While not directly related to reviewing pianos you may wish to purchase, I thought it be nice to review what piano keys are. Without further do less dive into the exciting world of piano keys.
88 Piano Keys:
For this guide will be looking at a piano which has 88 keys on it. We will also talk about which notes correspond to the white and black keys.
In the image above we also point out where one finds that classic C note. Kathy comes right before the set of two black keys. Every note that comes before set of two black keys, is a C-note. The distance between one C-note and another C-note is known as an octave.
Introduction to piano keys
Piano keys : middle C
A good place to start in looking at piano keys is to locate middle C. There are much more elaborate methods on 88 key piano, however the easiest we’ve found is this. Sit at your piano in the center. Look straight down and generally speaking you will be looking at middle C. It is the note that this piano key, middle C, is halfway between the left-hand base class and right-hand treble clef.
You’ve might’ve also noticed that the notes follow letters of the alphabet. It’s generally easiest to start finding middle C, then work your way up and down based on your note.
C-D-E-F-G-A-B. This ascension in notes is called naturals.
Piano keys : The Black keys
You may have noticed that these black keys are outside our lettering convention so far. They are also named after the first seven letters in the alphabet, with the exception that they can be sharp or flat.
It’s a sharp if you move up on the keyboard and, a flat if you move down on a keyboard.
This means that the black key to the right of C is called a C sharp, and the black key to the left of the key is a D Flat or E flat.
Looking closer at piano keys:
I have a confession, the above is just a simplified version to look at piano notes. When you study more piano you’ll see that piano notes and piano keys are not the same. The different keys on a piano can be representative of several different notes. Technically speaking piano keys don’t really have names just notes. Just check out the diagram below and you will see.
As you advance in your piano playing, learning these notes becomes very important.
These piano keys that have multiple notes assigned to them are referred to as “enharmonic equivalents”. So C sharp and D flat are the same or enharmonic equivalents. Expanding upon that the C-note could also be called a B sharp, since it is one and a half steps higher than a B.
Even more so, piano keys could be called a double sharp or double flat, even a triple sharp or triple flat.
Piano keys : The full 88 keyboard run
Looking at a piano with 88 keys, generally the lowest key (that very first piano key) will be an A. After this they will be 8 Cs. If all goes well then the very last key on the piano will be a C.