Friday, December 19

October 1722= Italian Clavecytherium


Clavicytherium, Italy "circa 1559."
Shaped as an inverted upright harpsichord, 101 cm. high on the treble side, and 45 cm. on the bass side. The instrument features an external wooden painted case containing a large psaltery, completely independent from the external case, holding 152 brass strings, with tuning mechanism on the right; the strings are streched upon 2 movable jumpers topped by a notched brass wire. The extention of the keyboard, positioned under the psaltery, includes a short octave, 3 full octaves and a high C. Three ornamental gold lacqued roses on the harmonic board in fir.
The one-keyboard Clavicytherium of the Kraus Collection in Florence,
Ed. S.Landi,
Florence 1910

2 comments:

David said...

I have read, some long time ago (1980?) that this instrument was a contrivance, a fake... But if it works, who cares.

Anonymous said...

The contrivance factor of this instrument is the very reason that I made it the October (Halloween) keyboard ! It is a freakish thing and that seems to fit!