[linux-audio-dev] C++ Keyboard Event Handling

David Olofson david at olofson.net
Fri Jan 20 07:24:08 EST 2006

On Friday 20 January 2006 12:31, Carlo Capocasa wrote:
> I want to create a console keyboard to MIDI application and for this
> I would like to read the physical status of keyboard keys.

That is, MIDI output, as in sending MIDI messages to an onboard or 
external hardware synth, or a softsynth running in the driver or as a 
separate application? (As opposed to generating "wave" audio in your 

Anyway, keybord input is done by handling "press" and "release" 
events. When you get a "press" event, you set some state variable for 
the corresponding key to "down", and when you get a "release" event, 
you clear that state variable.

SDL also has an alternative API that has this logic built in: 

'man SDL_GetKeyState':
       #include "SDL.h"

       Uint8 *SDL_GetKeyState(int *numkeys);

       Gets a snapshot of the current keyboard state.  The
       current  state  is return as a pointer to an array,
       the size of this array is stored  in  numkeys.  The
       array  is indexed by the SDLK_* symbols. A value of
       1 means the key is pressed and a value of  0  means
       its  not.  The  pointer returned is a pointer to an
       internal SDL array and should not be freed  by  the


              Use SDL_PumpEvents to update the state array.

       Uint8 *keystate = SDL_GetKeyState(NULL);
       if ( keystate[SDLK_RETURN] )
		printf("Return Key Pressed.");

//David Olofson - Programmer, Composer, Open Source Advocate

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