Alternative layouts

A project log for TonnetzOne - Isomorphic Midi Keyboard

An isomorphic midi keyboard using the Tonnetz layout

RedgeneralRedgeneral 10/18/2019 at 12:070 Comments

Before starting work on this project, I considered several different isomorphic layouts 

Below I show the layouts and major/minor chords of each and my reasons for not choosing them.

Harmonic Table Layout:



[Blue coloured indicate alternative keys to change the type of chord - e.g. Diminished chord by using F# instead of G]

This was my initial choice for a layout, but at 252 keys, I very quickly became apparent that the weight of the switches alone would be too much.

There was a commercially available keyboard using this layout called the Axis-64 by C-thru, but it has now been discontinued.

Wicki-Hayden Layout:

[Note columns of sharps on left are repeated on the right]

There are two general configurations:

  1. One tall keyboard - with the hands one above the other
  2. Two split keyboards - each hand has its own keyboard. 


I find these chord shapes really uncomfortable (especially the blue modifiers) - this is the deal breaker for this layout.

All Fourths Layout:


The All Fourths was a strong contender, but it's few octaves and large number of buttons were against it.


[image from wikipedia]

For me the Janko is not suitable for several reasons

Janko keyboards are currently in production branded as Chromatone -