The Janko Keyboard

Janko Keyboard

What a great idea the Janko Keyboard is.  In 1882 Paul von Jankó designed this marvelous instrument. But sadly it never took off.   There are some brave ingenious people who are endeavoring in bringing this wonderful instrument back to life and to the forefront for others to play and be creative with.

I play a number of different instruments.  Guitar and piano being among them.  When it comes to the piano I recognize something strikingly different in approach than when playing a guitar.  On the piano I have to play scales and chords differently for each of the 12 major scales, but on the guitar the scale shapes and chord shapes remain the same all over the neck (for the most part, depending on your tuning).

The take away is that you get up to speed faster on guitar chops (in all 12 keys) than you can on the piano.  Thus, you can master (I use that term very loosely) the guitar faster than you could the piano.  One of the pluses for the piano is that you always know exactly where you are because of the black key – white key pattern.  If you want to move to a different mode in a different key it might be easier on a piano if you know all 12 scales than on a guitar where you could get disoriented quite a bit easier.

The Janko Keyboard offers you the best of both worlds!  You still get to keep the same 7 white keys and 5 black keys to keep your orientation.  BUT for each scale you play, the fingering will be exactly the same!  Why this has not caught on amongst those in the music world I truly do not know!

5 thoughts on “The Janko Keyboard”

  1. Yes that is indeed a great improvement on the original Janko keyboard. Thanks! I will need to make a whole separate post devoted to the Lippens Keyboard and the amazing advancements that Luc Lippens and company are making.

  2. It was always my ambition to create an easy to learn and play accordion style musical instrument, but it took me ages to get my act together. Finally, step by step I built the DIY components for it:
    1) I converted a 120-button accordion bass to Midi.
    2) From 3 PC plates I created a 6×6 JANKO keyboard
    3) I created a WYSIWYG notation for it (similar to Klavar notation).
    It can’t get any easier (!!) and to make it sound like a real accordion I got myself the latest XXL MASTER ACCORDION from V3 sound modules, pairing it with an equally excellent MidiToolEx software and voilà, now I’m enjoying the sound of 206 top accordions at a fraction of Roland Midi accordion’s costs.
    In case anyone of you would like to have some more details, please feel free to contact me.
    To accelerate the notation conversion I would need to find a programmer for it.

  3. Joh, that sounds amazing! Do you have a picture or video of it in action? Would love to see it!

    Totally agree, the Roland Midi Accordion’s are insanely expensive. Instead, I purchased a 3 row Bayan Accordion off of Etsy. Different than Janko layout, but is still quite nice.

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