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This harpsichord is the work of two celebrated makers: originally constructed by
in Antwerp (1646), it was later remodeled and expanded by
in Paris (1780).
A harpsichord is a
musical instrument played by means of a
keyboard, a row of levers which the player presses. When the player presses one or more keys, this triggers a mechanism, which plucks one or more strings with a small quill.
"Harpsichord" designates the whole family of similar plucked keyboard instruments, including the smaller
spinet. The harpsichord was widely used in
Baroque music. During the late 18th century, it gradually disappeared from the musical scene, with the rise of the
piano. In the 20th century, it made a resurgence, being used in
historically informed performance of older music, in new compositions, and in some styles of popular music.