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Harpsichord   Listen
noun
Harpsichord  n.  (Mus.) A harp-shaped instrument of music set horizontally on legs, like the grand piano, with strings of wire, played by the fingers, by means of keys provided with quills, instead of hammers, for striking the strings. It is now superseded by the piano.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Harpsichord" Quotes from Famous Books



... when Payson, Sr., fagged from his long day at the office sought the "Frolics" or the "Folies," Payson, Jr., might be seen at a concert for the harpsichord and viola, or at an evening of Palestrina or the Earlier Gregorian Chants. Had he been less supercilious about it this story would never have been written—and doubtless no great loss at that. But it is the prerogative of youth to be arrogantly merciless ...
— By Advice of Counsel • Arthur Train

... back, spreading out the fingers of each hand as if the table's edge was a harpsichord, and he ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 5, April, 1896 • Various

... of any merit who had written in English, French, or Italian. He had a good ear for music, and was no indifferent performer on the violin, which he used to play like a bass viol, seated on a chair with the instrument between his legs. To the music of the harpsichord and clavichord he was extremely partial, but the smallness of his hands made it impossible for him ever to perform upon these instruments. He had a small ivory flute made for him, on which, whenever he was melancholy, he used to play a simple country air or ...
— Crome Yellow • Aldous Huxley

... such eyes in a human head, so large, and black, and wonderful. Boy as I was, I knew that, in spite of that bloated face, this woman had once been very beautiful. She put out a hand, with all the fingers going as if she were playing on the harpsichord, and she touched ...
— Rodney Stone • Arthur Conan Doyle

... began to speak with enthusiasm of this glorious and sacred art; nor did I conceal that, despite the fact of my having devoted myself to the dry tedious study of the law, I possessed tolerable skill on the harpsichord, could sing, and had even set ...
— Weird Tales. Vol. I • E. T. A. Hoffmann

... and no seer of modern times has had his eyes more clearly purged with euphrasy and rue. Poetry is with him, in the language of Mr. E. Paxton Hood ('Eclectic and Congregational Rev.', Dec., 1868), "no jingle of words, or pretty amusement for harpsichord or piano, but rather a divine trigonometry, a process of celestial triangulation, a taking observations of celestial places and spheres, an attempt to estimate our world, its place, its life amidst the boundless immeasurable sweeps of ...
— Introduction to Robert Browning • Hiram Corson

... anything quite so crazy. To keep a decent countenance he turned away from a grotesque bed, contrived by the ingenious cook in the case of an old harpsichord, and looked at Marianna's narrow couch, of which the single mattress was covered with a white muslin counterpane, a circumstance that gave rise in his mind to some sad but ...
— Gambara • Honore de Balzac

... town, it appeared, and as the sun was setting we reached it together. I entered the town over the bridge, and the stream under it, washing the walls of the high-piled, many-gabled old inn where I proposed to pass the night. I should hear it still rippling on with its gentle harpsichord tinkle, as I stretched myself down among the cool lavendered sheets, and little by little let slip the ...
— The Quest of the Golden Girl • Richard le Gallienne

... XV), Goethe, on the basis of his own personal experiences, describes his hero's emotions in the humble surroundings of Marianne's little room as compared with the stateliness and order of his own home. "It seemed to him when he had here to remove her stays in order to reach the harpsichord, there to lay her skirt on the bed before he could seat himself, when she herself with unembarrassed frankness would make no attempt to conceal from him many natural acts which people are accustomed to hide from others out of decency—it seemed to him, ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... slightingly of musick, he was observed to listen very attentively while Miss Thrale played on the harpsichord, and with eagerness he called to her, "Why don't you dash away like Burney?" Dr. Burney upon this said to him, "I believe, Sir, we shall make a musician of you at last." Johnson with candid complacency replied, "Sir, I shall be glad ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell

... you think Bella employed herself while I was writing?—Why, playing gently upon my harpsichord; and humming to it, to shew ...
— Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) • Samuel Richardson

... the life, offering a plan for that purpose. A taste for gardening, carried to excess, must be acknowledged to have been the ruin of numbers, it being a passion that is seldom, if ever, satisfied, and attended with the greatest expense. In the chair sits a professor of music, at the harpsichord, running over the keys, waiting to give his pupil a lesson; behind whose chair hangs a list of the presents, one Farinelli, an Italian singer, received the next day after his first performance at the Opera House; amongst which, ...
— The Works of William Hogarth: In a Series of Engravings - With Descriptions, and a Comment on Their Moral Tendency • John Trusler

