Clavichord: what is it, instrument composition, history, sound, use

Clavichord: what is it, instrument composition, history, sound, use

“Keystring” is the informal name for the instrument, which has become an improved version of the monochord. He, like the organ, had a keyboard, but not the pipes, but the strings, set in motion by a tangent mechanism, were responsible for extracting the sound.

Clavichord device

In modern musical classification, this instrument is considered as a representative of the harpsichord family, the oldest forerunner of the piano. It has a body with a keyboard, four stands. The clavichord was set on the floor or on the table, sitting down at it, the performer hit the keys, extracting sounds. The first “keyboards” had a small range of sound – only two octaves. Later, the instrument was improved, its capabilities expanded to five octaves.

Clavichord: what is it, instrument composition, history, sound, use

The clavichord is a stringed percussive musical instrument, the device of which is equipped with metal pins. A set of strings “hidden” in the case, which made oscillatory movements when exposed to the keys. When they were pressed, a metal pin (tanget) touched the string and pressed it. In the simplest “free” clavichords, a separate string was assigned to each key. More complex models (related) differed in the effect of 2-3 tangets on different parts of the cord.

The dimensions of the tool body are small – from 80 to 150 centimeters. The clavichord was easily carried and installed in different places. The body was decorated with carvings, drawings, and paintings. For the manufacture, only valuable wood species were used: spruce, Karelian birch, cypress.

History of origin

The instrument seriously influenced the development of musical culture. The exact date of its appearance is not indicated. The first mention appeared in the XVI century. The origin of the name refers to the Latin word “clavis” – the key, combined with the ancient Greek “chord” – a string.

The history of the clavichord begins in Italy. Surviving documents prove that it was there that the first copies could appear. One of these, belonging to Dominic of Pisa, has survived to this day. It was created in 1543 and is an exhibit of the museum located in Leipzig.

The “keyboard” quickly gained popularity. It was used for chamber, home music-making, since the clavichord could not sound loud, booming. This feature precluded its use for concert performances in large halls.

Clavichord: what is it, instrument composition, history, sound, use

Using the tool

The classical clavichord already in the 5th century had an extensive sounding range of up to XNUMX octaves. Playing it was a sign of good upbringing and education. Aristocrats and representatives of the bourgeoisie installed the instrument in their homes and invited guests to chamber concerts. Scores were created for him, great composers wrote works: V.A. Mozart, L. Van Beethoven, J.S. Bach.

The 19th century was marked by the popularization of the pianoforte. The louder, more expressive piano took the place of the clavichord. Modern restorers are passionate about the idea of ​​restoring the old “keyboard” in order to hear the original sound of the works of great composers.

2 История клавишных. Клавикорд
Original Clavichord c.1620- Mirrey Collection. Antonio de Cabezón

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