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Clavichord in late 16th century style
Designed and built by Kevin Spindler, 2009 (updated 20152)
 
十六世紀式西琴 1
Click on the present image to see a larger version 3          
Kevin Spindler describes the clavichord as follows:4

Renaissance Italian fretted clavichord based on the instrument in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts once attributed to Onesto Tosi but now labeled as "maker unknown", Italy, end of the 16th or early 17th century, accession no. 17.1796, with some design modifications based on other surviving instruments of the period, namely, the 1540 Domenicus Pisaurensis clavichord in Leipzig, and also clavichords nos. 2 & 3 in the same collection; dovetailed case of poplar painted in two solid colors on the exterior and inside top, with the interior veneered in figured maple with matching mouldings finished naturally, i.e., varnished; keyboard range of C/E-c''', short & broken octave (Wiki), with two split accidentals added to the lowest two accidentals to give F# & G# along with the normal short-octave notes of D & E for a total of 47 notes; instrument is scaled for a440 pitch; temperament is quarter-comma meantone as described by Pietro Aron (Wiki).

C/E means the bottom note looking like E actually plays as C. In some old keyboard instruments the divided black keys ("split accidentals") are designed to differentiate between, e.g., F# and G♭; here, though, the longer parts of what look like the lowest F# and G# are played as D and E while the raised shorter parts play the F# and G# (or A♭).

Note that the hinges and top edge of the cover for the keyboard can be seen along the front edge of the cover for the main body of the clavichord.

 
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. 十六世紀式西琴 Clavichord in 16th century style
"西琴 Xi qin" is used here in accord with Ricci's Songs. For issues in translating "clavichord" into Chinese see Early Chinese translations of "keyboards".
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2. Kevin Spindler (email)
In 2015 Kevin re-strung the clavichord, tuning it so that A is calibrated to 523 Hz, i.e., a minor-third above modern concert pitch. It uses quarter-comma (Aron) meantone tuning.

Kevin lives and works out of Stonington, Connecticut, but his website seems currently to be inactive.
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3. Spindler clavichord
Photo taken in May 2009. The clavichord is intended to be in the style of the one Matteo Ricci may have taken to China at the end of the 16th century. The red color was selected as auspicious for such an event. The black table underneath is a qin table.
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4. Spindler clavichord dimensions
The exterior measurements are: (n.b.: typical qin length is 48 - 50"; depth is 8 - 9" tapering to 5 - 6")
length/width of lid: 49.5"
length/width of body without lid: 49.2"
depth of lid: 11.3"
depth of body: 11.2" (without lid or keyboard protrusion)
height: 6.6" (including closed lid)
keyboard protrusion height: 6.6" tapering to 5.3" at front (lid closed)
keyboard protrusion depth: 4.5" (lid closed)
keyboard protrusion lid width: 26.9"
keyboard protrusion width (without lid): 26.7"
keyboard protrusion to left front (not including lid): 5"
keyboard protrusion to right front (not including lid): 17.5"
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