What is a keyboard?


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Abi Ainscough Profile
Abi Ainscough answered
A keyboard is the name for a musical instrument, and for a part of a computer.

  • The keyboard as a musical instrument

The keyboard was originally designed in order to provide musicians with an instrument that resembled a piano, but which was lighter, smaller and easier to transport. The keyboard is used in the same way as a piano - a key is pressed in order to create a specific musical note. However, the modern keyboard does not produce sound based on vibrations - instead, when a note is pressed, a sound is heard through the electronic speakers on the keyboard.

The modern keyboard is different to a piano because it allows the musician to do more than simply press keys to produce notes. Keyboards have an interface which allows their users to change the type of sound produced by pressing the notes. For example, the sound could resemble a grand piano, a guitar, a flute or any one of a number of instruments. In addition, keyboards allow their users to play backing tracks to accompany their playing.

  • The keyboard as a part of the computer

The keyboard is a piece of equipment which allows computer users to interact with their computer. The keyboard consists of a number of keys. The majority of these keys are letter keys - when these are pressed, a letter appears on the computer screen which corresponds with the letter on the key. There are also number keys, which allow users to type in the numbers from zero to nine. Other notable keys on a keyboard is the space bar, which allows users to put a space between two words when typing, and the enter button.

Computer keyboards can take on a number of different forms. For example, the keyboard of a desktop computer is a piece of equipment which stands separately from the monitor, the hard drive and the mouse, whereas on a laptop, the keyboard and mouse are integrated into a single unit which acts as a monitor and a hard drive.

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