Jump to content

Thummer?


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 85
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Thanks Rich!

I really appreciate this feed back, I’ll check the links in depth. Here's my first comments.

 

  • At mylight review it seems that the fingering I devises matches the consensus.
  • The flat buttons I made up (like a small hexagonal piano key) seem to be ok. I may try putting little finger sized dimples on them. Slant is not an issue, as all is level.
  • I made the keyboard 1 ½ octave wide for each hand as the popular music I hope to learn to play has lots of key modulations in it, which means the hand needs to move over 3 ½ keys left or right. It looks like a wide key-field was a good idea.
  • Having the semi-tones so 'far" apart seems to be just fine – reaching for them seems to be learned quickly, & is way easier, for example, than reaching up or down an octave on the piano.
  • You’re right – chromatic runs are easier.
  • The Chromatone’s Janko layout is a toy, IMO, compared to the power of the Wicki-Hayden layout.
  • Also, doing glissandos in 5ths and fourths is a neat trick.

 

Again, thanks.

Ken.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two quick notes-

 

Brian doesn't have a computer, and only checks in here from the library once a week, or so.

 

The Thummer as proposed for marketing differs from the standard Wicki/Hayden layout in that the left hand buttons are presented in mirror image (low notes near the thumb end), although this can be easily switched for those already familiar with playing Haydens.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

-Brian doesn't have a computer, and only checks in here from the library once a week, or so.

1) Thanks for the update. I'm keen to converse with the inventor - it's not often one gets a chance to do so.

 

The Thummer as proposed for marketing differs from the standard Wicki/Hayden layout in that the left hand buttons are presented in mirror image (low notes near the thumb end), although this can be easily switched for those already familiar with playing Haydens.

2) I'll build into the design the option to swap the left hand button order. I can see advantages to both, but for a novice like me the mirror image arrangement speeds learning - if one learns do-rae-mi (fingers 3-4-5) on the right, the left hand can also mirror 3-4-5 automatically. Or am I wrong?

Ken.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Thummer as proposed for marketing differs from the standard Wicki/Hayden layout in that the left hand buttons are presented in mirror image (low notes near the thumb end), although this can be easily switched for those already familiar with playing Haydens.

...I'll build into the design the option to swap the left hand button order. I can see advantages to both, but for a novice like me the mirror image arrangement speeds learning - if one learns do-rae-mi (fingers 3-4-5) on the right, the left hand can also mirror 3-4-5 automatically. Or am I wrong?

You're wrong.

Or at least, what you say isn't always or necessarily true.

I believe I'm the only one here who has actual experience with a duet keyboard -- a unique Pitt-Taylor design -- that does mirror the two hands. It's not a Hayden/Wicki, nor a Crane or Maccann, but I also have experience with the latter two, and the particular keyboard layout doesn't seem to matter.

 

My personal experience is that neither the concertina-standard relationship nor the "mirror" relationship confers any overall advantage, nor is easier to learn. What's more, in switching among the different layouts, I do not find myself trying to play standard duets with mirrored fingerings or the Pitt-Taylor with non-mirrored fingerings. Well, not for more than a few notes. I experience less interference of that nature than I do among the different layouts for a single hand... and even that interference is very small.

 

I think your assumption that the mirrored keyboard is easier to learn is based on a deeper assumption that the player automatically thinks of the two hands as being more closely related to each other than to the world around them, as if they operate in separate "worlds", while being connected conceptually by their anatomical similarities. But there's another possible conceptual basis that I think is actually more universal... that the space surrounding us is one continuum, and we adjust ourselves -- including our hands -- to the geometry of that continuum, rather than the reverse.

 

The linearity of the piano keyboard is a prime example. It does not have the highest (or lowest) notes of each hand at the extreme ends, with the lowest (or highest) meeting in the middle. In fact, the keyboard isn't divided into two separate "hands". And the keyboard of the basic (20-button) anglo concertina is often described as being "like a pair of harmonicas, broken (or bent) in the middle". It is apparently common for a person to visualize the two ends of the concertina -- anglo, English, or duet -- laid out side-by-side, not back-to-back.

 

At least for me, responding to my surroundings is the key concept. Whether I'm casting a fishing line, dodging an errant bicyclist, turning a screwdriver (with which hand?), or playing the French horn, I am interacting with my surroundings as a unified whole, not as right and left halves or divided up in some other way.

 

As I said, I haven't found either the "bent-over" or the "mirror" relationship to be easier or superior. Maybe the mirror orientation does have the advantages you presume, but they have a compensating disadvantage of being an abnormal way of dealing with the world as a whole? More likely, though, it's just the fact that our brains are constructed and adapted in such a way that's it's easy to learn and follow virtually any pattern, including apparently random ones (like the world around us), or even radically different patterns concurrently.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll build into the design the option to swap the left hand button order. I can see advantages to both
I thought you're building a single keyboard? One of the advantages to having a continuous sea of notes is that both hands can play anywhere on it. More flexibility, no redunant overlaps (that two keyboards would have), only one way of layout/fingering scenario. More compact. Less expensive.

