A Guide to the Harpsichord
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Submitter: Zero circs in about 9 years. Why on earth does this need to belong in a rural medium-sized library? Holly: This was published in ??
The Harpsichord Owner's Guide | Edward L. Kottick | University of North Carolina Press
Was there some sort of harpsichord revival that I missed? Is there anyone who has played the harpsichord by choice, rather than have it forced upon them in middle school music class?
There was something of a revival not long before this was published. The Academy of Ancient Music and others interested in using period instruments made the harpsichord hot again.
And I remember Wanda Landowska, the great harpsichordist, popping up as a plot device in an Elizabeth Peters mystery. And a friend at California who majored in harpsichord.
The music is wonderful. I would have loved to have a harpsichord at right around this time.
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My son was interested in playing, and we even had a loaner lined up… but it turns out, good ones have to be kept in a specially humidified room, and that supposes you have a room you can devote to a harpsichord, and that supposes an income level totally beyond us. Still love harpsichord music, though.
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I knew more than one person who built their own harpsichord in the s, and had a friend in college in majored in harpsichord performance. The author then discusses the factors that made for the instrument's eclipse - the radically changing musical styles - and its present-day re-birth. A large, and obviously important section of Ann Bond's treatise deals with the player's approach to technique in performance: problems for the beginner, and more sophisticated aspects for the experienced player; one of the latter concerning itself especially with the matter of touch, a consideration probably not suspected by those whose keyboard experience has been naively restricted to the piano.
There are enlightening examples from a variety of original pieces, illustrating aspects of rhetoric, rubato and other expressive means of making performance sound convincing.
There follow quite exhaustive chapters on national styles, each one thoroughly explored. One of the most interesting, and indeed revealing parts of this book, concerns the intricate and subtle nature of tuning and temperament; this might be a revelation to many readers. It is rounded off with advice about care and maintenance.
Finally a chapter is devoted to twentieth-century music for the harpsichord, and useful information about furthering an enthusiast's interests. This is a capital book, informative in the best sense of the word; its literary style lucid. There is not a dull or tedious sentence, one of the best books I have read on a musical subject.
Guide Harpsichord by Ann Bond
Arthur Butterworth. Return to Index. Musicians accessories.