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Encyclopedia > Harpsichord
Harpsichord in the Flemish style

A harpsichord is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It produces sound by plucking a string when each key is pressed. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (643x789, 1289 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Harpsichord History of music Christopher J. Monckton ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (643x789, 1289 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Harpsichord History of music Christopher J. Monckton ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified for the purpose of making music. ... The layout of a typical musical keyboard A musical keyboard is the set of adjacent depressible levers on a musical instrument which cause the instrument to produce sounds. ... A key is a small rectangular button on a musical instrument that is depressed to cause the instrument to create a sound of a particular pitch. ...


As well as the large instrument currently called a harpsichord, the harpsichord family also includes the smaller virginals, the muselar or muselaar virginals and the spinet (but not the clavichord which is a hammered instrument). A harpsichord is the general term for a family of European keyboard instruments, including the large instrument nowadays called a harpsichord, but also the smaller virginals, the muselar virginals and the spinet. ... A harpsichord is the general term for a family of European keyboard instruments, including the large instrument nowadays called a harpsichord, but also the smaller virginals, the muselar virginals and the spinet. ... A harpsichord is the general term for a family of European keyboard instruments, including the large instrument nowadays called a harpsichord, but also the smaller virginals, the muselar virginals and the spinet. ... A spinet is a smaller type of harpsichord or other keyboard instrument, such as a piano or organ. ... Large five-octave unfretted clavichord by Paul Maurici, after J.A. Haas The clavichord is a European stringed keyboard instrument known from the late Medieval, through the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical eras. ...


The harpsichord was widely used in baroque music. It became less popular following the invention of the piano, but is still used in contemporary music due to its distinctive sound. Baroque music describes an era and a set of styles of European classical music which were in widespread use between approximately 1600 and 1750. ... A short grand piano, with the lid up. ...

Contents

Mechanism

Although harpsichords vary greatly in size and shape, they all have the same basic functional arrangement. The player presses a key, causing the far end of the key to rise. This in turn lifts a jack, a long strip of wood, to which is attached a small plectrum (a bit of quill or plastic), which on being lifted plucks the string. When the key is released by the player, the far end returns to its rest position and the jack is lowered. The plectrum, being mounted on a tongue that can swivel backwards away from the string, can then pass the string without plucking it again. As the key settles into its rest position, the string vibrations are halted by the damper, a bit of felt attached to the top of the jack. Various guitar picks A plectrum is a small flat tool used to pluck or strum a stringed instrument. ...


These basic principles are explained in more detail below.

Schematic view of a 2x8' single manual harpsichord
  • The keylever is a simple pivot, which rocks on a balance pin passing through a hole drilled through it.
  • The jack is a thin, rectangular piece of wood which sits upright on the end of the keylever, held in place by the registers (upper, movable and lower, fixed) which are two long strips of wood running in the gap from spine to cheek with rectangular mortises through which the jacks can move up and down.
Upper part of a jack
  • In the jack, a plectrum juts out almost horizontally (normally the plectrum is angled upwards a tiny amount) and passes just under the string. Historically, plectra were normally made of crow quill or leather, though most modern harpsichords based on historic instruments are fitted with plastic (delrin or celcon) quills instead.
  • When the front of the key is pressed, the back of the key rises, the jack is lifted, and the plectrum plucks the string.
When the key is pressed, the jack is raised, and the plectrum touches the string and begins to bend. Then the plectrum plucks the string and causes it to sound. The jack hits the jack rail. When the player's hand is released from the key, the jack falls back down under its own weight, and the plectrum pivots backwards to allow it to pass the string.
  • When the key is lowered, the jack falls back down under its own weight, and the plectrum pivots backwards to allow it to pass the string. This is made possible by having the plectrum held in a tongue which is attached with a pivot and a spring to the body of the jack.
  • At the top of the jack, a damper of felt sticks out and keeps the string from vibrating when the key is not depressed.
  • The vertical rise of the jacks is stopped by the jackrail, which is covered with soft felt to muffle the jack's impact. The key-dip, which is the maximum depth the key may be pressed down, is usually set at the length of the jack. If the key-dip is too deep, which hinders quick repetition of notes and the execution of fast passages, the length of the corresponding jacks should be extended (by means of a pilot screw or other means).

