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Jan 30, 2008



There are solid ergonomic reasons as well. I haven't bothered calculating the theoretical speed advantage of the Wicki-Hayden layout, using Fitts law, but you gotta believe that it is solid. With the fingering I've devised every note and chord of the major scale, and most of the minor ones are right under the  fingers.

John M.

Although I agree that the piano is actually very convenient in conveying solfege and now, with current technology, one can easily transpose the keyboard out of C,  the benefit in layouts such as the wicki/hayden layout is isomorphism, the fact that within a song one can change key and not lose fingering continuity.  This is not so with the piano keyboard.  This is the way out of the hard work you spoke of concerning chord changes.


[this is good] It's weird how a little thing like note spacing changes automatically lead to a change of key shape.
the Janko which is just a piano layout simplified, one usually leaves
the keys square, or like on the Chromatone, changes them to oval. This
is  because one normally only plays one note at a time, except the
major seconds, the notes beside each other. 
With the other formats, one plays a lot of notes together, so the rounded hex shape if preferred.  Does this make sense?


[this is good]

Wicki/CThru/Janko--they're all variations on the basic honeycomb button pattern.

Taylor Livingston

Really? Although I can't say I know how to play any Celine Dion tunes, I can't imagine them having a lot of major second intervals going on, except maybe for her "Whole-tone Dreamz" collaboration with Claude Debussy.



The two notes next to each other don't sound too bad, IMHO, and are definately to be found in Celine Dion tunes ;)

The Triad/C-Thru/Harmonic arrangement looks interesting, but I believe that that the Thummer/jammer layout is better for my purposes, for one thing, it's easier to find the notes, and it's easier to explain a "folded major scale" to people.


Taylor Livingston

"The keys that sound worst together are right next to each other"

I think it would be useful to point out that this is still the case in the thummer layout. I think most beginners will still find that accidentally hitting 2 notes that are right next to each other will create a bit too much tension for their Celine Dion tunes. The CThru layout takes care of this.


[this is good]

I agree, Eric.

The proof will be if one can play songs faster and in all keys equally well. Thus far, I've been able to do so ok, although I've been reluctant to post videos - I'm perhaps not the most mis-coordinated maladriot you'll ever encounter but I likely am in the top ten ;-) .  

I'm right now writing up how to read a conventional music score and play it on the jammer. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is.

It really is nice to be able to play songs in the right key - even C# or Db, but you are totally correct in that music is much more that finding the right key to play - that's why, after almost 3 months of practice, I'm just beginning to be ready to show off a simple piece.




Understand the rationale behind the Jammer design. I guess the proof is whether one can learn to play common pop songs on this keyboard faster than a transposed keyboard with transposed notation (solfege notation).

Solfege notation is just 1 to 7 with # and b. The standard keyboard is a very good design for C Major. I think it encapsulates the music theory quite well. The problem is when we try to play songs in other keys on this design. The problem worsens when the standard notation (CNP) is used as  CNP uses the same location for multiple notes depending on the key we are in.

I have tried to play the melody of quite a few pop songs on a transposed keyboard with solfege notation and found it quite easy. To play the full songs, one still have to learn to coordinate both hands, ryhthm, expression (feeling) and some chord progression. There seems to be no way out of some hard work.

Eric, Music Learner


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