The term keyboard refers to any musical instrument that can be played on a musical keyboard such as the piano, various organs, harpsichord and others. They are used widely in Western Music and otherwise have been in use from the early ages
The earliest among these instruments was the Hydraulis that came into existence in the 3rd century and did not have a keyboard at all
It was later modified and developed into instruments such as the harpsichord, pipe organ, clavichord and the wide array of keyboard instruments today that have been developed from them.
These instruments have shown a large amount of developments from the time that they were introduced. The recent among these developments has been the piano wherein the intensity of sound can be varied by changing the intensity with which one strikes the keys. The most recent one of course are the fully electronic keyboards that produce waveforms by making use of devices such as frequency dividers and oscillators which are in turn connected to a web of filters thus, producing the desired sound. The piano has been the most popular among them.
The modern keyboards come with features such as LCD screens and recording of voice in the MIDI format etc.
On the keyboard, the twelve notes present in Western music are arranged in the form of keys starting from the lowest note on the left and successively moving to higher ones on the right. The larger white keys are used for the seven major notes and the smaller black keys for the remaining five ones. Such an arrangement may be repeated a number of times. For example, a modern piano may even have 92 keys
The various keyboard instruments differ in their construction and thus, are played with some differences as well. For example, in a pipe organ the quality and intensity of sound depends on the various stops that the player may have selected.
Playing these instruments requires may prove to be difficult if the person playing it is not skilful enough as, the movements required to play the sequences may prove to be complicated. This skill can of course be improved by practice. These skills include the coordination of your hands and also the control over the intensity with which the keys are pressed in case of instruments like the piano.