Harpsichords predate and differ from pianos in that harpsichord strings are plucked but piano strings are struck with hammers. Thus it is difficult to vary the sound volume on harpsichords, but possible on pianos which is a main reason that pianos displaced harpsichords as the predominant instrument. To control sound properties pianos introduced pedals which Harpsichords lack. Harpsichord strings in most examples run straight out from the player at a right angle to the keyboard. The exception is a design called the Spinet where the keyboard sits at a roughly 30 degree angle to the strings to save space.
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|Harpsicord at Thomas Griswold House. Guilford, CT.||Collection of harpsichords at Bavarian National Museum. Munich, Germany.||Piano & harpsichord collection at Deutsches Museum. Munich, Germany.||Organ & harpsichord like instrument at Deutsches Museum. Munich, Germany.|
|Harpsichord (1651) by Andreas Ruckers of Antwerp in high drawing room at Traquair House. Scotland.||Spinet piano (1710) of olive wood made by Nicolas Blanchet of Paris at Angers Fine Arts Museum. Angers, France.||Spinet piano at Conference House. Staten Island, NY.|
All photos on this page are originals by & copyrighted by Jim Steinhart.
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