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A manual is a musical keyboard designed to be played with the hands, on an instrument such as a pipe organ, harpsichord, clavichord, electronic organ, or synthesizer. the term "manual" is used with regard to any hand keyboard on these instruments to distinguish it from the pedalboard, which is a keyboard that the organist plays with his or her feet. it is proper to use "manual" rather than "keyboard," then, when referring to the hand keyboards on any instrument that has a pedalboard.