Acoustics of Keyboard Instruments

  • John M. Eargle


For reasons having to do mainly with playing skills and techniques, keyboard instruments are generally discussed as a group. A celesta could just as easily be classed as a percussion instrument inasmuch as the keyboard actuates hammers that strike metal bars. The piano, harpsichord, and clavichord could be considered string instruments inasmuch as their strings vibrate and transfer power to a sounding board, as discussed in section 4.2. And of course the pipe organ could be considered a very large and complicated aerophone. Electronic keyboard instruments are in a class of their own and have been referred to by Sachs as electrophones. Since all traditional keyboard instruments have at least one sound source for each key, it is possible to play any number of notes at one time.


Octave Band Symphony Orchestra Organ Building String Instrument Pipe Organ 
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References Cited

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Recommended Reading

  1. Andersen, P. 1969. Organ Building and Design. New York: Oxford.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Eargle

There are no affiliations available

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