... his estate miniatured by your pencil, or the foliage of a favourite tree doomed to perpetual spring on your obedient canvass; or, peradventure, delight more in the soft touching of your lute or harpsichord: whatever it may be, study to do it quickly, and cultivate your taste unto his pleasure. I say, do it quickly, in the early days of marriage, because habit is a most tyrannical master. Then, when your affections and your ...
— The Buccaneer - A Tale • Mrs. S. C. Hall

... several times occasion to observe a softness and elegance which contrasted strongly with the severe austereness of their neighbours on the other side of the Alps. It was with pleasure I observed, at a small inn on the lake of Como, the master of it playing upon his harpsichord, with a large collection of Italian music about him. The outside of the instrument was such that it would not much have graced an English drawing-room; but the tones that he drew from it were by no ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... next day there,—walking, among other diversions to "Les Charmettes", the famous abode of Rousseau—kept much as when he left it: I visited it with my wife perhaps twenty-five years ago, and played so much of "Rousseau's Dream" as could be effected on his antique harpsichord: this time I attempted the same feat, but only two notes or thereabouts out of the octave would answer the touch. Next morning we proceeded to Turin, and on Wednesday got here, in the middle of the last night of the Congress Carnival—rowing up the ...
— Life and Letters of Robert Browning • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... tangents, as they were called, had to be held against the strings as long as it was desired that the tone should sound, and by gently repeating the pressure on the key a tremulousness was imparted to the tone which made the clavichord a more expressive instrument than the harpsichord or the early pianoforte. The effect was called Bebung in German, and ...
— Mozart: The Man and the Artist, as Revealed in his own Words • Friedrich Kerst and Henry Edward Krehbiel

... lay in her power to the satisfaction of all present, she in the afternoon regaled them with a tune on the harpsichord, accompanied with her voice, which, though not the most melodious in the world, I dare say, would have been equally at their service could she have vied with Philomel in song; and as the last effort of her complaisance, when dancing was ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... and crazy, having lost his reason not very long after the jubilee, which celebrated the fiftieth year of his reign (1809). Once, in a lucid interval, he was found by the Queen singing a hymn and playing an accompaniment on the harpsichord. ...
— The Leading Facts of English History • D.H. Montgomery

... indifference towards his wife; but he told her that she had mistaken the object of his affection, for it was herself; upon which she defied him.[*] She affirmed that Smeton had never been in her chamber but twice, when he played on the harpsichord; but she acknowledged that he had once had the boldness to tell her that a look sufficed him. The king, instead of being satisfied with the candor and sincerity of her confession, regarded these indiscretions only as preludes to greater and more ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part C. - From Henry VII. to Mary • David Hume

... the family. In the beginning she found it very difficult, for she had not been used to work as a servant; but in less than two months she grew stronger and healthier than ever. After she had done her work, she read, played on the harpsichord, or else sung whilst she spun. On the contrary, her two sisters did not know how to spend their time; they got up at ten, and did nothing but saunter about the whole day, lamenting the loss of their fine clothes and acquaintance. "Do but see our youngest sister, (said they ...
— Beauty and the Beast • Marie Le Prince de Beaumont

... day was fixed, to her playful captiousness. She is not quite so arch as she was. Thoughtfulness, and a seeming carelessness of what we are employed in, appear in her countenance. She saunters about, and affects to be diverted by her harpsichord only. What a whimsical thing is Charlotte Grandison! But still she keeps Lord G—— at distance. I told her an hour ago, that she knows not how to condescend to him with that grace which is so natural to her in her whole behaviour to every ...
— The History of Sir Charles Grandison, Volume 4 (of 7) • Samuel Richardson

... very sad when I pushed open the heavy door, which closed with a pulley whose creaking echoed through the vestibule. What was then my surprise to hear, in the midst of general mourning, the tones of a song and harpsichord! Monsieur de la Vablerie was singing, and Mademoiselle Jeanne accompanying him. I knew not, in those days, that the misfortune of one was often the joy of others, and I said to myself with my hand on the latch: "They have not heard the ...
— The Conscript - A Story of the French war of 1813 • Emile Erckmann

... part of the day in such amusements as were in our power. Sir Allan related the American campaign, and at evening one of the Ladies played on her harpsichord, while Col and Mr. Boswell danced a Scottish ...
— A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland • Samuel Johnson

