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Having started on the piano in childhood, my harpsichord odyssey began in my late teens when it became clear to me that early keyboard music 'worked' better on that instrument. I became quite obsessed about owning one. I thought it would be years before I could afford one. In the early 70's I became aware that kits were becoming available. I settled on one by a pioneer in the field — Wolfgang Zuckermann, who was I believe living in England at the time. I don't know how I finished it when working as a hospital doctor, but I did have a playable instrument at the end. After a few years I decided to go for something better. Thinking 'I will never do this again' (but see below) I ordered a French double from the Hubbard workshop. Amidst family life and a full-time job I took over a bedroom and set to work. It took me five or six years.
In 1982 I moved to my career post. I soon met up with a colleague who was a good recorder player and was taking up the baroque flute. He was soon gently nagging me about playing at so-called baroque pitch, for he wanted to play his historical copies. I had not realised, when I made the Hubbard, how important this would be, so had settled for the non-transposing version. It is also rather heavy.
So I was off again in pursuit of an instrument at lower pitch, suitable for continuo, and more portable. Helpful Steve Salvatore at Zuckermann's advised the Flemish single. That took me five years, finishing in the year I reached 70. There were pauses when I got hung up with the painting, and then the voicing. ('when do I stop?') But I'm pleased with it. The touch is good and I achieved a good difference in volume between the two 8' registers. Also it keeps in tune very well (I do control the humidity).
To round things off, the Hubbard has been modified to be transposing and restrung with wire appropriate to A=415.
Now I'm beginning to itch to do another kit. Trouble is, I have no more room to house another instrument. I suppose I could sell it!
NOTE: If you wish to contact Mr. Coe please call him at (0)151 342 2888