Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Tri-Chromatic Keyboard

Roy Pertchik's revolutionary Tri-Chromatic Keyboard rethinks the way that the notes of a keyboard are layed out: 

I wonder how this type of keyboard layout would work on a piano?

More information and reviews of the keyboard layout and prototype vibraphone
Try a whole-tone keyboard (without color-coding)

(Thanks, Jamie!)


  1. Ahh, an idea for my future doctoral thesis: The metaphysical ramifications of Chopin's Op. 25 Etudes on the tri-chromatic keyboard.

    Oh, did I forget to trip my Baloney switch?

  2. The octave etude would be a nightmare (in an octave, one note would be a "white" key and the other would be a "black" key near the fallboard.)

    For mallet instruments, though, it makes a wonderful kind of sense, and I can see it being useful in certain types of music for piano as well.

    1. No, octaves are on the same row.

    2. No, octaves are on the same "row"

  3. Since the three-color keyboard layout is based on symmetrical divisions of the octave, I would imagine that diminished sevenths and octatonic scales would be considerably easier :|

  4. When I was a student many years ago, I knew a fellow who rebuilt his stomach Steinway so that there was a black note between EACH white note. He said it was much easier to play although I still couldn't identify any of the tunes because of the number of wrong notes he played :D

  5. Hmm, if the three-black key groups had a different colour from the two-black key groups, then maybe it might be a little easier?

    I guess it's as odd a blue milk in the Star Wars universe. I still like my milk white and my piano keys black and white.

  6. Anonymous1:04 AM

    Alas, it would not work for pianists. Any major scale starting on the lower level keys would mean the first three notes are on the lower level, followed by four on the upper level, which would be a nightmare for fingering.

    Good idea for vibes though.

  7. Anonymous2:29 PM

    If the mallet percussionist finds this layout more useful, then that's fantastic. I think it takes away from the different characters of specific keys. Like when you hear something in Gb, it has a different color than G. When you hear Gb, it sounds like a lot of "black keys" but if you take away the set-up of the piano, every key will look and feel the same, rather than have its own character of being "all white," "all black," or whatever.