... music, he was observed to listen very attentively while Miss Thrale played on the harpsichord; and with eagerness he called to her, 'Why don't you dash away like Burney?' Dr. Burney upon this said to him, 'I believe, Sir, we shall make a musician of you at last.' Johnson with candid complacency replied, ...
— Autobiography, Letters and Literary Remains of Mrs. Piozzi (Thrale) (2nd ed.) (2 vols.) • Mrs. Hester Lynch Piozzi

... ii. (1897), p. 155, &c.; and Dr Seiffert's Geschichte der Klaviermusik (1899), p. 54, &c.). Contemporary writers speak in the highest terms of Bull's skill as a performer on the organ and the virginals, and there is no doubt that he contributed much to the development of harpsichord music. Jan Swielinck (1562-1621), the great organist of Amsterdam, did not regard his work on composition as complete without placing in it a canon by John Bull, and the latter wrote a fantasia upon a fugue ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 - "Bulgaria" to "Calgary" • Various

... harpsichord) in four books comprising: (i.) 15 two-part inventions and 15 three-part symphonies, (ii.) 6 partitas, (iii.) The "Goldberg" variations. 4 duets, and an important collection of organ choral-preludes, with the "St Anne" prelude and fugue in E flat, (iv.) The Italian concerto ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1 - "Austria, Lower" to "Bacon" • Various

... was sitting by the table, making shoes; and near him, leaning sorrowfully upon an old-fashioned harpsichord, sat a young girl, with a profusion of light hair falling over her bent face. Both were cleanly but very poorly dressed, and both started and turned towards us ...
— The Canadian Elocutionist • Anna Kelsey Howard

... Punctuality. I can not say success, for alas! my silence while she played seemed not in the least to displease her; on the contrary she actually said to me one day "Well Charlotte, I am very glad to find that you have at last left off that ridiculous custom of applauding my Execution on the Harpsichord till you made my head ake, and yourself hoarse. I feel very much obliged to you for keeping your admiration to yourself." I never shall forget the very witty answer I made to this speech. "Eloisa (said I) I beg you would be ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... like an old-fashioned square piano, was a favorite instrument at the time of Queen Elizabeth of England, and by some authorities is supposed to have been named in honor of the Virgin Queen, as she was called. The harpsichord, much in use during the last century, was shaped almost exactly like a modern grand piano. The honor of having invented the hammer which plays upon the strings of the piano now in use is claimed by several ...
— Harper's Young People, April 20, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... shelves. He had endeavoured also to be her preceptor in music; but as he began with the more abstruse doctrines of the science, and was not perhaps master of them himself, she had made no proficiency farther than to be able to accompany her voice with the harpsichord; but even this was not very common in Scotland at that period. To make amends, she sung with great taste and feeling, and with a respect to the sense of what she uttered that might be proposed in example to ladies of much superior musical talent. Her natural good sense ...
— Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... Christophe's music played to him, and it had irritated him: he could make nothing of it. He regarded Beethoven as a decadent, and Shakespeare as a charlatan. On the other hand, he was infatuated with various little pretty-pretty masters, and the harpsichord music which used to charm the Roi-Perruque: and he regarded La Confession d'une Femme de Chambre as a ...
— Jean-Christophe Journey's End • Romain Rolland

... honest, cheerful, industrious existence. They are fond of old friends and old books, and indulge in music and simple pleasures. Her sisters help Rosalba by preparing the groundwork of her paintings. She pays visits, and writes rhymes, and plays on the harpsichord. She receives great men without much ceremony, and the Elector Palatine, the Duke of Mecklenburg, Frederick, King of Norway, and Maximilian, King of Bavaria, come to her to order miniatures of their reigning beauties. Then she goes off to Paris where ...
— The Venetian School of Painting • Evelyn March Phillipps

... time taken up in performing an idea is likewise much the same as that taken up in performing a muscular motion. A musician can press the keys of an harpsichord with his fingers in the order of a tune he has been accustomed to play, in as little time as he can run over those notes in his mind. So we many times in an hour cover our eye-balls with our eye-lids without perceiving that we are in the dark; hence the perception or idea of light ...
— Zoonomia, Vol. I - Or, the Laws of Organic Life • Erasmus Darwin

