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#1108699 - 12/17/07 06:50 AM Harpsichord vs Piano
Schubertian Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 937
Loc: Dallas, TX, US
ALright I'll bite -

Our PF member Alexander Hanysz,in another thread, suggests:

It would be interesting to start a separate thread about Baroque performance practice and the piano. It's important to know what a harpsichord sounds like and feels like, and to have an understanding of how baroque style differs from classical or romantic; but we also need to remember that the piano is not a harpsichord, and deserves different treatment. But that's another story, way off topic for this particular discussion :-)

I think this is a great idea - I'd like to narrow it, for now, to 2 new topics: 1) harpsichord technique vs. piano technique; 2) performance practice of Bach's music.

Perhaps later topics: performance practice of the french clavicinists; the English virginalists; baroque ensemble practices.

So to start off: how many people here have studied harpsichord? what are the differences in approach - touch, technique - between piano and harpsichord? how do we approach music written for harpsichord (Couperin for example) on a modern piano? Can we recommend recordings of both to compare?
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#1108700 - 12/17/07 03:29 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
I studied a little bit, and I still play occasionally on my virginal, which is in a bad need of voicing and regulation. I also play the clavichord, which has a totally different technique, and should be another topic to discuss.

The biggest difference is how the keys work compared to the piano. On the harpsichord, you need to be very exact with very curled fingers, relaxed wrist and arms, so that the fingers push the key down cleanly, and the plectra plucks the string. Think of putting your finger tip into a hole on each key.

The practice methods for Bach, or any composer for that matter, are no different then they would be for learning the pieces on the piano. You still go through the same methods of hands seperately when appropriate, hands together, slow practice, accuracy, and attention to detail.

The only difference comes if you own a multi-stopped instrument. With that you may want to work out the dynamics with the stop changes.

Other techniques too, and this will come with the practice and learning, is the working out of the agogic accents, stacatto, rhythmic alterations, and arpeggiation of chords, the realization of figured bass lines, etc.

How's this for starters? I can give some hints on the French clavicinist school, the English virginalists, and the Italian if you wish.

John
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#1108701 - 12/17/07 04:46 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
keyboardklutz Offline
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Harpsichord touch bears very little significance to the piano - it is clavichord touch that has much to offer. Could you enlighten us John?
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#1108702 - 12/17/07 05:31 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
Johan B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 922
Loc: The Netherlands, Grootegast-Gr...
 Quote:
Originally posted by John Citron:
On the harpsichord, you need to be very exact with very curled fingers, relaxed wrist and arms, so that the fingers push the key down cleanly, and the plectra plucks the string. Think of putting your finger tip into a hole on each key.

The practice methods for Bach, or any composer for that matter, are no different then they would be for learning the pieces on the piano. You still go through the same methods of hands seperately when appropriate, hands together, slow practice, accuracy, and attention to detail.

John [/b]
When I start some baroque music I first practise accuracy, very exactly and with attention to details on my digital Yamaha in harpsichord-modus . The touch-sensitivity is off.........when I can play the music moderately.......I switch to the Grand-Piano modus for the finishing (piano)touch ......

Nice way to study music from the Baroque-period.
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#1108703 - 12/17/07 06:53 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
sunnyside_up Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 36
Loc: Perth - Australia
Thanks for starting this thread, Schubertian! I have nothing to add -- I am very much a novice at the piano, but I love baroque music and I'm interested in the HIP approach from a listener's perspective. I'll be watching the thread with interest to see what others have to say.
\:\)

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#1108704 - 12/17/07 07:15 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
Alexander Hanysz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 141
Loc: Adelaide, South Australia
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Harpsichord touch bears very little significance to the piano - it is clavichord touch that has much to offer.[/b]
Personally I disagree with this. If you can spend some time playing a harpsichord, I think you will have a very different perception of articulation, and this will change the way you think about baroque and classical music on the piano.

A lot of old books say that the clavichord was Bach's favourite keyboard instrument. However, I think there's some new research that casts doubt on this, and suggests that it might be a mistranslation of "Klavier" (which can refer to any keyboard instrument). Sorry I can't remember a source for this--does anyone know? I do remember seeing a list of Bach's effects at the time of his death: he owned more than one harpsichord, but no clavichord.

I might have more to say about playing baroque music on the piano, but I don't have time right now...

