Private lessons available in person in San Diego, or online using Discord: composition, music-theory, tuning-theory, piano, and all woodwinds (sax, clarinet, flute, bassoon, recorder). Current rates US$ 80 per hour (negotiable). Send an email to: monzojoe2 (AT) gmail. Also please consider making a donation to Tonalsoft using the PayPal button at the bottom of this page. Thank you.

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[Joseph Monzo]

The standard keyboard found on pianos, organs, harpsichords, clavichords, and most electronic synthesizers and samplers.

It is designed in a repeating (i.e., periodic) pattern of alternating white and black keys, where the black keys are grouped in sets of 2s and 3s with one space in between each group. The white keys are all linearly adjacent. The pattern repeats every 12 keys, so that there are 7 white keys and 5 black keys in the complete pattern. For this reason, it is also often referred to as "7-white/5-black".

In standard 12-edo tuning each adjacent key, whether it changes color or not, gives an an interval of a semitone, with the full pattern of 12 keys spanning an octave. One octave of it looks like this:

With the exception of less expensive non-retunable electronic instruments, any key of this keyboard may be tuned to any pitch within the limitations of the instrument's design. So one often finds 12-tone meantones or well-temperaments on pianos, harpsichords, clavichords, and pipe organs, and any number of alternative tunings on electronic instruments that support this capability. (A database of the latter can be found at Microtonal Synthesis.)

The name comes from the earliest known example of a "keyboard" (eack key was actually a large board played with the fist) which had the 7-white/5-black arrangement of "black keys", and which was the third manual of an organ built by Nicholas Faber in Halberstadt, Germany in 1361:

(click for larger image)The front case and bellows room of the Halberstadt organ are shown in the etchings below:

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a&b temperament [a&b are numbers]

55-edo / 55-ET / 55-tET (comma) (Mozart's tuning)

1/1 or 1:1 (ratio)

2/1 or 2:1 (ratio)

a&b temperament [a&b are numbers]

apotome (Greek interval)

aristoxenean (temperament family)

atomic (temperament family)

augmented / diesic (temperament family)

augmented-2nd / aug-2 / #2 (interval)

augmented-4th / aug-4 / #4 (interval)

augmented-5th / aug-5 / #5 (interval)

augmented-6th / aug-6 / #6 (interval)

augmented-9th / aug-9 / #9 (interval)

blackjack (tuning)

cent / ¢ / 1200-edo (unit of interval measurement)

centitone / iring / 600-edo (unit of interval measurement)

chromatic-semitone / augmented-prime (interval)

daseian (musical notation)

dekamu / 10mu (MIDI-unit)

dexl / 540-edo (unit of interval measurement)

diapason (Greek interval)

diapente (Greek interval)

diatessaron (Greek interval)

diatonic semitone (minor-2nd) (interval)

diesic (temperament family)

diezeugmenon (Greek tetrachord)

diminished-5th / dim5 / -5 / b5 (interval)

diminished-7th / dim7 / o7 (interval)

doamu / 2mu (MIDI-unit)

dodekamu / 12mu (MIDI-unit)

dominant-7th (dom-7, x7) (chord)

dorian (mode)

eleventh / 11th (interval)

enamu / 1mu (MIDI-unit)

endekamu / 11mu (MIDI-unit)

enharmonic semitone (interval)

ennealimmal (temperament family)

enneamu / 9mu (MIDI-unit)

farab / 144-edo (unit of interval measurement)

fifth / 5th (interval)

flu / 46032-edo (unit of interval measurement)

Gentle introduction to Fokker periodicity-blocks (by Paul Erlich)

fourth / 4th (interval)

(English translation by Monzo)
Gentle introduction to Fokker periodicity-blocks (by Paul Erlich)

grad (~614-edo) (unit of interval measurement)

hexamu / 6mu (MIDI-unit)

Hurrian Hymn (Monzo reconstruction)

hypate (Greek note)

hypaton (Greek tetrachord)

hyperbolaion / hyperboleon (Greek tetrachord)

hypophrygian (Greek mode)

imperfect (interval quality)

iring / centitone / 600-edo (unit of interval measurement)

1/1 or 1:1 (ratio)

2/1 or 2:1 (ratio)

jot / 30103-edo (unit of interval measurement)

JustMusic: A New Harmony [Monzo's book]

JustMusic prime-factor notation [Monzo essay]

kwazy (temperament family)

leimma / limma (Greek interval)

lichanos (Greek note)

limma / leimma (Greek interval)

locrian (mode)

lydian (mode)

magic (temperament family)

Mahler 7th/1 [Monzo score and analysis]

marvel (temperament family)

meantone (temperament family)

mem / 205-edo (unit of interval measurement)

meride / 43-edo (unit of interval measurement)

mese (Greek note)

meson (Greek tetrachord)

millioctave / m8ve / 1000-edo (unit of interval measurement)

mina / 2460-edo (unit of interval measurement)

minerva (temperament family)

miracle (temperament family)

mixolydian (mode)

monzo (prime-exponent vector)

Monzo, Joe (music-theorist)

morion / moria / 72-edo (unit of interval measurement)

mutt (temperament family)

mystery (temperament family)

octamu / oktamu / 8mu (MIDI-unit)

octave (interval)

oktamu / octamu / 8mu (MIDI-unit)

orwell (temperament family)

p4, perfect 4th, perfect fourth (interval)

p5, perfect 5th, perfect fifth (interval)

pantonality of Schoenberg [Monzo essay]

paramese (Greek note)

paranete (Greek note)

parhypate (Greek note)

pentamu / 5mu (MIDI-unit)

prime-factor notation (JustMusic) [Monzo essay]

proslambanomenos (Greek note)

quarter-tone / 24-edo (unit of interval measurement)

savart / 300-edo (unit of interval measurement)

schismic / skhismic (temperament family)

Schoenberg's pantonality [Monzo essay]

second / 2nd (interval)

semisixths (temperament family)

semitone / 12-edo (unit of interval measurement)

seventh / 7th (interval)

simplified Sumerian tuning [speculations by Monzo]

sixth / 6th (interval)

sk / 612-edo (unit of interval measurement)

skhismic / schismic (temperament family)

entire old Sonic Arts website

sruti tuning [Monzo essay]

studloco (tuning)

subminor 3rd (interval)

Sumerian tuning [speculations by Monzo]

Sumerian tuning, simplified [speculations by Monzo]

synemmenon (Greek tetrachord)

temperament-unit / tu (~36829-edo) (unit of interval measurement)

tenth / 10th (interval)

tetrachord-theory tutorial [by Monzo]

tetradekamu / 14mu (MIDI-unit)

tetramu / 4mu (MIDI-unit)

third / 3rd (interval)

thirteenth / 13th (interval)

tina / 8539-edo (unit of interval measurement)

tone (interval, and other definitions)

triamu / 3mu (MIDI-unit)

tridekamu / 13mu (MIDI-unit)

trihemitone (Greek interval)

trite (Greek note)

tu / temperament-unit (~36829-edo) (unit of interval measurement)

Türk sent / 10600-edo (unit of interval measurement)

twelfth / 12th (interval)

whole-tone (interval)

woolhouse-unit / 730-edo (unit of interval measurement)