Black Royal

The sound of Poemophone: Black Royal is loud with a prolonged resonance and rattle.  The keys are pliable and pluck easily.  The sounding board is made of padauk, a dense and heavy hard grained wood that is similar to the heartwood used in traditional mbira construction.  The feet are carved from camphorwood.  As with each of the Poemophones, the keys are hand forged steel.

The keyboard of Black Royal is not the QWERTY keyboard.  The layout of the keyboard is structured as follows:

The Poemophone keyboard arrangement is modeled after that of a typewriter, with three rows of keys running in parallel tiers horizontally across the sound board.  The key arrangement on Black Royal is divided into a left and right manual, each having a separate bridge and crossbar.  The two bridges incline upwards towards the center of the instrument, laying diagonal within the rectangle of the sound board.  This arrangement places higher pitched tones at the outer edges and lower pitched tones toward the center of the keyboard.

To listen to sound samples please click on the links below.

Hear the alphabet played on Black Royal:


Listen to the word ‘poemophone’ played on Black Royal:


Hear random playing of the left and right keys of the keyboard:

Left & Right outer keys random play

Hear random playing of the middle keys of the keyboard:

Middle keys random play

Listen to the bottom row of keys from left to right:

Bottom Row

Listen to the middle row of keys from left to right:

Middle Row

Listen to top row of keys from left to right:

Top row

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