"And his brother's
name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ."
(Genesis, chapter 4:21)
This family includes instruments
whose playing mechanisms are operated from a keyboard. In most of
the keyboard instruments, notes are produced by the vibration of stretched
They all have a keyboard but they are different in some
Some of these instruments are stricken mechanically,
as in the piano
(formerly called the pianoforte) and clavichord. Others are played with
hammers, as in the dulcimer and cimbalom. The organ
have keyboards but they are members of the reed-organ family. The virginal,
spinet and harpsichord's
strings are plucked, much like the fretted instruments.
Keyboards are not usually played
in the symphony orchestra, unless the composer requested them especially
to play in a musical work performed by the orchestra. Much used in a wide
range of music-making, these instruments make rare appearances in the concert-hall
(other than the piano, of course).
The piano is the most popular
and versatile keyboard instrument on the symphonic stage, as well as in
and Rock & Roll.
Modern keyboard instruments like the Electric organ
are used for modern music in different styles ranging from Blues
and electronic music styles
(House, techno and Drum 'n Bass).