History and Regional Styles

See also the ‘Harpsichord Resources and Collections pages

The history of the harpsichord with illustrations,  http://www.ukpianos.co.uk/harpsichord-history

Famous Harpsichord Makers from the past (and a few still present !)  http://www.snipview.com/q/Harpsichord_makers

‘The English Spinet, the Schools of Keene & Hitchcock’
Doctoral Research Thesis by Peter Mole, two complete volumes downloadable from
https://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/handle/1842/3274

Grant O’Brien “Ruckers: A Harpsichord and Virginal Building Tradition” reissued in paperback;
June 2008 by Cambridge University Press, price c £26. ISBN: 9780521066822
http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/music/medieval-and-renaissance-music/ruckers-harpsichord-and-virginal-building-tradition

’Harpsichordmakers in the 16th and 17th century Harpsichord makers working in Antwerp in the 16th
and 17th century’ by J Koster. http://www.ruckersgenootschap.be/REG.php

‘History of the Harpsichord in Eighteenth Century France and the Flemish Influence’ by Janet Pierce http://archive.today/bRQ1A

A description of the restoration process and a detailed history of an important Franco-Flemish double-manual harpsichord, made in Antwerp in about 1620-1650, and ravalé in various periods and stages in Paris. http://www.claviantica.com/­Consulatations_files/­WR_cons.htm

Ruckers Transposer Puzzle,  http://www.bigduck.com/­transposer.html

Surviving Harpsichords built or rebuilt in France 17th & 18th century – by Dean Anderson, with
many photo links http://harpsichordphoto.org/­french

Pythagoras & the Scale Design of Early Harpsichords in France, Germany, and Italy
http://www.harpsichord.org.uk/denzil-wraight

‘ Italian Harpsichord-Building in the 16th and 17th Centuries’ by John D. Shortridge.
Free Ebook available from the The Project Gutenberg.
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/27149/27149-h/27149-h.htm

Geometry and unit of measurement in the identification of Italian keyboard instruments.http://www.claviantica.com/geometry_ital.htm

Cordofones de Tecla Portugueses do Século XVII/Portuguese Stringed Keyboard Instruments of the 18th Century by Gerhard Doderer and John Henry Van Der Meer. Definitive book on the history of keyboard instruments in Portugal, text in English & Portuguese, available from http://www.keywordpress.co.uk

Mid C20th Harpsichord Makers in America
http://www.kevinfryer.net/  Click on ’Library’> Makers circa 1960

Thomas Goff (1898-1975)  Pont Street, London- Harpsichord Maker http://www.baroquemusic.org/goff.html

and

A curiosity – A working Harpsichord built from Lego!
http://www.henrylim.org/Harpsichord.html

See under ’Acquiring’ > ‘Building a Harpsichord for detailed plans of historic instruments 

Mechanisms

Harpsichord Glossary – see  http://www.hubharp.com  Click on the ‘Glossary’ link at top right of page

Simple harpsichord mechanism:mech1
English harpsichord action:mech3
French harpsichord action:mech2
Flemish harpsichord action:mech4
Source: Ripin Ed et al, Early Keyboard Instruments – New Grove Musical Instruments Series, 1989, PAPERMAC  Reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan

 

What a Harpsichord sounds like

Real samples of historic instruments, mp3 demo downloads with description and photographs. Featuring French, Flemish, English and Italian harpsichords, English spinets and a reconstructed German Lautenwerck,- samples taken from the Andreas Beurmann Collection of Musical Instruments in MKG-Hamburg.   http://www.realsamples.net/ Click on ‘Edition Beurmann’

The Sounds of C20th European Revival Harpsichords,  http://jsebestyen.org/harpsichord/audio.html