... been borrowed from the Mohammedans.] by the addition of a fourth string and a few changes in form, became the sweet-toned violin, the most important and expressive instrument of the modern orchestra. As immediate forerunner of our present-day pianoforte, the harpsichord was invented with a keyboard carried to four octaves and the chords of each note doubled or quadrupled to ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... himself to be seduced by the childlike diversion of touching the keys of that great harpsichord. Unquestionably, more skillful hands might have evoked a thrilling and profound melody—not of those which simply caress the ear—but of those intimate harmonies which stir the whole man to the depths of his being, as if each key of the key-board were connected with a fibre of the heart. ...
— Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books - with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations • Charles W. Eliot

... organs, and to put new music upon the barrels which he added to them. All this he accomplished to the satisfaction of his employers, after which he proceeded with the construction of a four-stop finger-organ, adapting to it the keys of an old harpsichord. This he learnt to play upon,—studying 'Callcott's Thorough Bass' in the evening, and working at his trade of a miller during the day; occasionally also tramping about the country as a "cadger," with an ass and a cart. During summer ...
— Self Help • Samuel Smiles

... English prize-fighter, watches his movements with an expression of contempt. Another portrait is Bridgman, a well-known landscape gardener of the time, who is proposing to our young hero some scheme for his estate; while the seated and periwigged figure who runs his fingers over the harpsichord has been suggested as that of the great composer Handel. But when we start forth to knock down the watch, "beat the rounds," intrigue with the fair, and generally keep up the character of a young blood or "macaroni," a little timely ...
— The Eighteenth Century in English Caricature • Selwyn Brinton

... came and went, but two daughters grew to womanhood, and in the evening, the day's duties done, violin and harpsichord sounded sweet ...
— Threads of Grey and Gold • Myrtle Reed

... fascinated with the evidence of luxury, culture and, feminine refinement of the Old Dominion, and declared that Virginia women might become excellent musicians if the fox-hounds would stop baying for a little while each day. He met several ladies who sang well and "played on the harpsichord"; he was delighted at the number of excellent French and English authors he found in the libraries; and, above all, he was surprised at the natural dignity of many of the older men and women, and at the evidences of domestic felicity found in ...
— Woman's Life in Colonial Days • Carl Holliday

... of good masters, above all, those by J. Seb. Bach. Let his "Well-tempered Harpsichord" be your daily bread. By these means you will ...
— Advice to Young Musicians. Musikalische Haus- und Lebens-Regeln • Robert Schumann

... write—oh, to meet you on the stairs! And I shall really see you on Monday, dearest? So soon, it ought to feel, considering the dreary weeks that now get to go between our days! For music, I made myself melancholy just now with some 'Concertos for the Harpsichord by Mr. Handel'—brought home by my father the day before yesterday;—what were light, modern things once! Now I read not very long ago a French memoir of 'Claude le Jeune' called in his time the Prince of Musicians,—no, 'Phoenix'—the unapproachable wonder ...
— The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846 • Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

... of the song by adapting it to a new air, accidentally composed by an amateur who was directed, if he desired to create a Scottish air, to keep his fingers to the black keys of the harpsichord ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... between port and Madeira, and chooses the former because he does. She calls the servant sir, and insists on not troubling him to hold her plate. The housekeeper patronizes her. The children's governess takes upon her to correct her when she has mistaken the piano for a harpsichord. ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Vol. V (of X) - Great Britain and Ireland III • Various

... stick in hand. In the fifteenth century the leader of the Sistine Choir at Rome directed the singers with a roll of paper (called a "sol-fa"), held in his hand. By the latter part of the seventeenth century it had become customary for the conductor to sit at the harpsichord or organ, filling in the harmonies from a "figured bass," and giving any needed signals with one hand or the head as best he could. Conducting during this period signified merely keeping the performers ...
— Essentials in Conducting • Karl Wilson Gehrkens

... strewn about with a few old books, and a work-basket, and a dusty writing-desk; and had, on one side, a large black article of furniture, of very strange appearance, which the old gentlewoman told Phoebe was a harpsichord. It looked more like a coffin than anything else; and, indeed,—not having been played upon, or opened, for years,—there must have been a vast deal of dead music in it, stifled for want of air. Human finger was hardly known to have touched its chords ...
— The House of the Seven Gables • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... age, and so lovely, that the sight of her carried off the feelings of the young stranger from the peculiarity and mystery of his own lot, and riveted his attention to everything she did or said. She spoke little, and it was on the most serious subjects. She played on the harpsichord at her father's command, but it was hymns with which she accompanied the instrument. At length, on a sign from the sage, she left the room, turning on the young stranger, as she departed, a look of inexpressible anxiety ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... vicarage parlour, in which we used a harpsichord, and were accused of pedantry for our pains, did not look so well at the Lyceum as at the Court. The stage was too big ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. 31, No. 1, May 1908 • Various

