Change Keyboard Mapping

Changing the keyboard mapping (what key pressed on the typing keyboard activates what note on the music keyboard) is easy to do, and easy to save.

Where this is done entirely in graphics, this functionality is not currently accessible to the blind. Fortunately, it’s also possible to create a text file specifying the music-key mappings, so you don’t have to be sighted to do it. The text file method is explained later in this page.

Here's how you normally re-map your keyboard's music keys.

Go to the F1 (Help / Setup) panel (shown below).

Screen-shot of the F1 (Help / Setup) pane.  The keyboard mapping graphics area is at the right.
The keyboard diagram shows the currently-defined keyboard mappings, as loaded from the selected keyboard map file in the “Keyboard Map” drop-box.

It consists of a keyboard diagram, with a column of characters in its left side. These characters are the keyboard-characters used to activate the various music keys. Only the white keys (keys of the scale) are mapped, since the application takes care of whether or not a black key is played, based on the current key-signature.

The upper-case characters immediately to the left of the keyboard keys are the letter-names of the notes. The short lines extending into the note-name area mark the boundaries between keyboard rows. If you are using a custom keyboard-map file (not ending with “-Z.kbd”, “-Z1.kbd”, or “-Z2.kbd”), the application doesn't know where to put these lines, so they will not appear.

You change the keyboard mapping by clicking somewhere in the keyboard map diagram (on the first key you want to change) . The application will ask you if you really want to change it, in case the click was accidental.

The keyboard diagram shows which keyboard key is used to activate which key of the music keyboard. To change it, click on the key of the diagram you want to change the mapping for, then type the key you want to use for it. When you change even a single key, the “Save Keybd Map” button is enabled, allowing you to save your keyboard map file (with a “.kbd” extension).

When you type a key into the keyboard map diagram, the selected key automatically moves up to the next key, making it easy to re-map entire groups of notes, or even the entire keyboard. If you want to change the entire keyboard mapping, click first on the lowest key.

Press the typing keyboard key you want to use to activate the selected key. As a result of doing this, the key you typed will appear to the left of the key that was marked, and the marked key will advance upward, allowing you to repeat the process on the newly-marked key.

Continue the process until you have changed the mapping for all of the music keys you wanted to change. You can skip around by clicking on different keys.

Finally, click on (tab-to and activate) the “Save Keybd Map” button, and select a filename for saving your keyboard map. If you want it to appear in the “Keyboard Map” drop-box, it will need to be saved in the “KeyMusician-Keyboard” directory of your home directory.

Specifying The Music-Key Mapping With A Text-File

Note: This is not supported on Java 1.6, which is used on 32-bit Mac OS X 10.6.8, or perhaps on Linux if using an old version of Java. On such systems, no text files appear in the Keyboard Map drop-box.

You can specify the music-key mapping of the KeyMusician Keyboard by creating a text file, using an ordinary text editor.

When you create such a file, and put it in the KeyMusician-Keyboard folder, when you run the application, and select the “F1 (Help/Setup)” pane, you will see that file as one of the keyboard-mapping files, if you click on (activate) the “Keyboard Map” drop-box, where that file can be selected and loaded.

Any line in that file starting with the ‘#’ (sharp-sign) character, is treated as a comment, and is not processed.

All the other lines in the text file must start with one or more numeric digits, specifying the number of the white-key of the piano-keyboard diagram being mapped. The number must not start with a plus or a minus sign. It must start with a digit. The numbers must be in the range 0 through 47.

Though the typing-keyboard keys normally map to white-keys of the music keyboard diagram (a diatonic scale), if you set the “Percussion” check-box of a performance pane, they will map to chromatic-scale notes.

The lines (and their starting numbers) don’t have to be in any order, though low-note to high-note is a customary order.

After the number, there must be a space (you can have more than one space, if you want).

After the space (or spaces), is one or more characters, that when typed, will activate the note the number refers-to. More than one character can activate the same note. All of the characters that activate that note should be included here, one after the other, without any intervining space.

After the character (or characters) to be typed, is normally the end of the line. But if you want to include a comment on the line, you can add a Tab-Character, or a space, and anything beyond that is not processed, so it can be used as a comment.

One of the possible typed-characters, the Backspace, cannot by typed in a text document. To indicate the backspace character, enter a back-slash, followed by the letter ‘b’. For example, ‘\b’. It is the only character within the range of music keys, which can’t be otherwise entered in a text file. It is treated as a single, back-space character (not a back-slash and a b).

The characters in the file can be either upper, or lower case. They are converted to lower-case as they are processed.

You cannot map keys outside of the melody-notes keyboard area, which on a QWERTY U.S. 101 keyboard, in the typical meandering’ low to high order, are:

z x c v b n m , . / ‘ ; l k j h g f d s a q w e r t y u I o p [ ] \ \b = - 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 `

Here (below) is a sample text music-key mapping file, corresponding to the above order of keys:

# QWERTY Z-keyboard mapping file

0 z

1 x

2 c

3 v

4 b

5 n

6 m

7 ,

8 .

9 /

10 '

11 ;

12 l

13 k

14 j

15 h

16 g

17 f

18 d

19 s

20 a

21 q

22 w

23 e

24 r

25 t

26 y

27 u

28 I

29 o

30 p

31 [

32 ]

33 \

34 \b This line is for the Back-Space character.

35 =

36 -

37 0

38 9

39 8

40 7

41 6

42 5

43 4

44 3

45 2

46 1

47 `

# This comment is the last line of the file.

Since these text files are created and edited manually, outside the KMK application, it is not possible to save a keyboard-map as a text file. Any keyboard map files edited and saved by the KMK application, are in its own internal ‘.kbd’ format.

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