Sounds of harpsichords and related instruments...
Dr. Bradley P Lehman (doctorate in harpsichord, Univ of Michigan, 1994) /

Compare them! [Introduction] [Sounds] [Links] [Technical notes/Kudos]


This is a very old web page, from 1996!

These samples are each approximately fifteen seconds long, files of about 300K, dubbed from compact discs.

The "CD info" links each go to an appropriate entry at another site where you may learn more about or purchase the disc. In some cases, they also have better sound samples from these albums, using RealAudio or other formats.

Major disclaimer! These sound samples (all in stereo) are of reasonable quality but are certainly not great: they do not represent accurately the sound quality of the recordings. They are here primarily for use in rough comparisons among the instruments: the basic features of the sound. The actual instruments sound quite a bit different, especially regarding high harmonics. If possible, play and listen to representative instruments in person, or find these and other similar recordings.

On the plus side, all these samples are distorted similarly by the CD-sampling utility I's a level playing field. The utility was an early one (1996), and I probably should remake all of these samples someday....

Photo of a French 
pictured: French double by Yves Beaupre

Instruments to compare:

  • Flemish harpsichords
  • French harpsichords
  • German harpsichords
  • Italian harpsichords
  • Modern concert harpsichords (in no particular national/historical style)
  • Virginals
  • Clavichords
  • Other somewhat similar instruments

  • Other harpsichord links

    These selected sites are maintained by others; each link opens a new window. Send comments or additions to
  • David Sutherland, Harpsichord Maker
  • Hubbard Harpsichords
  • Carey Beebe Harpsichords Australia
  • Gerald Self Harpsichords
  • Zuckermann Harpsichords International
  • Jensen Harpsichords
  • Xavier Leigh-Flanders Harpsichords
  • William Mitchell Harpsichords
  • Sorli Lautenwerk and Harpsichords
  • Les Clavecins Yves Beaupré
  • Claviers Baroques - "Upper Canada Historical Keyboards in Toronto, Ontario, Canada"
  • Carl Dudash Harpsichords
  • Rawnsley's Musical Instruments
  • John Storrs Workshop
  • Lark in the Morning instruments
  • The Instrument Workshop, Ashland OR
  • Jan F.H. Kalsbeek
  • Early Keyboards of Atlanta
  • Clavichord recordings by Bradley Lehman
  • Robert Hill
  • The Dioptra Group (Hill, Hill, Ploger)
  • Igor Kipnis
  • Bradley Brookshire
  • Bonnie Choi
  • Asako Hirabayashi
  • John Sankey, Harpsichordist to the Internet
  • Foundation for Baroque Music (Robert Conant/Kenneth Slowik)
  • Harpsichord Clearing House
  • Net Instruments - musical instrument classified ads
  • The Hot Harpsichord Information Center by Barbara Cadranel
  • French Harpsichords (reference by Dr R Dean Anderson)
  • Survey of Recorded French Harpsichord Music by Francois Velde
  • Big Duck's Harpsichord Miscellany ...see especially the primer about different instrument styles
  • French and English Lexicon of Harpsichord Terms
  • The Difference Between Piano and Harpsichord Touch
  • Keyboard temperament analysis spreadsheet by Bradley Lehman
  • The Gentle Clavichord, an amusing fashion article from 1962
  • Harpsichord and Clavichord WebRing (more links)
  • Bach-Keyboard links (from mailing list)
    Societies and Museums
  • HPSCHD-L (discussion group for builders, players, enthusiasts) and its Harpsichord Photo Gallery
  • Clavichord discussion group at Yahoo (formerly at eGroups or OneList)
  • Boston Clavichord Society
  • SEHKS (Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society)
  • Deutsche Clavichord Societät
  • Historical Musical Instrument Collection, Vassar College
  • Russell Collection of Early Keyboard Instruments, University of Edinburgh
  • Early Music Network
  • Sheet Music Plus: Musician Store
  • Tyre & Goudzwaard double owned by Pro Gloria Musicae
  • CONTINUO magazine
  • BACH International Harpsichord Festival
  • New Trinity Baroque, Atlanta GA

  • Technical notes

    These files are in .WAV format for Windows. If you have a Mac or other platform, you may be able to convert them with various tools (commercial, shareware, or freeware). Perhaps try some of the converters available at this Usenet FAQ list, this University of Utrecht FAQ list, or elsewhere on the WWW.


    This site is indexed in Starting Point, the WWW Yellow Pages, Yahoo, and other web indexes.

    It is referenced in the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians 2nd edition on the web.

    It is also featured as an educational resource by Classroom Webivore, and has been highly rated by Schoolzone.

    Rated by
Schoolzone's panel of expert teachers

    hits since June 4, 1996.

    Member of the Harpsichord and Clavichord WebRing:
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