Annotated Directory and Intro

Colored Piano Keyboard Showing the Seven Identical Octave Groups
That Provide the Visual Basis for Our Graphic Windows Notation

ABOUT Our Free Key Maps for the Piano
 Music -- Notation - Instruction - Pieces - Collections

Annotated Directory - Links (with descriptions) to All Major Sections of the Site

PK-54 - Mary Had a Little Lamb - Julia 1403.mp4

Drop down links:
        ABOUT US
        Our Domains - List of our domains  
        Contact Us - EMail          
        Creative Commons License - Permission and conditions under our copyright.
        Disclaimer of Liability

ABOUT This Site - Introduction to the site and to the key maps notation.

For TEACHERS - A collection of articles providing detailed information about many aspects of our  Key Diagrams and Key Maps.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas-- Karina's Interpretations 2013.mp4

Piano Methods Instructional materials and collections for a beginning keyboard course, based on key maps. THIS IS THE MAIN INSTRUCTIONAL SERIES ON THIS SITE. - This section also includes instructional materials for a beginning course on playing with chords. (Also see drop-down links.)

For STUDENTS. - Information for students. (Also see drop-down links.)

RP - Bach, CPE-Solfegietto - Bryanna 1306.mp4

Classic PIECES - This is a fairly large group of pieces - mainly of piano classics. (Also see drop-down links.).

COLLECTIONS - These are in addition to the collections included in our instructional materials. (Also see drop-down links.)

Some of our students performing at their lessons:

LSH-5 p28 - Silent Night--Alina-1311.mp4

RP - Beethoven-Moonlight - Jason 1405.mp4

RPx Unk-The Prayer--Vita-1405.mp4

RP - Beethoven-Moonlight - Sofiya 1303 ‎‎(1)‎‎.MOV

LSH-4 - Heavenly Sunshine and Frozen - Vika 1406.mp4

LS - Guaraldi-Linus and Lucy--Valerie-1306.mp4

PC-80 - Silent Night - Ben 1403

Sampler Page - Samples of videos and other images that you will find on this site. 

Supporting Our Work  - If  you would like to help us by supporting our work - you can do so by buying our music and other publications on the Sheet Music Plus website. These are the same materials (pdfs) offered without charge on the present site. We receive compensation on each purchase of our music from that site. 

The Key Diagrams and Key Maps provide an effective low stress training ground for beginning pianists, and provide an excellent basis for those wanting eventually to learn to read from traditional notation.

Why Key Diagrams and Maps? The simple answer is that keyboards are such an overwhelmingly large and important part of the music scene that they deserve their own notation

Traditional Notation as a Compromise. Traditional music notation is a wonderful, but abstract and complicated code, designed for universal use among all of the standard musical instruments and voice. As such, its design must necessarily be a compromise among all possible designs so that it can be useful for everyone. It is a marvelous achievement of epic proportions for its success as a universal musical language. Functionally, it achieves this success by indicating which sounds to play in a way that is completely independent of the instrument producing the sound.

Key Maps Designed for the Keyboard. It stands to reason that if a notation is designed specifically for a given instrument, that notation will be more effective and easier to learn than a notation that is compromised.

Notes That Directly SHOW Which Keys to Play. The basis for this notation is the standard musical keyboard.  Rather than notes that are an abstract code for musical sounds, the notes of the key diagrams and maps show which keys to play - directly and visibly. Colors are used in enormously effectively ways. The short answer to the question: Why key maps? Because they have been especially designed for the keyboard! You will see the results of our design efforts as you review the musical materials on this site.

(Footnote: The other most popular instrument these days is the guitar. I wonder how much of its popularity is due to the several special notations that have been developed for it!! If the guitar can successfully have special notations - why not the keyboard?)

For Teachers and Publishers - Although everyone is welcome, this site is designed primarily for educators and publishers who might be interested in creating a simpler and less stressful learning environment for students wanting to play a keyboard. Our instructional materials focus on learning to play songs, piano pieces and exercises of easy to moderate difficulty from keyboard diagrams and maps BEFORE introducing students to traditional notation.

In addition to our learning materials, there is a fairly large collection of more advanced materials notated on key maps - mainly classical pieces and collections - over a thousand pages. (We have also notated a number of contemporary pieces, but have not yet sought permission to publish them.)

Materials for a Basic Piano Course.  One of our main objectives is to provide piano teachers with learning materials and sheet music that they can use to help their students learn to play in a shorter period of time and with a minimum of stress. You can view and download materials for a basic piano method and basic chords skills (instructions, exercises and pieces) from this site.

Brief Description of Key Maps

Simply stated, key maps are actual maps
that show you where (and when) to place the fingers on the keys to play them.

The Vertical Musical Staff. The maps consist of notes placed on a musical staff (which is a vertically stretched diagram of the keyboard) made up of vertical lines standing for the black keys of the keyboard. These lines appear in groups of 5, in sync with the groups of 5 black keys on the keyboard (C# D# F# G# and A#).

Notes in Sync With the Moves of the Fingers. Notes placed on the lines of the staff show the pitch of the black keys. Notes placed in the spaces between the lines show the pitch of the white keys. The notes of a melody proceed down the staff, moving right and left in sync with the movements of the fingers on the keyboard.

Notes on a Timeline. The rhythm on key maps is shown by the notes moving down the page using the staff as a timeline. The notes are stretched in proportion to the time that they take, with horizontal lines crossing the staff showing the measures and beats. Both pitch and rhythm are shown true to scale.

Keyboard Diagrams With Large Notes. In addition to the key maps, we also work with larger-note keyboard diagrams. These diagrams are simplified versions of key maps.  (Rhythm on key diagrams is not shown on a timeline. Rather, rhythm it is shown by a simple color coding system.)
The diagrams provide excellent preparation for learning key maps and appear at the beginning of the instructional music provided on this site. The photo above shows a mini-version of a key diagram. You can view the mini versions in PK-14 - Themes From Children's Songs.

Playing From a Keyboard Diagram

The notes on the keyboard diagram in the above video show the sound pitch and sequence as the notes move across and down the page. Rhythm on key diagrams is shown by a color code.

LSH-3 - The Lily of the Valley - Dima 1412.mp4

 This page includes videos by:
 Alina, Ben, Bryanna, Dima, Jason, Julia,
 Karina, Sofiya, Valerie, Vika and Vita 

SelectionFile type iconFile nameDescriptionSizeRevisionTimeUser
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  88k v. 1 Jul 31, 2019, 6:47 PM John M. Honeycutt
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  249k v. 1 Jul 31, 2019, 6:49 PM John M. Honeycutt