• Ruckers virginal: 4. Detail of keyboard
    Ruckers virginal: 4. Detail of keyboard
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n keyboard holder consisting of an arrangement of hooks on which keys or locks can be hung
    • n keyboard device consisting of a set of keys on a piano or organ or typewriter or typesetting machine or computer or the like
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Dulcken harpsichord: 9. Detail of keyboards Dulcken harpsichord: 9. Detail of keyboards
13. Detail of keyboard 13. Detail of keyboard
DeQuoco harpsichord: 18. Detail of keyboard DeQuoco harpsichord: 18. Detail of keyboard
25. Shudi harpsichord: View of keyboards 25. Shudi harpsichord: View of keyboards

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The pound key (#) on the keyboard is called an octothorpe
    • n Keyboard The whole arrangement, or one range, of the keys3} of an organ, piano, typewriter, etc.; that part of a device containing the keys3} used to operate it.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: TYPEWRITER, is one of the longest words that can be made using the letters only one row of the keyboard
    • n keyboard In the organ, pianoforte, and similar instruments, as the harpsichord, clavichord, etc., the series or horizontal row of finger-levers or digitals (usually called keys), by depressing which the performer causes the pipes, strings, or reeds to produce tonos. The visible portions of part of the keys are white, while the others are black. The black keys are the shorter, and are raised above the level of the white keys; they are always separated from one another by one or two white keys, so as to form groups alternately of two and three. The depression of which the keys are capable is technically called the “dip.” The keyboard contains altogether from fifty to ninety keys, the ratio of white to black being 7.5. The right-hand end of the keyboard is called the upper, because the keys there produce high tones, and the left-hand end is correspondingly called the lower. The white key next below (to the left of) the upper key of every group of three black keys is called A; the next white key to the right of this is called B; the next is called C; and so on, up to G, next to which another A is found. In Germany, by a curious difference of nomenclature, B is always called H, and B♭ is called B. (See B quadratum and B rotundum, under B.) In tuning, the tones produced by the various keys called by the same letter-name are made exact octaves of each other. The black keys are named by reference to the white keys on either side of them: thus, the black key between A and B is either A♮ or B♭, that between C and D is either C♮ or D♭, etc. When a white key is to be specially distinguished from a black one, it is called a natural: hence a scale or series of tones produced by using only white keys is called the natural scale, and its key (tonality) is called the natural key. (See key.) In general, a key next on the right to any given key is the sharp of the latter, and the second key to the right is its double sharp; while a key next on the left to any given key is the flat of the latter, and the second key to the left is its double flat. Thus, every key on the keyboard, except the black key called either G♯ or A♭, has three names : as A = Gx = B♭♭, B = Ax = C♭, C = B♯ = D♭♭ etc.; A♯ = B♭ = C♭♭, C♯ = D♭ = Bx, etc. (See flat and sharp.) The several keys and octaves are usually calculated from middle C —the C nearest the center of the keyboard, and historically the middle tone of the medieval hexachord system (see hexachord) —the vibration-number of whose tone is theoretically from 250 to 265. (See C.) The keyboard of the organ usually extends four to five octaves, from the second C below middle C to the third A or C above middle C; that of the pianoforte usually extends six to seven or seven and a third octaves, from the third A below middle C to the fourth A or C above middle C. The organ usually has keyboards both for the hands and for the feet, the former being distinguished as manual keyboards or manuals, the latter as pedal keyboards or pedals; and there are usually two or more manual keyboards, each with its own sets of pipes or stops, and capable of being used either independently or in conjunction with the others. The principal keyboard is that of the great organ; that above it is that of the swell organ; that below it (when there are three), that of the choir organ. (See organ.) In the old harpsichords and similar instruments two keyboards were sometimes provided, the one producing tones of different quality or force from the other. The keyboard has been developed gradually. Its first appearance was about the end of the eleventh century, when large levers that could be manipulated only by the whole hand or a blow of the fist, having a dip of several inches or even a foot, were introduced into the organ, and later into the clavichord and similar instruments. Only the levers corresponding to the modern white keys (diatonics) were used at first; those corresponding to the modern black keys (chromatics) were introduced in the twelfth to the fourteenth century, probably in this order: B♭, F♯, C♯, E♭, G♯ The chromatics were first placed in a distinct row from the diatonics; but iu the fifteenth century all were combined into a single keyboard. The pedal keyboard was invented for the organ about the same time. Until the close of the eighteenth century the keys were colored white and black in exactly reverse order from the modern custom. (For a description of the mechanical details of the keyboard, see organ and pianoforte.) The gradual development of the keyboard kept pace with the gradual unfolding of the theory of the musical scale and of tonality. (See temperament.) To avoid the inaccuracy of many of the intervals in equal temperament, keyboards with more than twelve digitals and tones to the octave have been devised, but their use has been principally confined to acoustical investigations. The mechanical manipulation of the keyboard in musical performance involves a thorough muscular discipline of the hands. See touch, fingering, technique.
    • n keyboard Pedal keyboards in the organ are called radiating when the keys are made to converge somewhat below the player's seat, like the ribs of a fan, and concave when the general level of the inner keys is lower than that of the outer ones. In the best organs the pedal keyboard is both concave and radiating.
    • n keyboard The set of keys for operating the letters of a type-writing or type-settingmachine.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: in microsoft 1998 edition if your keyboard isnt responding it displays "keyboard not responding press enter to continue"
    • ns Keyboard the keys or levers in a piano or organ arranged along a flat board
    • ***


  • Ludwig Wittgenstein
    “Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. cæg, a key.


