Re: [Harp-L] History of harp tuning; Chrom Tuning

alternating white and black notes on piano wouldn't work....

Your hands would have no way of knowing where you were on the keyboard.

Current set up allows orientation....even w/eyes closed or Earl Garner playing.

-----Original Message-----
From: Brendan Power <bren@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: harp-l <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Fri, May 16, 2014 4:00 pm
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] History of harp tuning; Chrom Tuning

Apologies if my recent posts have come out with weird characters; Elizabeth
wised me up to it, and hopefully this will be more intelligible.

Daniel wrote "I will keep coming back to this point: Nobody would tune a
piano like a solo-tuned harmonica for good reason."

I don't quite understand what he means (since the harmonica has blow/draw
breaths and the piano doesn't), but it raises an interesting side issue that
has relevance for our discussion: the keyboard layout of the piano itself. 

Like the Richter and Solo harmonica tunings (and the Qwerty keyboard on our
computers), the current piano layout is just one arbitrary choice made in
historical time that became entrenched. It could be quite different and,
arguably, much better by simply alternating white and black notes. It comes
out perfectly:

w   b  w  b   w   b  w   b   w   b   w   b  |  w   b
C  C#  D  D#  E  F  F#  G  G#  A  A#  B  | C  C#  ... and so on.

That would be a better layout in that there would only be two patterns for
all 12 keys, major or minor, or any scale you can think of. So much easier
than mastering 12 patterns as on the current piano keyboard!

There are several other alternate piano keyboard layouts that also have much
to recommend them (eg. the von JankÃ, the Chromatone) but, like Solo and
Richter on harmonicas, the current piano layout is so entrenched that it
won't lose its hold in the foreseeable future regardless of how much more
logical a different system might be.

It's an old story...

Brendan Power


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