Image File history File links HarpsichordMechanism-EN.svg‎ File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links HarpsichordMechanism-EN.svg‎ File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Jack_diagram-EN.svg‎ File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Jack_diagram-EN.svg‎ File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Various guitar picks A plectrum is a small flat tool used to pluck or strum a stringed instrument. ... For other uses, see Crow (disambiguation). ... Delrin is the brand name for an acetal resin engineering plastic invented and sold by DuPont. ... Polyoxymethylene, also known as acetal resin, polytrioxane and polyformaldehyde, is an engineering plastic used to make gears, bushings and other mechanical parts. ... Image File history File links Harpsichord_jack_action. ... Image File history File links Harpsichord_jack_action. ...

Strings and soundboard

Simply plucking the strings would produce a very feeble sound. The full sonority of the harpsichord arises because the strings pass over a bridge (fig. 1, 9), which provides a sharp edge supporting one end of their vibrating length. The bridge is firmly attached to a soundboard (fig. 1, 14), a thin panel of wood usually made of spruce or (in Italian harpsichords) cedar. The soundboard and case-construction efficiently transduces the vibrations of the strings to the air, making them fully audible. Also, the vibrations of one string will invite its adjacent twin string to resonate in sympathy as long as the key is pressed. Some harpsichords have a 'damper off' position so that one choir of strings is undamped and may resonate freely in response to the tones played on the other choir(s). Species About 35; see text. ... For other uses, see Cedar (disambiguation). ...


The strings must be held at the proper tension to sound the correct note. At one end, generally closest to the keyboard, they are passed around tuning pins (fig. 1, 4), which may be rotated with an appropriate wrench (tuning hammer) to adjust each string to its proper pitch. The tuning pins are drilled in the pinblock or wrestplank (fig. 1, 23), an oblong hard-wood plank. The other ends of the strings are fitted with twisted loopholes that pass over the hitchpins (fig. 1, 10) which are driven into the liner.


Multiple choirs of strings

It is not unusual for a harpsichord to have exactly one string per note. However, there are several reasons why it is considered desirable to have more.

  • When there are two choirs of strings at the same length, it is possible to give them different tonal qualities and thus increase the variety of sound that the harpsichord can produce. This is done by having one plucked close to the nut (the bridge-like device that terminates the sounding length of the strings), the other farther away. Plucking close to the nut emphasizes the higher harmonics, producing a "nasal" sound quality.
  • When two strings are carefully tuned to be the same pitch, or an octave apart, and are plucked simultaneously (by a single keystroke), the ear will hear a single note, louder and enriched by virtue of being sounded by two differently arranged strings. The quality distinction is particularly noticeable when the one string is an octave higher or lower than the other.

Thus, in describing a harpsichord, it is customary to specify its choirs of strings, often called its disposition. Strings at eight foot pitch sound at the normal expected pitch, strings at four foot pitch sound an octave higher, and similarly for the rare 16-foot pitch (one octave lower) and two-foot pitch (two octaves higher). This article is about the components of sound. ... For other uses, see Octave (disambiguation). ... The disposition of a harpsichord is the set of choirs of strings it contains. ... Eight-foot pitch is a term common to the organ and the harpsichord. ...


When there are multiple choirs of strings, it is desirable for the player to be able to control which ones are played at any given time. This is generally done by having multiple sets of jacks (one per string), "turning off" a choir of strings by moving the upper register (through which the jacks slide) sideways a bit, so that their plectra no longer touch the strings.


