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Keyboard instrument

A keyboard instrument is a musical instrument played using a keyboard, a row of levers which are pressed by the fingers. The most common of these are the piano and various electronic keyboards, including synthesizers and digital pianos. Other keyboard instruments include celestas, which are struck idiophones operated by a keyboard, carillons, which are housed in bell towers or belfries of churches or municipal buildings. Today, the term keyboard refers to keyboard-style synthesizers. Under the fingers of a sensitive performer, the keyboard may be used to control dynamics, shading and other elements of expression—depending on the design and inherent capabilities of the instrument. Another important use of the word keyboard is in historical musicology, where it means an instrument whose identity cannot be established. In the 18th century, the harpsichord, the clavichord, the early piano were in competition, the same piece might be played on more than one. Hence, in a phrase such as "Mozart excelled as a keyboard player," the word keyboard is all-inclusive.

The earliest known keyboard instrument was the Ancient Greek hydraulis, a type of pipe organ, invented in the third century BC. The keys were balanced and could be played with a light touch, as is clear from the reference in a Latin poem by Claudian, who says magna levi detrudens murmura tactu... intent, “let him thunder forth as he presses out mighty roarings with a light touch”. From its invention until the fourteenth century, the organ remained the only keyboard instrument; the organ did not feature a keyboard at all, but rather buttons or large levers operated by a whole hand. Every keyboard until the fifteenth century had seven naturals to each octave; the clavichord and the harpsichord appeared during the fourteenth century—the clavichord being earlier. The harpsichord and clavichord were both common until the widespread adoption of the piano in the eighteenth century, after which their popularity decreased; the piano was revolutionary because a pianist could vary the volume of the sound by varying the vigor with which each key was struck.

The piano's full name is gravicèmbalo con piano e forte meaning harpsichord with soft and loud but can be shortened to piano-forte, which means soft-loud in Italian. In its current form, the piano is a product of the late nineteenth century, is far removed in both sound and appearance from the "pianos" known to Mozart and Beethoven. In fact, the modern piano is different from the 19th-century pianos used by Liszt and Brahms. See Piano history and musical performance. Keyboard instruments were further developed in the early twentieth century. Early electromechanical instruments, such as the Ondes Martenot, appeared early in the century; this was a important contribution to the keyboard's history. Much effort has gone into creating an instrument that sounds like the piano but lacks its size and weight; the electric piano and electronic piano were early efforts that, while useful instruments in their own right, did not convincingly reproduce the timbre of the piano. Electric and electronic organs were developed during the same period.

More recent electronic keyboard designs strive to emulate the sound of specific make and model pianos using digital samples and computer models. Each acoustic keyboard contains 88 keys. Weighted keys, found on electronic keyboards, are designed to simulate the resistance of a key on an acoustic keyboard, via pressurization. There are 4 types of weighted keys. Keybeds, or non-weighted keys place the weights within the base of the keyboard; the second type, Semi-weighted uses springs, the third type is hammer keys. Most electronic keyboards use the fourth type: graded simulate keys. Weighted keys are made of wood, or metal/wood substitute. Enharmonic keyboard Musical instrument Musical keyboard Orchestrina di camera Piano Symphony Organ Young, Percy M. Keyboard Musicians of the World. London: Abelard-Schuman, 1967. N. B.: Concerns celebrated keyboard players and the various such instruments used over the centuries. ISBN 0-200-71497-X The general keyboard in the age of MIDI Renaissance Keyboards on the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art The Pianofortes of Bartolomeo Cristofori on the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Asha's Mums

Asha's Mums is a 1990 book by Rosamund Elwin and Michele Paulse, illustrated by Dawn Lee. The following article examines the events occurring in the children's book, as well as the controversy surrounding the topics discussed; the story is based on Asha's struggle to explain having two mothers to her friends and teacher and gain permission to go on the school trip. Asha's teacher Ms. Samuels sees Asha's mothers' names on the permission form and assumes it has been filled out incorrectly. A worried Asha confides in her mothers who agree to talk to the teacher face to face to sort matters out. In the meantime, Asha informs her classmates about different types of families; the story concludes on a positive note as Asha is granted permission to go on the school trip, everyone has learned that families come in all shapes and sizes. In 1997, Asha's Mums was one of three books about same-sex families banned by the School District 36 Surrey in Surrey, British Columbia; the others were Lesléa Newman's Belinda's Bouquet and Johnny Valentine's One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads.

A case to overturn the ban was filed with the Supreme Court of British Columbia the same year. The ban was overturned by Justice Mary Saunders in December 1998, although the school board appealed the decision to the British Columbia Court of Appeal; the Court of Appeal ruling in September 2000 overturned Saunders' ruling that the ban had been religiously motivated, but substituted its own narrower finding that the books could not be banned from use because they met the school board's criteria for inclusion in school libraries, thus leaving both sides of the case technically able to claim victory. On the day following the decision, the Vancouver Sun republished the entire text of the book in its print edition. Due to the ambiguity of the decision, the case was taken up by the Supreme Court of Canada. In Chamberlain v Surrey School District No 36, a kindergarten teacher requested that the School Board accept his use of books involving the topic of same-sex parents; the Supreme Court of Canada found that the ban was unreasonable, contradicting the secular and non-sectarian principles of the BC School Act.

