Zuckermann Harpsichords International

Harpsichords, clavichords, spinets and virginals ... closely based on the best extant antiques from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The Neapolitan Harpsichord

ZHI Neapolitan Harpsichord In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (and perhaps still!) the southern city of Naples seems to have danced to a different tune from the rest of Italy. Their composers wrote a different sort of opera, and their instrument builders made a different sort of harpsichord. For one thing, they often used maple for their cases, rather than the usual cypress, and on occasion even used it for their soundboards. For another, they outdid even the most ornate examples from Venice with their extensive use of moldings. Their sharply-angles tails are another characteristic, and the generous distance at which the bentside follows the bridge provides plenty of vibrating soundboard area.

ZHI Neapolitan Harpsichord We couldn't resist the challenge, and with help from Dr. Edward Kottick, designer of the Zuckermann Neapolitan, we were able to incorporated these details, including the maple soundboard. The Neapolitan is ideal for continuo and accompaniment use, but with its bell-like basses, penetrating tenors, and singing trebles, it gives the Italian solo literature a new dimension. And like any good Italian, it can deal with Flemish, German, and French music.

Our Neapolitan has a chromatic four-octave compass, C-d''', and is double-transposing at A = 392 Hz, 415 Hz, and 440 Hz with no loss of notes on either end.

ZHI Neapolitan Harpsichord

  Updated on
  28Jun07

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