In simpler instruments, this function was performed directly by hand, but as the harpsichord evolved various inventions arose making it easier to change the registration, for example with levers next to the keyboard, knee levers, or pedals.


Particular flexibility in selecting the strings to be played could be obtained in instruments that had more than one manual (keyboard), since each manual could control the plucking of a particular set of strings. In addition, makers often produced arrangements whereby the notes of one manual could optionally be sounded with the other manual. The most flexible system was the French shove coupler, in which the lower manual could slide forward and backward, and in the backward position "dogs" attached to the upper surface of the lower manual would engage the lower surface of the upper manual's keys, causing them to play. Depending on choice of keyboard and coupler position, the player could select the set of jacks labeled in the diagram as A, or B and C, or all three.

French shove coupler. To the left: uncoupled keyboards. The depressed upper key lifts the jack A upwards. The depressed lower key lifts jacks B and C. To the right: The upper keyboard is coupled to the lower one by pulling the latter. The depressed upper key lifts the jack A upwards. The depressed lower key lifts jacks A, B and C.

The English dogleg jack system was less flexible, in that the manuals were immobile. The dogleg shape of the set of jacks labeled A in fig. 5 permitted A to be played by either keyboard, but the lower manual necessarily played all three sets, and could not play just B and C as in the French shove coupler.

Dogleg jack, English coupler system. When depressed, the upper key lifts the "dogleg" jack (jack A) upwards. The lower key lifts all three jacks A, B, and C.

Curiously, the use of multiple manuals in a harpsichord was not originally for the purpose of flexibility in choosing which strings would sound, but rather for transposition; for discussion see History below. In music transposition refers to the process of moving a collection of notes (pitches) up or down in pitch by a constant interval. ...


The case

The case holds in position all of the important structural members: pinblock, soundboard, hitchpins, keyboard, and the jack action. It usually includes a solid bottom, and also internal bracing to maintain its form without warping under the tension of the strings. Cases varied greatly in weight and sturdiness: Italian harpsichords often used very light construction, while heavier construction is found in the later Flemish instruments and those derived from them (see History, below).

Jan Vermeer's famous painting A Lady Standing at a Virginal shows the characteristic practice of his time, with the instrument mounted on a table and the player standing.

The case also gives the harpsichord its external appearance and protects the instrument. A harpsichord of the 18th century is, in a sense, a kind of furniture, as it stands alone on legs and is usually styled in a manner similar to the furniture of its place and time. But this conception emerged only gradually. Early Italian instruments were so light in construction that they were treated rather like violins: kept for storage in protective outer cases and played by extracting them from their cases and placing them on a table.[1] (Such tables were often quite high, since until the late 18th century people usually played standing up.[1]) Eventually, harpsichords came to be built with just a single case, though a curious intermediate stage also existed: the "false inner-outer", which for purely aesthetic reasons was built to look as if the outer case contained an inner one, in the old style.[2]. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1576x1807, 210 KB) Description: Title: de: Stehende Dame am Spinett en: A Lady Standing at a Virginal Technique: de: Öl auf Leinwand Dimensions: Country of origin: de: Niederlande (Holland) Current location (city): de: London Current location (gallery): de: National Gallery Other... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1576x1807, 210 KB) Description: Title: de: Stehende Dame am Spinett en: A Lady Standing at a Virginal Technique: de: Öl auf Leinwand Dimensions: Country of origin: de: Niederlande (Holland) Current location (city): de: London Current location (gallery): de: National Gallery Other... View of Delft, 1660-1661 Johannes Vermeer (1632 - December 15, 1675) was a Dutch painter. ...


Even after harpsichords had become self-encased objects, they often were supported by separate stands, and only gradually came to have their own legs.


In the fully evolved instrument, there is lid that can be raised, a cover for the keyboard, and a stand for holding music in place.


