Instruments

My final years as an instrument maker included some successful departures:

I no longer take commissions. However, one or two instruments, either new or refurbished, may be available from time to time for immediate sale (see below).

As a harpsichord maker I have had the pleasure of supplying around three hundred customers, including a high percentage of professional musicians. Some leading harpsichordists have acquired at least four instruments, including Colin Tilney (Canada) and Steven Devine (UK).

I keep a selection of instruments for my own pleasure, for concert use and recording, and continue to hire out harpsichords for concerts. A few instruments are also available for long-term rental, within a restricted geographical area. Please contact me for information on these services.

Here are some examples of my work.

 

tiny logo

Ottavini

new pair of ottavini new pair of ottavini

Eight of these little instruments were made. All are now sold, but I kept one for my own use.

I have now built eight ottavini, based on an anonymous original in Vienna. These charming, tiny Italian instruments have a sweet but pungent tone.

Having seen a few similar ones, it was important to me to ensure that these little instruments were reliable and absolutely playable.

The photos show the stages of construction, through to the first completed pair.

(Click the photos to enlarge.)

(Ottavini are small spinets or virginals at four foot pitch. Harpsichords at octave pitch were more common in the early Renaissance, but lessened in popularity later on, whereas the ottavino remained very popular as a domestic instrument in Italy until the 19th century.)

[Please note that by clicking to Play this video you give your consent to YouTube placing cookies on your device.] (See Privacy policy.)


top of page

tiny logo

New Harpsichord after Celini 1661

new harpsichord after Celini new harpsichord after Celini

This new harpsichord was built in the first part of 2016. It is based on the design of the Celini original harpsichord, and will be my personal recital instrument. Although still very new, the sound is remarkable.

(Click the photos to enlarge.)

 

 


top of page

tiny logo

Instruments For Sale:

new Lefebvre

 

New harpsichord after Lefebvre, late 17th century

A slight enlargement of a unique small French harpsichord. Strung in brass, the tone is bright but highly melodic. The bass is exceptional, from an instrument only 2 metres long. Two previous instruments to this design are owned by professional harpsichordists.

See more photos.

GG - d3 with double transposer giving a= 392, 415, and 440.
8’ + 8’ + buff stop.
Interior finished in Cherry; table stand in oak, with six turned legs, easily dismantled for transportation.
Included are fancy inlaid sharps, oak music desk, padded cover, tuning lever, spare strings.
(Available again, due to the results of Covid restrictions.)
Price £11,600.

 

FAQ

Harpsichord makers are always asked certain questions. I’m pleased to provide some answers here.

back to top

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

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

Privacy Policy

© 2013-2020 Colin Booth, harpsichordist and harpsichord maker

 

Website design by Small World Websites