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[[File:Keyboard Layout.png|thumb]]
 
 
The conventional music keyboard is still the primary method of playing and controlling most synths, although many other devices for controlling the playing of notes has been devised over the years. The conventional keyboard uses a layout of seven "natural" or white keys, and five "accidental" or black keys, per octave. The white keys are flat on top, butted up against each other (no or minimal gaps between keys), and extend out towards the player farther than the black keys. The black keys sit above the white keys; they are narrow enough that the "legs" of the white keys can extend back towards the key hinge and operating mechanism in between the black keys. The black keys usually have their front faces (the edge facing the player) cut at an angle; the tops may be flat or contoured from front to rear. All key edges are blunted and rounded off.
 
The conventional music keyboard is still the primary method of playing and controlling most synths, although many other devices for controlling the playing of notes has been devised over the years. The conventional keyboard uses a layout of seven "natural" or white keys, and five "accidental" or black keys, per octave. The white keys are flat on top, butted up against each other (no or minimal gaps between keys), and extend out towards the player farther than the black keys. The black keys sit above the white keys; they are narrow enough that the "legs" of the white keys can extend back towards the key hinge and operating mechanism in between the black keys. The black keys usually have their front faces (the edge facing the player) cut at an angle; the tops may be flat or contoured from front to rear. All key edges are blunted and rounded off.
   
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Synth keyboards vary in terms of their span (number of keys). Keyboards that are built into synths are commonly 37 keys (three octaves) or 49 keys (four octaves) with C keys on both ends, although many [[Moog Music|Moog]] synths have keyboards with F as the lowest note. However, [[controller]] keyboards are available ranging from 2 to 8 octaves in span.
 
Synth keyboards vary in terms of their span (number of keys). Keyboards that are built into synths are commonly 37 keys (three octaves) or 49 keys (four octaves) with C keys on both ends, although many [[Moog Music|Moog]] synths have keyboards with F as the lowest note. However, [[controller]] keyboards are available ranging from 2 to 8 octaves in span.
   
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Most keyboards use standard-sized keys, based on the dimensions of the modern piano keyboard. "[[Mini keys|Mini]]" keyboards have keys about 2/3 the size, in all dimensions, of a standard keyboard. They save space and make it easier for the performer to play large intervals with one hand, but can be awkward for players with larger hands and fingers. They also tend to have short key throws, which creates a different "feel" to the keyboard.
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Most keyboards use standard-sized keys, based on the dimensions of the modern piano keyboard. "Mini" keyboards have keys about 2/3 the size, in all dimensions, of a standard keyboard. They save space and make it easier for the performer to play large intervals with one hand, but can be awkward for players with larger hands and fingers. They also tend to have short key throws, which creates a different "feel" to the keyboard.
   
 
Traditional synth keyboards tend to have very light action. The keys themselves are typically lightweight plastic, with little inertia. This is usually acceptable to performers trained on organ (or synth), but piano players sometimes struggle with it. [[Piano weighting|Piano action]] keyboards have key mechanisms that mimic the inertia and damper feel of a traditional piano keyboard. Performers trained on piano often prefer this, but such mechanisms tend to be more expensive.
 
Traditional synth keyboards tend to have very light action. The keys themselves are typically lightweight plastic, with little inertia. This is usually acceptable to performers trained on organ (or synth), but piano players sometimes struggle with it. [[Piano weighting|Piano action]] keyboards have key mechanisms that mimic the inertia and damper feel of a traditional piano keyboard. Performers trained on piano often prefer this, but such mechanisms tend to be more expensive.

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