 

-- Rich --

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll build into the design the option to swap the left hand button order. I can see advantages to both
I thought you're building a single keyboard? One of the advantages to having a continuous sea of notes is that both hands can play anywhere on it. More flexibility, no redunant overlaps (that two keyboards would have), only one way of layout/fingering scenario. More compact. Less expensive.

 

-- Rich --

 

How do you see Hayden layout not split between two hands? It loses all it's reason, much less has an advantage.

And what is the reason for a flat laying keyboard, that runs away from you?

Looks like the only reasonable application of Hayden layout is in hand-held device. Put it on a table and conventional piano keyboard will fly circles around it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you see Hayden layout not split between two hands? It loses all it's reason, much less has an advantage.
Simply as one large sea of notes that can be played with both hands, most likely in one plane out in front of one's body (in one's lap?). I think there's lots of reasons for a single keyboard.
And what is the reason for a flat laying keyboard, that runs away from you?
I don't understand how a keyboard "runs away from you". Please explain?
Looks like the only reasonable application of Hayden layout is in hand-held device. Put it on a table and conventional piano keyboard will fly circles around it.
How so?

 

-- Rich --

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll build into the design the option to swap the left hand button order. I can see advantages to both
I thought you're building a single keyboard?

I'm developing a small community of jammer developers. We're working to develop the best design. Mirror-imaging the sides seems to give a very significant learning speed boost. We're not sure if it slows down playiing or makes playing some things awkward. Your opinions are valued.

Ken.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you see Hayden layout not split between two hands? It loses all it's reason, much less has an advantage.

And what is the reason for a flat laying keyboard, that runs away from you?

Looks like the only reasonable application of Hayden layout is in hand-held device. Put it on a table and conventional piano keyboard will fly circles around it.

Not so at all. Wicki never heard of concertinas. The original Wicki layout was for an organ or some such keyboard instrument. Paul Everett's first MIDI Hayden experiment was similarly all on one board (although if I remember correctly, it was expanded vertically, not horizontally, so the hands were placed one above the other, not beside each other). I have seen a synthesizer keyboard laid out like a giant chromatic button accordion, which is said to "fly circles around" the traditional piano keyboard, and has more in common with the Wicki/Hayden.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like the only reasonable application of Hayden layout is in hand-held device. Put it on a table and conventional piano keyboard will fly circles around it.

Eh?
:unsure:

Normally, the piano keyboard remains fixed in place.

It's the
hands
that do the "flying".
:D
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Horizontal keyboard

 

|I|I| |I|I|I| | I|I| |I|I|I| | I|I| |I|I|I| | I|I| |I|I|I| | I|I| |I|I|I| | I|I| |I|I|I| | I|I| |I|I|I| | I|I| |I|I|I| | 8 octave piano keyboard

<------------------------------> <-----------------------------------> directions of move

 

 

8 octave Hayden keyboard

-x x x o o o o x x x

x x x x o o o x x x x

-x x x o o o o x x x

x x x x o o o x x x x

-x x x o o o o x x x

x x x x o o o x x x x

-x x x o o o o x x x

x x x x o o o x x x x

-x x x o o o o x x x

x x x x o o o x x x x

-x x x o o o o x x x

x x x x o o o x x x x

-x x x o o o o x x x

x x x x o o o x x x x

-x x x o o o o x x x

x x x x o o o x x x x

 

Comments are unnecessary :P

Even with smaller Hayden as a single keyboard, regardless of uncomfortable overlap of hands, to make use of both hands, you need at least 6 octaves. I don't think anybody, except the Apes, can reach the high notes without swearing. The solution? - split the keyboard into two halves and place them near each other. But then you'll have overlap between the two sides, and impossibility for hands' cross-over. (to answer Rich, who said there will be no need for duplication).

To David:

The original Wicki keyboard didn't pick up probably because it was just a curious scientific device or a toy, un-useable by serious musicians.

Giant 6 or 5 (or even 7) row chromatic keyboard didn't pick up and never will, because it's cumbersome, slow, doesn't make any use of wrists' positions, that make playing such keyboards in accordions so fast.

The chords are more difficutl to make, they need more dexterity of fingers and it's far less intuitive, as most of "3-dimentional" systems, where playing scales involves zig-zagging. Same fingering in all keys is an issue only for beginner amateur, like most of us, I guess, but we don't drive musical establishment. Besides using 5 row chromaitc only for transposition is dramatic under-useage, you'll be missing more cruicial benefits. Whoever said it's flying circles around piano keyboard, didn't know what he was saying.

