Why are the piano keys called keys?

The keyboard: everything about the black & white keys

by Alfred Music,

As a teacher, I often notice that students who understand the basics of the instrument, sit correctly at the piano and have good hand posture make faster progress - so it pays off in the long term if you take a little more time now. We are now proceeding slowly but steadily. If you sit in the correct posture at the piano, you can become familiar with the keyboard.

So sit upright in front of the keyboard. Now you have a free choice. You have both keys to the left and right of the middle of the keyboard. Low notes are produced to the left and high notes to the right of the center of the keyboard.


Warm-up: pitch

Use the 3rd finger (middle finger) of your left hand (LH) to play any key on the left side of the keyboard - can you hear how deep the note sounds? Then use the 3rd finger (middle finger) of your right hand (RH) to play a key on the right side of the keyboard. Do you hear how much higher the pitch sounds?

Rule: The further to the left you hit, the deeper the tone sounds, the further to the right, the higher.

The black keys

The keyboard consists of white and black keys. If all the keys were white, it would be difficult to tell the individual keys apart. A few centuries ago, a clever instrument maker found that a key was much easier to identify when the keyboard was made up of alternating groups of two and three of black keys with white keys between them.


The black keys are arranged alternately in groups of two and three keys:

The white keys

A full keyboard has 88 keys: 36 black and 52 white keys.

Once you are familiar with the black twos and threes, you can easily name each white key on the keyboard. As you probably know, each piano key is named after a letter:

Here's the secret of the 52 white keys: Each white key can be identified by its relationship to a group of black keys!

For example:

Every A is located between the two right-hand buttons of the black group of three.

Once you've found the A, the rest is easy. Each white button to the right of it is - except for the H, which replaces the B - named after the next letter of the alphabet:


And what happens when you get to the G? Exactly, you start again with the A. This higher A is also between the two high black keys of the black group of three, but eight white keys to the right.

With the help of the keyboard cutouts below, you can now tap into all of the white keys on your piano yourself.


Warm-up: white buttons


Games like this:

With the 3rd finger of your left hand, hit all the keys to the left of the center.

Use the 3rd finger of your right hand to hit all the keys to the right of the center.

Say the name of each key out loud!

Name the keys!

Middle-C - also called Middle-C - is of decisive importance. This key is very important because it is near the center of the keyboard and - at least for now - it separates left-hand play from right-hand play.

From the lower A at the left end of the keyboard, play each white key with the 3rd finger of your left hand (LH) and say the name out loud. When you get to Middle-C, you switch hands and just keep playing with the 3rd finger of your right hand (RH) until you reach the highest note on the keyboard, the C.

After this exercise, you will have played every white key on the keyboard. With the exception of the grade H (instead of B), the German note names are arranged in alphabetical order. Take the time to play and name all of the keys. If you feel like you can quickly name each key, you know the names of all of the white keys:


These note names repeat themselves over and over again


Would you like to learn more about music and playing the piano? Here you will find a practical beginners workshop that will slowly introduce you to the game and all the relevant basics!

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