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#1108705 - 12/17/07 07:42 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
 Quote:
Originally posted by Alexander Hanysz:
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Harpsichord touch bears very little significance to the piano - it is clavichord touch that has much to offer.[/b]
Personally I disagree with this. If you can spend some time playing a harpsichord, I think you will have a very different perception of articulation, and this will change the way you think about baroque and classical music on the piano.

A lot of old books say that the clavichord was Bach's favourite keyboard instrument. However, I think there's some new research that casts doubt on this, and suggests that it might be a mistranslation of "Klavier" (which can refer to any keyboard instrument). Sorry I can't remember a source for this--does anyone know? I do remember seeing a list of Bach's effects at the time of his death: he owned more than one harpsichord, but no clavichord.

I might have more to say about playing baroque music on the piano, but I don't have time right now... [/b]
The articulation used when playing the harpsichord translates very nicely to the piano. This is what makes Baroque music so much fun to play. When used properly, Scarlatti will "dance" under the fingers. There is a difference in how the fingers are moved. If you use the very curved finger technique on the piano, the tone can be percussive. I'll go into the clavichord in another post. The technique for the clavichord is more akin to the organ and piano.

From the sources that I have read, Bach did indeed own a clavicord. It was actually a double-manual instrument with a pedal clavichord. It wa used for organ practice. I do agree, however, in the current thinking that this was a mis-interpretation of the meaning of klavier. He also owned a lauten-werk, which was considered his a favorite instrument. This is a gut-stringed harpsichord, and sounds like a lute.

John
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#1108706 - 12/17/07 08:04 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Harpsichord touch bears very little significance to the piano - it is clavichord touch that has much to offer. Could you enlighten us John? [/b]
The clavichord technique, as I enlightend briefly on above, is very different then that used for the harpsichord. It is said that a clavichordists make excellent harpsichordists, but not vice versa.

When playing the clavichord, you have to be extremely aware of the touch on the keyboard. The fingers have to be kept close to the surface of the keys, and the longest fingers are used for reaching. A lot of 3 over 4, and 4 over 5 work is done as well. The fingers also have to stay near the front of the keys because of the way the instrument works. There is no intervening action like in a harpsichord or piano so the only tone produced is what you do with your fingers on the keyboard. If the fingers are in too deep in the keyboard, like we do sometimes on the piano, the tone is clipped and uneven.

Keeping this in mind...
The fingers are curved, but the hand is relaxed (sound familiar). The arms are extremely relaxed almost like jelly and so are the wrists. With the fingers kept close to the keys, they are pushed gently with arm weight behind them rather than just the fingers doing the work. This doesn't mean that the fingers aren't moving; it means that the arms play an important part in playing the instrument by providing the weight behind the individual notes. The large unfretted instruments, such as mine, are capable of true legato type playing unlike the harpsichord. You can get a slight stacatto, more like a portamento, than a regular stacatto by lifting the finger up off the key. Remember there are no pedals to sustain so once you lift your finger, the note you just played is history.

Since the instrument is capable of dynamics, albeit very much in a very small range (ppp-p), more pressure is used for the louder dynamics, and less weight is used for the softer dynamics.

Once you get used to this technique, you'll find the instrument wonderful to play especially late at night because it is quite soft. At this time, I've been playing everything from Bach Fantasies, Scarlatti Sonatas, Haydn Sonatas, and some Mozart Sonatas on it. My unfretted instrument has 5 octaves. FF-ggg; the same range as Mozart's piano.

This technique lends its self well to piano playing especially with the relaxed arms and the controlled fingers. With this technique, I am able to produce a very soft even sound without using the una corda pedal, or the loudest fortissimo by controlling the weight behind my hands. This technique is great for the Romantic period works of Schumann, which have a lot of "immer stimmer" in them.

I hope I explained this well. It's easier to do than explain.

John
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#1108707 - 12/18/07 01:22 AM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Thanks John. When I bought mine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p77CLGFbhCA in the summer I had a choice of 5 or 4 octaves. The one with the nicest tone and beautiful action was a 4 octave (built in 1960 and a world away in quality from the newer ones). I play some Mozart on it (never mind the width, feel the quality) but obviously it's fantastic for Bach.

