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Another cool idea would be to make a bass only emulator, in the shape of an electric bass stick, something like this, perhaps:

HaydenBass.jpg

So lots of youth, who would like to play bass, can take it up, look totally cool and have working "bass" in two octaves at least, with all accidentals, possibly extending another few octaves, inventing their ways to play etc.

An interesting idea, but...

  1. Shouldn't there be something for the other hand -- the one that plucks the strings on a regular bass -- to do?
  2. You've duplicated all the "black" notes, but none of the "white" ones. Why the imbalance? Why not duplicate them all?
  3. It seems to me that further extension should be "horizontal", rather than "vertical", to keep the long-and-thin contour of the neck and so the "cool" look of the electric bass.

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Hi,

 

I'm just a guy trying to show people my better mousetrap, and have made a fairly easy to build one for you to copy. I'm also trying to show the world why it's a better mousetrap.

 

I think you're confusing me with Pim Plamandon, of Thummer fame, who has mortgaged his house trying to bring his version of the idea to market.

 

Ken.

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Another cool idea would be to make a bass only emulator, in the shape of an electric bass stick, something like this, perhaps:

HaydenBass.jpg

So lots of youth, who would like to play bass, can take it up, look totally cool and have working "bass" in two octaves at least, with all accidentals, possibly extending another few octaves, inventing their ways to play etc.

An interesting idea, but...

  1. Shouldn't there be something for the other hand -- the one that plucks the strings on a regular bass -- to do?
  2. You've duplicated all the "black" notes, but none of the "white" ones. Why the imbalance? Why not duplicate them all?
  3. It seems to me that further extension should be "horizontal", rather than "vertical", to keep the long-and-thin contour of the neck and so the "cool" look of the electric bass.

That handle on the other side is the idea for the other hand's lever to operate the volume, level, decay, warble, you name it. Lot's of things, that, if two hands are involved, are hard to do. Like those thumb levers in the Thummer, but with more potential.

For bass, two or two/half octaves is more than enough, there is no need for further expansion, plus playing Hayden horizontally and vertically at the same time isn't really appealing to me. Like an organ with multiple keyboard. Defeats the idea of simplicity.

The main idea though is not to invent a wheel, but approach it incrementally. The most reasonable way of that to me is to begin with mimicking existing instruments, but give them something else, that they don't naturally have. String instrument has multiple choice in regards to chord shapes, string choice for melody, which adds to the complexity. Hayden may replace this with simplicity. If you overburden it, you lose the attraction.

Many istruments, Violin, Bass, Ukulele, Flute have smallish range. But great music is written for and performed on them.

Here's another neat idea for Hayden layout.

A Hayden based Melodica. Easy to finger, easy to play in many keys, more compact. Takes advantage of playing with two hands. Sure is ugly, but there's room for impromement.

HaydenMelodica.jpg

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I would like to mention, at this point, that some of the diagrams of Hayden layouts in this thread show white buttons for "natural" notes and colored buttons for "accidental" notes (m3838), while others (musicscienceguy) show no difference between them.

 

I think it is unnecessary (even counterproductive) to identify the "black notes" on a Hayden keyboard. The whole point of the system is that in any given key, most of the notes used will come from a diatonic scale that exists in a compact area of the layout, and most of the notes used that are not part of that diatonic scale (raised 4th, lowered 7th, if we're talking about a major scale) will be adjacent to that compact area. There is never any reason to concern yourself with which are the "white" notes and which are the "black" notes unless you are stuck in the piano-centric mode of music theory, which will hold you back on a Hayden.

 

All the buttons on my Hayden are the same color (silver). I never look at them when I'm playing.

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There is never any reason to concern yourself with which are the "white" notes and which are the "black" notes unless you are stuck in the piano-centric mode of music theory, which will hold you back on a Hayden.

 

All the buttons on my Hayden are the same color (silver). I never look at them when I'm playing.

All my Hayden buttons are black and sometimes I look at them at the start of a tune to make sure I'm in the right key. OTOH, when playing a larger Hayden (like Jim's 82-key) I really need to find my "start". In a larger sea of buttons and playing where one might jump around substantially it may make sense to have "markers" for certain notes much like PA basses have dimples (or rhinestones) on the C notes. Of course as one can *see* a prone keyboard we can make them visual markers rather than tactile ones - perhaps the C's could have an inlaid counter-colored dot or something. Leave the crude all-red C's for the beginner model?

 

-- Rich --

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There is never any reason to concern yourself with which are the "white" notes and which are the "black" notes unless you are stuck in the piano-centric mode of music theory, which will hold you back on a Hayden.

I have, OTOH, colored most of mine. I have my reasons, only one of which is to help me learn. Another is that it helps explains to others how the layout works.

And... it's pretty.

Ken.

