Author Topic: I want one  (Read 9776 times)

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Crosivda101

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I want one
« on: March 27, 2010, 09:30:49 PM »
I've recently taken a deep interest in period performance. I even procured a copy of CPE Bach's "Essay on the true art of playing keyboard instruments". At the moment I'm trying to get my hands on a one manual Harpsichord in a local church, as in borrowing it since it's being stored there by the original owner who lacks space for it. But there's no solid guarantee that I'll get it and for how long. What I need is a good Rucker's styled harpsichord, two manuals with some nice stops preferably. But the only setback is I have very little money to spend on such luxuries. If anyone ever hears something about someone wanting to 'do away' with any harpsichord, please do drop a note by here.

Cheers.

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Re: I want one
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2010, 11:40:17 PM »
What I need is a good Rucker's styled harpsichord, two manuals with some nice stops preferably. But the only setback is I have very little money to spend on such luxuries. If anyone ever hears something about someone wanting to 'do away' with any harpsichord, please do drop a note by here.

Hi!

Certainly I'll keep my eyes peeled.

There are often harpsichords for sale on ebay but there are two hitches:
(1) the 1960s ones often have leather plectra which are now brittle and beyond the end of their useful life and need replacing. Professionals drill a slot through the leather and insert a delrin plectra - I've been quoted 300 per rank for this. I started such a job myself and made a lot of work for myself and will probably make new tongues.
(2) even if the instrument is theoretically fine, all 2nd hand harpsichords need regulation and it's time consuming to adjust - so one has to be prepared to spend some time on them . . .  :)

There was an instrument at my son's school which had not been used in 30 years on account of being too complicated to maintain. It turned out that it had a structural fault. I offered to get it going again - it was 6 days work and four figures for help from a furniture restorer and a friendly harpsichord specialist to help regulation and adjustment.

Best wishes

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organforumadmin

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Re: I want one
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2010, 12:42:52 AM »
Hi!

Ebay item 250603492978 might be useful to start with and is said to be in good condition#

Best wishes

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Crosivda101

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Re: I want one
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2010, 05:35:58 PM »
What I need is a good Rucker's styled harpsichord, two manuals with some nice stops preferably. But the only setback is I have very little money to spend on such luxuries. If anyone ever hears something about someone wanting to 'do away' with any harpsichord, please do drop a note by here.

Hi!

Certainly I'll keep my eyes peeled.

There are often harpsichords for sale on ebay but there are two hitches:
(1) the 1960s ones often have leather plectra which are now brittle and beyond the end of their useful life and need replacing. Professionals drill a slot through the leather and insert a delrin plectra - I've been quoted 300 per rank for this. I started such a job myself and made a lot of work for myself and will probably make new tongues.
(2) even if the instrument is theoretically fine, all 2nd hand harpsichords need regulation and it's time consuming to adjust - so one has to be prepared to spend some time on them . . .  :)

There was an instrument at my son's school which had not been used in 30 years on account of being too complicated to maintain. It turned out that it had a structural fault. I offered to get it going again - it was 6 days work and four figures for help from a furniture restorer and a friendly harpsichord specialist to help regulation and adjustment.

Best wishes

Forum Admin

Hi,

The current items on ebay are not to my liking I'm afraid. Also, the older Harpsichords built in the 60's were modern styled ones, like those used by the great Karl Richter (which aren't to my liking either). What I'm looking for is a genuine Baroque styled instrument. A full length harpsichord with a vibrant tone.

Certainly, I am fully aware of the fact that once I get one it will require some tender loving care either way, but it's well worth it. Certainly, it will also provide me with a chance to experiment and study the art of tuning more frequently. I'm one that wouldn't rely on modern technology either, just the good old ear should do the trick!  ;)

Cheers

organforumadmin

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Re: I want one
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2010, 08:00:04 PM »
Hi!

Going to the Early Music Festival at Greenwich every November is an excellent way to see what's happening in the current harpsichord world.

I have had direct experience with eBay era (by which I mean those that tend to come up at an affordable price on the second hand market) instruments.

Interesting things were happening in the 60s and early 70s as "authenticity" kicked in - and now I'm not at all sure that "authenticity" isn't merely an excuse for cheap construction and omission of detail that makes instruments more playable and regulatable.

In particular it's a fashion to leave off the adjusting screws on the jacks so that instead of turning a screw if a plectrum doesn't pluck or overhangs the string too much, it has to be taken out and cut. An instrument will move structurally in different weather conditions and this can change both the tuning and the regulation - so screw adjustments are rather helpful and their omission is retrograde.

Another thing that I miss on "authentic" instruments, as an organist, is pedals to access the coupler, 4ft addition, unison off and nasard or "lute", relying entirely on hand levers. This might enable "authentic" playing but limits the imagination in playing the instrument as a living instrument with new repertoire or jazz. See YouTube "Jerzy Owczarz jazz harpichord" (not recorded very well I'm sorry to say) and you'll hear what he makes of an instrument capable of variety given by pedals. I think you might have also seen already the YouTube video on the same instrument "Bach BWV807 English Suite Harpsichord".plucky

That instrument is a Morley of the 60s. Like many of those days it has a piano frame construction. It's nice to play but as a performance instrument the resonance of the bass is not as good as authentic construction. Sperrhakes and those triangular instruments with orange plastic sharps (old age amnesia kicking in) and the diamond lozenge name plates are similar, although the latter are well respected and used by a lot of learned musicians. However both these have a plucky bright tone that shines through as one wants among singers or in ensemble.

