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DIY Midi Janko Accordion

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Thanks for sharing that video about rearranging the keys to a symmetrical layout on the midi keyboard !
 

jjj333

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Now I'm just practice my new Janko Kbd by ear, by trying to "locate" the notes I'm looking for.
All new Kbd layout require lots of time and patients, but I'm gradually getting better at finding the right single notes. After that I'll try to enrich the single notes. I did the same with learning to play the piano accordion Kbd. - Since there are no comprehensive tutors available, I think my method the next best way to learn my new Janko Kbd. :)
 

jjj333

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If useful for your 6+6 Janko accordion, I have a few more hyperlinks with documents about uniform 6+6 PA keyboard layouts.

Heinrich Josef Vincent (1875): Die Neuklaviatur (The "new" PA layout 6+6, you can find a lot about grip schemes and fingering here):

This person has uploaded some YT videos with a 6+6 uniform keyboard PA accordion:
Säkkijärven polka - Håkan Widar , Uniform Keyboard accordion

You probably already read this article about the history of the 6+6 PA layout:
http://www.le-nouveau-clavier.fr/english/

The earliest mentioning about a whole tone keyboard 6+6 layout was by Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz (1606-1682) around 1654 in Prague.

Patrizio Barbieri: “Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz: Uber die musikalischen Logarithmen” (point 3, pages 153-156 , a sketch of the history of many "inventors" of this 6+6 layout, Barbieri says there are way too many "inventors" to list up in his article, hundreds of persons have claimed to be the inventor in the 19th century of this 6+6 layout).

Barbieri, Patrizio. "Gli ingegnosi cembali e 'violicembali' inventati da Juan Caramuel Lobkowitz per Ferdinando III (c. 1650): notizie inedite dal manoscritto Musica", Comune di Vigevano, Vigevano, 1990, pp. 91-112.

Grip schemes for triads for whole tone keyboards:
http://www.thecipher.com/wholetone-keyboard_triads.html

Gardner Read is a must read for everyone interested in the history of music notation reforms.

About new music notation reforms, here is another recent notation system that tries to simplify music notation, called "Notus":
http://shop.notus.world/en
http://shop.notus.world/en/basics-examples

(I'm sticking to my personal favorite, the numbered music notation by Emile-Joseph-Maurice Chevé, a music key independent notation system, based on relations between notes. Because my CBA accordion also is a key independent equal intervals music instrument. It's a marriage made in heaven. )

If you are looking for reasons why Paul von Janko used a 6 rows keyboard, I'm sure you can find some answers in his 1886 (online !) 68 pages book in German:
Jankó, Paul von. 1886. Eine neue Claviatur. Theorie und Beispiele zur Einführung in die Praxis. Wien: Verlag von Em. Wetzler (Julius Engelmann) (Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung)

Janko has inserted fingerings and grip schemes in his 1886 booklet.
you can read or download it here:
Jeez, that's interesting... Where did you get that from? Thanks a lot! It sure helps to be German (as in my case!) Yet, even without any help I'm getting into it buy just practicing this Janko layout by ear without even looking at the keyboard until my fingers find their way. - Gradually, they'll get used to the location of they desired notes. I have good musical hearing and that helps me to stay musically in tune and so, progess.

I guess that Lippens Janko Kbd has keys, which make it easier locate the desired keys, because albeit my fingers are at the correct level, too often they are still unsure if the note is in the same row or in the above/under row. - Thus, I believe the Lippens Kbd helps to reduce this errors, because it key shapes extend to the above & under rows.
I noticed also that my Janko Kbd practice often enabled me to find the right key every time, yet for that to happen with absolute certainty requres far more practice. So I guess, all I can do is to keep practicing until that happens. From then on I'll be able to advance to more complex fingerings. My absolute faith in the Janko layout is the thing that keeps me going, for the traditional zebra piano layout is for more demanding.
Since I connected my accordion bass and Janko Kbd to my Yamaha Tyros3, I enjoy variety of sounds and auto-rythms, which somewhat reduces the boredom of practicing the new Janko Kbd; even challenging me to do my job...
 

jjj333

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There is one way to produce sheet music with alternative notations, and that is the use of ICT software. Conversion programs that will convert traditional staff notation into alternative notations.
Artificial intelligence is used in sheet music notation, so it can help with conversion or transcription.

http://musicnotation.org/software/

For 6+6 Janko system players, this music notation is a 6+6 system:

Some music notation programs have conversion tools. So you if you can import the sheet music, you can do automatic conversion.

