Keyboard Instruments

What are Keyboard Instruments?

Keyboard Instruments refer to those instruments which produce music by playing on their musical (piano style) keyboard. Keyboard instruments is quite popular today, especially the Piano. However, keyboard instruments came into existence much later than other families of musical instruments such as percussion instruments, wood wind instruments, string instruments, etc. It is believed that Keyboard Instruments first appeared about 2,200 years ago.

Construction of Keyboard Instruments

Keyboard instruments usually have a set of black and white keys which when pressed, produce music. As the player presses a key and the key goes down, the other end of the key (which is hidden & not visible) which is attached to the sound producing mechanism, goes up (rises up). Earlier, the visible end of the keys (which the player presses) were covered with ivory.

However, today the use of ivory is very rare. It is replaced by a plastic imitation. The construction of keyboard instruments can be very simple as in the case of the Clavichord or very complex as in the case of grand organs and electronic instruments.

Different Types of Keyboard Instruments

Keyboard instruments are extremely versatile musical instruments which are played solo as well as part of an ensemble. They may be classified under 4 categories, namely – Chordophones, Aerophones, Idiophones & Electrophones.

Some of the earliest forms of keyboard instruments included the

  • Virginals
  • Spinet
  • Harpsichord
  • Clavichord

List of some Keyboard Instruments –

  1.  Harmonium
  2. Accordion
  3. Piano
  4. Organ
  5. Harpsichord
  6. Synthesizer
  7. Clavichord
  8. Concertina
  9. Spinet

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