Harpsichords were decorated in a great many ways: plain buff paint (e.g. some Flemish instruments), paper printed with patterns, leather or velvet coverings, chinoiserie, and occasionally highly elaborate painted artwork.[3] Chinese House (Potsdam) Chinoiserie[1] refers to a recurring theme in European artistic styles since the seventeenth century, which reflects Chinese art and is characterized by the use of fanciful imagery of an imaginary China, by asymmetry in format and whimsical contrasts of scale, and by the attempts to imitate...


Variants

While the terms used to denote various members of the family have been quite standardized today, in the harpsichord's heyday, this was not the case.


Harpsichord

In modern usage, a harpsichord can either mean all the members of the family, or more specifically, the grand-piano-shaped member, with a vaguely triangular case accommodating long bass strings at the left and short treble strings at the right; characteristically, the profile is more elongated than that of a modern piano, with a sharper curve to the bentside. A grand piano from Schiedmayer & Söhne, Stuttgart. ... Bass (IPA: [], rhyming with face), when used as an adjective, describes tones of low frequency or range. ... Treble is a term applied in music to the high or acute part of the musical system, as opposed to the bass, the lower or grave part. ...


Virginals

Main article: Virginals

The virginals is a smaller and simpler rectangular form of the harpsichord with only one string per note running parallel to the keyboard on the long side of the case. A harpsichord is the general term for a family of European keyboard instruments, including the large instrument nowadays called a harpsichord, but also the smaller virginals, the muselar virginals and the spinet. ...


Spinet

Main article: Spinet

A harpsichord with the strings set at an angle to the keyboard (usually of about 30 degrees) is called a spinet. In such an instrument, the strings are too close to fit the jacks between them in the normal way; instead, the strings are arranged in pairs, the jacks are placed in the large gaps between pairs, and they face in opposite directions, plucking the strings adjacent to the gap. A spinet is a smaller type of harpsichord or other keyboard instrument, such as a piano or organ. ...


Clavicytherium

A clavicytherium is a harpsichord of which the soundboard and strings are mounted vertically and thus face the player. Since the strings run vertical, the jacks must move in the horizontal plane, which is why the action of clavecytheria is more involved as in harpsichords since the direction of the key-movement (up and down) must be made to go forward and back. The same space-saving principle was later embodied in the upright piano. [4]


Curiously, some of the earliest harpsichords for which we have evidence are clavicytheria. One surviving example from the late 15th century is kept at the Royal College of Music in London.[4] The clavicytherium may have been one of the candidates for harpsichord actions during the early days of the instrument, when alternatives vied (see below, History), but ultimately was almost entirely defeated by the standard horizontal harpsichord, which has the advantage of being able to rely on the direct force of gravity to return the jacks to their rest position. // This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...


However, clavicytheria continued to be made from time to time throughout the historical period. In the 18th century particularly fine clavicytheria were made by Albertus Delin, a Flemish builder.[5].


Other

Several harpsichords with heavily modified keyboards, such as the archicembalo, were built in the 16th century to accommodate variant tuning systems demanded by compositional practice and theoretical experimentation. The archicembalo of Nicola Vicentino is a kind of harpsichord of 36 notes to the octave which Vicentino constructed in 1555. ...


Compass and Pitch range

Generally, earlier harpsichords have smaller ranges and later ones larger, though there are frequent exceptions. In general, the largest harpsichords have a range of just over five octaves and the smallest have under four. Usually, the shortest keyboards were given extended range in the bass using the method of the "short octave". Tuning Pitch in nowadays' practice is taken often at a=415 Hz, a semitone below modern standard concert pitch of a=440 Hz. An accepted exception is for French baroque repertoire which is often performed from a=392 Hz, yet again one semitone lower. No doubt this is overly simplified, but common practice. Historically, tuning would commence on C or F. In music, the range of a musical instrument is the distance from the lowest to the highest pitch it can play. ... For other uses, see Octave (disambiguation). ... The short octave was a method of assigning notes to keys in early keyboard instruments (harpsichord, clavichord, organ), for the purpose of giving the instrument an extended range in the bass. ...


