We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Introduction Biotechnologies in Keyboard Instruments

“ Technology has ever been inseparable from the development of music. But in the twentieth century a rapid acceleration took topographic point: a new “ machine music ” came into being, electronic musical instruments developed and composers frequently turned into sound research workers ” ( Braun, Ed. Braun, 2002, p.9 ) . Technology, or specifically electricity has a great impact on development of music ; and this led to fevered arguments in literature. “ Textbooks on 20th century music delineate Futurism as the “ first clear manifestation ” of “ a major and digesting concern ” for the relationship between new music and modern engineering ” ( Bijsterveld, Ed. Braun, 2002, p.123 ) . With the leading of Theodore Adorno, Walter Benjamin, John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen and others there is a serious sum of theories and reviews on this topic. Besides research workers and faculty members including Hans-Joachim Braun, Trevor Pinch, Frank Trocco, Thom Holmes, Aden Evens and many others write on music and engineering. However, there is about no mention to interface of instruments and music machines, although it is of great importance in footings of capableness and productiveness of an electronic instrument.

Many of the characteristics will be familiar to the Hammond Keyboard Player, “ existent ” drawbars, “ Waterfall ” keys, on board twin rotor digital “ Leslie ” plus a host of other characteristics indispensable to any ego esteeming Hammond proprietor.

Interface design considerations in musical keyboards TOPICS SPECIFICALLY FOR YOU

“ Music and engineering have gone together for the last 20.000 old ages. Constructing a membranophone is an act of engineering ” ( Schmidth, 2000, Ed. Shapino, p.36 ) . Similarly it can be argued that when Bartolomeo Cristofori designed the first piano, that instrument represented the degree of engineering of eighteenth century. Besides the first known organ, Hydraulis, ( Hindley, Ed. Braun, 2002, p.36 ) in which the air that produces the sound is pushed by H2O from a natural beginning, is a cogent evidence of the engineering criterion of 3rd century BC.

Parallel to the technological developments in the twentieth century, music instruments have had fleet betterments and influential nightlong design determinations since the innovation of the electricity. Through decennaries of import betterments have occurred in instrument production engineering. Especially betterments in electronic keyboard interfaces in twentieth century gave powerful tools to the instrumentalist. Capability of miming other instruments enabled the keyboard participant to sound like other instruments from fiddle to guitar. Automated concomitant enabled even a novitiate musician sound like a professional.

However, instrumentalists by and large think really traditionally about their instruments ; they are accustomed to see some influence on their instruments from the history as the grounds of quality. In add-on, get the hanging on an instrument requires a batch of work and exercising. These can be advocated to be the chief ground why the development does non go on on the chief playing rules. Alternatively development happens as added value to the instrument in a really fresh manner. A good illustration can be the development of electric guitar. Acoustic guitar sound was attempted to be amplified because it was excessively low at times, if played in a wind set. By agencies of electricity guitar sound was amplified but electric guitar ( particularly 1s ) was imposed a batch from its acoustic predecessor in terns of form and general playing rules. Likewise, electric keyboards take a batch from piano and organ, development happens in the interface which is used to determine the sound.

Basicss of Interface Design

One may reason that about all musical instruments do non stand for any mark that they are “ designed ” for people. For case the fiddle ; its playing position is truly ambitious and the performing artist can non see the whole keyboard. Besides it does non allow the bow to touch three strings at the same time which limits harmonic capablenesss of this instrument. However, the ground for that is acoustic demands and nature of the stuffs which consequences in a brighter and louder sound.

Electric variety meats and pianos are profoundly influenced by the cosmopolitan layout of mechanical keyboard instruments. To an extent, it is rather logical that they resemble the features of their acoustic ascendants. However it might be claimed that they should non mime their predecessors any more. Electric instruments can be shaped and designed without many constrains of stuffs and timber demands ; they should be designed for people in head. There is a batch to make when the interaction between the instrument and performing artist is considered. Almost all electronic keyboards in the market are ill designed ; their interface does non hold much purpose to do the public presentation drum sander and easier. First they do n’t hold any order for buttons ‘ arrangement. There is merely a inclination to put some specific buttons and bosss like pitch crook and transition which are frequently placed on the left manus side.

