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Directory of Harpsichord Resources

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The harpsichord is that family of keyboard instruments which are plucked, not struck, by the key mechanism. It has served as the major string keyboard instrument for substantially longer than its descendant the piano, and still at the end of the millennium is much in use, both in early music performance and in various new applications. There are perhaps three distinctions which help categorize the instruments. There are national schools (chiefly Flemish, Italian, French, German, and English), time frame (conveniently thought of by century - 16th, 17th, 18th, and 20th), and instrument type (harpsichord, spinette, virginal, but with several rich and strange variations, such as the lautenwerk or the clavicyntherium).


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