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Latest revision as of 17:06, 7 January 2007
A MIDI keyboard is a piano keyboard with special electronics for sending and receiving MIDI files. Recent MIDI keyboards have a sound quality as good as or better than mid-price grand pianos and upright pianos. Recent MIDI keyboards also have a weighted key mechanism which feels truly identical to the keys of a grand piano.
If you are considering which musical instrument to buy for making music, a MIDI keyboard is an excellent choice because
- MIDI keyboards are designed to be connected to other MIDI devices including computers which have a MIDI interface on their soundcard. This is ideal for composing music with the help of music composition software like Rosegarden or MusE.
- MIDI keyboards do not ever need to be tuned, thus saving the cost of regular piano tuning.
- MIDI keyboards have a volume control and can be used with headphones. This is very useful if you do not want to disturb other people.
- MIDI keyboards are much more portable than ordinary pianos, weighing only about 70kg/150lbs and being about the same size as an upright piano.
- MIDI keyboards can play music automatically like a virtual virtuoso accompanist.
There are many different makes of MIDI keyboard: Yamaha, Roland, Korg, etc. It is best to get a MIDI keyboard with "weighted keys" that move and feel like real piano keys. The price range is USD 1000-3000. I personally prefer Yamaha Clavinovas and think the Yamaha CLP-170 Clavinova (at time of writing this in 2004) is equal in sound quality and touch to any mid-price grand piano -- a really excellent musical instrument!