... it demanded. On the rare occasions when he plays Bach, something that no one of our time has ever perceived or rendered in that composer seems to be evoked, and Bach lives again, with something of that forgotten life which only the harpsichord can help us to remember under the fingers of other players. Mozart and Weber are two of the composers whom he plays with the most natural instinct, for in both he finds and unweaves that dainty web of bright melody which Mozart made out of sunlight ...
— Plays, Acting and Music - A Book Of Theory • Arthur Symons

... period have as little mystery for him, and his women and girls have altogether the poetry of a by-gone manner and fashion. They are not modern heroines, with modern nerves and accomplishments, but figures of remembered song and story, calling up visions of spinet and harpsichord that have lost their music today, high-walled gardens that have ceased to bloom, flowered stuffs that are faded, locks of hair that are lost, love-letters that are pale. By which I don't mean that they are vague and spectral, ...
— Picture and Text - 1893 • Henry James

... greatest ornament of which was a most sublime thistle by Snyders, of the heroic size, and so faithfully imitated that I dare say no ass could see it unmoved. At length, it was lawful to return home; and as I positively refused visiting any more cabinets in the afternoon, I sent for a harpsichord of Rucker, and played myself quite ...
— Dreams, Waking Thoughts, and Incidents • William Beckford

... weird and mysterious beauty, with its marble palaces, facades, pillars, and domes, its magnificent shrines and frescoes, produced on Handel, he took Venice by storm. Handel's power as an organist and a harpsichord player was only second to his strength as a composer, even when, in the full zenith of his maturity, he composed ...
— The Great German Composers • George T. Ferris

... the linen, cleaned the house, made ready the dinner, mended the children's stockings and other clothes, made what she could for them, and in short did everything." She was very musical and loved playing and singing, but when, for a small sum, a harpsichord was bought, it was her younger sister, Christian, who was the performer, and by it "diverted" her parents, and the girls had many a joke over their different occupations. Yet even with all her other work she found time to take an occasional lesson in French and Dutch from her father along with ...
— Stories of the Border Marches • John Lang and Jean Lang

... respect to the proportions above mentioned. This might be performed by a strong light, made by means of Mr. Argand's lamps, passing through coloured glasses, and falling on a defined part of the wall, with moveable blinds before them, which might communicate with the keys of a harpsichord, and thus produce at the same time visible and audible music in unison with ...
— The Temple of Nature; or, the Origin of Society - A Poem, with Philosophical Notes • Erasmus Darwin

... made since that date, and if put in good repair, (which might easily be done, it being quite playable in its present state,) it would not disgrace the name of a Kirkman, or of any of our latest and best harpsichord makers; indeed, it is very far superior to any other instrument of the kind I ever heard. The case is good, particularly in the inside, which is of exquisite workmanship, and beautifully ornamented with (as far ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 12, No. 338, Saturday, November 1, 1828. • Various

... The Lares and Penates there honored were not now the images of Emmett and Agnew, not the names of dead ancestors, but the living spirit and example of Napoleon and the magic word Empire. No longer could the harpsichord charm or the strings of the viol allure. The music-books gathered dust in the alcove, and the "Iliad" stood unopened on the shelf. Instead of rambling in the woods, or strolling on the banks of the Ohio, or galloping ...
— A Dream of Empire - Or, The House of Blennerhassett • William Henry Venable

... Mary Linwood. The former was the daughter of a famous oboist, who gave his child an excellent training. She became well known as a pianist and singer, and among other works produced songs, piano sonatas, violin pieces, and even a concerto for piano, or rather harpsichord. Miss Linwood devoted herself more entirely to vocal compositions, and published a number of songs and the oratorio, "David's First Victory." Two operas by ...
— Woman's Work in Music • Arthur Elson

... at least members of the University. Amongst them was "Thom. Ken of New Coll., a Junior" (afterwards Bishop Ken, one of the seven bishops who were deprived at the Revolution), who could "sing his part." All the rest played either viol, violin, organ, virginals, or harpsichord, or were "songsters." ...
— Shakespeare and Music - With Illustrations from the Music of the 16th and 17th centuries • Edward W. Naylor