Under this ruling, a ban on books about same-sex parents could not be justified. Within months of the Supreme Court decision, the Surrey school board again banned the three books, this time citing reasons including "poor grammar and spelling" in Asha's Mums, the inclusion of the "age-inappropriate" subject of dieting in Belinda's Bouquet and purported mockery of "different skin colours" in One Dad, Two Dads. At the same time, the board approved two other books, ABC: A Family Alphabet Book and Who's In a Family, which included depictions of same-sex parents

Oksana Baiul

Oksana Serhiyivna Baiul-Farina is a Ukrainian retired competitive figure skater. She is the 1994 Olympic champion in ladies' singles. Baiul is the only skater representing Ukraine to win gold at the Winter Olympics, she is the first Olympic champion of independent Ukraine in any sport. After winning the gold medal in 1994, she decided to turn professional in order to tour in the United States and have a career based on her skating, she followed one of her coaches to Connecticut. She became involved in a variety of TV appearances, benefit skates, after treatment for alcohol addiction, she has lived in the United States since 1994. Baiul was born on 16 November 1977 in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, an industrial city famous for manufacturing Soviet missiles, her parents divorced when she was two years old, her father disappeared shortly after. No one is certain whether he deserted his family or was pressured to leave town when he and his wife divorced, she was raised by Marina -- a French teacher -- and her maternal grandparents.

In addition to her Ukraine ancestry, she is of Russian descent through her maternal grandfather. Her father died in 2006, her grandfather died in 1987, her grandmother in 1988. In 1991 her mother, healthy, died of ovarian cancer, when Baiul was 13, her father appeared at her mother's funeral. She lived with the wife of her coach, Stanislav Koritek, who had moved to Canada, with friends. After moving to Odessa in mid-1992, Baiul lived chiefly in a dormitory, with her expenses covered by the state because of her promise in skating. In 1993, she lived a month with coach Galina Zmievskaya between the European and World championships. After the 1994 Winter Olympics, she moved to Simsbury, the location of the International Skating Center of Connecticut. In the late 1990s, she followed her coach, Valentyn Nikolayev, to Richmond, Virginia where she lived for several years before moving to Cliffside Park, New Jersey. After residing there for 14 years, Baiul moved to Pennsylvania in March 2012, settling in Upper Makefield Township, Bucks County.

In January 1997, Baiul was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol after crashing her car into a tree in Bloomfield, Connecticut. The charges were dropped after she met the terms of probation and completed an alcohol education program, her drinking problem worsened, in May 1997 she entered an alcohol rehabilitation program for two and a half months. In a 2004 interview, she said she had been sober for six years, saying "This is more important than Olympic gold." Baiul was raised as a Russian Orthodox Christian. As a child, she heard rumors. In 2003, she phoned her old rink in Dnipropetrovsk to ask for assistance in locating her father—assuming it was a joke, they hung up twice. Baiul convinced them of her identity; the rink manager helped her reunite with her father Sergey Baiul in September 2003, when she was 25 years old. He confirmed. According to Orthodox Judaism, her mother and Baiul would be classified as Jewish by blood. Baiul decided to identify as Jewish because of the custom of matrilineality in Judaism.

In 2005, she said, "Being Jewish, that feels good. It feels natural, like a second skin"; as a child, Baiul was not considered thin enough. Her grandmother took her to skating lessons, her grandfather was supportive of her skating, which she began at age three in Dnipropetrovsk. He believed that she could be a future prima ballerina and that skating was a fine training ground for dance. Baiul pursued ballet, but chose ice skating; as she trained, her mother paid for her training expenses, including lessons and equipment. By the age of five, she was studying with a prominent Ukrainian coach, she was coached by Koritek until he was offered a coaching job in Toronto, Ontario, in March 1992. He accepted due to lack of support for the sport in Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In August 1992, his father, the vice-president of the Ukrainian skating federation, called coach Galina Zmievskaya on Baiul's behalf, she took her on as a student. Zmievskaya welcomed her into her circle of elite skaters, provided her shelter in her family's cramped three-room apartment in the city.

Under Zmievskaya's training, Baiul made rapid progress. Her other coach in Odessa was Valentyn Nikolayev, she represented FSC "Ukraine". Baiul took the silver medal at the 1993 European Championships in Helsinki, finishing second to Surya Bonaly of France. Prior to the 1993 World Championships in Prague, she crashed into the boards and displaced disks in her back and neck. At the event, she stopped consulted a Czech doctor, she competed in skates with crooked blades. Ranked second in the short program and first in the free skate, she finished ahead of Bonaly and became world champion at age 15. In 1994, Baiul won the silver medal at the European Championships in Copenhagen, again finishing second to Bonaly. At the 1994 Winter Olympics, she was second to Nancy Kerrigan after the short program of Ladies' singles. During a practice session before the long program, she collided with Germany's Tanja Szewczenko, sustaining a wrenched lower back and a small cut on her right shin, which required three stitches.

She received two Olympic-approved pain-killing injecti