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Computer Keyboard Piano in C Programming Language


To accomplish this task you don’t need to buy any expensive software or hardware, only a little knowledge of C program will do and you can build your own musical keyboard software. Before we begin you need to digest some basic concept and logic we are going to use in this program. If you are one of them who spent money to learn basic of computer or any programming language then you must have heard about ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) characters or codes. We are going to use ASCII codes here. This sounds a bit difficult but it is not so.

Logic is that every alphabets on our PC keyboard has some ASCII value like capital A has ASCII value 66, B is equal to 67 and so on. So we will use these values as a frequency range like original musical keyboard has.

The C inbuilt “sound()” function will do this task for us. This “sound()” function instead of using external speaker uses internal speaker located in CPU cabinet. This internal speaker makes beep sound when we boot our PC.

Keyboard Piano Program


void main()
char ch='y';
printf("Press X to exit......");
while(ch !='X')
ch = getch();


Line 1-3: Very first three lines of source code include header files, among three header files “dos.h” header file has vital function which will do our task.

Line-4: Forth line is “void main()” which is the main function of our program and program execution will begin from here.

Line-5: Fifth line is opening brace of main program.

Line-6: In sixth line a character variable has been declared and initialized with character ‘y’.

Line-7: Next line clears the any previous output from output screen.

Line-8: The eighth line prints a line informing user that if he needs to close this program then he/she should press Capital X.

Line-9: Next line is a while loop which keeps looping four lines in it until we press X.

Line-10: Beginning of while loop.

Line-11: In this line of code we store the ASCII value of key pressed by user during runtime. For example if user presses ‘p’ key on keyboard then its corresponding ASCII value, 113 gets store in ‘ch’ variable.

Line-12: The “sound()” will produce sound from pc speaker and in bracket we need to set frequency at which it will buzz. Here we are multiplying 10 with ASCII value available in ch variable. You can change the constant ‘10’ in this line to different integer value and as a result it will change the sound output. Do experiment only with this value.

Line-13: Here “delay()” function determines how long the sound will last (Note: actually “ delay()” function suspends the execution of program). This is determined by value provided in bracket. In our example I have set 75 milliseconds. If you change it to 3000 then sound will be played for 3 seconds.

Line-14: The “nosound()” function works opposite of “sound()” function. It turns off PC speaker. If we won’t use this in our program then speaker will keep buzzing until we close program.

Line-15: End of while loop.

Line-16: End of “main()” function.

You can download 100% working code from Here.




sidhu on April 21, 2015:

superb... i like it very much.. can u post more similar prgms. it might be useful for us !!

Manu rajput from bijnor on August 30, 2014:

It is really awesome code I was inventing for this type of code.... I was very happy after knowing this...

vinay tiwari on January 23, 2013:

yes...its very useful for me...

RAJKISHOR SAHU (author) from Bangalore, Karnataka, INDIA on August 18, 2012:

I wrote my program using Turbo C on windows XP. You have check which compiler you are using and that compiler have all required header file.

subhani on August 15, 2012:

would you plz tell me how to run in ubuntu (linux) in thisdos header file not working also i got errors like sound.c:(.text+0x1e): undefined reference to `getch' plz resole my problem

Java Programs from India on February 28, 2012:

Great hub in C programming language .... Nice explanation of the program in line by line way .... I like the approach ..... keep up the good work ....

sree on December 17, 2011:

i will definetly try this keep it up friendz all the best...............

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Divyanshu Dhruw on November 20, 2011:

It's fabolous man it's incredible. . . i can't believe that this simple small c program can make a musical instrument

RAJKISHOR SAHU (author) from Bangalore, Karnataka, INDIA on September 28, 2011:

@Unknown : if program complied successfully and didn't produce any sound then i doubt there is no internal speaker (which beeps when PC starts). I am not talking about external sound speaker you used with media player.

Preston Champion on June 10, 2011:

In 1876 a man by the name of Elisha Gray invented a musical instrument called the "musical telegraph" which was the precursor to all modern electronic musical keyboards. It was, essentially, the first electronic synthesizer, and it created sounds throught the electromagnetic oscillation of steel reeds and transmitted these sounds over a telephone line.

shiva on February 04, 2011:

its great

umanatarajan on January 31, 2011:

really its very gud material..u done a great job sir....

keep it up..its very useful for us

Ajanth on April 02, 2010:

Can someone teach me how to search for a file in a folder using find first() and find next() i wrote a program on my own but it finds only for the files inside the current directory. But its not searching in other drives or directories. Please help me if you know this stuff. Thanks in advance.

genuin on October 20, 2009:

not so bad... can u pls postsometing related to hacking..

shreekrishna on May 04, 2009:

did you don't get any prototype errors in this ,

next error return statement missing.

your program i have not tested yet , but i always get this errors ,

& i always fail how to solve this error.

& program is not working on vista.

sophieqd on April 10, 2009:

Turn Your PC Keyboard to Musical Keyboard

Great info I really will think about this. Thanks for sharing.

RAJKISHOR SAHU (author) from Bangalore, Karnataka, INDIA on April 09, 2009:

First of all thanks for appreciation anjalichugh. Actually I want instigate new C programmer psyche that they can do much more thing than doing regular programming. I think this kind of example encourages and spice up their learning process.

anjalichugh from New York on April 08, 2009:

Although it sounded like 'Greek' to me, yet I spent some time in learning these tips. It seemed so interesting. Great work...and welcome to Hub Pages.

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