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Musical InstrumentsHistory, Technology, and Performance of Instruments of Western Music$
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Murray Campbell, Clive Greated, and Arnold Myers

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198165040

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198165040.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022

Clavichord and Harpsichord

Clavichord and Harpsichord

(p.306) 10 Clavichord and Harpsichord
Musical Instruments

Murray Campbell

Clive Greated

Arnold Myers

Oxford University Press

This chapter sets out the fundamental principles of stringing and compares the clavichord and harpsichord classes of instruments in terms of the ways in which the strings are excited. The resulting sound quality and the degree of control that the player has over the sound are discussed. The development of the harpsichord in Italy and Northern Europe is examined and followed through to the modern instrument. The simpler virginal and spinet are described. Construction techniques are explained for the soundboard, barring, frame, and keyboard. The section on tuning uses circular diagrams to illustrate different historic temperaments and compares the merits of these. Performance practice techniques include the use of bebung on the clavichord, figured bass, and special effects used in avant-garde performance.

Keywords:   virginal, spinet, stringing, soundboard, barring, frame, keyboard, bebung

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