An informatician or programmer could also develop agorithms to provide automatic (alternative) fingerings on the notated sheet generated by the computer system. But they would have to generate different alternatives for the fingerings, because people want different options and choose what's suits them best.

https://www.researchgate.net/public...tic_Generation_of_Polyphonic_Piano_Fingerings

The reality is complexer than a theoretical model, but AI can be created for piano or accordion fingering learning processes.

All we need is a 12 year Frisco or Beijing ICT whizzkid playing piano or accordion.
The video is in Chinese, but you can follow how imported staff notation sheet music is enriched with a numbered solo top melody line (the 7 numbers refer to the Jianpu or originally the Souhaitty-Rousseau-Chevé French numbered system):
Jianpu in Musescore 2 教程五 - 簡譜

At the end of this YT video you can see the numbers above the staff, those numbers is all I need to play it on my accordion. I just add the bass chord scale degrees in Roman numbers from I to VII

I both use traditional staff music notation and numbered music notation.
The Emile Chevé system in combination with CBA is my lottery ticket to music heaven as a hobby accordionist.
I read it much faster and easier than traditional staff music notation (and I did my 10 years music school learning to read and write trad staff notation. I even took extra classes for the ut clefs they use in cello notation or for conducting orchestras)
That's right, I also believe that modern computer technology is able to convert traditional notation into any other type of notation. The main reason why the Janko Kbd layout failed was tha teachers feared losing 10 years of wages and losing their hard-earned proficieny on the traditional zebra piano. "Why make it easier if it can be done more complicated?", was and still is their moto! The difference between Janko a zebra piano layout is like remembering a phone number: Janko= 9999999999 Zebra= 1987654038 Which number is easier to remember?
 

Corinto

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The main reason why the Janko Kbd layout failed was tha teachers feared losing 10 years of wages and losing their hard-earned proficieny on the traditional zebra piano. "Why make it easier if it can be done more complicated?", was and still is their moto! The difference between Janko a zebra piano layout is like remembering a phone number: Janko= 9999999999 Zebra= 1987654038 Which number is easier to remember?

About Jankò keyboard, that's right, unfortunately. And it's still complicated to find Jankò instruments.

However, about music notation, there are far too many alternative music notation systems, and all claim to be the one and true future system. None of the new systems do have a reasonable amount of tunebooks available. Learning to read traditionnal notation systems is not very complicated, as far as I remember, and then you have millions of sheet music available.

In his "Source Book of Proposed Music Notation Reforms" Gardner Read presents an impressive survey of 961 proposed notational reforms that appeared between 1657 and 1983 ... All entries include bibliographic information, and most are accompanied by an illustrative passage in both traditional notation and the proposed system. In addition, each proposal is followed by an evaluation of its relative merits or shortcomings, wherein Read comments shrewdly on the proposed system in particular and notational systems in general. There are nine appendixes of useful comparative tables.

And since 1983 there are about several dozens new ones ... how will one of these ever replace the old system I don't know, ymmv.
 

jjj333

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About Jankò keyboard, that's right, unfortunately. And it's still complicated to find Jankò instruments.

However, about music notation, there are far too many alternative music notation systems, and all claim to be the one and true future system. None of the new systems do have a reasonable amount of tunebooks available. Learning to read traditionnal notation systems is not very complicated, as far as I remember, and then you have millions of sheet music available.

In his "Source Book of Proposed Music Notation Reforms" Gardner Read presents an impressive survey of 961 proposed notational reforms that appeared between 1657 and 1983 ... All entries include bibliographic information, and most are accompanied by an illustrative passage in both traditional notation and the proposed system. In addition, each proposal is followed by an evaluation of its relative merits or shortcomings, wherein Read comments shrewdly on the proposed system in particular and notational systems in general. There are nine appendixes of useful comparative tables.