Towards the later 60s or 70s, Sperrhakes went to the traditional enclosed soundboard - like a giant guitar but still with a heavy case. I have yet to replace the tongues on the jacks of this so can't comment on the sound but think it will be better.

The Zuckermann kits from the 70s onwards are of the lightweight "authentic" enclosed soundboard construction and are strident, on the Italian model, shining through choral and instrumental groups and with quite good bass. But their construction used a simplified framework which allowed the base plate to bow outwards and causing the soundboard to bow worse, and often this can be so bad that the strings vibrate against it in the tenor. I have one of these instruments - it has settled down after a couple of decades stored sideways in a cupboard and it's now regulated and if you wanted to borrow it, it could possibly be available. However, just two 8ft "choirs" on one manual is not the most inspiring - and to be blunt, I think that cheap one manual instruments without pedals permitting variety have caused the instrument and thus its music to be considered rather boring. Maintaining expensive instruments has not been the favourite hobby of music schools or concert venues.

See YouTube "clayson and garrett sound" for a complex instrument made at the start of the "authentic" period but made with all the playing conveniences.  . . .  Oh I wish.

So good luck with the search, but even a modest instrument can facilitate experiment with the repertoire and temperaments.

Best wishes

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Crosivda101

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Re: I want one
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2010, 11:12:35 PM »
Yes, well the only thing I plan to use a Harpsichord for is baroque keyboard works and to help me with the studying of baroque materials. 'New' repertoire isn't my cup of tea. ;)

The old harpsichords had a very metalic sound, as opposed to the authentic styled ones. I think the reason they brought the old style of construction back is for both musical reasons as much as for that of the Authentic school.

Thanks again.

revtonynewnham

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Re: I want one
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 10:18:10 AM »
I've recently taken a deep interest in period performance. I even procured a copy of CPE Bach's "Essay on the true art of playing keyboard instruments". At the moment I'm trying to get my hands on a one manual Harpsichord in a local church, as in borrowing it since it's being stored there by the original owner who lacks space for it. But there's no solid guarantee that I'll get it and for how long. What I need is a good Rucker's styled harpsichord, two manuals with some nice stops preferably. But the only setback is I have very little money to spend on such luxuries. If anyone ever hears something about someone wanting to 'do away' with any harpsichord, please do drop a note by here.

Cheers.

Hi

If you find 2 - let me know!

Realistically, I don't have space or cash.  It might be worth keeping an eye on the stock at the early Music Shop here in Bradford (the organizers of the Greenwich Festival mentioned in another post).  They often have s/h examples for sale.  Not cheap though.  They run a mailing list - a couple of times a year - which lists many s/h instruments for early music (I'm also interested in recorders).

They also have a shop in London - but I've never been there since I live a couple of miles from their main operation in Saltaire (nr. Bradford).

Every Blessing

Tony

Crosivda101

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Re: I want one
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2010, 10:40:13 PM »
Lets hope that fortune smiles upon us...  :'(

organforumadmin

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Re: I want one
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2010, 10:05:48 PM »
Hi!

Here's a possibility:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170472080139
With a 16ft, it's almost what might drive me into green eyed salivation . . . but it's got the piano-frame brace structure. If I'd want to change, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eyho0P0rxw&feature=PlayList&p=98A6E31D91961DB9&playnext_from=PL&index=0&playnext=1 is the sort of instrument that I'd really drool over . . . but that sort of guitar case construction, when it goes wrong, can lead to the sort of work that you see there. The piano frame type is as solid as a rock and in fact my Morley http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCjjaP4tW-A I have not tuned in 3 or 6 months and it's still in tune . . . . so the Feldman is worth auditioning. The later restoration videos show the sort of thing that attention to jacks will involve.

I'm sure that the seller was selling a harpsichord last year on the grounds of overcrowding and cruelty to his living room saying that it was either the wife or the harpsichord. I told him to get rid of the wife . . . but he's clearly been brainwashed since . . .

Best wishes

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« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 10:10:27 PM by organforumadmin »

dragonser

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Re: I want one
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2010, 09:57:42 PM »
well I checked ebay today and the only one I found was a Digital one !
which is fine unless you get a fault with the electronics and find you can't get spares ......
of course acoustic instruments don't have the same problem with spares.
( different ones maybe I guess ! )

revtonynewnham

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Re: I want one
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2010, 07:55:20 PM »
Hi

Try finding replacement reeds for certain reed organs!  Anything that is available will come from a dismantled organ - or at best be "new old stock".

Every Blessing

Tony

David Pinnegar

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Re: I want one
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2010, 10:33:31 PM »
well I checked ebay today and the only one I found was a Digital one !
which is fine unless you get a fault with the electronics and find you can't get spares ......
of course acoustic instruments don't have the same problem with spares.
( different ones maybe I guess ! )

Hi!

Well, it's not the only thing wrong with digital harpsichords. First, the touch is far from the same and is so much part of the playing of the instrument and secondly, it's a sterilised sound. In the past weeks a pop group have been recording at Hammerwood and have been using real instruments . . . and the real harpsichord sounds SO much more ALIVE than the electronic substitutes.

Best wishes

David P

revtonynewnham

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Re: I want one
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2010, 04:56:57 PM »
Hi

I find the same problem with digital pianos - and many electronic organs, especially when using larger combinations.  There's a long way to go before electronics really comes close to acoiustic instruments.

Every Blessing

Tony

 


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