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Run any Isomorphic keyboard on Apple products

posted Oct 20, 2010, 8:41 PM by Ken Rushton   [ updated Oct 23, 2010, 8:11 PM ]

News: Michael Eskin has developed jammer applications for Apple products:

  • mJammer is a WiFi-based wireless MIDI jammer-style control surface for the iPhone/iPod Touch
  • iJammer is a WiFi-based wireless MIDI jammer-style control surface for the iPad
  • HexJam is a high-quality, easy-to-play, jammer-style hexagonal layout "Jammer" concertina for the iPhone

 These present a cool new way to try out jammers

As well, Musix  is a fully-customizable multiple-layout isomorphic musical keyboard generator with sounds. 

"Each hexagon on the screen is a note, and surrounding hexagons are harmonically related. Songwriters benefit by discovering new melodies and musical relationships. Novices find it easy to learn to play. Experienced musicians are rewarded with an intuitive interface. Shiverware presents Musix: the definitive isomorphic keyboard. For beginners, for experts, for you".

  They give a good digest of what some isomorphic layouts are good for:
  • Gerhard (- Maj. 3rd; + Min. 3rd; Vertical) Designed specifically for the iPad and Musix, this layout attempts to balance the advantages and disadvantages of other layouts listed below. Scales are tight and chords fit naturally on the fingers.
  • Park (- Min. 3rd; + Maj. 2nd; Horizontal) A variation on the Wicki-Hayden (listed below), this layout, white notes are together making patterns easier to see, and scales can be played by sliding fingers along the screen. Alternate and jazz chords are compact, which means this pattern sounds great when button mashing.
  • Wicki-Hayden (- Perf. 4th; - Perf 5th; Horizontal) This is the classic layout used for centuries on Accordions and Concertinas. White notes are together, and the I-IV-V pattern of many many songs forms a compact triangle. Scales play linearly left-to-right (like a piano) with jumps for each semitone. Whole-tine scales are linear. Simple chords are comfortable, more complex chords are more challenging. This is also the preferred layout for "jammer" instruments.
  • Harmonic (- Maj. 3rd; - Min 3rd; Horizontal) Also called the Harmonic Table, this relatively modern layout was developed and popularized by C-Thru Music, the makers of the excellent Axis line of isomorphic MIDI keyboards. The harmonic table provides impossibly easy chords, with major and minor triads in triangles playable with a single finger. Scales are somewhat cumbersome, but as with all layouts, once learned in one key, all other keys are the same pattern.