The Italian Harpsichord 

The Italian harpsichord has retained its properties from start to finish .

It is a very light and linear instrument , mainly used for continuo .

Anonymous Neapolitan Harpsichord (ca. 1525) at the National Music Museum, Vermillion South Dakota, USA

This translates into the specific sound characteristics of Italian harpsichords : very rich in overtones , fast and sharp approach , very clear articulation of the sounds .

The typical game device is a keyboard , with two Unison registers , 8'8' ( those built before 1600 instruments often have a Oktavregister , 84 ) .

 The scope is C / E ( short octave ) - c3 for instruments to two meters in length , and GG - c3 for the longer ( up to 2.60 m )

Mondini harpsichord , Giuseppe Mondini ( † 1718) in 1701 Florence , from the collection Beurmann , MK & G Hamburg © Photo : Angela Franke

The vast majority of Italian harpsichords are thin cypress wood instruments with wall thicknesses of only about 4mm . These fragile instruments were often to protect from damage and dust in a made ​​for them box with lid kept ( "true -inner -outer " ) . 

See the following example for "true -inner -outer " :

Domenico da Pesaro, dit Domenicus Pisaurensis, Venedig 1553, Collection Paul Cesbron, Musée de la musique, Paris (F) ©Photo. Publimages n°1038

When type of " false inner -outer " , the box is already the actual harpsichord corpus and set-in doublers and moldings made ​​of cypress wood inside to create the illusion , as if it were a cypress tool in its box .

Italienisches Cembalo, um 1690 -  © Foto: Andreas E. Beurmann

Italian harpsichord , 1690 , keyboard cheek with carving -

© Photo : Andreas E. Beurmann