The sound of Poemophone: Model 5 is twanky and moderately loud with a prolonged resonance. Areas of the right hand keyboard squeak intermittently. The keys are thick and are to be plucked with force. The sounding board is carved from a thick slab of eucalyptus. The back end is open for easy access to the keys, which can be rearranged. As with each of the Poemophones, the keys are hand forged steel.
The keyboard of Model 5 does not use the QWERTY keyboard. The keys are laid out to approximate alphabetical order. Keys of similar length can be rearranged to alter order and pitch. Of the Poemophones, Model 5 is meant to be the most adjustable for the performer/composer.
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 Model 5 is made of a single continuous bridge and crossbar. The bridge incline towards the right of the instrument, laying diagonal within the rectangle of the sound board. This arrangement places higher pitched tones at the left edge and lower pitched tones at the right of the keyboard. Pitch shifts incrementally lower across the keyboard from left to right.
To listen to sound samples please click on the links below.
Hear the alphabet played on Model 5:
Listen to the word ‘poemophone’ played on Model 5:
Playing the left keys of the keyboard:
Playing the middle keys of the keyboard:
Playing the right keys of the keyboard:
Playing the bottom row of keys from left to right:
Playing the middle row of keys from left to right:
Playing the top row of keys from left to right:
Check out how musician Ethan Rose composed and performed with Model 5