Short-term harpsichord hire for special events

As well as instruments for longer-term rental, I regularly supply instruments for hire, to cater for specific events such as concerts and recordings. The normal arrangement is for a one-day hiring, where an inclusive charge covers insurance, travel, and as many tunings as the day requires. Extended hirings are also possible, in which case a reduction to the full daily charge may be arranged.
Please note: I do not hire to the London area, which is well-served by other hirers.

Instruments currently available for hire

(Click each photo for larger version.)

(1) Italian harpsichord

Italian harpsichord for hire

Two manual, 8’ + 8’ + 4’ (on upper manual). Dogleg coupler.
Based on original by Migliai c.1680.
A = 415 or a = 440.   GG/BB - c3.
A sonorous instrument for continuo or specialist solo. Italian harpsichord for hire



(2)Two-manual harpsichord

from original by Nicholas Celini 1661.
8’ + 8’ + 4’ + buff. Shove coupler.
A = 392 / 415 / 440.  Compass GG - d3.
Early French in origin, with a notably beautiful tone and clarity.


(3)Flemish 2-manual harpsichord

by Sassmann.
8’ + 8’ + 4’ + buff. Coupler.
A = 415 or a = 440.  Compass GG/BB - d3.
A robust and compact instrument (only 2 metres long), very stable and with good carrying power.

Hire rates for harpsichord (1), (2) and (3):
£290 per day. This includes as many tunings as required, all expenses and travel costs (within a normal operating radius of 50 miles, beyond which an additional amount may be requested). VAT is not charged.
Please note that I am willing to consider a reduced rate in special cases.

Click for printable sheet of Instrument Hire Rates. (This is a PDF document.)

The following more specialist instruments are also available. These are more likely to be required for projects rather than single performances, so terms are by negotiation.

(4) Italian single-strung harpsichord

Italian single-strung harpsichord

One manual, 8’. A = 440 or a = 466.
Derived from original by Bertarinus, 16thC.
Single soundboard of cedar. Rich, stringy tone; very sustained.
C/E - a2, bass short octave.
This instrument is tiny: approx 2 feet by 5 feet. Italian single-strung harpsichord


Italian virginal

(5) Italian pentagonal virginal

after original signed Perticis, 17thC.
One manual, A = 440 or lower.
C/E - c3 bass short octave.
Rich, powerful tone.


Roland electronic harpsichord

(6) Roland C80 electronic harpsichord

Five octaves FF - f3. A=415 / 440.
8’(1); 8’(2); 8’+ 8’; 8’ + 4’; buff stop; two organ stops.
This simple instrument is perfect for rehearsals or for outdoor performances (under cover), where it is beneficial to have no need for tuning, or where tuning stability would normally be a problem; and where adjustment of volume and timbre are an advantage. Tone and touch are of course inferior to the “real thing”, but the Roland is ideal for certain situations.
NB. Although an extension lead is provided, mains electricity is essential!
Price subject to negotiation.


If none of the instruments listed here is appropriate, either on grounds of price or style, please don’t hesitate to contact me as alternatives may be available.

back to top

Click here to explore recordings of solo harpsichord music on the Soundboard label.

Click here for book “Did Bach Really Mean That? - deceptive notation in Baroque keyboard music”.

Privacy Policy

© 2013-2018 Colin Booth, harpsichordist and harpsichord maker


Website design by Small World Websites