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Dodeka: 4 line staff paired with level black and white keys


ElmerJFudd

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Alright, here we go again.

Take a look - what do you think?

[video:youtube]

 

 

To me the video comes off as whiney people who failed to figure out how to play the traditional keyboard and or how to read sheet music. But the solution offered is another type of notation that you need a custom keyboard to work with. Honestly, if musical elements (pitch, meter, rhythm) are too difficult for them, they won't succeed here either. OK, but other issues...

 

Some stuff that comes to my mind.

The chromatic scale will be played with traditional scale fingering (regardless of if you start on a white or black key)

Intervals will now be further apart than they are on a traditional keyboard making chord playing more difficult and making many voicings we use unreachable.

The concept of flat or sharp doesn't go away simply because you don't draw a flat or sharp to express it. Nor does the concept of key or mode go away.

Is this system is for keyboarding only - how does it translate to strings, woodwinds, etc?

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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It's still 12 semitones per octave, so I don't see why using the Dodeka notation necessarily requires a custom keyboard. If you don't like incidentals, fine. Just teach yourself to map the on, above, below, and between the line Dodeka symbols to the existing keyboard.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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Keyboard tab without the chicken foot.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I think it speaks volumes that at no point in the video did anyone of those very melodramatic actors, other than the child banging randomly on the keys, actually play anything on the custom keyboard.

 

If it is as easy as advertised, we could have at least heard a little 'twinkle twinkle little star', let alone Liszt.

Nord Stage 2 Compact, Yamaha MODX8

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I think it speaks volumes that at no point in the video did anyone of those very melodramatic actors, other than the child banging randomly on the keys, actually play anything on the custom keyboard.

 

If it is as easy as advertised, we could have at least heard a little 'twinkle twinkle little star', let alone Liszt.

 

I was thinking EXACTLY the same thing.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Intervals will now be further apart than they are on a traditional keyboard making chord playing more difficult and making many voicings we use unreachable.

 

Much to the chagrin of Dodeka purists, they're coming out with a mini-keys version to solve the reach problem.

 

 

 

Kurzweil Forte, Yamaha Motif ES7, Muse Receptor 2 Pro Max, Neo Ventilator
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Man, someone was working overtime to make something inane seem important.

 

I have no problem with the underlying effort, but I don't see how placing blocks just a tiny bit apart from each other within a tiny little space between staff lines makes reading music LESS arcane and difficult than it is now. I also can't figure out why "C" would be in the same place no matter which octave it's in, since the example shows the opposite. Or how building a new staff that "starts" with C, is any different from the old one that does the same.

 

The problem for me is that they are barking up the wrong tree. Regardless of whether flats and sharps originally "favored" one key or another, that's our system. If you teach someone anything different, you will permanently disadvantage them as a musician.

 

It would be like someone saying, "The alphabet should really have all the vowels together in a row, and the rest of the letters in order of frequency of use, and we should get ride of X and Z." Well, yeah, maybe, but if you teach someone that way, you are going to permanently disadvantage them for the rest of their literate lives.

 

The better option would have been to develop a great way to teach the CURRENT system.

 

Anyway, I have never once lost a student because of flats or sharps. They are solving a problem that no one really has...

Now out! "Mind the Gap," a 24-song album of new material.
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Much to the chagrin of Dodeka purists, they're coming out with a mini-keys version to solve the reach problem.

Yeah. I was thinking about that. If they stuck 12 full-sized keys adjacent to each other, the average player wouldn't be able to span an octave with one hand. F that. The alternative is to piddle around with mini keys. (F that too). Like MOI said, they're solving a non-problem. BFD.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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Yeah, everyone is looking for an angle. Some way to pay the rent, feed the kids, etc. So, this guy figured there's enough frustrated people that would like to be able to play who didn't find success traditionally - neither at the keyboard nor with notation as a guide. But there's lots of reasons why people don't succeed that's not related to key signatures or the layout of a keyboard. Given what the most accomplished and most average keyboard instrument players can pull off, clearly the interface isn't what's holding anyone back. More likely it's time spent, access to and budget for good learning materials and/or a good teacher.

