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Carey Beebe at his Ruckers Single Harpsichord in Canberra 29K jpeg
BUILDING A REPUTATION: Harpsichord builder
Carey Beebe tuning one of his rare instruments…
“A harpsichord takes a year to 18 months to build and can
cost anywhere from $30,000 to $80,000 to buy.”

Rock band could lead a revival of the classic harpsichord

Rock band silverchair could do wonders for the revival of the centuries-old harpsichord.

Front-man Daniel Johns commissioned the classical instrument for his latest album and the man who supplied the harpsichord—and is credited on the CD cover—is Carey Beebe.

He is one of only four harpsichord-makers in Australia, given the market for the instrument is not exactly huge.

But if you think an electronic keyboard can get the same romantic sound as Mozart could, think again.

“They’re close but not the same as the real thing,” Mr Beebe said.

After scrutinising instruments in museums and private collections for the past twenty years, and maintaining and preparing harpsichords for concerts, recordings and broadcasts in five continents, Mr Beebe should know.

In 1982 the now-craftsman became the youngest international agent for Zuckermann Harpsichords.

Now he works exclusively for THE PARIS WORKSHOP and, because a third of his work is overseas, he’s very well travelled.

“A harpsichord takes a year to 18 months to build and can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $80,000 to buy,” Mr Beebe said.

“I keep about six ready to hire out.”

With a music degree and three performance diplomas under his belt, Mr Beebe once played the harpsichord but these days he’s more interested in construction and maintenance.

And unlike the craftsmen of yesterday, Mr Beebe does his business in cyberspace.

For more information, check out for all your restringing and rejuvenation needs.

Article by Georgia Curry
The Canberra Sunday Times September 15 2002

Sound 1K gif Ruckers Single 2000 silverchair
performing the opening of Across the Night from their Diorama album.

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