History

Main article: History of the harpsichord

The harpsichord was most likely invented in the late Middle Ages. By the 1500's, harpsichord makers in Italy were making lightweight instruments with low string tension. A different approach was taken in Flanders starting in the late 1500s, notably by the Ruckers family. Their harpsichords used a heavier construction and produced a more powerful and distinctive tone. They included the first harpsichords with two keyboards, used for transposition. Harpsichord in the Flemish style The harpsichord was an important keyboard instrument in Europe from the 15th through the 18th centuries, and as revived in the 20th, is widely played today. ... The Ruckers family was perhaps the most famous line of Flemish harpsichord makers, based in Antwerp in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. ...

Ruckers-Taskin harpsichord, (Paris, Musée de la Musique)

The Flemish instruments served as the model for 18th century harpsichord construction in other nations. In France, the double keyboards were adapted to control different choirs of strings, making a musically more flexible instrument. Instruments from the peak of the French tradition, by makers such as the Blanchet family and Pascal Taskin, are among the most widely admired of all harpsichords, and are frequently used as models for the construction of modern instruments. In England, the Kirkman and Shudi firms produced sophisticated harpsichords of great power and sonority. German builders extended the sound repertoire of the instrument by adding sixteen foot and two foot choirs; these instruments have recently served as models for modern builders. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (461x615, 36 KB) Summary Clavecin fait par A. Rückers (1646), ravalé par Taskin (1780) - France XVIIIe siècle Auteur : Gérard Janot Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Harpsichord ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (461x615, 36 KB) Summary Clavecin fait par A. Rückers (1646), ravalé par Taskin (1780) - France XVIIIe siècle Auteur : Gérard Janot Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Harpsichord ... Blanchet stands for Abbé François Blanchet (1707-1784), French littérateur Claude Blanchet, Canadian financial tycoon François Blanchet, French writer (1707-1784) François Norbert Blanchet (1795-1883), first archbishop of Oregon City Joseph-Goderic Blanchet (1820-1890), Canadian physician and politician Luz Blanchet (b. ... Pascal Joseph Taskin (1723-1793) was a French harpsichord and piano maker. ... The Kirkman family (variants: Kirckman, Kirchmann) were English harpsichord and later piano makers of Alsatian origin. ... Burkat Shudi (variants: Burkhardt, Schudi, Tschudi, Tshudi) (1702 - 19 August 1773) was an English harpsichord maker of Swiss origin. ... Eight-foot pitch is a term common to the organ and the harpsichord. ... Eight-foot pitch is a term common to the organ and the harpsichord. ...


Except for being used for continuo-playing in opera performances, in the late 18th century the harpsichord was supplanted by the piano and disappeared from view for most of the 19th century. 20th century efforts to revive the harpsichord initially involved much importation of piano technology, in the form of heavy strings and metal frames. Starting in mid century, ideas about harpsichordmaking underwent a major change, when builders such as Frank Hubbard, William Dowd, and Martin Skowroneck sought to re-establish the building traditions of the Baroque period. Harpsichords of this type of historically informed building practice dominate the current scene. A short grand piano, with the lid up. ... Frank Twombly Hubbard (15 May 1920 - 25 February 1976) was an American harpsichord maker, a pioneer in the revival of historical methods of harpsichord building. ... William Richmond Dowd (born 28 February 1922) is an American harpsichord maker. ...


