So, I have passed my Master of Engineering, which means that from next Thursday I can style myself “Mr Owen Woods, BA(Hons) MEng CertGSMD”. Not that I will in polite conversation mind, but it is rather daunting that it is an option. And with this revelation, it is beginning to sink in that I am going to leave this place. Which is not an unpleasant thought, it has been a tricky four years, but it isn’t wholly pleasant either.
And I have finished off my Cambridge experience in style, obviously, by playing in five gigs in the last seven days (see my gig diary). Four of these were with my piano trio “There and Back Again” and the other was with the Cambridge University Ceilidh Band. All very good fun but it does mean that my body clock is all over the place. It is 8am and I haven’t been to bed yet.
So rather than write one of my long, rambling, semi-coherent posts, I thought that I would just give you a video, to make a point. In the last two posts on musical instrument development (Making the most of your Limitations and The pitfalls of Musical Instrument Acoustics) I made the point that step changes in instrument development are difficult to implement, no matter how demonstratably better the new system is. An illustration of this is the piano keyboard, which requires you to learn a new fingering for every single scale. There are several systems of fingering which enable you to learn one fingering which is the same for every key, just shifted by position and so I thought I would share the one that I know least but like most: the Janko System.
The Janko System is an isomorphic keyboard layout (meaning that shifting key does not shift patterns) based on the whole tone scale. In this respect it is similar to the Wicki-Hayden system that I have on the bass end of my Hohner Liliput (more on that later). However, this system is optimised for chromaticism and for using two hands, meaning that the offset between the rows is different. The result is that the range of the typical hand is increased and the fingering is a lot simpler. For much more information, see Daskin Manufacturing’s very informative site, or marvel at the video below. Enjoy!