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Ebony or Natural Keys

Building organ consoles for use with Hauptwerk, adding MIDI to existing consoles, obtaining parts, ...

Ebony or Natural Keys

Postby organmonster » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:18 pm

Does anyone have experience on playing on keyboards with ebony colored keys? I have decided to buy a 3 manual stack with pistons from Classic Midi Works. My last decision is what type of key facing to buy. If anyone has played on ebony keys let me know what you think of it? Thanks so much for everyones help on this.
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Re: Ebony or Natural Keys

Postby engrssc » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:54 pm

Ebony, wood grain, white doesn't matter (to me). I can play without looking at the keys. In fact, many times I enjoy playing with the room lights out. I like "connecting" with the music. 8) I know, this isn't for everyone. :roll:

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Ebony or Natural Keys

Postby MPiercey » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:05 pm

I have ebony naturals and rose wood sharps, and I love the feel. I'll take them over plastic any day. I don't particularly care what colors they are, as long as they are a natural material and not synthetic.
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Re: Ebony or Natural Keys

Postby magnaton » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:54 pm

Probably not a concern to many folks here, but ebony naturals can hide the cracks between the keys.

I was a organ consultant for a church installation years ago for a custom instrument and this topic came up. The music director suggested inverse color keys which would have been stunning. However since they didn't have a full time organist and many folks in the community would be called upon to play (weddings, graduations, etc.) we went the traditional route using Laukhuff Ivora naturals and rosewood sharps.

Danny B.
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Re: Ebony or Natural Keys

Postby smfrank » Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:46 pm

I play a Casavant at church with ebony keys. In really hot, humid weather (no AC) the keys 'sweat'. I don't know if it's from oil on fingers, but the water beads up and is really gross! The first time it happened I thought we had a leak in the roof! I doubt that would be a problem at home, but I hate it.
Steve
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Re: Ebony or Natural Keys

Postby profeluisegarcia » Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:47 pm

Nature vs. Plastic¡ I love them. It is an aesthetic experience to see everyday the keyboards (3) covered with ebony, one of the most beautiful+strong wood in the world. I can´t understand why, but gives a better sensation to play Bach on wood (mistakes included¡) than on plastic keys.
If you plan to get 3, kbs. I´d would reccomend to get at least one of them with pistons.

Hauptwerk deserves the best (if affordable)

Luis
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Re: Ebony or Natural Keys

Postby johnstump_organist » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:55 pm

If you're concerned about reverse color, you can go with cherry naturals and ebony sharps which keeps the naturals a little lighter and the sharps black. I have them and am more than pleased with them.
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Re: Ebony or Natural Keys

Postby organmonster » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:16 pm

johnstump_organist wrote:If you're concerned about reverse color, you can go with cherry naturals and ebony sharps which keeps the naturals a little lighter and the sharps black. I have them and am more than pleased with them.
John

The picture showing the cheery wood naturals looks to be kind of dark and not very white. Is the color of the keys brighter than what the picture shows on the web site. I know I should blame myself for comparing plastic keys that look white against cheery wood keys that may not be white at all. I have nothing to gauge it by.
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Re: Ebony or Natural Keys

Postby mnailor » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:26 am

I have the midiworks cherry keyboards purchased in the past year. The naturals are darker than the picture on the web site. Plenty of contrast to the black keys, but these are not a light or near white color. Feels great to play.
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Re: Ebony or Natural Keys

Postby johnstump_organist » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:32 pm

I didn't mean to imply they would be white like ivory or plastic keys, merely that the color relationship would be more like ivory naturals and black accidentals. The cherry is certainly darker than any cowbone, ivory or plasitc iveroy substitute would be. It is just that some people, particularly pianists or beginners at the organ find the black naturals and lighter colored accidentals distracting. Any natural material is certainly better to play on than plastic. Natural materials absorb oil and sweat from your fingers and don't become as slippery while playing. The Ivora substitute material from Laukhauf is supposed to be somehow porous and "roughed-up" in an effort to feel more like a natural material. I only played on Ivora keys once and they were nicer than just shinny plastic.
John
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Re: Ebony or Natural Keys

Postby organmonster » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:53 pm

I want to thank everyone here for such wonderful responses. It is going to be a hard decision but you all have made my choices easier. I want to thank everyone for helping me out in my new Hauptwerk project. I am not going to buy the ebony keys but will stay with the traditional off white/ natural colors.

Thank you again.
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