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It’s hard to believe we haven’t covered this one before. Essentially, the term refers to the group of black and white keys on an acoustic or electric piano, harpsichord or organ, or synthesizer or other electronic instrument. with the white notes typically representing “natural” tones, while the black keys represent sharps and flats, although some historical instruments occasionally reversed this, with black keys for the natural tones. Historically, keyboards were often referred to as manuals, from the German word manualiter, which roughly translates to “playing with the hands.” Today a keyboard may also refer to the part of a computer where data is entered alphanumerically. (See also “Keybed.”)

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