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Violin Keyboard--- A tool for writing violin music
(Revision history)


A violin is not a piano. Composers wishing to gain familiarity with the arrangement of pitches on the violin fingerboard could use a set of keyboards arranged like this:

To make this setup more violin-like, the following limitations could be imposed:

  • Only one note per keyboard section (string) can be played at a time.
  • Only two notes can be played at a time.
  • When two notes are played at once, they must be on adjacent keyboard sections (strings).
  • The "open" string in each section could have special properties.

    Scales on this keyboard are similar to scales on a violin fingerboard: the four fingers per string corresponds to four fingers per section (and the thumb can be used to play the "open" string if necessary).

    Where this keyboard would be especially useful is in gaining familiarity with possible double/triple/quadruple stops. Improvision on this keyboard would give a composer the kind of intuitive familiarity with "what lies under the fingers" that would otherwise only come from learning to play the violin.

    by Stephen Malinowski

    Revision history:

  • 1998jan28 first diagrams
  • 1998feb01 first draft