I have begun combining my love of (and desire to become better at) music with my computer geekery and developed a Java application that turns any standard 101-key keyboard into a MIDI musical keyboard (actually, I should double-check that...especially since I use certain keys such as '\' that aren't always in the same place).
For those of you who are familiar with Tracking, this uses a slightly different layout (though similar concept) for the keyboard arrangement. Instead of starting with C4 at 'z', I put it at 'v'. This results in the overall range of the keyboard being from F#3 (assigned to 'a') up to A6 (assigned to '\') and also means that I can play certain songs where they were written to be played, instead of having to transpose up an octave to get at all the notes.
As an example, here's how to play a slightly simplified arrangement of Ashokan Farewell in the key of D (with spaces to approximate most of the sustained notes ~grin~):
.2w 2/.k nk, knbcb cxbk.w55t5e .2w 2/.k nk, knbcb cxbk.w5.2ew k,. kbw ./2w.k nk nbc zx . knbk.q w/ 2w.k bxbk.w knbgb
And, as a bonus, here's Simple Gifts:
bb, ,./, /qw wq/ .,. . . , ./.,b b ,k,./ ../qw q/. ../ /., ,., w / ./q/., ./ /qw q/. ./. b, , ././qw q/. . / / ., , ,
And further extra super bonus, here's Prologue from some of the early Final Fantasy games:
b,.bq /.,k,.,,k n./nw q/.l/.n/. b,.bq /.,k,.,,k n./nw q/.l/.n/. e ew /qq/.l./qw r re qw w3w w3wq/.
(Oh wow... these are so much easier to read than notes on a staff... too bad there's no good way to indicate length of note this way ~wry~ Then again, I've spent a lot more time doing things involving sight reading text--even with weird punctuation--into a computer keyboard than I have involving sight reading music into an instrument, so it's not terribly surprising that it is easier (though I am still a little surprised at the degree to which it is easier...))
... and I should probably actually figure out some way to post the program, so if someone who reads this wants to actually try it they can ^_^