Beginner: which keyboard size is best?


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As a person who loves to listen to music, I was frustrated that I did not know much about music theory, so I decided to put myself to learn music and owning a keyboard would seem best for this. I have never learned music theory or any instrument beyond the basics. I am not going in with the hopes of playing music as a main interest, but if I am to do something from this skill I am more the creative type (and would mostly create eletronic music) ; I can not imagine myself playing, let alone creating, anything very technically demanding.

I was looking at MIDI controllers, as I prefer to incorporate such things into my computer environment. The ones I am most thinking of is M-Audio's Oxygen or Keystation series, but the main question I am facing now is about the number of keys I should look to have. It seems that either a four or five octave keyboard would be appropriate, but which? I can not tell if the size of a five octave keyboard would be more intrusive than that of a four octave one ; neither would fit neatly on my already cluttered desktop, so I will most likely get a stand or fit it into a new desktop, as mine is uncomfortable enough without a keyboard.

A friend, who says that three-four octaves is perfect, will lend me his four octave one so I can "feel" the size.

Would a four octave keyboard be limiting, keeping in mind that I am not interested in doing anything technically complex/demanding with it?

Thank you for your time.

EDIT: Any suggestions, ideas et cetera not necessarily related to the thread title would also be appreciated, of course!
 
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Hi Sacipyta!

If you want to learn music theory, read up on "Just Intonation", "Psychoacoustics" and the history of the developement of music theory, tuning and notation(these topics are related, so you should stumble onto the others as you read up on one). Keep an open mind, some texts on "Just Intonation" has biased opinions. You should have a basic understanding of these topics before you attempt to study music theory as is popularly understood in todays world. You don't need a keyboard for this, and it might change your mind about buying a keyboard to begin with. Google and Wikipedia is your friend.

As a side note, just double check and read alot of reviews on M-Audio, I was planning to buy midi-controllers from them initially, but decided not to in the end based on reviews. A four octave keyboard should be all you need given what I understand what you want to do, but like I said, read up those topics I suggested before you buy anything.
 

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