Music for the harpsichord

Historic

The first music written specifically for solo harpsichord came to be published around the early 16th century. Composers who wrote solo harpsichord music were numerous during the whole Baroque era in Italy, Germany and, above all, France. Favorite genres for sole harpsichord composition included the dance suite, the fantasia, and the fugue. Besides solo works, the harpsichord was widely used for accompaniment in the basso continuo style (a function it maintained in opera even into the 19th century). Well into the 18th century, the harpsichord was considered to have advantages and disadvantages with respect to the piano. Baroque music describes an era and a set of styles of European classical music which were in widespread use between approximately 1600 and 1750. ... In music, a suite is an organized set of instrumental or orchestral pieces normally performed at a single sitting, as a separate musical performance, not accompanying an opera, ballet, or theater-piece. ... The fantasia (also English: , German: , French: ) is a musical composition with its roots in the art of improvisation. ... In music, a fugue (IPA: ) is a type of contrapuntal composition or technique of composition for a fixed number of parts, normally referred to as voices, irrespective of whether the work is vocal or instrumental. ... Figured bass, or thoroughbass, is a kind of integer musical notation used to indicate intervallic content (the intervals which make up a sonority), later chords, in relation to a bass note. ... For other uses, see Opera (disambiguation). ...


After the baroque

Through the 19th century, the harpsichord was virtually supplanted by the piano. In the 20th century, however, composers returned to the instrument, as they sought out variation in the sounds available to them. Under the influence of Arnold Dolmetsch, Violet Gordon-Woodhouse (1872-1951) and in France, Wanda Landowska (1879-1959), were at the forefront of the instrument's renaissance. (Eugène) Arnold Dolmetsch (24 February 1858 - 28 February 1940), was a French-born musician and instrument maker who spent much of his working life in England and established an instrument-making workshop in Haslemere, Surrey. ... Violet Gordon-Woodhouse (nee Gwynne) (1872-1951) was an acclaimed British harpsichordist and clavichordist, highly influential in bringing both instruments back into fashion. ... Wanda Landowska (July 5, 1879 – August 16, 1959), harpsichordist whose performances, teaching, recordings and writings played a large role in reviving the popularity of that instrument in the early 20th century. ...


Concertos for the instrument were written by Francis Poulenc (the Concert champêtre, 1927-28), Manuel de Falla, Bertold Hummel,[6] Henryk Górecki, Philip Glass and Roberto Carnevale. Bohuslav Martinů wrote both a concerto and a sonata for the instrument, and Elliott Carter's Double Concerto is scored for harpsichord, piano and two chamber orchestras. A harpsichord concerto is a concerto for harpsichord and orchestra. ... Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc (IPA: ) (January 7, 1899 - January 30, 1963) was a French composer and a member of the French group Les Six. ... Manuel de Falla y Matheu (November 23, 1876 – November 14, 1946) was a Spanish composer of classical music. ... Bertold Hummel (November 27, 1925 to August 9, 2002) was a German composer. ... Philip Glass (born January 31, 1937) is a three-times Academy Award-nominated American composer. ... Portrait of Martinů Bohuslav Martinů ( ; December 8, 1890—August 28, 1959) was a Czech composer. ... The term Concerto (plural concertos or concerti) usually refers to a musical work in which one solo instrument is accompanied by an orchestra. ... Sonata (From Latin and Italian sonare, to sound), in music, literally means a piece played as opposed to cantata (Latin cantare, to sing), a piece sung. ... Elliott Cook Carter, Jr. ... For other uses, see Orchestra (disambiguation). ...


In chamber music, György Ligeti wrote a small number of solo works for the instrument (including "Continuum"), while Henri Dutilleux's "Les Citations" (1991) is scored for harpsichord, oboe, double bass and percussions. Both Dmitri Shostakovich (Hamlet, 1964) and Alfred Schnittke (Symphony No.8, 1998) wrote works that use the harpsichord as part of the orchestral texture. “Ligeti” redirects here. ... Henri Dutilleux (born January 22, 1916 in Angers, France) is one of the most important French composers of the second half of the 20th century, producing work in the tradition of Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, and Albert Roussel, but in a style distinctly his own. ... Dmitri Shostakovich in 1942 Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich   (Russian: , Dmitrij Dmitrievič Å ostakovič) (September 25 [O.S. September 12] 1906 – August 9, 1975) was a Russian composer of the Soviet period. ... Alfred Schnittke April 6, 1989, Moscow Alfred Garyevich Schnittke (Russian: Альфре́д Га́рриевич Шни́тке, November 24, 1934 Engels - August 3, 1998 Hamburg) was a Russian and Soviet composer. ...


