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INDEX LIST:

Introduction 

1 The Musical Instrument Called the Clavichord
1.1 A Nearly Forgotten Instrument 
1.2 Tone Production of the Clavichord 
1.3 The Effect of the Clavichord on Listeners 
1.4 Haarlem: A Copy of the Clavichord Built by Christian Gottlob Hubert 
1.5 Fretted and Unfretted Clavichords 
1.6 The Clavichord: The Ideal Practice Instrument for Organists 
1.7 Clavichord Players of the Present and Past Generations 

2 Clavichords and Their Tuning; The Clavichord Literature
2.1 From the Monochord to Various Types of Clavichord 
2.2 Tuning Copies of a Clavichord Made by Christian Gottlob Hubert; Tuning Unfretted Clavichords, Harpsichords, and Pianos
2.3 Musical Literature Suitable for the Clavichord 

3 Basic Aspects of Clavichord Playing
3.1 How to Depress the Clavichord Keys 
3.2 Practising the Correct Touch of the Clavichord Keys 
3.3 The Dynamic Element of Playing 
3.4 Vibrato and Tuning with the Fingers 
3.5 Playing Polyphony 
3.6 Sustaining of Clavichord Tones 

4 The Clavichord of Johann Christoph Georg Schiedmayer and Keyboard Music of the 18th and 19th centuries: Comments on Interpretation
4.1 The Clavichord of Johann Christoph Georg Schiedmayer 
4.2 The Audio Recording “A Portrait of the Clavichord” 
4.3 Selections from the Suite in C Major by Christoph Graupner 
4.4 French Suite No. 6 by Johann Sebastian Bach 
4.5 Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Sturm und Drang 
4.6 The Classical Era: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Josef Antonín Štěpán 
4.7 Herbert Howells and His Fascination with the Clavichord 
4.8 Chaconne in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach: A Clavichord Transcription 

Conclusion 
Photographs 
Index of Names 
Bibliography 



That the clavichord is a nearly forgotten instrument is, in my opinion, quite unjust. It served its
role very comprehensively for many centuries, and many of its advantages could not be taken up by newer kinds of keyboard instruments, nor could they be replaced in any commensurate way, let alone be surpassed. The main reason why pianos and later harmoniums definitively displaced clavichords from people’s homes and salons during the nineteenth century was the general requirement of a louder sound, although a part may have also been played by the newer types of musical instruments being easier to play. 
     Far into the 20th century, many people had been confronted with the clavichord, but at that time even important, prescient thinkers and musicians were incapable of imagining that an instrument with such peculiar features could still find favour with not only enlightened musicians, but also the public. For example, this was the opinion of even Albert Schweitzer, who wrote the following in his book about J. S. Bach: “Already in advance, the clavichord cannot come under consideration because it is impossible for us ever to become reaccustomed to such a weak sound…” 
     At present, it can be seen quite clearly that the clavichord can no longer be regarded as merely a historical form of keyboard instrument that has nothing to say to us today, and that we can therefore just allow to lie dormant in museums and perhaps discuss in the scholarly literature. Once we begin playing it, unexpectedly broad horizons open up before us. The instrument dictates to us uncompromisingly what we can or cannot permit ourselves in the field of interpretation of early music. Mastering it means discovering and understanding the mysteries of unsuspected recesses of halfforgotten musical expression and of a specific, cultivated keyboard technique. It influences our choices of tempo and offers us various shades of expression—sensitive intimacy and caresses of tenderness as well as unexpectedly dramatic moments, and even solemn grandeur, or to the contrary, humour or smiling detachment. Today, the rediscovery of the clavichord as an instrument suitable for the concert hall or for practising is on the current agenda. And most inspirational of all is the now vast array of CD recordings. Besides those already mentioned that are tied one way or another to the topic of this publication, one might add, for example, a project that is visionary in its own way titled Book of Ways by the famed jazz pianist Keith Jarrett, containing 19 improvisations on the clavichord. 
     Many young keyboard players have also begun eagerly discovering the irreplaceable advantages of the clavichord, and they are acquiring the instrument and using it for their development as players and for experiencing music in a way that is more profound than that to which they have been accustomed. I am overjoyed by this, and I hope that more and more musicians will go down this path.

 (from the last notes by Jaroslav Tůma)

   

   

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