Welcome to the Balanced
The Balanced keyboard is the alternative musical
keyboard which re-arranges the irregular physical layout of the standard
keyboard into a completely regular and consistent, or 'Balanced', layout
(see the pictures on this page). The regular layout of the Balanced keyboard means
that, unlike the standard keyboard, the physical shapes of chords,
scales, intervals and so forth are consistent right across the keyboard, and in all musical keys.
The consistent layout of the
Balanced keyboard means that it is much easier to learn, figure out and
play musical structure than on the standard
keyboard. With a little practice on a Balanced keyboard, you should be
able to move competently through a basic reportoire of chords, scales and melodies in every key.
The Balanced keyboard is currently not a commercially-available product
you can buy in your local music store. However, you can build one over a
weekend by modifying a standard electronic keyboard, an operation which
requires only a basic level of DIY skill - see the Build One
This website provides a range of information and instruction to support
the building and learning of the Balanced keyboard.
I came up with the idea of the Balanced keyboard in 2003, as a spinoff
idea from other projects which I'd been working on. However, it turns out
that the idea has existed in various forms since around 1650 - see the
People and resources section of this website.
The Balanced keyboard layout also goes by various other names, the main one being
the "Six-Six" or "6-6" keyboard, because each octave has 6 keys
in the bottom row and 6 in the top row, compared to the standard keyboard's
"7-5" layout. The Balanced/Six-Six keyboard is an example of an "isomorphic"
keyboard, meaning that any musical structure has the same shape on the keyboard
wherever it occurs.
I hope you find the Balanced keyboard to be a useful alternative to the
standard keyboard - happy playing!
An E-mu Xboard 61 converted to a Balanced keyboard.