Amazing piano 4-row Janko keyboard

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A440
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Amazing piano 4-row Janko keyboard

Post by A440 » 03 Oct 2012, 22:52

This is worth a look. He gets talking after about 4 mins and it gets more and more interesting...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=en ... K4REjqGc9w
I'm going to look at one tomorrow that is in a state of mid-restoration (and has been for some time!)
Wish me luck!

D.J.Smith
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Re: Amazing piano 4-row Janko keyboard

Post by D.J.Smith » 06 Oct 2012, 11:16

Interesting!

Please post pictures of the action, if poss.

Thanks

Jonathan the 2nd
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Re: Amazing piano 4-row Janko keyboard

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 19 May 2013, 15:39

The nice logical thing is the way each horizontal row is all whole tones. All the next row up are the semitones between those first row notes.The the major point is that every scale is played using one set of finger actions . The mechanics behind the notes is not altered . I thought at first the octave would be shorter but that is not true. Any key can have it`s weight adjusted to balance as per normal. If I had a smaller keyboard fitted I would ask for this arrangement too . I still need to work out why you can have so many versions with 2 ,3 , 4--even 6 rows. Notice the way the keys all sit at one level .Some were made tilted up like a typewriter but ,again all keys on one angled level .They dispense with raised black keys. Can they do that and still live ?? Won`t the oxygen run out ?? A logical system that must give way to an illogical but familiar layout and generally a "normal" keyboard that is too big and causes many injuries. That`s how it is and that`s how it will stay , like it or lump it .

Jonathan the 2nd
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Re: Amazing piano 4-row Janko keyboard

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 19 May 2013, 16:26

There is a diagram of a 6 row Janko keyboard on Wikipedia.Can anybody tell me the possible fingering for a C major scale.Do you need to start with your thumb ? Defenders of the traditional keyboard may come out on top here.
Starting on row one looks a bit awkward at first but starting on row 3 going down to 2 and then 1 is simple. Good game.

Jonathan the 2nd
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Re: Amazing piano 4-row Janko keyboard

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 21 May 2013, 12:16

There is a very good discussion about the Janko keyboard principle with a 70 year old learner on one piano site. Unusually the normal impatience is replaced by some detailed and polite analysis of the pros and cons. It reveals the drawbacks of smaller key areas as if using a typewriter and the benefits of black keys being raised. Martha Argeritch ,I think , mentioned using them as physical positioners while reading the music .Mainly it shows how the Janko layout seems to make life more difficult for thumbs ,even in C major. It`s all useful for revealing the benefits of the traditional keyboard which has been nicknamed the Zebra board .

A440
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Re: Amazing piano 4-row Janko keyboard

Post by A440 » 21 May 2013, 23:40

There is a digital janko available
http://technabob.com/blog/2007/08/09/ch ... f-88-keys/
Has anyone here tried it?

Jonathan the 2nd
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Re: Amazing piano 4-row Janko keyboard

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 23 May 2013, 21:19

That video with all white keys makes it harder to accept. The best way is to have all the C major keys white and all the rest black. The keys running away from the player are joined together.The ones next to them are slightly overlapping (interlocking ).The key width is fairly generous . The writing on the video shows how little info the writer has. Each row is composed of whole tone spaced notes. The rows above and below have all the semitones relatively to those. In a normal keyboard the tones and semitones are mixed together although they are all white . It`s quite easy really if blacks are marked . With an electric keyboard the physical spacing makes the octave reach far shorter ( like one whole key closer ). Any good player could learn the difference in a short while. It`s similar to an accordian .I`m still not sure about the thumb action because the normal movement under the palm has to cope with a note above the hand in some cases.The extra rows allow you to sort that out--hopefully. Definitely different fingering. Interesting and not such a stretch . If Nord Piano make one I will be quite keen . C major has to start with a 2 .

Jonathan the 2nd
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Re: Amazing piano 4-row Janko keyboard

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 25 May 2013, 01:50

Try the Daskin Uniform Keyboard site for some good advice. The fingering method is explained well . Hey even Bach used to play some notes with his feet. Give it a chance .

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Re: Amazing piano 4-row Janko keyboard

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 26 May 2013, 00:52

For newcomers to a Janko you need to play C major in a kind of spidery sideways action with thumb on a lower row and fingers on the next two rows up . Don`t try to play it in one straight line .

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Re: Amazing piano 4-row Janko keyboard

Post by dboyce » 15 Sep 2013, 02:08

I have this Youtube video on a page of my website, along with some other unusual pianos; "pianoddities". I have also put an extract of the same piece - Kitten on the Keys by Zez Confrey - being played on a normal piano by Alan Feinberg, who seems to manage just fine with normal keys, going at about twice the speed of the Youtube rendition!

Jonathan the 2nd
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Re: Amazing piano 4-row Janko keyboard

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 26 Apr 2016, 08:07

I have just noticed a mistake I made a few posts back ( 2 years ago by now ). I wrote that the octave was not shorter on a janko piano . That was wrong . Comparing the traditional piano to a janko you see on a traditional keyboard the Five black notes set back .
But on the janko there are Six notes set back into the second row .(See janko Images for a quick check .)
That leaves every note on the keyboard with it`s octave one note physically closer. That is a Massive Bonus if you have small hands .
Surprisingly the janko descriptions do not highlight this important fact.
One oddity in the instructions tells us that only the thumbs should play the lower two rows of notes. But on one video showing a pair of janko players they are using all their fingers on those two lower rows. So it seems that a 2 row janko might be possible . Surely that would give the janko principle a fighting chance of surviving against all odds.
It might be a get out of jail free card for all the players with small hands .
The point about each scale using the same fingering pattern is interesting but not as crucial as a way to save pain and discomfort for so many players .Ladies would appreciate the benefits as well as children .(And me ).

Jonathan the 2nd
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Re: Amazing piano 4-row Janko keyboard

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 26 Apr 2016, 09:15

Calculating what difference a 2 row janko would make on an octave stretch means dividing the octave on a standard piano which is 16.4cms by six instead of seven.
So it is not a full key width difference .
The standard keyboard divides the 7 white keys into 16.4 which makes each key 2.342cms wide.
With a janko division of six lower notes and six upper notes the key width becomes 2.733cms .
The practical business of reaching the octave note is straddling the notes in between. With a division by 6 instead of 7 the notes will become wider but adding up the difference only seems to make the janko reach 0.387 cms shorter.
There are some Yamaha digitals that have a slightly shorter octave already of 15.9cms.That is 0.5cms less than standard.
All that work for just short of one centimetre difference .ie 0.5+0.387= 0.887cms

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