And since 1983 there are about several dozens new ones ... how will one of these ever replace the old system I don't know, ymmv.
I used to enjoy playing the accordion by ear. That's how I learned to play the piano accordion reasonably well; yet merely in C-major and A-minor. I found it absurd to repeat the same in 22 more grossly irregular scale patterns. Now that Janko offers me exactly what I always dreamed of, I'm committed to practice my Janko Kbd until my fingers & brain gets rewired.... at any costs and efforts, for I know all too well how much more demanding the traditional zebra piano Kbd is.
It's pretty painless, for I'm sitting comfortably on an armchair, my right hand supported by the armchair (quasi hanging over the Kbd). I'm not even looking at the keys; only making sure my hand stays nicely in the middle rows. The single fingering seems to be very comfortable and I'm amazed how easily I locate the same melody in any scale.
Never before I enjoyed this stimulating novelty. - Now my fingers getting already far less lost in the search for the correct notes of a melody than a couple days ago. Thus, I have great confidence in that I'm on the right track in my practice, for my hand feels free to chase up the right keys for the melody in my head and day by day my practice results improve remarkably. So, I just keep going regardless on whether my practice method is valid or not. This method worked for my zebra piano Paolo Soprani accordion and I can't see why it should fail on this my Janko Kbd.
The great organist Klaus Wunderlich confirmed my good hearing & musicality, after I sent him my some of my whistling to his recordings and so I'm at least able to avoid wrong notes. Here's one tune for you with his organ and my whistling: https://app.box.com/s/l8dbqvd5xf0mv9r8r2nr722t0lodhn17 Enjoy!
 
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Tom

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Very interesting story, jjj. I wish you the best of your luck with the janko. Isn't it the same with cba (chromatic button accordion) that you play the same in every key?
 

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Jjj333,
Wow!
Well whistled!🙂👍
In my opinion, whistling is a much undervalued skill😐
I seem to recall a time (1950's?) when there were many more, highly regarded whistlers about, on vinyl.
Well done!🙂👍
 

Dingo40

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Corinto,
Great example of whistling (and stand up comedy), thanks for sharing 🙂👍
As everyone (in theory) can whistle, here's an alternative musical option for anyone finding their accordion becoming unbearably heavy!🙂
 

Corinto

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About notation systems, from "The Story of Notation" by C.F. Abdy Williams (1903):

StoryOfNotation.png

IMHO reading traditional notation isn't very complicated when you have to play the music on a Jankò keyboard. Once you master the octaves and their accidentals, always the same ones, it's all about the Key Signature to decide where to start, and from then on it's always the same, just up and down, as if everything were in the Key of C major or A minor on a piano, always the same.

OTOH to use another notation system you first must learn it also, and then, as there are very few sheet music available in whatever new notation system you choose, you must also learn the basics of the traditional notation system to be able to transpose it to your new system. My time is too valuable to spend it in this matter, as I prefer to learn and play better.

This is my practical experience with my Jankò accordions, and yes I do have a zebra piano and string instruments and harmonicas, none of these are Jankò, so I have to know the notation. And of course ymmv.
 

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Very interesting story, jjj. I wish you the best of your luck with the janko. Isn't it the same with cba (chromatic button accordion) that you play the same in every key?
I agree - however, for people who acquired practice on the lousy zebra piano accordion, the Janko layout is far more easy to relearn, than starting anew with a totally different layout. Yet, I would prefer the CBA's compactness.
 
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jjj333

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Corinto,
Great example of whistling (and stand up comedy), thanks for sharing 🙂👍
As everyone (in theory) can whistle, here's an alternative musical option for anyone finding their accordion becoming unbearably heavy!🙂
Yes, you're right, my Paolo Soprani weighted about 12 kg and was a drag in my arms. After I suffered a clavicular dislocation (after a motorcycle accident) and problems with tendonities in my left arm, I switched to whistling.
- Since you enjoyed my whistling so much.... here are couple more of my better recordings for you to enjoy. Here's one, where I whistle to a great accordion player, playing a pretty fast and tricky piece: (click onto "Box"):


