EUCHMI (4302): A Case Study of Harpsichord Identity

Darryl Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Modern keyboard organology studies have often attempted to show the design and/or working practices of the original makers. Different authors have argued a number of approaches that may have been used. This article concentrates on an unsigned Italian harpsichord from the first half of the seventeenth century and uses several widely-used approaches to see if a) the approaches suggested can - at least in the case of the discussed instrument - be shown to give an unambigious answer; and b) to try and actually identify the place of manufacture of the instrument in question. The author has identified a historically-based design method which is found in the instrument discussed, as well as on several others which (in one case) may also be attributed to the same place or can definately be shown as being built there (Florence). The argued design approach can therefore be shown to explain the dimensions of a reasonable number of instruments from the proposed location and time, and may also have been used more widely in time (as the same method can also describe an instrument of c. 1700) and location.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17 - 47
Number of pages31
JournalGalpin Society Journal
Issue numberNA
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • Harpsichord Design construction Italy


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