The person who is missing from this topic is CPE Bach. He set all the standards for modern keyboard music and was very much a clavichordist. Your comment:
 Quote:
It is said that a clavichordists make excellent harpsichordists, but not vice versa.
is a quote from his book Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments. Mozart, Beethoven and even Oscar Peterson used to practice on one. Their most amazing quality is the tight subtle rhythmic capability unachievable on the piano - there is no space between your soul and the instrument. As CPE puts it:
 Quote:
...and enunciating its smallest fraction with exactness, an ability which he aquires in playing idiomatic keyboard music...and this brings in its train the spontaneous sharpening of the rhythmic sense...It is at the clavichord that a keyboardist may be most exactly evaluated.
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#1108708 - 12/18/07 04:18 AM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
there is no space between your soul and the instrument. [/b]
Yes! And so little space between your fingers and the strings. Very intimate and immediate. It's really like playing a violin in some ways - the closest I think you come to singing with your fingers.
I have a very small fretted clavichord - I play Bach, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart, Purcell, the English virginalists on it, within the limits of its frettedness \:\) (which in case some readers are not aware, means that some adjacent notes are produced by the tangent striking the same string at a different place, so these notes can never be played together as a chord).
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#1108709 - 12/18/07 04:48 AM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Your so right about singing with your fingers. You really CAN play cantabile on the clavichord. The 'coarse' piano just won't allow it.
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#1108710 - 12/18/07 02:10 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
vayapues Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/27/07
Posts: 103
Loc: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
What a fascinating discussion. I spent a few hours last night researching the ancestry of the piano.

For a novice like myself, it is very interesting to read the rest of your conversation.
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#1108711 - 12/18/07 02:35 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Clavichord music is practically a lost art. The fine subtleties went over the heads of the 18th century audience. Only the connoisseurs understood. How else could it be with an instrument that only has enough volume for an audience of a dozen or so?

Mozart was brought up on the clavichord and especially on CPE Bach's school of composition. All that space around each Mozart note? He got that from CPE.
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#1108712 - 12/18/07 03:55 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
That is a great performance of CPE Bach's F major Sonata. I've watched your video before. I've only recently discovered his sonatas and they are really wonderful. I hear a lot of influence on Haydn. If I'm not mistaken, he taught Haydn, or Haydn studied his scores in detail.

You have a really nice looking instrument. Who made it?

My clavichord was made by John Lyons (see signature) around 1985-87. The case is solid walnut and the rather large soundboard is spruce. What I like about this instrument is the resonance. The back strings (right side of the bridge) resonate and make the volume surprisingly loud.

"...And so little space between your fingers and the strings. Very intimate and immediate. It's really like playing a violin in some ways - the closest I think you come to singing with your fingers."

Well put Currawong. \:D

John
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#1108713 - 12/18/07 04:07 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
The cracker of that set is the A Major. The slow movement MUST be where Mozart learnt to write slow movements. You know Leopold was hawking round Mozart's sonata's as 'in he style of CPE' while he was still a teenager.

My clavichord is an early John Morley. Copied from a South German C-D. They started making them in about 1960. They still do but I'm not impressed with their new ones. Mine, as Mr Morley explained, has a soundboard of pre-war close-grained Rumanian Pine and American Mahogany veneer. He remembers stocking up just after the war! Their action and keys also seem to be bought in nowadays - nothing like the quality.
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#1108714 - 12/18/07 09:51 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
John Citron Offline
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Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
I've heard some nice things about the early instruments from John Morley.

The range from C-d''' is plenty for a lot of music including Bach. My instrument is a copy of a North German instrument, and is typical of those from the late 18th Century. These instruments were popular in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden up until the early 1840s. These really late instruments had a 6-octave range and were quite huge.

I guess like anything else, the quality of the raw materials has gone down. I'm lucky in a way because the greatest instrument builders are located almost in my backyard. We have Hubbard, had Hertz and Dowd,and there's still the Harpsichord Clearing House with Glenn Guitarri and Adams out in Danvers. All of these people learned from Hubbard and Dowd during the 40s-70s while they were still building instruments.

I have to look more into CPE Bach, I just haven't had the time. From what I've played of CPE Bach, I can sense a lot o influence on Mozart in there so apparently my gut feelings were right. That's interesting about his father. Typical of the proud parent of a musical prodidgy!

John
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#1108715 - 12/18/07 11:42 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Leopold was genius in his own right. One of the foremost violin teachers in Austria, he would have understood CPE and made sure Mozart did. It was his genius behind the Mozart family. Sadly, I think he may have been rather selfish. He had to struggle to get an education himself but he was very well educated. I don't think he gave Wolfgang that chance. All of Bach's kids went to uni.