In literature:

It is one octave from the bottom note of a modern organ keyboard, which is called CC.
"The Recent Revolution in Organ Building" by George Laing Miller
Boyle looked over his keyboard.
"Mary Louise and the Liberty Girls" by Edith Van Dyne (AKA L. Frank Baum)
Jaime sat near, before the keyboard, trying to accompany the pieces she was interpreting, ever those of the same author, the god, the only!
"The Dead Command" by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
Bach's mastery of the keyboard attracted universal attention, and prevented his ever being unemployed.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1" by Various
And sometimes in the lonely days, she marked her only table with a bit of charcoal to the likeness of a keyboard.
"Winning the Wilderness" by Margaret Hill McCarter
At first this peculiarity was attributed to some form of trickery, a secret spring or a hidden keyboard.
"A Royal Prisoner" by Pierre Souvestre
She will shape his little fingers to the keyboard.
"Great Pianists on Piano Playing" by James Francis Cooke
His glance lifted from the keyboard, looked out the observation port.
"Empire" by Clifford Donald Simak
One always fancies Shakespeare in his best verses, and Milton at the keyboard of his organ.
"The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. X (of X) - America - II, Index" by Various
He opened the keyboard and struck a chord.
"The Vagrant Duke" by George Gibbs

In poetry:

And in conclusion,
When there is no more audible dissent,
He plays his comprehensive keyboard song,
The loud proud paradigm,
The one work of art without content.
"The Piano Tuner’s Wife" by Karl Shapiro
Won't you play the organ, mistress?
Dressed in black,
You sit at an organ,
Let your fingers crawl across the keyboard,
Lithely, gently, coyly. Like the sound of snowfall.
Won't you play the organ, mistress?
"Black Pipe Organ" by Sakutaro Hagiwara

In news:

For this New Sounds, listen to some of the remarkable and unexpected collaboration between concert violinist and improviser Hilary Hahn & the German composer and keyboard player, Hauschka.
Chances are, if you've seen the Rolling Stones in concert, you've seen Chuck Leavell play the keyboards.
Supports Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts.
At it, you'll find a virtual keyboard button with the words "Make everything OK" written on it — a sort of command button, if you will.
RIM shows keyboard on new BlackBerry.
Bill Gates may not be hanging around Microsoft's research labs 24/7, but his vision for going beyond the mouse and keyboard seems to be doing pretty well without his day-to-day oversight.
A pair of misfit hipsters hit the road in Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, a likably goofy, lo-fi indie propelled by the syncopations of a cheesy keyboard - and the cheesy dreams of its hapless heroes.
A manual typewriter 's keyboard makes a perfectly good computer keyboard--with a little bit of hacking.
At Yamaha, in Japan, Hiroko Ohmura dreams up the electronic keyboards of the future.
People have forgotten where the actually keyboard came from.
The key differentiating features of TouchPal Keyboard include: Slide/swipe technology: By integrating CooTek's patented TouchPal Curve® technology, users can accurately type words without lifting a finger.
It's no fun trying to touch- type on the hard glass "virtual keyboard" of Apple Inc.'s iPad.
Touchfire screen-top keyboard for iPad by Touchfire Inc $49.95 at It's no fun trying to touch- type on the hard glass "virtual keyboard" of Apple Inc.'s iPad.
"In my experience it got it right many times and in many other cases where there were a couple of errors there were actually fewer errors than trying to type fast on these virtual keyboards," he said.
A keyboard's arrangement could have a small but significant impact on how we perceive the meaning of words we type .

In science:

Rewiring the keyboard: evolvability of the genetic code.
A colorful origin for the genetic code: Information theory, statistical mechanics and the emergence of molecular codes
Here is an illustration of the keyboard mechanism in an upright piano.
Analysis on the relations between piano touch and tone
The keyboard and the mouse are examples of such hardware interfaces that allow users to interact with the SFS system.
A Secure Web-Based File Exchange Server: Software Requirements Specification Document
Healthy people use keyboard, mouse, trackball, or touchpad for controlling the PC.
A Prototype System for Controlling a Computer by Head Movements and Voice Commands
Today, the keyboard, the mouse and the remote control are used as the main interfaces for transferring information and commands to computerized equipment.
A Prototype System for Controlling a Computer by Head Movements and Voice Commands