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Another cool idea would be to make a bass only emulator, in the shape of an electric bass stick

I think you aren't quite getting the Hayden/Wicki system yet...your colors don't match the way the system is laid out. And a 2-row high, wide field of buttons is not very good for playing Hayden. Your point earlier that vertical expansion is more useful than horizontal is correct in many ways. A wider field would be good for playing with two hands, or when the vertical expansion gets larger, the horizontal jump in position might get more useful for certain large jumps. Anyway, there's no substitute for playing the thing to get a feel for what size layouts might work.

 

This might be easier to read and understand than the large colored field I posted above. I made a graphic mapping the Hayden layout onto a chromatic button accordion 77-key 5-row keyboard. Six rows would be better (I'd extend the range downwards), but the width gives lots of transposing ability, or maybe could be used as a basis for a small single keyboard meant to be played with both hands. Personally, for a wider keyboard especially I think some sort of marking is useful, just to help orient yourself to the keyboard, even if it's not looked at when you're playing. Using a contrasting color for accidentals like the chromatic button accordion does (which is also isomorphic and not based on any key) gives a good way to see where you are at a glance.

 

Wicki70.gif

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Another cool idea would be to make a bass only emulator, in the shape of an electric bass stick

I think you aren't quite getting the Hayden/Wicki system yet...your colors don't match the way the system is laid out. And a 2-row high, wide field of buttons is not very good for playing Hayden. Your point earlier that vertical expansion is more useful than horizontal is correct in many ways. A wider field would be good for playing with two hands, or when the vertical expansion gets larger, the horizontal jump in position might get more useful for certain large jumps. Anyway, there's no substitute for playing the thing to get a feel for what size layouts might work.

 

This might be easier to read and understand than the large colored field I posted above. I made a graphic mapping the Hayden layout onto a chromatic button accordion 77-key 5-row keyboard. Six rows would be better (I'd extend the range downwards), but the width gives lots of transposing ability, or maybe could be used as a basis for a small single keyboard meant to be played with both hands. Personally, for a wider keyboard especially I think some sort of marking is useful, just to help orient yourself to the keyboard, even if it's not looked at when you're playing. Using a contrasting color for accidentals like the chromatic button accordion does (which is also isomorphic and not based on any key) gives a good way to see where you are at a glance.

 

Wicki70.gif

 

 

Thanks for posting bigger buttons. Now I see. So there are two duplicated tones in every octave. My mistake was the assumption that every "white" column must be accompanied by two "black" ones.

Please, when (and if) you look at my Bass idea, disregard the precision of colored buttons, it is of no importance, as the idea is just that, idea, not exact layout.

My Hayden Melodica must be played with both hands. Each hand has access to one octave. Hands can be strapped or have thumb loops underneath. For this reason, a Stick Bass or Melodica, intended to be played with both hands must either have reversed keyboards for each hand, or simply have a player using one hand in reversed manner, which isn't a big deal.

Hayden Melodica should have two rows and be played with both hands,otherwise making it will be impractical. Piano keyboard fits better with layout of reed plates under.

MelodicaLayout.jpg

But even this will miss the second C. Still not bad for most of music Melodicas are commonly used, and can be played in many keys. But frankly, Piano keyboard is still better here. :P

Again and again it appears that splitting the Hayden between two hands, each has 2-3 octaves, is the only practical way of dealing with it, be there duplication or not.

As for centering the Hayden keyboard in C major scale, it's unavoidable, as European music is centered around "Middle C".

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So that you can play in several octaves with each hand without lateral movement. You *could* have a Hayden system with only two rows of keys but then you'd *have* to continuously play laterally (like a piano forces one to).

-- Rich --

One thing to bear in mind is that, in playing an ascending scale of more than one octave on a Hayden keyboard, one *must* play up vertically (away from self), and does *not* have the option of going to the next octave horizontally (on a wide keyboard).

 

That is, if I play CDE, then up a row FGAB, to get the next C I must go up another row, or else make an awkward roghtward jump over several "black" keys to get to the next octave's C.

 

This is probably a very minor limitation of the extended Hadyen keyboard, since, if you find a hand getting too far up or down on the keys, at the next break (rest) in its music you can re-position the hand sideways to get a more central vertical position.

 

Anyway, I am very excited by this discussion, having daydreamed myself about large, wide, organ-style Hayden keyboards. Unforch I was in Mexico and could not read nor resepond till a couple days ago.

--Mike K.

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Thanks for the Post. I was very intrigued by the video. When I first saw the Axe 64 keyboard, 2 years ago, I didn't know what to make of it because it didn't have a demo or a explanation. of the mapping.

It's a more condensed layout than mine, and I'm really jealous of his ability to play it.

 

On my new keyboard. I've had 2 months of practice, 2-3 hours per week, and thus far can do a passable run through on just a couple of simple pieces on one hand (when I can do better, these will be my "show pieces" for YouTube). I can also play through the songs in our choir repertoire. If absolutely nothing else, being able to play my choir's scores in the correct key has made it worth it.

Casting back in your memory, is this about the normal rate of progress with the Wicki-Hayden?