To Jim:

Everything is relative, imagine one of your hands as a stationary object, and the result will be flying keyboard. That's what I meant, of course. As for the "circles", I'll have to think for good justification of that.

--------------------------------------

The only linear keyboards, that are more compact than Piano and feature same fingering in all the keys, are Kravtsov and Universal keyboards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... conventional piano keyboard will fly circles around it.

Au contraire. I believe that a properly designed wicki-Hayden keyboard will be faster to play than a conventional one by at least a factor of two.

The hand only has to move inches vs feet to change octaves, at any time 16 keys are under the fingers, and over 10 musically useful key combinations are under ones fingers.

The design is brilliant. I've tried to document it here.

 

I've also tried to document the deep connection to music theory and human perception that makes it doubly significant here.

 

How about a 6 octave Hayden keyboard but with special tricks:

_____ x x x o o o o x x x ______ x x x o o o o x x x _____

____ x x x x o o o x x x x ____ x x x x o o o x x x x ____

__ +8 x x x o o o o x x x ______ x x x o o o o x x x _+8 +1

__ -8x x x x o o o x x x x ____ x x x x o o o x x x x -8 -1

_____ x x x o o o o x x x ______ x x x o o o o x x x

____ x x x x o o o x x x x ____ x x x x o o o x x x x

Add octave scrolling functions (+8,-8) and modulation (+1,-1) and a bit more, then we start to talk a serious instrument.

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even with smaller Hayden as a single keyboard, regardless of uncomfortable overlap of hands, to make use of both hands, you need at least 6 octaves. I don't think anybody, except the Apes, can reach the high notes without swearing.
What about if it's arranged like this:

 

-x o o o o x x x o o o o x x x o o o o x x x o o o o x x x o o o o x

x x o o o x x x x o o o x x x x o o o x x x x o o o x x x x o o o x x

-x o o o o x x x o o o o x x x o o o o x x x o o o o x x x o o o o x

x x o o o x x x x o o o x x x x o o o x x x x o o o x x x x o o o x x

-x o o o o x x x o o o o x x x o o o o x x x o o o o x x x o o o o x

x x o o o x x x x o o o x x x x o o o x x x x o o o x x x x o o o x x

-x o o o o x x x o o o o x x x o o o o x x x o o o o x x x o o o o x

x x o o o x x x x o o o x x x x o o o x x x x o o o x x x x o o o x x

 

The solution? - split the keyboard into two halves and place them near each other. But then you'll have overlap between the two sides, and impossibility for hands' cross-over.
This horizontal layout makes it much easier for the hands to "cross over". And you wouldn't need the duplicated notes on two keyboards because it's all one keyboard. Plus this is easier to play in all keys than your vertical arrangement.

 

I don't think that this layout is "hard to reach" as it's only about 28" wide and 7" tall (note that this fixed-font-and-line-spacing makes this appear abnormally "high"). A much easier to reach than a typical piano is. Note that the horizontal octave is considerably closer (and the vertical vastly closer!) - heck, I can easily play 3 octaves with one hand. Those Eubie Blake 10ths are going to be a piece of cake....

 

-- Rich --

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about a 6 octave Hayden keyboard but with special tricks:

_____ x x x o o o o x x x ______ x x x o o o o x x x _____

____ x x x x o o o x x x x ____ x x x x o o o x x x x ____

__ +8 x x x o o o o x x x ______ x x x o o o o x x x _+8 +1

__ -8x x x x o o o x x x x ____ x x x x o o o x x x x -8 -1

_____ x x x o o o o x x x ______ x x x o o o o x x x

____ x x x x o o o x x x x ____ x x x x o o o x x x x

I think what you have there is only a 4-octave keyboard with 2 octaves of overlap plus lots of redunant "black" notes on either side AND ends. Just push the two together and get rid of those redundancies. Now you can play ALL the keys identically - and - easily be able to play higher with the left hand than the right (for all those pesky Bach things, etc.). The one I showed (shew?) above has an 8-octave range which I did in response to m3838 in order to compare layout size comparably. The "sea" of buttons would be much more compact with a 4-octave job range like yours.

 

-- Rich --

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... conventional piano keyboard will fly circles around it.

Au contraire. I believe that a properly designed wicki-Hayden keyboard will be faster to play than a conventional one by at least a factor of two.

The hand only has to move inches vs feet to change octaves, at any time 16 keys are under the fingers, and over 10 musically useful key combinations are under ones fingers.

The design is brilliant. I've tried to document it here.

 

I've also tried to document the deep connection to music theory and human perception that makes it doubly significant here.

