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    Mini keys

    I've gotten the hang of the tiny keys on my little 32 key casio I use for portable practice, mainly memorization, and I wonder if there would be much benefit to building a full size organ with small keys. The casio keys are not long enough, but as narrow as they are I can reach more keys with one hand (I can safely span 10 naturals without much risk of sounding an undesired note), and you could fit a lot more keys on a standard size console. It could make certain fingerings much easier, and would certainly expand the number of keys you can reach on both manuals with one hand especially if you close the gap some too. If anything, that would allow for a little desktop 4 manual 61key console with the saved space. As I have found it doesn't take too much effort to learn to play both the small keys and standard AGO. Besides, isn't one goal of AGO testing supposed to see how well you can play on any organ, even an unfamiliar console? I don't know if they ever test on non AGO consoles.

    Anyway, it would be cool if there was a standard mini option when it comes to keyboards, at least for MIDI projects.
    Allen 530A

    #2
    Originally posted by Nutball View Post
    I've gotten the hang of the tiny keys on my little 32 key casio I use for portable practice, mainly memorization, and I wonder if there would be much benefit to building a full size organ with small keys. The casio keys are not long enough, but as narrow as they are I can reach more keys with one hand (I can safely span 10 naturals without much risk of sounding an undesired note), and you could fit a lot more keys on a standard size console. It could make certain fingerings much easier, and would certainly expand the number of keys you can reach on both manuals with one hand especially if you close the gap some too. If anything, that would allow for a little desktop 4 manual 61key console with the saved space. As I have found it doesn't take too much effort to learn to play both the small keys and standard AGO. Besides, isn't one goal of AGO testing supposed to see how well you can play on any organ, even an unfamiliar console? I don't know if they ever test on non AGO consoles.

    Anyway, it would be cool if there was a standard mini option when it comes to keyboards, at least for MIDI projects.
    nice to know.

    Comment


      #3
      I find accordion manuals just tolerable and smaller keyboards very annoying. Going back and forth between a full size keyboard and an accordion is not easy for me. I can do it but not without considerable practise each time, and occasional errors.

      I've played smaller keyboards and do not find them easier to play at all. I find certain fingerings more difficult.

      I wonder what size your hands are. Mine are size 9 (US) which is smaller than average I think, yet I can span C to E comfortably, though frankly don't normally find that useful.

      I also wonder if you watch your fingers whilst you are playing.

      Comment


      • Larrytow
        Larrytow commented
        Editing a comment
        Ive never before heard of hand sizes described by number like that ( kinda like shoe sizes ? ). Or do you mean from the heel of your palm to the tip of your middle finger is 9" ?

      #4
      There's a good article on the subject of the width of piano keys at: http://www.paskpiano.org/need-for-narrower-keys.html

      The synopsis is that prior to the 1880s, piano keys were of various widths and there were models with reduced key widths for people with smaller hands, especially women. But in the 1880s piano manufacturers standardized on keyboards for male virtuosos with large hands, and that standard has persisted.

      According to Wikipedia, the modern piano octave width is about 6 7/16 inches, which I find uncomfortably wide.

      My Rodgers Trio 321C is 6 3/8", which is more comfortable.

      I also have a Yamaha YPG-235 which I use as a piano and harpsichord. Its octave is 6 5/16", which is very nice. I fully realize that the narrower octave -- 1/8" narrower than a standard piano -- ruins my ability to play a standard piano. But then, the YPG-235's light touch ruins me for the heavy action of a modern piano, especially a grand. I don't care, since the lighter, narrower keyboard of the YPG-235 is easier to play and is IMO a better match for a harpsichord or fortepiano or organ than a modern piano keyboard and action. Chacun a son gout (YMMV)

      Comment


        #5
        Larrytow this video probably explains it better than I can

        Comment


          #6
          I normally watch my hands, but I can go between the mini Casio and full size keys with my eyes shut.

          It could be considered by my mind either 2 completely different, but similar instruments, or perhaps I have developed a skill where I quickly adapt to any practical scaling of a keyboard.

          It is likely a combination of both as I have to adjust for the keys being relatively much shorter with their hinge also located relatively closer to the pressed surface.
          Allen 530A

          Comment


          • jbird604
            jbird604 commented
            Editing a comment
            Your youth is probably one advantage for you. At my age, I have a hard time even playing certain Rodgers or pipe organ consoles that have sharp keys with vertical sides rather than the sloped sides on the Allens I play at home and church. Can't imagine how hard it would be to play mini keys or any other non-standard-length octave! Good exercise for you though. You should keep doing this sort of thing all your life to maintain that flexibility.
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