Biotechnologies Evolution in the Form

When Bartolomeo Cristofori designed the first piano, he had thoughts extremely influenced by the Clavichord and Harpsichord. Alternatively of tweaking the strings he came up with the thought of crushing the twine with cocks. “ The present signifier and the map of the piano is a consequence of a really long and complicated development. Taking into consideration the existent acoustical features of the instrument, it seems that the greater figure of the constituents that have to make with the coevals, elaboration, and radiation of the sound are seen in the visible radiation of kineticss and quality ” ( Poucke, Ed. Palmieri, 2003, p.10 ) .

Keyboard instruments are consequences of a really long evolutionary period and they have influences from threading instruments such as Dulcimer. Biotechnologies of Clavichord and Harpsichord has some common points ; their keyboard biotechnologies are more or less the same. This is chiefly because of the traditional informations accretion and degree of engineering of their clip. The production is overly dictated and directed by the nature of the stuff and strings. Emanuel Winternitz in his book, Musical Instruments of the Western World ( 1966 ) argues that one can non alter any step or angle in any instrument without impacting the balance of the whole. Besides he refers the thickness of the walls and curvature of the organic structure as parts that give the features of an instrument. If we consider that the cembalo has really complicated gutsiness mechanisms, with the degree of engineering available in its clip, its interior decorator had to work in a really confined degree of imaginativeness. However, as the engineering improves, new options have ever been proposed in order to hold more sophisticated biotechnologies or a better timber. “ Progress, that is really betterment, exists merely in the kingdom of engineering, where better solutions for certain mechanical jobs are found through the innovations of practical devices, that work out mechanical jobs better than had been done before ” ( Winternitz, 1966, p.21 ) .

In the history of keyboard instruments the consecutive keyboard is non the lone keyboard, there are alternate keyboard systems, but really few. They are merchandises of the demand to a more ergonomic keyboard layout. They are Concave Keyboard and Jank & A ; oacute ; Keyboard ( interior decorator Paul von Jank & A ; oacute ; ) .

Concave Keyboard

In the history several efforts to alter the consecutive layout of the keys can be found. They stem from the basic thought that “ the weaponries and custodies could travel more of course over a concave keyboard ” ( Good, Ed. Palmieri, 2003, p.204 ) . Although these concave keyboards ne’er found broad involvement, they can be claimed to hold been more ergonomic in comparing to straight keyboards as they fulfil the natural form of human organic structure. Besides, different manufacturers through clip came up with similar solutions. The first illustration, nevertheless being unsure, is thought to be about 1824 ; in those old ages Johann Georg Staufer and Max Haidinger in Vienna applied the concave thought to their pianos. “ Similar thoughts can be found in the work of Wolfel in Paris in the center of the 19th century, and in an 1881 German patent by Gustav Neuhaus ” ( Good, Ed. Palmieri, 2003, p.204 ) . In 1907 Ferdinand Clutsam patented the same thought in Germany.

In the design research procedure, carried on as a auxiliary portion to this thesis, concave keyboards ‘ biotechnologies, possibilities and advantages-disadvantages were investigated, ensuing in an arc-shape design proposal. In the procedure, natural motion of custodies and weaponries were measured. Harmonizing to the informations acquired in this research, besides being independent of tallness of the individual, the radius of our weaponries when s/he moves their weaponries tends to be closer to 70 centimeter as an mean value. This can be seen in more item in the figure.

In 14 instances, tallness and shoulder length of the individual was recorded. Motion of the weaponries was captured from the top. Different places were placed and so these digests were scaled in CAD package. As a consequence it became possible to mensurate the length of the radius of discharge. In the graph, inside informations of these 14 instances are shown.

As can be seen in the graph, although there is a inclination to increase in the length of the radius with regard to tallness, there are some exclusions that keep us from generalizations.

Jank & A ; oacute ; Keyboard

“ If I were to get down my calling anew it would be on this keyboard. ”

Arthur Rubinstein ( 1887-1982 )

Paul von Jank & A ; oacute ; designed a different layout for piano in 1882. His chief statement was that human manus can really barely stretch more than 9th key on the piano ( Good, Ed. Palmieri, 2003 ) . He designed a keyboard which had two engagement manuals and each key lever had three touch points. Jank & A ; oacute ; Keyboard was really advantageous in pieces whose tune is based on broad tones because he could pull off to shorten an octave on the keyboard to a 6-key breadth.


