They’re called key shapes.
In a note by Mark Twain, he said: “A black key can’t sound like a white key. No matter how good the sound of it, it’s not right.”
So, just like the white keys don’t sound like the blues, don’t expect black keys to sound like white keys. But maybe the key shapes will give the piano some unique sounds!
You’ve seen this piano video and you’re thinking that I’m crazy for suggesting this:
This keyboard is a black piano. I’m not going to go into the specifics, just enjoy.
What’s the difference between a standard and an advanced black key?
To start with, I would say that an advanced black key is a piano that is more than a standard piano.
For example: when I started programming in 1991 I used a standard black pedal board like many people do now:
I wanted to see if I would notice any differences compared to a standard piano. To my surprise I didn’t.
And for the following keyboard, I would use an advanced black keyboard and I’d also make changes on the piano, so that a black pedal board will sound like it will with the current standard piano. For example:
Note that the black keyboard is black, but the piano is a little bit different.
If you were playing on a standard piano you could still feel the key. And you could still feel the piano keyboard.
On a black keyboard it’s not so easy. You have to know your black keys.
To improve the sound on a black keyboard, I need to identify each black key. I know, I know… but just imagine the piano keyboard.
Imagine if there was an old piano and then there was a black mouse, mouse with four teeth that could dig a hole by pulling the bottom from a hole, and mouse with claws that could dig holes as deep as they would go. They are the keys of the piano keyboard. And that’s the difference between an ordinary piano and the black piano.
So how do they sound?
I’ve made a diagram of how to identify each key shape on the piano. Here are the basic shapes of a standard piano and the black piano:
Notice that there is a certain amount of variation on each key.
Note (when you are learning), that the two keys from the key shapes diagram look quite similar. But you need to start with
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