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Thread: Do you like the sound of the harpsichord?

  1. #1
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    Do you like the sound of the harpsichord?

    There have been some discussion on various threads about people's view on the harpsichord. I personally find the sound, including that of the modern harpsichord, moderately annoying, to the point of actually avoiding music that has excessive harpsichord sound (barely audible, background continuo is OK). I even got the B minor mass version that doesn't have harpsichord, to enhance my enjoyment of the work.


    What say you, how do you feel about the harpsichord?
    Last edited by Krummhorn; Feb-24-2017 at 18:00. Reason: external links removed

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Okay for a limited time - since the sound is always the same (tone and volume) it can get quite monotonous after a little while as a solo instrument. However the two manual instruments have greater variety in tone and often a 4' pitch and when the two manuals can be coupled together.

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    I like most of what I have on record, especially pedal harpsichord.
    Cheers MIKE.

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    There is a very good reason why the harpsichord was virtually superseded by the piano - which, as I am sure you all know, is short for "pianoforte", i.e. soft/loud, something that is beyond the capabalities of the harpsichord and other early keyboard instruments.

    There is nothing wrong with the sound of the haprsichord as such, however its limitations make it much less suited for a long solo work or an extended appearance within a composition. It can sound very effective as an accessory instrument. You probably wouldn't write a whole solo work for Chinese gong, but its appearance at the right moment can dramatically enhance a musical work.

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    Chief assistant to the assistant chief JHC's Avatar
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    I don't like it and go along with bob32116 above.
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    What Bob 32116 said.

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    Chief assistant to the assistant chief JHC's Avatar
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    I don't want to be picky but fortepiano before pianoforte, just saying, thats all, no big deal.
    Last edited by JHC; Feb-25-2017 at 09:50.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SophiaL View Post
    There have been some discussion on various threads about people's view on the harpsichord. I personally find the sound, including that of the modern harpsichord, moderately annoying, to the point of actually avoiding music that has excessive harpsichord sound (barely audible, background continuo is OK). I even got the B minor mass version that doesn't have harpsichord, to enhance my enjoyment of the work.


    What say you, how do you feel about the harpsichord?
    Interesting point. I don't know of any modern compositions using harpsichord so to me it is just of historical interest. But to understand and experience Bach fully I cannot recommend to exclude this instrument, it is part of his master work.

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    My former parish had just acquired a two manual harpsichord just prior to my leaving for another church. I never got much of a chance to play it as it needed substantial repairs (some new jacks, a few new strings, new felts under the keys and re-regulation of the keyboards).

    Used to work in a music store where we had a Sabathil harpsichord (in the front window no less). Part of my job was to keep it in tune which was a total pain the bazoo, but, the money was good, so why the heck not?

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    Listen to this "muted" harpsichord. This is fantastic!


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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
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    I do like it for Baroque period music. I have used one in performance of Vivaldi's Gloria
    Last edited by wljmrbill; Oct-18-2017 at 04:14. Reason: spelling error
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SophiaL View Post
    There have been some discussion on various threads about people's view on the harpsichord. I personally find the sound, including that of the modern harpsichord, moderately annoying, to the point of actually avoiding music that has excessive harpsichord sound (barely audible, background continuo is OK). I even got the B minor mass version that doesn't have harpsichord, to enhance my enjoyment of the work.


    What say you, how do you feel about the harpsichord?
    yes, I like the sound of the modern harpsichord.

  13. #13
    Commodore con Forza
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    I love the sound of the harpsichord - it's twangly jangly heaven.

    I do feel the same as some others, though, that I can get a bit bored if it goes on for too long solo - but I can listen forever if it's playing in a small ensemble, whether its continuo, or with a bigger share of the melody.

    One of my favourite composers for harpsichord is Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre:


  14. #14
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    well, Im closer to the guys assuming that it becomes alittle annoying over time while you listen to it alone, thus no one says it's boring or hard to listen
    Its a part of that Baroque music and that time as well, no saying about how charming it can be if playing with something more than itself only

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