A keyboard instrument is a musical instrument where the available notes are selected and sounded via a keyboard. The most common instruments found in the keyboard family of instruments are the piano, organ, and different types of electronic keyboard, including the modern digital synthesizer. Where the quality and design of the instrument allows, a talented performer can produce a musical performance of great sensitivity. The piano and organ are always popular keyboard instruments because of the vast repertoire of music which has been composed to suit their capabilities.
The various types of electronic keyboard available are a good match for modern lifestyles, with options available for every standard and desire. These electronic instruments tend to be popular because they usually have a broad range of on-board sounds, the smaller versions are very portable and take up little room, and – when required – the instrument can be played 'silently' with the performer wearing headphones. The keyboard-guitar hybrid, keytar, is a good example of the development of keyboard instruments for the entertainment of modern audiences. Many modern artists embrace the newest technologies of keyboard instruments, such as the continuum or even keyboard software for tablets.
Many cultures around the world use keyboard instruments for both pleasure and performance, although they have a predominantly European heritage, such as the accordion which was invented in Germany. The accordion has been well embraced by South American people, however, just as the piano has had a global impact. The desire for music – or more specifically expressing oneself through music – is a universal phenomenon, so wholesale buyers of keyboard instruments should remain open to all types of instrument that they can offer in their own markets.
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