Actually, compared to other whistlers my whistling focuses rather on emotional creativity, such as in this piece, which music lovers know to define:

https://app.box.com/s/u68q3fn26jtwb9673xbfc751mef4wq6e

or as in this one: https://app.box.com/s/hmf5o2fgh6i2rwfxo4jwddqkstrpsy5q

Apropos... practicing my Janko Kbd, I discovered a new problem: ...that I almost every time fall asleep after about 30 minute of practice! - Yesterday, I kept going regardless and I slept in that deep that I didn't know where I was. - I suppose this phenomenon might end as soon I'll be able to considerably progress my dexterity, because then I'll be able to truly enjoy all the advantages of the Janko layout. At the moment I'm still far away from achieving it and have to put up with boring excercises.
But already now, after a few weeks of exercises, I noticed that I cannot achieve the same on the traditional zebra piano Kbd, because of its gross irregularity. Of course Profi-musicians are forced to put up with its regularity "by practicing 10 years more irregularity"! Thanks God we hobby musicians can afford enjoying the Janko Kbd advantages? - These days computer technology enable us to level any shortfalls.
- I'll keep you updated on how I'm going.
 
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jjj333

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Before I used to play the accordion and Tyros only in C-major or A-minor, yet now with the Janko Kbd I too, enjoy the same freedom of scale choice as enjoyed by Profi-musicians. That's something very new to me. The only other way I used to enjoy this freedom was by whistling to good music.
It's now that I come to fully realize the restrictions of the lousy zebra piano layout. - So, now I'm going to practice the Janko Kbd at all costs, for this uniform layout deserves all my efforts, whereas practicing zebra scales is a waste of time and effort. Also, hobby musicians playing the zebra Kbd will need to keep practicing its grossly irregular scale fingerings. The Janko Kbd doesn't require this sort of nonsense.
The good thing is to build this Janko Kbd took me only about 2 - 3 weeks and can be connected to any zebra MIDI Synths/module.
In hindsight I can only mutter: "I regret having wasted time & efforts on zebra Kbds!!" - Shall Profi-musicians bother with it, for their money-hungry teachers aim to perpetuate this zebra madness for their selfish benefits.
It's the same with money-hungry medical/Pharma cartels holding oldies, suffering from cruel chronic diseases incl. covid19 (due to accumulated uric acid), to ransom by bombarding them with deadly treatments, instead of reducing their excess of uric acid via detoxification with baking soda.
 
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Ventura

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you really should consider climbing to the TOP of the mountain,
and looking out over creation
before espousing such notions
which suggest your perspective is currently
severely limited to looking out a basement window

was Martin Luther truly aiming "to perpetuate this zebra madness for their selfish benefit"

and does your interesting little Janko keyboard also fit right in
with regions of the Earth which do not follow or recognize
the 12 note Western Scale ? shall we also switch to the DVORAK keyboard
and shed our reliance on all that is familiar and comfortable ?

i am delighted at your enthusiasm, and your success on the workbench,
but really there is no need to scorch the earth of every other method
of making Music
 

jjj333

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you really should consider climbing to the TOP of the mountain,
and looking out over creation
before espousing such notions
which suggest your perspective is currently
severely limited to looking out a basement window

was Martin Luther truly aiming "to perpetuate this zebra madness for their selfish benefit"

and does your interesting little Janko keyboard also fit right in
with regions of the Earth which do not follow or recognize
the 12 note Western Scale ? shall we also switch to the DVORAK keyboard
and shed our reliance on all that is familiar and comfortable ?

i am delighted at your enthusiasm, and your success on the workbench,
but really there is no need to scorch the earth of every other method
of making Music
True, Profi-musicians acquired mastery of this irregular zebra piano and I truly admire and respect their achievements. It's only their zebra Kbd layout that I regard as awkward and outdated, because Janko Kbd layout proves to be so much more progressive in every regard. Somebody is to blame for it and we all know who it is... That's what I deplore.
 

jjj333

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jjj333,
Most impressive whistling !🙂👍
Thanks for sharing the MP3s🙂
Thx Dingo40 for your appreciation. You listen to other whistlers on Youtube and compare their Ave Maria to mine. That's what emotional creativity in whistling is all about. It's about incorporating the soul into the melody, which is the hallmark of any musician. Late Klaus Wunderlich for instance, was not only an admirable organist , but an even greater musician.
 

jjj333

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Janko Progress Report:

Regardless of the lack of a Janko tutor, gradually I'm getting my act together.
Now I focus on ca. six melodies and play them by ear for so long until I'm playing them almost perfectly. From then on I do the same with another half dozen melodies. This method seems to be pretty promising.
Feel free to criticize or (preferably) guide me, for you might have far more experience in Kbd dexterity. Thank you in advance, Joh
 

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