... the 25th of September. Since that I have received yours of October the 25th, enclosing a duplicate of the last invented tongue for the harpsichord. The letter enclosing another of them, and accompanied by newspapers, which you mention in that of October the 25th, has never come to hand. I will embrace the first opportunity of sending you the crayons. Perhaps they may come with this, which I think ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... appearance occupied by a woman. Near the window, on which a charming little Italian greyhound rested her delicate paws, was an embroidery frame. Opposite the window was an open harpsichord between two music stands, some crayon drawings, framed in black wood with a gold bead, were hung on the walls, which were covered with a Persian paper. Curtains of Indian chintz, of the same pattern as the paper, ...
— The Conspirators - The Chevalier d'Harmental • Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

... as being a large, handsome and convenient house. Mr. Richard Colley Wesley, who was then the proprietor, planted and laid out the grounds with much taste. They lived magnificently, and at the same time without ceremony. There was "a charming large hall" with an organ and harpsichord, where all the company met when they had a mind to be together, and where "music, dancing, draughts, shuttlecock and prayers took their turn." The house is now in ruins, having been sold to Roger O'Connor, and burnt accidentally afterward. Mrs. Delany speaks of her friend, Richard ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 20, August 1877 • Various

... did not sing, but enjoyed music. She learnt, late in life, to handle the harpsichord sufficiently well to play it in little private concerts. Musical festivals she frequented, and admired ...
— Anna Seward - and Classic Lichfield • Stapleton Martin

... the frugal meal, came music; the student Anselmus had to take his seat before the harpsichord, and Veronica accompanied his playing with her pure clear voice. "Dear Mademoiselle," said Registrator Heerbrand, "you have a voice ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: - Masterpieces of German Literature Translated into English, Volume 5. • Various

... of that city (1681-1764). After a liberal education, in which his musical taste and talent became distinguished at an early age, he appeared on the stage as singer, and in one of his own operas, after singing his role upon the stage, came back into the orchestra in order to conduct from the harpsichord the performance, until his role required him again upon the stage. Indeed, it was this eccentricity which occasioned a quarrel between him and Haendel, who resented the implication that he himself was incapable of carrying on the performance. Mattheson composed a large number of works, ...
— A Popular History of the Art of Music - From the Earliest Times Until the Present • W. S. B. Mathews

... complaint of the maid sorrowing for an absent lover, of the peasant who ploughs his field in the declining day. The long notes of such a song, floating across the silence of the night, are like a new melody on the great harpsichord of human sorrow. No emotion is more poignant than that given by the faint sad sounds of a Spanish song as one wanders through the deserted streets in the dead of night; or far in the country, with the sun setting red in ...
— The Land of The Blessed Virgin; Sketches and Impressions in Andalusia • William Somerset Maugham

... "There is Yu's harpsichord," exclaimed the Master—"what is it doing at my door?" On seeing, however, some disrespect shown to him by the other disciples, he added, "Yu has got as far as the top of the hall; only he has not yet entered ...
— Chinese Literature • Anonymous

... called The Sorrows of Werther. (N.B. This Piece was damned at Covent Garden Theatre.) [Caste follows.] Brothers and Sisters of Charlotte, by six Cherubims got for the occasion. Orchestra. Leader of the Band, Mr. Knight, Conductor, Mr. E. Knight. Piano Forte, Mr. Knight, Jun. Harpsichord, Master Knight (that was). Clavecin, by the Father of the Knights, to come. Vivat Rex! No Money returned (because none will be taken). On account of the above surprising Novelty, not an ORDER can possibly be admitted:— But ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb IV - Poems and Plays • Charles and Mary Lamb

... his life in Hainburg save that Frankh worked him hard. Indeed, much later Haydn declared himself thankful to Frankh for forming in him the habit of working hard. He sang, played the fiddle and harpsichord, and went to school; and suddenly one George Reutter came on the scene. He came, heard, and was conquered by Haydn's voice. He was Hofcompositor and Kapellmeister at St. Stephen's Church in Vienna, and he took the boy on the same terms as ...
— Haydn • John F. Runciman

... Frenchman, was a fine performer on the violin and harpsichord. At the representation of Arsinoe and the other earliest operas, he played the harpsichord and Haym the violoncello. Dieupart, after the small success of the design set forth in this letter, taught the harpsichord in families of distinction, but wanted self-respect enough ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... music generally, and accounts of the early musicians and their works. Treatises upon the violin are fairly numerous;[85] but I do not remember having come across many works on the Jew's harp or ocarina. There are interesting old books on the virginals, harpsichord, and spinet. Before the end of the fifteenth century a number of Missalia, Gradualia, Psalteria, and Libri Cantionum ('quas vulgo Mutetas appellant') had appeared from the press. The 'Theoricum Opus Musice Disciplina' of Franchino Gafori, or Gaffurius (which, ...
— The Book-Hunter at Home • P. B. M. Allan