 

Another question: I've just realized that I could totally eliminate the sawing step in converting an M-Audio 88es keyboard controller to "ZipEx" (extended Wicki-Hayden or Janko) design by having replacement keys made up. In other words, I could create a simple kit to do the conversion (better yet sub-contract it to some friends in India), and the conversion would then take a single weekend. Do you think there's enough interest?

 

Ken.

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Thanks for the Post. I was very intrigued by the video. When I first saw the Axe 64 keyboard, 2 years ago, I didn't know what to make of it because it didn't have a demo or a explanation. of the mapping.

It's a more condensed layout than mine, and I'm really jealous of his ability to play it.

 

You're welcome.

Come to think of it, I just realized that the best, most practical all-key keyboard would be Piano type mounted on sliding bass. So in it's home position it is in C, shift/click it away from you - sharp keys, shift/click it towards you - flat keys. Even better, it can be shifted during play, thus enabling beginner to play in any key on a fly. You can take lessons, read ready scores, excercises. Another possibility for those who likes exotic is to have semi-oval line of buttons (piano type), and these can be shifted left/right along the base. Or simply forget about the trouble and learn Pan Flute. Ingenious instrument!

It's adaptation to MIDI can be this:

Line of buttons in any diatonic scale (on shiftable base), each of the buttons is nested in ring, slightly larger in diameter. If you want natural, just depress the button, but if you need accidental - depress the button down and forward. Button will touch the wall of a ring and trigger change of pitch.

Better yet, keyboard should be positioned and connected to a pipe with smoke machine. When you play natural tones, the smoke is white, accidentals will color it. Beautiful!

And take a look at this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2EhMtD_09k...feature=related

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Interesting, thanks for the link! It doesn't have the diatonic scale "built in" like the Wicki layout. Here's the layout from the C-Thru Music website:

octave_map01.gif

I've been staring at this "C-Thru" keyboard, trying to figure out the patterns, at how common chords would be made. It seems each row is a chormatic scale, and that each button has 6 neighbors, versus 4 for the Hayden. Major, minor, and 7th chords' notes are clustered together, so comon chords could be played by a single fingertip pushing at the intersection of 3 keys.

 

I think I can figure out the interval relations: up is a 5th (like an E.C.), up-right is major 3rd, down right is minor 3rd, etc (working from memory, not flipping back to the expanded view as I type).

 

Compared tot he Hayden keyboard, this one could take a while to leaern the intervals (being 6 versus 4). I'd certianly advise anyone making one to clearly label each key with its note!

 

But I'd still like to try out a Hayden keyboard, maybe 6 to 8 rows deep and at least two octaves wide. There's a lot of room for individual variation in just how deep and wide to make one.

 

Has anyone thought of making one only 2 octaves wide, but 8 octaves (16 rows) deep, and standing it up like a tombstone, so your hands reach high and low, rather than left and right?

 

Let's keep the ideas flowing. Meanwhile, who knwos an electronics store with 100s of surplus pushbutton switches? I'd been thinking of building a MIDI Hayden cocnertina emulator, but a "prone" organ keyboard would be something really new and different.

--Mike K.

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Another idea I was introduced yesturday is a stick, or some sort of narrow long pad with sensors.

C D E G A B ----------->

|-------------------------------------|

|-------------------------------------|

So you touch the pad and it sounds. You can slide your finger and it wails.

So you may have up to two spots for sounds and can either play with both hands single melody,

or I thought to have two sticks for right and left, possibly overlapping

 

left hand =====================================

right hand =====================================

 

or for playing chords you may have double pads for each hand:

Left hand =====================================

==============================================

 

=========================================== Right hand

===========================================

 

The both pads can be combined into one and doubled parts be actually incased in one tube or case.

So overall look can be very simple.

 

Major chord=================,

==========================,

Minor chord================= <-- just slide the finger somewhat to flatten the sound

==========================

 

Looks pretty izomorhic to me.

Left and right strips can be at an angle to each other or just plain flexible, so a player can place them in any shape or angle. I would imagine it will be broken in the middle and bent outward for better accomodation of the hands. Supreme! No buttons, no springs, no bulky keyboards. Convinient, straight forward, intuitive, compact! Same fingering for every key! Pressure sensitive.

As we say in Russia: "Vah-uh"!

Edited by m3838
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Look here:
Very interesting! This discussion has rekindled my desire for a prone Hayden though I'm thinking more along the lines of
.

 

-- Rich --

Thanks for the link, Rich. I just Googled "array mbira" and found the "key" layout for the instrument in the video. At least for their "Harmonic" (not "Melodic") version, it's the same layout as our old friends Herr Wicki and Brian Hayden gave us. And I think the Web site says "Patented." This layout does make the rounds of the world's patent offices ...

 

It would be tempting to buy one, since so many of us already know where the notes are located. And I do think "thumb pianos" are cool. But I think I'll save my money for a better Hayden Duet concertina.

 

Oh yes, the Web site is http://www.thearraymbira.com/

--Mike K.

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