Some people will go to great lengths just to avoid playing scales on a traditional piano-style keyboard. Rick Riday’s apparently Riday T-91 keyboard is immortalized this week on the Matrixsynth blog (via flickr). There’s a discussion of the keyboard there in comments: apparently the keyboard layout is isometric, like the Samchillian and Thummer covered earlier this year. (Note, too, the link to a free QWERTY utility for Windows for trying out your own keyboard layouts.) The effect is a little bit like a peculiar organ adapted for marching band, or a Gothic alt-keytar, but is that a trackball in the corner?
Many people now are rightfully interested more in new instruments that eschew keyboards completely for new interfaces, but there’s something beautiful in all these failed ideas.