Harpsichordist Hendrik Bouman has composed pieces in the 17th and 18th century style, including works for solo harpsichord, harpsichord concerti, and other works that call for harpsichord continuo. Hendrik (Henk) Bouman (born in 1951, in Holland) is a virtuoso harpsichordist, pianist, fortepianist, conductor and prolific contemporary composer of music in the baroque and 18th century classical idioms. ...


Popular music

In modern times, the harpsichord (or its sonic equivalent on a synthesizer) has been used in popular music. Examples include Tori Amos' "Caught a Lite Sneeze" (as well as many other song from her 1996 album Boys for Pele), Joanna Newsom's "Peach Plum Pear", Emilie Autumn's album Opheliac uses the harpsichord in most of the songs, the Rolling Stones' "Yesterday's Papers"[7] and R.E.M.'s "Half a World Away".[8] For the music genre, see Pop music. ... Tori Amos (born Myra Ellen Amos on August 22, 1963) is an American pianist and singer-songwriter. ... Caught a Lite Sneeze is a song by Tori Amos, released as the first single from her 1996 album Boys For Pele. ... Boys For Pele, the Grammy-nominated third album by singer and songwriter Tori Amos, is perhaps her least well-known and yet best-selling album to date. ... Emilie Autumn (born September 22, 1979 in Malibu, California) is an American singer-songwriter, poet, and violinist, currently living in Chicago. ... Opheliac is the third full-length album by Emilie Autumn, released in September 2006 by Trisol Music Group GmbH. Opheliac was recorded at Mad Villain Studios, Chicago, USA. It is the first album by the artist to be released on a major record label and to receive widespread distribution around... Rolling Stones redirects here. ... Yesterdays Papers is a song by The Rolling Stones from their 1967 album, Between the Buttons. ... REM or R.E.M. is an acronym for: Rapid Eye Movement, a phase during sleep U.S. rock music band R.E.M., formed in Athens, Georgia in 1980 Roentgen equivalent man, a unit for measuring levels of exposure to radiation. ...


Nomenclature

The type of instrument now usually called harpsichord in English is generally called a clavicembalo (sometimes in the corrupt form gravicembalo, both masculine) or simply cembalo in Italian, and this last word is generally used in German as well (Cembalo, neuter). The Dutch word is klavecimbel (neuter). The typical French word is clavecin (masculine), though in French historical sources the word épinette (feminine, cognate with English spinet) is sometimes used, in a global sense, meaning any instrument with a harpsichord-like action. The standard Spanish word is clavecín (masculine), with clavicémbalo as an alternative (along with the rarer forms clavicímbalo and clavicímbano; all masculine). The Portuguese words are espineta (feminine) and cravo (masculine, cognate with the element clav- in the Italian words for the instrument). A spinet is a smaller type of harpsichord or other keyboard instrument, such as a piano or organ. ...


See also

Musicians who play the harpsichord are known as harpsichordists. ...

Notes

  1. ^ a b Hubbard 1967, 19
  2. ^ Hubbard 1967, 20
  3. ^ Hubbard 1967, various locations
  4. ^ a b Dearling 1996, 138
  5. ^ Hubbard 1967, 77
  6. ^ Bertold Hummel list of works: Op. 15 is his Divertimento capriccioso for harpsichord and chamber orchestra.
  7. ^ Scaruffi 1999
  8. ^ Puterbaugh 1991

