Which instrument for general 'keys' or 'toetsen (NL)'

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I have been adding quite some credits now for instrument performers. But I wonder what other editors choose for the general ‘keys’ (toetsen in Dutch). So undetermined key instrument, including any keyboard/organ/piano.

I use keyboard for that now, but as I’m not an instrumentalist myself I would like some confirmation/discussion.

There was some discussion about this, see this ticket. The odd thing is that according to @CatQuest’s comments on that ticket, keyboard (this one?) should be used, but the one I linked to is still an electronic instrument that is linked to the electric keyboard on Wikidata. So now I am thoroughly confused.

I’ve always used keyboard myself. But this makes me wonder whether we need a “keyboard (generic)” thing…

If you know the instrument, use that.
If not, I use keyboard.


Here’s an interesting tidbit…
The “keyboard” got its name because it was “just the keyboard”.
See, an organ has a keyboard. Piano has a keyboard. Even the harpsichord has a keyboard.
Most people say keyboard when they mean ‘The Synthesizer’. (which is also technically wrong, and let’s not get into the difference between synthesizers and digital pianos)
The ‘keyboard’ is the keys themselves, each individual key creates the keyboard. Much the same as each individual human makes the human race.

That is why all of those instruments have guys who are known as “Johnny on the keys”. They are all keyboard instruments.


I would support a “general keyboard” option. But if we did that, I would want the non-general keyboard option removed and replaced with something else (I think we have electronic keyboard already)
Synthesizer is technically wrong, because the synthesizer got its name because of the way the sounds are made. They do not require a keys to operate them, but that would be the most common way.
They even sell keys (they fall under the blanket category of “midi controllers”). They are literally just a set of keys. You then plug them into whatever device you want to “control”. It doesn’t have to be a sound module, I set one up in a baseball field for the guy to control the graphics that get displayed on the jumbotron.

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Sounds like just changing the old keyboard instrument to be generic is the right thing here (also as many of the credits there will be just “idk what it is it says “keys” or “keyboard”” ones)

Actual actual electronic keyboards are then usually called synthesisers or whatever too, so if it says “keyboard” and one doesn’t know or it isn’t clear from context, any generic instrument is as good as the next.

In fact I have not looked at the keyboard instrument yet and it’s typing might even be just a remnant from the old instrument tree 😅

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it seems not even us rel-editors agree ​:D

Is it wise to consider any changes in renaming or re-categorizing instruments at all this moment?

Looking at the mess with ‘membranophones’ and ‘families’ that still hasn’t been fixed (after what is it, a year now?) I don’t think anybody is looking forward to a repeat of something like that?

Thanks for the updates/history. I will continue with using keyboard for keys/toetsen/tast etc.

[off] For normal users like me that do not use beta website, the link to the history @CatQuest gives is

I’ve also been using “keyboard” for this and would support CatQuest’s proposal to just change it to be generic.

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oh you should be able to log in to “beta” with your regular credentials just fine - any beta link should work as normal 😺

Honestly I don’t know why I use beta, I don’t think it’s unormal, I just started using it once because there was a bug that was fixed in beta before it was fixed in prod on the plain MB server and using beta is just something I got used to it, it’s just habit at this point ;)

As for keyboard: what sort of type of instrument should it be? Maybe simply “other” since it can be literally any kind? (yes even percussion 😅)

Organ - wind
Piano - string Some other example that doesn’t start a freaking debate.
Synth - electronic
Celesta - percussion

If it really bothers you (as much as me) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: choose your favourite MusicBrainz server (main or beta) and no link will ever send you to the other: mb. PREFERRED MBS.
Sorry slightly off topic but it’s such a small user script that I don’t think it deserves a whole new topic.


Yes, I agree type would have to be ‘other’.

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Strictly your table here does not imply otherwise, but since most MB users are likely mostly watching/listening to instruments rather than playing them, there is a point in understanding ‘keyboard’ as a practical mere interface to a wide range of instruments mainly classified according to the way sound is actually produced. Table of sorts:

Harpsichord - string (plucked)
Piano - percussion (string hammered)
Celesta - percussion (plate hammered)
Organ - wind (pipe)
Accordion - wind (reed)
Synth - electronic

Having ‘keyboard’ as a generic instrument is fine, but comes with minutiae entangling for a database (Basically what @justcheckingitout said: “Jonnies with the bow/plectrum/sticks”.)

8 posts were split to a new topic: Classification of piano

Anyway this topic seems to be winding down now. So I suggest to make a JIRA ticket for the suggested changes here and I’ll get to it quickly on Monday after talking it over with reo and freso 👍

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