Alternative to Traditional Note-Reading: Piano Music on Key Maps -

by John Honeycutt
(Sacramento, CA)

Hi! Your readers might be interested in knowing about this source of free music and music instructional materials. There is never any charge. I have nothing to sell! The site contains several thousand pages of instructional materials and sheet music - all in the public domain.

What's the catch? This music is written on what I call key maps. These literally are contour maps of the keyboard and are notated vertically so that the hands move back and forth to the the right and left in snyc with the movements of the fingers on the keys. The rhythm is on a vertical timeline. This genre is sometimes referred to as piano roll notation because of its similarity to the old fashioned piano rolls. It is also similar the the Synthesia Game, but it is sheet music. It is intended to be a stepping stone to playing from traditional notation.

I've spent the last 20 years developing this material with the help of my piano students. Most of the music is children's songs, folk music, with the majority of the music from the piano classics. Key maps are a robust notation. The site contains many classics, including Bach and Beethoven, with full versions and simplified versions for the intermediate students. There are course materials for teaching basic piano and for teaching chord playing for more advanced students.

I happen to be a retired industrial engineering educator with a music degree from Wheaton College in Illinois. I didn't intend to write so much. Sorry.

Full information about the offerings is available simply by clicking on

Thanks for the opportunity to let some teachers learn about key maps. I can be reached at

Thank you, John!

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