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Category Archives: clavichord

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

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Here are a few pictures taken in my workshop during the early stages of building the instrument.

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Preparing a board of cherry for the case.

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Case nearly complete with diagonal brace, hitchpin rail, balance rail and wrest plank fitted.

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Fitting the key levers.

I just managed to get this double-fretted clavichord finished by the end of 2007. The casework and stand are made in English cherry with an oiled finish. It has just over 4 octaves (from C to e”’) and is a copy of an instrument by an anonymous maker built around 1740 and preserved in the Gemeentemuseum in the Hague.

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Click on the thumbnails for more pictures.

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