Home of Key Maps - The Truescaled Keyboard Notation That Anyone Can Learn
Diagram of the Piano Keyboard - Showing its
Seven Identical Octave Groups With Rainbow Colors
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About This Website and Key Maps
This site is about keyboard music. It presents the results of several decades of research and development relating to making keyboard music easier to read and easier to learn.
The main results of these development efforts are 1) a music notation system that is easier to read than traditional notation, 2) an innovative keyboard instructional series based on this notation, and 3) a whole lot of easier to play sheet music based on this notation.
Therefore, what you will find on this site are 1) an explanation of the music notation system and how it works, 2) downloadable access to the whole instructional series with exercises and graded music, and downloadable access to the entire library of sheet music that we have developed using this new notation.
This website features music notation that differs from traditional notation. Our notation is simple, logical, beautifully proportional and is relatively (much) easier to learn. BUT IT IS DIFFERENT! It helps people start playing the keyboard BEFORE learning to read traditional notation. It is actually the only notation that some people will ever need - BUT - for many, many reasons, it is NOT intended to replace traditional notation. It supplements this notation and is specifically designed for the keyboard.
All of this material is available for download without charge. The music notation is called "keyboard maps" because the notation looks like a map of the keyboard, showing where to place your fingers. For short, we often refer to the keyboard maps as "key maps." Also for short, you can return to this website with: kmaps.com.
All materials are protected by copyright, but are freely available under our Creative Commons Attribution/Non-Commercial/No Derivatives license. Link: CC License
Getting Started With Key Maps
Knowing that most people who arrive at this website have very little idea of what key maps are, or how they work, presents us with a dilemma. We'd like you to jump right in and make use of all of our music and instruction, which are totally free. But you can't do that without knowing how it works!
You can jump right in if you like by going to our DIRECTORY or Finder pages. But if you'd like to know more about key maps before you do that, I'm inviting you to continue reading for more information on how key maps work.
The pages the you see below are from our Unit AKM-16. If your browser doesn't show these pages, or if you want to copy them, you can click on the link at the bottom of this page, headed AKM-16. The pages will appear in a Google viewer from which you can read and copy them.
John Honeycutt, CEO
AKM-16 How to Read Key Maps - Introduction
The Notation of Pitch on Key Maps
The Notation of Flats and Sharps
The above video shows some of the keyboard diagrams that help beginning students figure out the connection between the notes on the diagrams of the keyboard and the keys that they point to directly under them. One diagram is shown in place directly on the keyboard. The others are on the music rack awaiting their turn at the keyboard. These diagrams are greatly enlarged so that the notes will be directly over the keys that are to be played.
As students become familiar with the keyboard and understand how the vertical lines show where the black keys are, with the white keys between them, the diagrams are gradually changed until they take on the look of key maps, as shown below.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star on a Full Range Key Map
About the Coloring of Notes
Beginning students are shown the keyboard with cards separating the octave groups to help them see the simplicity of the octave groups and sense the "look" of each of these groups. We point out that the big monster keyboard that they see at the piano is really only seven little pianos put together in a group for them to play on. In a sense, you only have to learn to play on one little piano at first. Then you soon you are able to play them all. The notes that you play from in the diagrams are exactly the same for each octave group. In an octave group there are only 12 different notes to learn. All of the other octave groups use the same notes, except for the colors in the background.
Rhythm and Meter on Key Maps
Additional Information About Key Maps
Naming Conventions for the Duration of Notes - Beats
Aesthetics -- Proportionality in Pitch
Aesthetics - Proportionality in Rhythm Notation
After viewing one of the units below (AKM-16, etc.), to get back to this page, you click the back arrow in the upper left corner of your browser . If you click the x at the upper right corner of your browser, you will NOT be returned to this site!