References

  • Boalch, Donald H. (1995) Makers of the Harpsichord and Clavichord, 1440-1840, 3rd ed., with updates by Andreas H. Roth and Charles Mould, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-318429-X. A catalogue, originating with work by Boalch in the 1950's, of all extant historical instruments.
  • Dearling, Robert (ed.) (1996) The ultimate encyclopedia of musical instruments, London : Carlton, ISBN 1-858681-85-5
  • Hubbard, Frank (1967) Three Centuries of Harpsichord Making, 2nd ed., Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-88845-6. An authoritative survey by a leading builder of how early harpsichords were built and how the harpsichord evolved over time in different national traditions.
  • Kottick, Edward (2003) A History of the Harpsichord, Indiana University Press, ISBN 0-253-34166-3. An extensive survey by a leading contemporary scholar.
  • Lewisohn, Mark (1988) The complete Beatles recording sessions : the official story of the Abbey Road years, 1st pbk ed., London : Hamlyn, ISBN 0-600-55798-7
  • O'Brien, Grant (1990) Ruckers, a harpsichord and virginal building tradition, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-36565-1. Covers the innovations of the Ruckers family, the founders of the Flemish tradition.
  • Puterbaugh, Parke (1991) "R.E.M. - Out of Time", Review, Rolling Stone, 600 (21 March), accessed 15 March 2008
  • Russell, Raymond (1973)The Harpsichord and Clavichord: an introductory study, 2nd ed., London : Faber and Faber, ISBN 0-571-04795-5
  • Scaruffi, Piero (1999) "Rolling Stones", in: A History of Rock Music, personnal web page, accessed 15 March 2008
  • Skowroneck, Martin (2003) Cembalobau: Erfahrungen und Erkenntnisse aus der Werkstattpraxis = Harpsichord construction: a craftsman's workshop experience and insight, Fachbuchreihe Das Musikinstrument 83, Bergkirchen : Bochinsky, ISBN 3-932275-58-6. A study (written in English and German) of harpsichord building by a leading figure in the modern revival of historically authentic methods of building.
  • Spitz, Robert (Bob) (2006) The Beatles : the biography, London : Aurum, ISBN 1-84513-160-6
  • Zuckermann, Wolfgang (1969) The Modern Harpsichord: twentieth century instruments and their makers, New York : October House, ISBN 0-80790-165-2

is the 80th day of the year (81st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 74th day of the year (75th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 74th day of the year (75th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Harpsichords
  • A brief history of the harpsichord
  • Harpsichord maker Carey Beebe has a comprehensive website about harpsichords
  • A harpsichord site with images
  • A harpsichord constructed from Lego
  • Hear the sound of various harpsichords
  • Extensive source of harpsichord information
  • HPSCHD-L is a mailing list devoted to early stringed keyboard instruments
  • HarpsichordPhoto is a site devoted to photographs of early stringed keyboard instruments
  • Ernest Miller Harpsichords: Creations in the French and Flemish Traditions
  • Interview with harpsichord builder Jack Peters
  • Queen Elizabeth's Virginal. Furniture. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved on 2007-08-12.

The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as the V&A) in London is the worlds largest and finest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 224th day of the year (225th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Harpsichord (1448 words)
Originally, upon thinking about the potentials of making a LEGO musical instrument, I had hoped to reproduce a piano, but ditched the idea due to the enormous tension involved (40,000 lbs.)--there's a reason why pianos have steel frames.
Its ancestor, the harpsichord, seemed more practically possible--the key/jack workings are simple levers, the strings are plucked, it's smaller, and it maintains less tension.
Coincidentally, I was in my Bach phase anyways.
The LUTE-HARPSICHORD: A Forgotten Instrument (1413 words)
Over a period of some three centuries there are plenty of references to gut-stringed instruments that resemble the harpsichord and imitate the delicate soft timbre of the lute (including its lower-sounding variants, the theorbo and chitarrone or archlute) or the harp, but little concrete information.
While historical references indicate differing approaches to design, there is general agreement that whereas harpsichords are designed to be strung in metal, the use of gut strings is of primary importance in a lute-harpsichord.
Harpsichords normally have one dedicated jack per string.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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