Zuckermann Harpsichords International

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

Unfretted Clavichord

Unfretted Clavichord The clavichord is undoubtedly the most expressive of early keyboard instruments. The mechanism is very simple: when you press a key the brass tangent fixed at the other end functions as a fret and excites the string. As the finger has a direct mechanical connection with the string, simple pressure on the key can produce vibrato (commonly referred to by the German term Bebung). When the finger is lifted from the key, the vibrations travel along the strings and are damped promptly by the listing cloth.

Our unfretted clavichord is designed after eighteenth-century Central German models, the sort of instrument favored by C.P.E. Bach. The dynamic range is large, but at a very low level, so the clavichord is too soft to accompany other instruments. This imposing, 61-note (FF-f''') instrument, with its individual pairs of strings for each note, is suitable for much 18th-century music, including the early piano repertoire up to Beethoven.

Note: The case in the photo was made from white oak.


Range 61 notes: FF-f''', A415 or A440, double-strung
Dimensions length 64.17"; width 18.5"; depth of case 6.69"
Weight about 66 lbs
Action reverse keyboard with ebony naturals, bone-slipped sharps, and pearwood archades
Wood case in cherry; spruce soundboard

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