Haydn quite openly stated he learnt all his composing from CPE's book and sonatas. Much of the querkyness we come to associate Haydn with is just this forgotten style.
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#1108716 - 12/19/07 02:15 AM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Here's that lovely Adagio:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ipar5vhzjEM

Though maybe I should tune it first?
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#1108717 - 12/19/07 10:36 AM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
crusadar Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/07
Posts: 670
Loc: Middle England
I wonder, has anyone got DIY plans for a Clavichord they want to sell? If so, PM me.

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#1108718 - 12/19/07 11:03 AM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Contact the Early Music Shop they broker for customers. I got a very good deal. The British Clavichord Society also have ads in their newsletter.
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#1108719 - 12/19/07 01:30 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Here's that lovely Adagio:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ipar5vhzjEM

Though maybe I should tune it first? [/b]
That is a really lovely performance and piece. I can see how Mozart was influenced by this especially in his earlier sonatas.

I'll post some Haydn later on whent my house quiets down and I can make some recordings. I don't have a video camera so these will be over at Savefiles.

I agree that Leopold was selfish. I wonder if Mozart would have turned out differently if he had gone to University instead of being just home schooled and pretty much only in music.

Yeah the upper a-flat sounds a bit sour. ;\)

UPDATE: Here are some quick recordings done tonight.

They are the Haydn G major Divertemento that everyone has been talking about lately.

Another Divertemento in D major

and the final movement to Mozart's K333. Pay close attention to the cadenza near the end of the movement. I employ a little bebung at the end just before the theme comes in again.

Sorry for the garish mistakes in the Mozart. There are a couple of firsts here. This is the first time this has ever been recorded by me, and the first time recorded as played on the clavichord. I was also quite flustered by the blinking red light on my Zoom H4!

http://www.savefile.com/files/1274657 ---- Haydn Gmaj

http://www.savefile.com/files/1274652 ---- Haydn Dmaj

http://www.savefile.com/files/1274662 ---- Mozart K333 Last Movement


John
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#1108720 - 12/19/07 11:32 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
Delete - a double post!
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#1108721 - 12/20/07 03:43 AM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Wow! What a Christmas present! That's the best music I've heard at PW. You can really hear how finely nuanced the rhythms are and so accurate! Love the cadenza. Mozart's audience would have had 'clavichord' ears - they would have used their imagination to fill in what the piano left out.

What a fantastic instrument! (of course only you and I know it really sounds like a bag of mosquitos, or at least mine does). Mine is really unbalanced, the bass totally outweighs the treble. Any answers?
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#1108722 - 12/20/07 04:31 AM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
David Grant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 24
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
I like clavichord more than piano now after hearing that Haydn G major Divertimento performance!
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#1108723 - 12/20/07 10:12 AM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Wow! What a Christmas present! That's the best music I've heard at PW. You can really hear how finely nuanced the rhythms are and so accurate! Love the cadenza. Mozart's audience would have had 'clavichord' ears - they would have used their imagination to fill in what the piano left out.

What a fantastic instrument! (of course only you and I know it really sounds like a bag of mosquitos, or at least mine does). Mine is really unbalanced, the bass totally outweighs the treble. Any answers? [/b]
Thank you for the compliments, Mr. KK. I've played better than that on other days. I've been luck too as I've been on vacation from work so I reserve evey morning for clavichord practice. It's a nice peacful way to come to without disturbing the rest of the house. As I said I was a bit flustered by the Zoom H4, which for some reason sends my nerves into a knot every time I use it. I actually have a better time with an audience.

One of the things I love about the clavichord is the shear clarity in the tone. There are no secret ways of getting around a mistake. You have to play accurately and cleanly no matter what because there's no pedal to sneak over a mistake. In a way this has help my piano playing because I find my self thinking more like this when playing the piano as well. This lends very well to Mozart and others of the early to mid Classical era because of the way their music is structured. I find that I don't need the pedal except when I play this music on the modern piano.

Anyway my instrument recently had some strings replaced and the action redone. (Action? What action? You ask.) The strings from g'- b" were replaced last year along with the listing cloth felt. The old cloth, that was used previously, was too thin causing the instrument to be unbalanced and sounding like a of bag mosquitos just as you call it. The strings are old. The instrument is completely strung in brass, and this section started to break randomly at the tuning pins. I would open my lid to play only to find that I no longer had a middle G or D-flat. So after losing quite a few over about 7 months, I waited for my tax refund and used the money to have the instrument worked on.

