Lecture & Workshop Presentations

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Unlike the complicated modern piano, the harpsichord is much easier to comprehend and adjust—when you know how. This is a practical, hands-on workshop to help technicians, teachers, students and players come to terms with the harpsichord. All participants will leave the course with an understanding of the jack action, the confidence to be able to make minor repairs like voicing a quill or replacing a string. Tuning, being of such importance to early keyboard instrument enthusiasts, is also covered.

Prior Knowledge or Experience Required
No previous experience in harpsichord maintenance or tuning will be assumed. While the course will be of special value for players wishing to understand more about the insides of their instrument, it will also prove very handy to modern piano tuners and technicians. For the tuning session, some musical knowledge about the notes of the scale and simple chord structure would be useful. All participants are expected to have an interest in early keyboard music and have access to a suitable instrument to be able to practice the methods introduced.

A one-day course comprising three intensive sessions, each of two-hour duration. Because of the small group size and practical emphasis, frequent feedback will be encouraged throughout by way of informal question and answer sessions.

Voicing a quill 16K jpeg
Voicing a quill

Topics covered
Session 1: Understanding the Instrument

Session 2: Skills to Develop

Session 3: Tuning & Temperament

Course Notes
A multi-page handout including Skill Diagrams, Temperament Worksheets and Short Bibliography will be provided to all participants.

Equipment required
Whiteboard & markers OR Overhead Projector & screen

Suggested maximum participants 15

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