Key Scale, and why the ladies might not be happy .

Ask questions on piano history and the age of your piano.

Moderators: Feg, Gill the Piano, Bill Kibby

Post Reply
Jonathan the 2nd
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 242
Joined: 09 Dec 2011, 16:37

Key Scale, and why the ladies might not be happy .

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 19 Jun 2016, 00:26

Rachmaninov might have been a great goalkeeper if he had not wasted his youth practising the piano .So we can blame him for making all the piano keys too big to reach an octave for the likes of yours truly . That sums up what I wanted to say in a kind of Tony Hancock version of History .
I find it remarkable that the choice of key sizes is so limited. The PASK Piano site (Pianos with Alternative Sized Keys) complains about almost half the world`s population being sidelined because their hands are too small to play a normal piano . Almost half the world`s population includes a majority of women with smaller hands than your average western male . What seems to be the obstacle ? . How about smaller plastic keyboards? It`s almost impossible to find a plastic one the right size . It`s a lockout . Half the world`s population are locked out of piano playing .Born on a planet where you are not welcome . No sympathy is extended to them. Small hands? Tough . Get over it .
Look up Pask Pianos and see what I mean . There are some graphs to illustrate the problem .

User avatar
Bill Kibby
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5365
Joined: 04 Jun 2003, 19:25
Location: East Anglia UK
Contact:

Re: History of Key Width and why the ladies might not be hap

Post by Bill Kibby » 19 Jun 2016, 09:59

The proper term is key SCALE. Even if I believed the statistics, it's a feeble excuse for not bothering to play. If you can't reach an octave span, so what? Play things in a different way, learn to be creative, instead of just doing what you are told by a piece of paper.
Piano History Centre
http://pianohistory.info
Email bill@pianohistory.info
If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, alter these to pianohistory.info

Gill the Piano
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4181
Joined: 25 Oct 2003, 19:39
Location: Thames Valley

Re: History of Key Width and why the ladies might not be hap

Post by Gill the Piano » 19 Jun 2016, 17:58

No one worries about breaking a chord or using the other hand to play a note from a chord that's too large unless you're doing piano competitions. In which case you probably started at the age of 4 and your hand span stretched accordingly! Changing key width is weird and confusing...and PASK's proposal of producing three models of keyboard for every piano is impractical for real pianos and would make them prohibitively expensive to produce. Plastic pianos could be done, i suppose.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

Jonathan the 2nd
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 242
Joined: 09 Dec 2011, 16:37

Re: History of Key Width and why the ladies might not be hap

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 19 Jun 2016, 23:03

When I looked at the pictures of naked pianos with the full length of the keys in view on both upright and grands the main obstacle would be the physical spacing of the strings and their permanent attachment to the metal frame. Making a key with a bend sideways for the ones furthest from the centre , would create a very rocky unstable key to work with . But I would like to have a choice nonetheless .
I think the rapid progress being made by digitals seems to be the best alternative .

User avatar
Bill Kibby
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5365
Joined: 04 Jun 2003, 19:25
Location: East Anglia UK
Contact:

Re: History of Key Width and why the ladies might not be hap

Post by Bill Kibby » 20 Jun 2016, 12:40

It is a generalisation bordering on sexism to suggest that ladies cannot span an octave.

I have a great deal to do with piano history, (which incidentally is supposed to be the subject of this forum) and it has often been said that the keyboard evolved long ago to become suitable for most people. Some things in the world are not going to change, you only have to look at the antiquated and limiting system used for music notation, or the fact that a line of a song does not line up with a line of notation. Certainly there are Yamaha keyboards with a smaller key scale, but these are too small for most adults to play at their best. Again, I have to ask what is so important about stretching an octave?
Piano History Centre
http://pianohistory.info
Email bill@pianohistory.info
If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, alter these to pianohistory.info

Post Reply