• 31. Clavichord action
    31. Clavichord action
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n clavichord an early stringed instrument like a piano but with more delicate sound
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Additional illustrations & photos:

32. Fretted clavichord: Detail of fretting 32. Fretted clavichord: Detail of fretting
Fretted clavichord: 33. Full view Fretted clavichord: 33. Full view
Fretted clavichord: 43. Plan view Fretted clavichord: 43. Plan view
Unfretted clavichord: 35. Full view Unfretted clavichord: 35. Full view
Unfretted clavichord: 36. Plan view Unfretted clavichord: 36. Plan view

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Clavichord (Mus) A keyed stringed instrument, now superseded by the pianoforte. See Clarichord.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n clavichord A musical instrument invented in the middle ages, and in general use, especially in Germany, until displaced by the square pianoforte at the end of the eighteenth century. Like the pianoforte, it had a keyboard and a set of strings on a horizontal frame; but the tone was produced by the pressure of a brass “tangent” raised and held against the string, instead of by the stroke of a hammer. This method of tone-production permitted considerable variation in force and in quality. The compass of the clavichord was originally limited to a few tones in diatonic succession, and the advance to a full chromatic scale was made gradually. Tuning in equal temperament was not established until toward the middle of the eighteenth century.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Clavichord klav′i-kord an obsolete musical instrument, of the same form as the Harpsichord and Spinet
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. clavicorde, fr. L. clavis, key + chorda, string
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. clavis, a key, chorda, a string.


In literature:

From Austria the "clavichord" as it was usually called in those days (because it had "craves" or keys) went to Italy.
"The Story of Mankind" by Hendrik van Loon
He sat down at the clavichord and sang what he had composed in honour of the Princess.
"Orpheus in Mayfair and Other Stories and Sketches" by Maurice Baring
The young people, at the countess' instigation, gathered round the clavichord and harp.
"War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy
The first to make pianofortes in Germany was the famous Freiberg organ-builder and clavichord maker, Gottfried Silbermann.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 385, May 19, 1883" by Various
He makes it as living and penetrating as the violin, as responsive and elusive as the clavichord.
"Plays, Acting and Music" by Arthur Symons
It is not a matter of wonder that the lovers of the harpsichord and clavichord did not take kindly to the piano-forte at first.
"Great Violinists And Pianists" by George T. Ferris
The keyed monochord gained the name clavichord.
"For Every Music Lover" by Aubertine Woodward Moore
Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavichord" he declares is his "grammar, and the best of all grammars.
"Chopin and Other Musical Essays" by Henry T. Finck
The clavichord and manichord, which we read of in Mozart's letters, were only improved and better-made clavicytheria.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 117, July, 1867." by Various
There is a clavichord in the panelled room, and we will leave the garden door open in order to hear the music.
"A German Pompadour" by Marie Hay