Clavichord

The first stringed instrument I built was a clavichord. The clavichord is an old instrument which is known to have existed as early as the 14th century. It reached the height of its popularity during the baroque era. The organists and harpsichords simply couldn’t do without it! The clavichord allows the player to develop an extremely subtle touch. The instrument’s touch is very light, and the sound very soft, at least when compared to a harpsichord or piano. Should you wish to practise on your clavichord in the living room, you can be fairly certain not to disturb anyone! The clavichord is the only keyboard instrument from the baroque era whereby the volume of the note can be controlled through the player’s touch, as on a modern piano. Here are two brief descriptions of clavichords I have constructed.

Clavichord after the style of Hoffmann, 1784

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Keyboard: FF-f’’’
Dimensions: 173 x 47 x 15 cm.
Case: Oak and Walnut

This instrument is very suitable for playing music by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven and contemporaries, because of its manual compass. And because it is an unfretted clavichord, music by Johan Sebastian Bach sounds very nice too.

Clavichord after Anders Wahlstrom, 1732

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This clavichord is portable.

Compass: C-H free, c-c''' fretted
Case: Oak, length: 117 cm
Keyboard: The keyboard is made of lime-wood, inlayed with boxwood. The upper keys are made of laburnum, inlayed with ebony.

Each key has two strings which sound the same pitch. The instrument is double fretted. In other words, from tenor c, the upper keys utilise the same strings as the lower keys.

Clavichord after Hubert 1784

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This clavichord is a copy of an instrument made by Cristian G. Hubert. Hubert was an organ builder and instrument maker. He adapted a number of elements of the instrument’s construction, in order to improve, among other things, the instrument’s playability. The balance rail, for instance, bends backwards slightly on the left hand side, in order to regulate the touch between bass and treble. In comparison to the baroque clavichord, the movement at the back of the key is also much reduced.

Compass: C-f''' , C-d# free, e-f''' fretted
Case: native cherry-wood, length: 130 cm
Keyboard: The lower keys are made of ebony, the upper keys from pearwood, inlayed with bone.

The instrument is double-fretted.