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Blue Keys

Quarter tones on the piano
 
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Everyone knows about white keys and black keys on the piano—white keys play natural notes, and black keys play sharps and flats. But what if you want to play a note between a white key and a black key?

I propose that new pianos come with blue keys. You’ll find them between the black keys and white keys, set further back and higher up. Hit one when ever you need a quarter tone such as C-half-sharp, or E-flat-and-a-half.

(See link)

AO, Apr 24 2003

Blue Keys http://www.geocitie...design/BlueKeys.htm
Picture of a keyboard with blue keys [AO, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Michael Harrison's piano http://www.michaelh...monic/harmonic.html
24 notes per octave [angel, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Temperament: The Idea That Solved Music's Greatest Riddle http://www.bookrepo...iews/0375403558.asp
A good read indeed. [bristolz, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

An explanation of Just Intonation http://home.earthli.../~kgann/tuning.html
Under the hood of Just Intonation which is, basically, a bunch of tuning principals upon which a practically limitless variety of scales, chords and intervals can be derived for both tonal, and atonal, music scoring. [bristolz, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Chromelodeon http://www.corporea...instbro/inst12.html
43 note scale keyboard instrument [(), Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Cambodian Scales http://research.umb.../cambodia/scale.htm
[Klaatu, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       Now I can play the Blue Danube!
phundug, Apr 24 2003
  

       Or the glissando in "Rhapsody in Blue"!
lurch, Apr 24 2003
  

       <pretentious Wynton Marsalis voice> You see, you got listen to the notes in between the notes. </pretentious Wynton Marsalis voice>
snarfyguy, Apr 24 2003
  

       Some cultures (India, among others, I think) have the scale divided into more than 12 tones. This would make it easier to play music from such cultures.
galukalock, Apr 24 2003
  

       I think it is not just that they are divided into a different number of tones, but the ratio between the frequencies is different. The sitar is probably the most commonly known insturment that uses a non-western toneset.
johnmeacham, Apr 24 2003
  

       Well, yeah. The differing ratio between frequencies is what allows the scale of one octave (which is the same in all musical styles, as it comes from the actual acoustic frequency) to be divided into different numbers of tones.
galukalock, Apr 24 2003
  

       Arab melodies use tones half-way between western notes, leading to 24 notes. Scales of 22 steps are used in India. At the other extreme, Australian aborigines chant to a 2 note scale, which I believe Lou Reed sings.
thumbwax, Apr 24 2003
  

       Then this'd be an Arabic piano.   

       I can see Sting getting one of these.
galukalock, Apr 24 2003
  

       <sidenote>I refer to these as "E and 1/2" or what have you.</sidenote> +, just because i like messing with the pre-existing.
igirl, Apr 24 2003
  

       Be hell to play.
bristolz, Apr 25 2003
  

       For traditional (ie, non-experimental, per my link) Western music, you would never "need a quarter tone" because they don't exist in such music, grounded as it is in the twelve-note scale. (Please note that I am not saying that the idea is bad because of this.) However, where this layout would be useful (in such music) would be to enable a player to differentiate between say D-sharp and E-flat. These two notes are homophonic under the equal-tempered scale in overwhelmingly common use now, but the various systems used historically (and still used now by some enthusiasts) distinguish between them.
angel, Apr 25 2003
  

       Doe and a half, a deer and a half, a female deer and a half, ...
phundug, Apr 25 2003
  

       Heh. Chop-chop-chopsticks.
bristolz, Apr 25 2003
  

       I have tried this idea using 2 keyboards and one tuned a quarter step out of key. This is a great idea, but just a little hard to really put into motion. kool sounds come out of this tho
Seafris, Dec 30 2003
  

       I'm surprised nobody's said anything about this giving them the blues.....
normzone, Dec 30 2003
  

       New MIDI standard, for it?
Baker^-1, Dec 30 2003
  

       Doesn't pitch "bend" already do this?
Klaatu, Dec 30 2003
  
      
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