 

 

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Yeah, everyone is looking for an angle. Some way to pay the rent, feed the kids, etc. So, this guy figured there's enough frustrated people that would like to be able to play who didn't find success traditionally - neither at the keyboard nor with notation as a guide. But there's lots of reasons why people don't succeed that's not related to key signatures or the layout of a keyboard. Given what the most accomplished and most average keyboard instrument players can pull off, clearly the interface isn't what's holding anyone back. More likely it's time spent, access to and budget for good learning materials and/or a good teacher.

 

Busted! Excellent summation!

"It is a danger to create something and risk rejection. It is a greater danger to create nothing and allow mediocrity to rule."

"You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at." W.H. Auden

 

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Yeah, everyone is looking for an angle. Some way to pay the rent, feed the kids, etc. So, this guy figured there's enough frustrated people that would like to be able to play who didn't find success traditionally - neither at the keyboard nor with notation as a guide. But there's lots of reasons why people don't succeed that's not related to key signatures or the layout of a keyboard. Given what the most accomplished and most average keyboard instrument players can pull off, clearly the interface isn't what's holding anyone back. More likely it's time spent, access to and budget for good learning materials and/or a good teacher.

 

This.

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

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I considered the Dodeka from several angles and after reviewing my opinion, decided it sounded too much like elitist crap. :D Instead, I'll simply say that I feel no need to explore via new physical approaches. I'm finding it consistently satisfying to bend my long-honed "traditional" playing and programming skills until they meet in The Middle of whatever I'm doing. Either learn to play the $#@! piano properly or get out of my bar! :taz:

 

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 "You seem pretty calm about all that."
 "Well, inside, I'm screaming.
    ~ "The Lazarus Project"

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Why has everything 'made easier' assumed to be 'better' for humankind? The lady who said "it was impossible"...who convinced her of that? Yes, it's hard and the fact it IS hard is what adds human value to it.

Kurzweil PC4, NS3-88, Kronos 2-61, QSC K8.2's.

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It doesn't pass the smell test.

 

On their site, they show "Happy Birthday in F#" with a key signature of one flat and a shipload of sharps. So even their simple example has to skew the norm to make the comparison look good.

 

Then there's that notation system: it's a piano roll from your sequencer, or for us old folks, a piano roll from a piano roll.

 

(edit: I just noticed that in their notation example, the beat #3 pickup to Happy Birthday starts on beat one of the first measure, thus

 

| Happy birthday | to you, | happy birthday | to you |

 

That's a big fail.)

 

How about wind players? As I recall, sax and clarinet fingerings are inherently diatonic. I guess reed players will need to keep with that old hard method. Which means that you will no longer have pianists who can write arrangements...

 

It looks like these folks devoted more thought to the casting of the video (including the oh so annoying "perpetual four day beard") far more than they devoted to the practical considerations of the idea.

 

Either that, or it's just a scam.

 

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Yeah, everyone is looking for an angle a way to sound capable with minimal time and effort.....

Given what the most accomplished and most average keyboard instrument players can pull off, clearly the interface isn't what's holding anyone back. More likely it's time spent, access to and budget for good learning materials and/or a good teacher.

 

 

If I decided to stop teaching the standard keyboard and notatation, and became an exclusive Dodeka instructor, there would still be a healthy percentage of students who show up unprepared, and don't understand the concept of time and effort needed to learn a language. No matter the format, there is always a learning curve. And Dodeka appears to create more problems than it attempts to solve.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BTW, for anyone wondering, here is the curriculum vitae of Jacques-Daniel Rochat, the inventor of the DODEKA notation system: http://www.institut-emmaus.ch/enseignement/equipe-rochat-jacques-daniel-34.html

 

Apparently, Rochat conceived it in 1980 and "finalized" it in 2005. The recent video is apparently part of a attempt to get funding on Kickstarter.

 

What that's you say? He looks a lot like the fellow who six seconds into the video says he couldn't play and near the end says he always wanted to be a pianist? Indeed he does. What an amazing non-coincidence.

 

Rochat says on the dodecka.info website, "Over the years, I made significant progress with DODEKA. And today, Im able to play freely." Indeed, thirty-six years later he is such an accomplished player of the DODEKA keyboard that he invented along with the notation system, he apparently now plays in concert halls. Empty ones, granted, but still. That's just modesty, the same modesty that leaves him unidentified in his own promotional video, right?

