, I think it would be awesome to watch a pianist’s hands flying all over the place and yet hear a beautiful ascending E-flat major scale emerge.

phundug, Apr 18 2011

Concertina fingering charts http://www.concertina.com/fingering/
[pocmloc, Apr 18 2011]

http://www.google.c...q=c-thru+music+axis [FlyingToaster, Jun 16 2011]

Fretlight guitar http://www.youtube....edded&v=sQHwmgYzSlA
[Sunstone, Feb 28 2013]


       Have you tried only pushing the black keys..?
mitxela, Apr 18 2011

       Actually a more fitting subtitle might be "For pianos, what QWERTY is to alphabetical order"   

       This would be very easy to implement I suppose, but why stop there? One of the big features of a piano keyboard is it can play in any key, instead of being tuned into one specifically, but with electric pianos this doesn't matter.   

       It's probably been done, but I'd like to see just eight piano keys, naturally tempered. Pedals would slide the note up or down to give you accidentals. On the top there would be a big rotary dial where you could change key with a satisfying click.
mitxela, Apr 18 2011

       Far to sensible an idea for this plaice. Also I imagine the strenuous effort required to make decent music from a piano, sorted the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. There is also the geometry of the piano itself to consider. Not so much of a problem nowadays.   

       Of course in the age of being subjected to constant twits (tweets, whatever) from a constant stream of twits (tweeters, whatever) has brought the base level of content down to such a level that it wouldn't be too much heresy to put an easy keyboard together.
4whom, Apr 18 2011

       I forgot the most valuable advantage of all - when your children bang on multiple adjacent notes on the piano, it'll actually make music!
phundug, Jun 16 2011

       [phun] You may be interested in <link>.   

       An hexagonal arrangement of buttons: moving from one button to the next one at 12 or 6 o'clock is a 5th up or down, 2/8 o'clocks are +3rds, and 4/10 o'clocks are -3rds.
FlyingToaster, Jun 16 2011

       That's very cool, [flying] - they have the same idea, different implementation.
phundug, Jun 17 2011

       I read the title as euphoric piano keyboard. I thought you might be Bach reincarnated
Zimmy, Jun 26 2011

       The only patent I ever tried to file for was a computer keyboard with led topped keys with characters that would change as needed for the typist or by the software or language in use: QWERTY to Dvorack to mathematical, to Chinese for example. IBM had patented it a decade earlier. I could see the same for a synthesized piano with the notes, chords and LEDs appearing on the keys. See link for the Fretlight guitar.
Sunstone, Feb 28 2013

       //It's probably been done, but I'd like to see just eight piano keys, naturally tempered.//   

       sp. untempered. Tempering is a deliberate departing from natural/just/harmonic tuning.   

       My most common keyboard tuning is much as [mixtella] describes; an untempered major scale on the white notes, but with the black notes assigned to harmonic sevenths and minor thirds.   

       Another favourite is one big harmonic series spanning the whole keyboard. I can lay my forearm along the keyboard, and get a great big glorious buzzing chord. Of course, any two adjacent keys also produce a consonant interval - at least up to about the 17th harmonic.   

       My point, as usual, is that to rearrange the keys on a piano while maintaining standard tuning in ordrer to improve harmony is like rearranging the masts on a schooner to improve global data transmission.
spidermother, Mar 09 2013


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