From pipe church organ to commercial digital variety meats a great advancement has been achieved ; particularly roll-up digital variety meats ( for amateurs or kids particularly ) are uncomparable in footings of size. However, cardinal dimensions have n’t changed a batch. Traditionally keys for accidentals are about 5 centimeters shorter than naturals and in contrast coloring material. Almost all keyboards in the history have had white coloring material for naturals and dark for accidentals, “ whereas German and Australian shapers used the opposite, wood stained black naturals and white ( normally tusk ) for accidentals ” until the beginning of the 19th century ( Good, Ed. Palmieri, 2003, p.203 ) . This is largely because makers prefer to construct digital instruments which are similar to their acoustic predecessors in footings of dimensions. Merely alteration in the cardinal systems is the coloring material of naturals and accidentals.

However, makers do n’t avoid spliting or uniting manuals ; different church variety meats may hold multi-manual keyboards in changing Numberss. Similarly some experimental pianos have existed that incorporates different keyboards which are located at different highs. “ From 1922 to 1923 Emanuel Moor produced two-manual pianos of his ain design, with one set of strings, the upper manual playing an octave above the lower ” for case ( Good, Ed. Palmieri, 2003, p.205 ) .

It is obvious that the participant will be bound to play keyboards of different highs on a multi-manual instrument, which, in footings of biotechnologies, may take to troubles in range and truth. Martin Halender argues that mention points of our organic structure may change harmonizing to the type of anthropometric design. HARP ( Hand Reference Point ) can be advocated for occupations that are executed by custodies. “ For heavy manual occupations, the custodies should sooner be about 20 below cubitus tallness, but for preciseness undertakings with supported underarms, the custodies should be about 5 centimeters above cubitus tallness ” ( Halender, 2006, p.156 ) . Pianists try to place their weaponries parallel to the keyboard and this is possible if their cubitus and manus tallness is the same as the tallness of the manual. Sing multi-manuals, this seems to be impossible as manuals have different highs. In other words multi-keyboard instruments may do ergonomic jobs for the performing artist.

Siting Position

One of the basic regulations of playing the piano is the performing artist has a place so that his or her cubituss come to the same tallness with the manual.

Unlike piano or organ, keyboards are played stood up by and large.

Hand Motions


Flexibility is by and large thought to be relevant to location of buttons and bosss and it is defined with regard to organic structure biotechnologies and motion. Besides flexibleness of the system and plan of the keyboard should be examined.

Front mounted controls were tried by Korg 700. However, it was really naif ; those buttons and knobs expression impossible to utilize because the perpendicular surface is non in the position scope of the participant.


Besides being relevant to flexibleness, Usability is instead related to cognetics. Interface comprehensibility, grouping of buttons, readability of text and screen is cardinal footings in understanding serviceability.

Ocular Elementss

Mistake and Fail in Interaction

Mistake and fail in interaction consists of fails caused by dejecting buttons and fails caused by taking incorrect commends. Since instruments are used in unrecorded concerts, a fail ‘s results can be more than anticipated.


Coloring material


Measuring ocular facets in keyboards is different from measuring design merchandises. Understanding of beauty in the form and coloring material can depend on different factors.

Hammond XH-200 can be unappealing for most, but it is a fable in digital instruments. Celebrated instrumentalists who use this instrument can lend to its attraction.

Electric, electronic and digital instrument makers deeply concerns with bring forthing instruments which gives the same satisfaction with their acoustic opposite numbers. In order to accomplish, they mimic physical features of acoustic instruments to electronic instruments such as cock sound in pianos.


Electric piano attempts to copy features of acoustic piano such as sound of the cock, because this sound of cock gives pleasance to the participant. In acoustic pianos when the cock hits the twine, beside the quiver of the twine ( which is called timber ) another sound is produced which is barely hearable: the cock sound. Although it gives the feeling that it is non a deserved sound, when electric piano was foremost introduced, instrumentalists and the hearer were willing to hear conventional features of acoustic piano, including the sound of the cock.

Share this Post!

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published.