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Thread: Harpsichord

  1. #1
    Lieutenant, Associate Concertmaster
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    Harpsichord

    Are there any Composers who specialize mainly in Solo Harpsichord works? I am currently in the process of checking out Domenico Scarlatti, are there any others?

    I have solo works by Rameau, Bach (Toccata's) and C.P.E Bach (Sonatas) .. But I need more..

    Are there any Harpsichord enthusiasts here besides me?

  2. #2
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    If you love the Harpsichord then you must dive into the works of Fran├žois Couperin; no doubt about that!

    Cheers,

    Corno Dolce
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

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    Lieutenant, Associate Concertmaster
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    oooooooo!! I just checked out a list of his Keyboard works.. This will take care of me for a while! Especially with all of the works that Domenico Scarlatti has aswell.. I just need more money.

  4. #4
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hi Toejamfootball,

    Look into acquiring ""L'art Toucher de Clavecin" - Couperin wrote the book of all books for to acquire the touch technique needed for properly playing the Harpsichord.

    Cheers,

    Corno Dolce
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  5. #5
    Lieutenant, Associate Concertmaster
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    Yeah I saw that on Wikipedia just a minute ago, I am looking into it now. I am having a hell of a time trying to find a Harpsichord teacher here in Phoenix AZ though. Oh well, I will keep looking. It's not like I can afford a Harpsichord at the moment anyways.

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Toejamfootball,

    You might want to check with the Phoenix Music Teachers Assn in the search for harpsichord instruction. I've found that more organ teachers take on the task of instruction on this instrument as opposed to piano teachers. The playing style and technique is more closely related to that of the organ.

    You could also check with the Central Arizona Chapter of the American Guild of Organists in your quest for finding teachers, too.

    And last, but not least, the local college, ASU School of Music is another source for information.

    As for harpsichords, there was at one time a method of buying these as a build-your-own-kit years back. May be an alternative to look into - ready built ones will be rather expensive depending on the manufacturer.

    Just because some of us live out west in the arid desert region doesn't mean that we lack in fine arts institutions ... ... In Tucson we have the University of Arizona - another excellent school for the Fine Arts.
    Kh ~~.
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  7. #7
    Lieutenant, Associate Concertmaster Rachmaninoff's Avatar
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    Hmm...
    I will take the thread to post a (newbie) question...

    What's the difference (if any) between the hapsichord and the piano, regarding the weight, action and dynamics of the keys?

  8. #8
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    The only thing I know of is Brandenburg by Bach on the harpsichord.
    I do have this one on my home computer.
    judy tooley

  9. #9
    Lieutenant, Associate Concertmaster
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    I think in the Baroque era when a song had a keyboard instrument in it, it was always Harpsichord (or mostly always ?? Fortepiano?) But a lot (or most?) of Bach and other Baroque musicians is played with Piano in modern days..

    Correct me if I am wrong, I am no expert..

  10. #10
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachmaninoff View Post
    Hmm...
    I will take the thread to post a (newbie) question...

    What's the difference (if any) between the hapsichord and the piano, regarding the weight, action and dynamics of the keys?
    Rachmaninoff,

    The first difference is the manner in which the tone is produced. The harpsichord 'plucks' the string hence the characteristic sound. Most of these instruments are single keyboard, but it is not uncommon to see a two manual version - a pedalboard can also be added to these.

    Some of these instruments have several sets of strings, at least one being pitched one octave higher than the others. This is how the dynamics are handled ... adding or subtracting a set of strings by moving a mechanical lever. Unlike the piano, a firmer touch or a very light touch on the harpsichord keys produces the same volume of tone.

    The touch is similar to the organ ... when the player wants to sustain notes, they must hold down the keys, being that there are no foot operated controls for doing this.

    The music store I worked in many years ago had a 2 manual Sabathil harpsichord that I got to play often ... for my amusement and others amazement. As I recall, they were a total pain to tune.
    Kh ~~.
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  11. #11
    Lieutenant, Associate Concertmaster Rachmaninoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    Unlike the piano, a firmer touch or a very light touch on the harpsichord keys produces the same volume of tone.
    (...)
    As I recall, they were a total pain to tune.
    I don't know why, sometimes listen to a hapsichord recording may be boring to me (maybe the lack of dynamics compared to the piano?), but I guess that listen to a hapsichord live would be a fascinating experience (I never had the oportunity to do so). Interesting to discover that the hapsichord is hard to tune (harder than the piano?).

    Thanks for the precious info, Krummhorn.
    "I live, therefore I die."

  12. #12
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    You haven't got Handel's '8 Grand Suites'?

    I recommend the 3 Handel CDs by Sophie yates, Chandos label.
    Last edited by Rod Corkin; Jan-11-2008 at 13:45.
    "If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

  13. #13
    Commodore con Forza musicalis's Avatar
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    HI !
    I do not like very much harpsichord but I love JS Bach, so I can tell you that most of Bach's keyboard works can be played with a harpsichord.

    Do you know what is MyOrgan ? It is a free software to change your PC computer into a real pipe organ. MyOrgan can also be used as a harpsichord, there is also a free harpsichord sample set for this software. I like very much this sound, when I play it with my midi keyboard, I really believe I am playing on an harpsichord. Try it :
    http://www.kloria.com/software/musical/myorgan/ for MyOrgan
    http://duphly.free.fr/en/projet.htm for the harpsichord sample set.

    Jean-Paul
    Friendly yours. Jean-Paul

    Music is my placebo

    Please visit my channel and web site to hear the music I compose
    http://fr.youtube.com/organcomposer
    http://organ.monespace.net

  14. #14
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Fretless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    As for harpsichords, there was at one time a method of buying these as a build-your-own-kit years back. May be an alternative to look into - ready built ones will be rather expensive depending on the manufacturer.
    My dad built two or three of his own harpsichords. I'm sorry I don't recall the company who made the kits, but they turned out well and we still have one of them in my mom's house and it still gets played.

    I don't know that they are any more difficult to tune than a piano, but I believe they require more frequent attention to tuning because the strings are lighter and all of the mechanisms are lighter and I think are more subject to humidity and weather/temperature changes.

    You might also be interested in 20th Century harpsichord music:
    20th Century Harpsichord Music, Vol. 1
    I actually have Vol. 2 of this series, not this one, but I didn't see it listed.

    Also:
    Gorecki Harpsichord Concerto (and other stuff)
    Extremely minimalistic, and grating surely to some, but I think it's a lot of fun. I wonder what my father would have thought of it if he were still around.

  15. #15
    Midshipman, Forte
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    I love the sound of the harpsichord. There was one in a piano shop I was looking round - I wish I could have played it all day!

    Alternatively, I could have built one out of Lego...

    Daniel

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