... enthroned, In tattered damask stand; In gray neglect a faun extends A mutilated hand; And silence makes the festal board Mute as the stringless harpsichord. ...
— Poems • John L. Stoddard

... in the collection besides books," said Allison "Some queer old musical instruments,—a harpsichord and a lute, and an old violin worth its weight in gold. Some of the most noted violinists in the world have played ...
— The Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation • Annie Fellows Johnston

... and politician palled upon his old rum-soaked and emaciated brain, and ennui, like a mighty canker, ate away large corners of his moth-eaten soul, she would sit in the gloaming and sing to him, "Hard Times, Hard Times, Come Again No More," meantime accompanying herself on the harpsichord or the sackbut or whatever they played in those days. Then she instituted theatricals, giving, through the aid of the nobility, a very good version of "Peck's Bad Boy" and "Lend ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VI. (of X.) • Various

... written, BEAUTY'S ROOM! She opened it in haste, and her eyes were dazzled by the splendour and taste of the apartment. What made her wonder more than all the rest, was a large library filled with books, a harpsichord, and many pieces of music. "The beast surely does not mean to eat me up immediately," said she, "since he takes care I shall not be at a loss how to amuse myself." She opened the library and saw these verses written in letters of gold on the back of ...
— The Fairy Book - The Best Popular Stories Selected and Rendered Anew • Dinah Maria Mulock (AKA Miss Mulock)

... of the vicarage parlor, in which we used a harpsichord and were accused of pedantry for our pains, did not look so well at the Lyceum as at the Court. The stage was too big ...
— The Story of My Life - Recollections and Reflections • Ellen Terry

... taken out of her voice; it was husky as the notes on an old harpsichord when the strings have ceased to vibrate. She read her answer in my face, I suppose, for I could not speak. Her look was one of intense fear, but that died away into an aspect of most humble patience. At length she seemed to force herself to face ...
— Curious, if True - Strange Tales • Elizabeth Gaskell

... confined to French. Metastasio taught her Italian; Gluck, whose recently published opera of "Orfeo" had, established for him a reputation as one of the greatest musicians of the age, gave her lessons on the harpsichord. But we fear it can not be said that she obtained any high degree of excellence in these or in any other accomplishments. She was not inclined to study; and, with the exception of the abbe, her masters and mistresses were too ...
— The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France • Charles Duke Yonge

... waited on, watched, and indulged with a degree of fondness bordering on folly. My clothes were sent for from London; my fancy was indulged to the extent of its caprices; I was flattered and praised into a belief that I was a being of superior order. To sing, to play a lesson on the harpsichord, to recite an elegy, and to make doggerel verses, made the extent of my occupations, while my person improved, and my mother's indulgence was ...
— Beaux and Belles of England • Mary Robinson

... gentlemen entered. Mam'selle played on the harpsichord, and there was conversation until it was time ...
— A Little Girl in Old Detroit • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... Bertrand Castel (1688-1757), most of whose life was spent in trying to perfect his Clavecin oculaire, an instrument on the order of the harpsichord, intended to produce melodies and harmonies of color. He also wrote L'Optique des couleurs (1740) and Sur le fond de ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II) • Augustus De Morgan

... country in the world is the practice of music more universally extended and at the same time the science so little understood as in America. Almost every house included between the Delaware and Schuylkill has its piano or harpsichord, its violin, its flute, or its clarinet. Almost every young lady and gentleman from the children of the Judge, the banker, and the general, down to those of the constable, the huckster, and the drummer, can make a noise upon some instrument or other, and charm their friends, or split the ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 5, May 1810 • Various

... letter reaches you. I think I see you and my good aunt, seated on the blue sofa in your dressing-room, with your needle work on the little table before you; I see Mary in her usual nook—the recess by the old harpsichord—and my dear father bringing in this happy letter from your son! I must confess this romantic kind of fancy-sketching makes me feel rather oddly: very unlike what I felt a few months ago, when I was a mere coxcomb—indifferent, unreflecting, unappreciating, ...
— Thaddeus of Warsaw • Jane Porter

