Zuckermann Harpsichords International

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

Fretted Clavichord

Fretted Clavichord

Small fretted clavichords such as this were common in Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and in many homes of simple means this little box of wood, wire, and tangents was the sole entertainment center. For our instrument we began with a rubbing of an anonymous German clavichord bearing the etiquette of a former King of Sweden (we can't resist calling it our "King of Sweden" clavichord, or simply, the KOS).

Fretted Clavichord Our KOS clavichord is small enough to be tucked under your arm and taken anywhere; nevertheless, it has a lively presence of tone that makes it very satisfying to play. Because it is fretted (two adjacent half tones are taken from the same pair of strings throughout most of its compass), there are fewer strings to bind down the bridge and soundboard, allowing the tone to be bold and clear. There are only 45 notes on the keyboard, but this need not limit you in the music you play--if that bottom note isn't on the keyboard, play it an octave higher, and no one will ever know. It's amazing how musically able this small instrument can be. Trills between adjacent notes in the same pair of strings are effortless. The only thing you cannot do is play some chords with notes a second apart. But play them anyway--the top note will sound, and no one will miss the other note.


Range45 keys, C/E-c'''
Length39 in. (99 cm)
Width11.5 in. (29 cm)
Depth of case4 in. (10 cm)
MaterialsAvailable in various case woods and keyboard materials. Call with your request.
Weight20 lbs.
Action28 pairs of strings, primarily double-fretted, maple naturals, cherry sharps.
Standard decoration: natural oiled finish

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