 

While the video above is pure marketing bull there are a few online that showing Rochat actually playing something: here and here from the dodeka.info website, and

and
from YouTube.

 

Personally, to be at all convinced DODEKA is actually better than our current notation system I would want to see someone other than the inventor play something while sight-reading it, both on a regular keyboard and a DODEKA keyboard. (And, of course, that wouldn't actually prove anything.)

 

I won't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Musical notation IS convoluted. I'm just not sure this is the best solution. But you can read all about it here and make up your own mind:

 

http://www.crea-7.com/FICHIERS/Dodeka%20music%20Method-EP10.pdf

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The current keyboard system allows people with wider fingers to press only a single note at a time (whether it is a white key or black key), but also still reach to stretch and play a chord containing notes that are an octave apart or more. I can press white keys that are a 9th apart with the thumb and pinky of one hand.

 

Since the Dodeka puts the keys for all 12 notes in a row, without the "indented location" that is used for black keys in the traditional piano key layout, how much coverage is lost? Can a typical person play two notes that are an octave plus two semitones apart? Can they comfortably play two notes that are an octave apart while the interior fingers are playing several notes of a chord? There has to be something sacrificed in terms of keyboard coverage for chord playing with the Dodeka system.

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Man, someone was working overtime to make something inane seem important.

 

I have no problem with the underlying effort, but I don't see how placing blocks just a tiny bit apart from each other within a tiny little space between staff lines makes reading music LESS arcane and difficult than it is now. I also can't figure out why "C" would be in the same place no matter which octave it's in, since the example shows the opposite. Or how building a new staff that "starts" with C, is any different from the old one that does the same.

 

The problem for me is that they are barking up the wrong tree. Regardless of whether flats and sharps originally "favored" one key or another, that's our system. If you teach someone anything different, you will permanently disadvantage them as a musician.

 

It would be like someone saying, "The alphabet should really have all the vowels together in a row, and the rest of the letters in order of frequency of use, and we should get ride of X and Z." Well, yeah, maybe, but if you teach someone that way, you are going to permanently disadvantage them for the rest of their literate lives.

 

The better option would have been to develop a great way to teach the CURRENT system.

 

Anyway, I have never once lost a student because of flats or sharps. They are solving a problem that no one really has...

I've highlighted a couple of things here. First, I agree with having no problem with the underlying effort. But, then there's the problem that you're teaching people a different system that's pretty incompatible with the current one (did he really give the notes all those random-seeming letters the video shows???).

 

When I was in kindergarten, those of us who could already read were given material from a book for early readers. The other kids were taught this other sort of phonetic system (at least I think it was phonetically based. I never had to do it and stayed far away). You can see it behind our teacher's head in our class picture. It says, "faull is heer" or something like that. Instead of helping those kids get started reading, it simply made them struggle when it came time to read real English.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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When I was in kindergarten, those of us who could already read were given material from a book for early readers. The other kids were taught this other sort of phonetic system (at least I think it was phonetically based. I never had to do it and stayed far away). You can see it behind our teacher's head in our class picture. It says, "faull is heer" or something like that. Instead of helping those kids get started reading, it simply made them struggle when it came time to read real English.

What a horrible idea.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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Probably not entirely the best analogy, but it sounds like if I complained about not being able to play guitar. I've tried and learned a few chords, but I simply haven't spent enough time practicing to play the guitar. I say this because their end-product of a different looking keyboard is not what I'd call a piano. The dude at the end who says he always wanted to play a piano and now he can is lying. He's not a playing piano, he's playing a Dodeka, or whatever they call that kind of keyboard.

 

If their complaint is that they couldn't make music, I'd want to ask "do you have to be able to notate what you're playing in order to really make/play music?"

 

Simplifying the notation by removing one line and adding two 'tones' in between each line doesn't sound like simplification to me. It just sounds like inventing your own system.

 

Not sure where/when they apply it to every instrument, but in the end we have a keyboard to sell you that matches the new system that you'd have to learn, and probably spend just as much time and dedication to learning it as you would've have you tried to learn the established system.

 

"To play the dodeka doesn't require any further thinking." Well that's disappointing! I'm kinda proud it takes some skill and talent to play a musical instrument or piano. :D

 

This whole idea is dumbfoundingly amusing and puzzling.

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