Italian Harpsichords
Cembalino, Italian Virginal
Flemish and French Harpsichords
German Harpsichords
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The thin-sided italian harpsichord is a good choice for continuo playing. These delicate instruments with a distinctive sound character can be characterized by small dimensions and weight, striking, but noble sound and a typical decoration (see a stand, a keyboard and mouldings).

Construction is inspired by a chosen model (for example G. B. Giusti or C. Grimaldi). Thanks to thin co-resonating sides the sound has a dramatic initiation and a rather fast decay. Even with such small dimensions it can serve well in an orchestra or an ensemble, where especially with singers complements each other well. Such typical characteristics is found as a disadvantage, when trying to play some for example late French solo repertoir. For continuo playing this limitation is smaller.

Very interesting seems to be a maple soundboard. I was surprised by its power, richness and long sustaining tone, and can warmly recommend.

There are three basic variants: a small instrument with thin sides (withoud a lid), the same one with a separate outer case and a false-inner-outer construction.

Cedar, padauk, maple and other woods are suitable for Italian case construction, with a possibility of an intarsia decoration along a whole instrument (the big intarsia on the pictures is inspired by a Grimaldi case). Keyboard has a boxwood cover and sharps can be made from ebony (blocks or with an insert of a contrasting material).

Registers: 8', 2x8'. Compass: GG-d3, CC-c3. Usually strung in yellow brass.