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Some of my earliest posts when I started this blog at the beginning of the year were about making a clavichord. I recently went to see David Condy, who had commissioned the instrument, and had the great pleasure of hearing him play it. Although an accomplished pianist and organist, he told me that it had taken him a little while to get used to the different action of a clavichord keyboard. As you can hear if you click on the pieces below, he has succeeded magnificently. Clavichords make a beautiful but rather small sound, so don’t turn the volume up too high.

He’s playing a piece from Sweelinck’s Liedvariationem für Klavier, called Unter der Linden grüne. The first is just a snippet for anyone who wants to hear what a clavichord sounds like. The second, which lasts a little longer, comprises the theme and the first two variations. Click on the blue titles below to hear them (or use the audio player in the bar).

Clavichord piece

Unter der Linden grüne



  1. Many thanks for the music samples, it was worth the wait!! I love the idea that I can practice pieces without other people in the room ;) /house/next door hearing the “learning process”

    For my own one I have(finally)decided to make a triple fretted model after the 1670 Israel Gellinger that Jack Peters makes(they are on I have the plans. baseboard and timber….next year……next year!!..

    • Christopher Martyn
    • Posted November 12, 2008 at 9:34 am
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    • Reply

    Yes, the clavichord is the perfect instrument to play for your own pleasure, secure in the knowledge that you’re not intruding on anyone else’s. Glad that you enjoyed the samples and good luck with your own instrument.

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