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Klavarskribo is a musical notation that differs from the usual notations . It was developed in 1931 by the Dutchman Cor Pot. He borrowed the name from Esperanto , translatable as "keyboard font".


Pot came from a family of shipbuilders and was director of the Smit Slikkerveer company, which built ship dynamos. He was passionate about music and wanted others to have a chance to enjoy music like he did, to play and sing it themselves. He studied alternative music notation and developed his idea for Klavarskribo. He hoped the music world would welcome his idea. When this did not happen, he was very disappointed. Music teachers were also not interested. On the contrary, they felt threatened by the novelty and even worked against its spread. Since Pot had financial means, he was able to develop and publish correspondence courses and have pieces of music transferred into his writing.

In the 1930s the number of piano players grew. Many well-known pieces have been translated into piano notation and published. This work was suspended during the Second World War, but after 1945 it was resumed with renewed vigor. The Klavarskribo Institute, founded by Pot, was expanded in such a way that up to 50 people were employed for a time and courses were held in English, French and German. However , private music-making declined somewhat due to television . After Cor Pot's death in 1977 , the Klavarskribo Foundation's financial resources were also significantly limited.

Today the Klavarskribo Foundation in Ridderkerk (near Rotterdam) deals with the transmission and publication of music, especially for church organists, an extremely important target group. The number of users of piano notation in the Netherlands and abroad is estimated to be at least 10,000.


Keyboard with a corresponding staff system
Melody with notes
Three-digit bars with counting lines and notes

Klavar notation has a number of features that distinguish it from normal notation: Klavar has a staff system with a separate place for each note. This system consists of groups of alternating two and three vertical lines, on and between which black and white notes are placed. # and b become superfluous. The clear similarity between the staff system and the black and white keys of a piano had prompted Pot to give this font the name Klavarskribo. The piano notation is a universal notation for all instruments as well as for vocals, but it is best suited where - as with the keyboard instruments - a number of notes have to be played simultaneously.

Beat and rhythm are graphically noted. A piece of music is divided into bars of equal length, which are divided into beats. Solid bar lines are taken from the normal notation, counting lines also represent the beats. All notes are provided with note stems (to the right: to be played with the right hand, to the left: to be played with the left hand). In addition, the timing scheme indicates when a note should be played or sung. A note always lasts until the next in the same hand or voice, unless a stop sign or a permanent period is used. So there is no connection between the form and duration of a note, there are also no flags, ties and rests. The piano notation has only one key, namely the C key, to indicate where on the piano the c 'can be found. This defines the system of lines on the keyboard. There are also no different keys for the left or the right hand.

This procedure leads to the fact that after a short skimming it is clear how the notation ´works´, so that music can be started quickly. You can see what you are doing, and the staff system gives a consistent picture of the movements to be performed. This is a great advantage especially when playing chords.

Incidentally, the piano notation is not only suitable for beginners. The fact that even the most difficult music by composers like Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt is available in Klavarskribo shows that advanced players also use this notation. Almost all works for keyboard instruments such as organ , piano and accordion are available in Klavarskribo. The Klavarskribo Foundation has compiled volumes for piano, church organ, accordion (orchestra), electric organ, keyboard and guitar. There are also many who use the KlavarScript program, with which music can be converted into traditional notation using midifiles or after scanning the Klavar notation.


In addition to the Klavarskribo Foundation , Klavar Vereniging Nederland (Klavar Association Netherlands), founded in 1978 , is active. It has around 800 members and, together with the foundation, aims to promote and maintain the piano notation. The KVN has published a list of teachers in the Netherlands who want to teach with Klavar. She tries to encourage Klava users to take lessons from these teachers to raise their level.

The Klavarskribo Foundation and the Klavarverein Netherlands consider it their task to make people who want to start playing music aware of Klavarskribo, its benefits and possibilities. Grades and courses in different languages ​​are available at Stichting Klavarskribo, Postbus 39, 2980 AA Ridderkerk, The Netherlands.

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