Saturday, February 13, 2010

Feb 12/10: Pedal Harpsichord

Feb 12/10: Pedal Harpsichord, originally uploaded by susanvg.
I went to a concert of Clavecin en Concert with Luc Beauséjour. The concert featured a pedal harpsichord. It was the first time I had heard one. It sits under a regular harpsichord and is played with foot pedals, much like an organ. In fact, it was used as a practice instrument in the 1700s and later by organists. They could have one in their home. The organ needed someone to pump the air (now done by electricity), lighting so the organist could see the music, and often some way to heat the organ loft. These were costly additions, so the pedal harpsichord made a good compromise. This one was made by Yves Beaupré; you can hear and see it played here.
It was a novelty to see it and hear it, though I think I prefer the regular harpsichord. It has a clearer sound without the extra keyboard.


  1. Harpsichords are definitely beautiful instruments, both in sound and appearance. They have a very regal sound. Nice shot.

  2. What an interesting instrument. I've never seen a pedal harpsicord. The painted sides are lovely, too.

  3. Thanks so much for sahring this with us - I've never seen or heard one before. Such beautiful music! Will future generations appreciate it?