Art Show – Understanding the Keyboard and Sthayis

In this episode of Art Show, Dr. Uday Kiran speaks about the Keyboard. This show can be helpful to any one who wishes to learn the instrument.

In countries other than India, the Piano remains one of the most popular musical instruments. “To an extent, the Piano inspired the invention of the Keyboard.” As the Piano was too big to carry around, researchers came up with the Keyboard.

On the Keyboard, there are many white and black keys called ‘Manae’ (in Kannada). Keyboards are distinguished by the number of keys they have. The Keyboard with the fewest keys has 24 of them, while others feature a varying number of keys – 25, 32, 37, 49, 61, 72, and 88. The white keys are placed on one level while the black keys are placed a bit higher. Usually, the black keys are placed in groups of twos and threes.

A musical Keyboard features a set of adjacent depressible levers or keys. The Keyboards typically contain keys for playing the twelve notes of the Western musical scale, with a combination of larger, longer keys and smaller, shorter keys that repeat at the interval of an octave.

The number of keys divided by 12 reveals the number of Sthayis. In a larger Keyboard, with 88 keys, around 7 and a half Sthayis can be played. Each Sthayi will have a different name – Mandra, Madya and Thara Sthayi will have to be placed together. Anu Mandra is a lesser Sthayi than Mandra, and the Athi Thara is higher than Thara.

Each instrument will be designed with a certain number of Sthayis in mind. We will touch upon these in the following episodes of the Art Show.

Listen in for more…

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