Glenn Guitarri of the Harpsichord Clearing House, where I purchased my instrument, did the work for me. The new cloth is pulled nice and tight which puts more down bearing on the bridge and thus the instument is a bit louder.

The other thing too is I don't tune up to A440. My instrumnt is tuned around A412 to A415 so there is more "give" to the strings. This helps to make the keyboard a bit more responsive and giving, and the strings less bouncy.

A weak treble is very common on clavichords. The reason being that the key fulcrum is a lot shorter on the treble end than in the middle so there is less motion to hit the strings. To get around this, you have to play a bit firmer up there otherwise the sound all but disapears against the bass. This was also the same complaint that Bach had about the early fortepiano given to him by Silbermann.

John
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#1108724 - 12/20/07 10:18 AM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
 Quote:
Originally posted by David Grant:
I like clavichord more than piano now after hearing that Haydn G major Divertimento performance! [/b]
Another convert. ;\) \:D The instrument is very addictive to play. I find myself playing my early Classical period composers strictly on the clavichord now as the piano to me is too garish and obnoxious for the music.

Seriously, learn to play the piano well first. Later on you can try the other instruments such as the clavichord. You'll find that the clavichord is quite difficult to play, and employs a lot of different, but same technique as used on the piano.


John
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#1108725 - 12/20/07 05:59 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
ocd Offline
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Registered: 05/10/06
Posts: 201
Loc: North East
 Quote:
Originally posted by John Citron:

Glenn Guitarri of the Harpsichord Clearing House, where I purchased my instrument, did the work for me. The new cloth is pulled nice and tight which puts more down bearing on the bridge and thus the instument is a bit louder.

John [/QB]
I think I played your instrument when it was for sale at Glenn's. It is very nice but I was completely unable to play the treble without chucking. Of course, my fault not the instrument's.

ocd
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#1108726 - 12/20/07 10:25 PM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
 Quote:
Originally posted by ocd:
 Quote:
Originally posted by John Citron:

Glenn Guitarri of the Harpsichord Clearing House, where I purchased my instrument, did the work for me. The new cloth is pulled nice and tight which puts more down bearing on the bridge and thus the instument is a bit louder.

John [/b]
I think I played your instrument when it was for sale at Glenn's. It is very nice but I was completely unable to play the treble without chucking. Of course, my fault not the instrument's.

ocd [/QB]
ocd,

I'm glad you had a chance to try this clavichord. This is a wonderful instrument. I was thinking of taking it to the next Piano World Party for everyone to enjoy. Perhaps you could join us. \:\)

I had trouble before with the treble. It was the instrument. The strings were pitched too high; like way up around A448 so this made the instrument very difficult to control.

The really tight strings make the tangents bounce off the strings instead of producing a solid tone. By lowering the tension, this has made the instrument more enjoyable to play, and the higher down bearing on the bridge has made it a bit louder and more solid feeling.

John
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#1108727 - 12/21/07 03:37 AM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
The really tight strings make the tangents bounce off the strings instead of producing a solid tone.
I needed the word 'chucking'. That's why I can't play the left hand accompaniment quietly. I just found this article:
http://www.bavington.nildram.co.uk/edintalk.htm

I must join the BCS ASAP!
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1108728 - 12/21/07 11:00 AM Re: Harpsichord vs Piano
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
KK,

Thank you for the interesting link. That makes a lot of sense to me, but still the tighter listing cloth (really felt) made a big difference on my instrument. The old cloth was like an old lady's dress, which did nothing to help the instrument.

I was thinking of joining the Boston Clavichord Society myself. In addition to historical practice seminars and talks, they also give recitals. Peter Sykes and others give a series of recitals through out the spring and autumn.

Check out this recital from the Boston Clavichord recital This is two clavichords playing a concerto by JS Bach for two keyboards (Last movement) with Peter Sykes and David Yearsley at the keyboards.

http://www.bostonclavichord.org/recording/sound/jsb_concer_2kbds_bwv_1061a.mp3

Here's David Yearsley playing a Rondo by CPE Bach.

http://www.bostonclavichord.org/recording/sound/cpe_rondo_c_min_wq59_4.mp3

You really have to turn up your volume though to hear these.

Enjoy. \:\)

John
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