@th that last one with the piano keys gets better and better the longer i stare at it

@brennen @th the Italian steno keyboard system uses a piano like keyboard!


I believe there are ways to use MIDI keyboards for training.

@th Hmm, it would actually be nice to somehow have a computer keyboard and a piano keyboard in one. That would make it easier to arrange my desk.

@samgai i want this for years now: just a blank, regular matrix of keys (i don't know how many but 16×8 would probably be alright) that also functions as an isomorphic music keyboard (that is, it's not stupidly irregular like commonplace piano keyboards).

i'd like to imagine an alternative universe where PCs came with approachable music making tools, like they came with a mouse and paint programs. making music would probably be much less marginal than it is now…


@samgai not in real life, but it seems cool and similar to what i have in mind


@th To me, these look more like (artsy) „key arrangements“…

@th @brainwane That first one looks like something the QMK folks would’ve built in the 19th century.

@th Took me a moment to stop laughing and realize that key didn't say "Grosse Buche", which means "huge log" in French. I couldn't stop laughing at the notion that long before email and google docs there was once a one-keystroke way to say "I want to drop a huge log on this document."

@th I only own one of these four but desperately need the other 3. I’ve had ebay alerts for an affordable Hammond for 5+ years.

@th In case you want another peculiar keyboard layout, this is the one used by Emily Dickinson. Taken at the Emily Dickinson house/museum in Amherst, MA.

@th I don’t think they’re sounds in the third one? There are just two characters per key. What I find weird tho is that I don’t know for which language it’s made. «GROSSE BUCHST.» seems to be German, but then there’s no umlaut; it looks a lot more like the letters to write Portuguese.

(also first one is weird but not less logical than qwerty)

@melunaka you're right -- I had misinterpreted the shape as a stenography keyboard and assumed they were sounds. According to the sign it is the Hammond #2 typewriter from 1893.

@th the fourth is blessed. a gentle strike of the key produces a lowercase letter ;)

@th That first one is so nearly ETAOIN SHRDLU but not quite.

@th Oh dear! I was just thinking the musical-keyboard one at least would be familiar to musicians -- and then I realized.

@th and what, pray tell, is cursed about stenography

(the first two, 100% agree. The musical one I want to try for myself before I decide it's cursed.)

@WizardOfDocs @th

Are these pictures taken at the Musée des Arts et Metiers?

That musical keyboard really blew my mind. As the need for a keyboard became clear, the inventors first tried a format they knew.

Now, of course, people play their computer keyboards into ableton as virtual MIDI controllers...

@th And I thought they were crazy when they put the ? Next to the M instead of the shift key.

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