 

How about a 6 octave Hayden keyboard but with special tricks:

_____ x x x o o o o x x x ______ x x x o o o o x x x _____

____ x x x x o o o x x x x ____ x x x x o o o x x x x ____

__ +8 x x x o o o o x x x ______ x x x o o o o x x x _+8 +1

__ -8x x x x o o o x x x x ____ x x x x o o o x x x x -8 -1

_____ x x x o o o o x x x ______ x x x o o o o x x x

____ x x x x o o o x x x x ____ x x x x o o o x x x x

Add octave scrolling functions (+8,-8) and modulation (+1,-1) and a bit more, then we start to talk a serious instrument.

Ken

 

 

All quite nice, except...

1.You're not talking serious "instrument", but serious electronic "keyboard". By itself it doesn't make any instrument to speak of. There is no upgrade from your keyboard, it has to always be connected to speakers, amplifyers and power sources. There is no Hayden Stainway anywere in sight.

2.Speed with which one plays, has little or no connection with how close the octaves are. Location of the keys is secondary issue. There is no shortage of very fast Pianists or Russian Bayanists, but serious shortage of musicians who can move your heart, on any instrument.

A 6 octave Hayden, that is split, is good solution. But I don't see any particular advantage over 6 octave piano keyboard. A disadvantage - no teachers, no school, no music written specifically for it. It may seem like a mute point, when your instrument is some rare bird, like concertina, double ocarina, or has inspiring sound. But for electronic keyboard there wouldn't be any rush among players to switch to.

Just like cumbersome writing of 7 notes on 5 lines is here to stay, no matter what great symmetric systems we invent.

There are some great new instruments invented or improved upon old ones: like in-line Mountain Ocarina or plastic Fluke and Flea Ukuleles, or hollow neck lap guitar, or Gabla Bandoneon, you name it. Hayden Keyboard or Chromatic keyboards are good, where the need for compactness overweighs the need for tonal range. When your wrist is strapped, all concertina systems shine brilliantly. As a table top keyboard Hayden has less then obvious virtues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1.You're not talking serious "instrument", but serious electronic "keyboard".

I don't see that it needs to be electronic. Even the proposed octave-shift activators are done mechanically on old reed organs.

 

2.Speed with which one plays, has little or no connection with how close the octaves are.

While I suspect that that particular statement is true (except at extremes of spacing), can you direct me to any research which has actually tested the assumption?

 

A disadvantage - no teachers, no school, no music written specifically for it.

I'm pretty sure the same was true of the piano-style keyboard (harpsichord, virginal, etc.) before the first one was built. When/if a few of these Wicki "pianos" are built, allow a century or two, and then report to us about the lack of teachers, schools, and dedicated music.

Or just put an entry in the Wickipedia.
:D
(A pun. How could I resist?
;)
)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see that it needs to be electronic. Even the proposed octave-shift activators are done mechanically on old reed organs.

Any indication that this instrument is not going to be electric? Ever?

So the cost of new Piano will be...?

And the mechanical complexity...?

For what exactly reason?

 

[quote name='m3838' post='66084' date='Jan 18 2008, 10:11 PM']2.Speed with which one plays, has little or no connection with how close the octaves are.[/quote]
While I suspect that that particular statement is true (except at extremes of spacing), can you direct me to any research which has actually tested the assumption?

Oh sure!

Sit down with any of your concertina, regardless of where octaves are.

Play triplet.

Faster.

Even faster. As fast as you can. Can you play it as fast as Noel Hill? No? His buttons must be very close.

 

A disadvantage - no teachers, no school, no music written specifically for it.

I'm pretty sure the same was true of the piano-style keyboard (harpsichord, virginal, etc.) before the first one was built. When/if a few of these Wicki "pianos" are built, allow a century or two, and then report to us about the lack of teachers, schools, and dedicated music.

So you offer the instrument to a child and suggest to wait for a century or two? There surely must be a reason for this!

Besides, we're not talking about an instrument, but simply a keyboard. There can be many chromatic and diatonic keyboards. And there are. There are reasons behind the whole world sticking to very few. Just like there can be infinite number of letter shapes, but only limited number of alphabets are in use.

Again, I have come up with new way of writing music, simpler and easier. Just for fun. The antique nuisance is here to stay. As Sir Jonathan Swift was saying: - the English grammar should stay unchanged dispite language change. Otherwise the richness of past tradition will be lost forever.

More or less.

To me it's more exiting to see new instrument, rather than excersize in where can you put the notes in a keyboard. There are some very cool new instruments. To these I am more than happy to "give" a few centuries to catch up, because they create new music, push the boundaries. Incidentally, most come up with very specific "keyboards" regardless of abstract logic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...