... this volume was published in 1695; and to avoid what seems an unnecessary distinction, I have used the term "Pianoforte Sonata" for that sonata and for some other works which followed, and which are usually and properly termed "Harpsichord Sonatas." ...
— The Pianoforte Sonata - Its Origin and Development • J.S. Shedlock

... dinner the countess re-appeared among us, followed by two servants in livery bearing salvers of fruit; and while we ate she seated herself at the harpsichord ...
— Strange True Stories of Louisiana • George Washington Cable

... 1400 claviers had appeared whose strings were plucked by quills attached to jacks at the end of the key levers. To this group belonged the virginal, or virginals, the clavicembalo, the harpsichord, or clavecin, and the spinet. Stops were added, as in the organ, that varied effects might be produced, and a second keyboard was often placed above the first. The case was either rectangular, or followed the outlines ...
— For Every Music Lover - A Series of Practical Essays on Music • Aubertine Woodward Moore

... represent what is satirized as being necessarily ugly, which is but the resource of an angry child or a jealous woman, it serves no purpose but to produce a disagreeable result. There is no reason why the farmer's daughter in the old caricature who is squalling at the harpsichord (to the intense delight, by the bye, of her worthy father, whom it is her duty to please) should be squab and hideous. The satire on the manner of her education, if there be any in the thing at all, would be just as good, if she were pretty. ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... A bird sings from nature; George did not come into the world with a fiddle in his hand," says Mrs. Warrington, with a toss of her head. "I am sure I hated the harpsichord when a chit at Kensington School, and only learned it to please my mamma. Say what you will, dear sir, I can not believe that this fiddling is work ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... Corruptible, hiding each its hopes and dreams, Its tragi-comic dreams. And all this throng Will be forgotten, mixed with dust, crushed out, Before this book of music is outworn Or that tall organ crumbles. Violins Outlast their players. Other hands may touch That harpsichord; but ere this planet makes Another threescore journeys round its sun, These breathing listeners will have vanished. Whither? I watch my moving hands, and they grow strange! What is it moves this body? What am I? How came I here, a ghost, to hear that voice ...
— Watchers of the Sky • Alfred Noyes

... lady very well, reclining in her father's great chair. Her hall was roomy enough; it had its space for Sam Winnington's easel as well as Clary's harpsichord, and, what was more useful, her spinning-wheel, besides closets and cupboards without number. Sam Winnington entertained Clarissa; he was famous in years to come for keeping his sisters in good humour. He told her of the academy and the president's ...
— Girlhood and Womanhood - The Story of some Fortunes and Misfortunes • Sarah Tytler

... a tune in respect to the proportions above mentioned. This might be performed by a strong light, made by means of Mr. Argand's lamps, passing through coloured glasses, and falling on a defined part of a wall, with moveable blinds before them, which might communicate with the keys of a harpsichord; and thus produce at the same time visible and audible music in unison with each other. The execution of this idea is said by Mr. Guyot to have been attempted by Father Cassel without much success. If this should be again attempted, ...
— The Botanic Garden. Part II. - Containing The Loves of the Plants. A Poem. - With Philosophical Notes. • Erasmus Darwin

... division to a ground, namely, in the words of Christopher Simpson, "A ground, subject, or bass (call it which you please) is prickt (written) down in two several papers, one for him who is to play the ground (upon an organ, harpsichord, or other instrument), the other for him who plays upon the Viol, who having the said ground before his eye (as his theme or subject) plays such variety of descant and division thereupon as his skill and present invention do then suggest to ...
— The Violin - Its Famous Makers and Their Imitators • George Hart

... became a customary part of the education of ladies. Many of the planters themselves in their leisure moments indulged in this delightful amusement. Robert Carter had in his home in Westmoreland County a harpsichord, a piano-forte, an harmonica, a guitar and a flute, and at Williamsburg an organ. He had a good ear, a very delicate touch, was indefatigable in practicing and performed well on several instruments. Especially was he fond of the harmonica, and spent ...
— Patrician and Plebeian - Or The Origin and Development of the Social Classes of the Old Dominion • Thomas J. Wertenbaker

... the fireplace a black frame, projecting from the wall, and mournfully contrasting with the general brilliant appearance of the apartment, inclosed a picture of a beautiful female; and bending over its frame, and indeed partly shadowing the countenance, was the withered branch of a tree. A harpsichord and several cases of musical instruments were placed in different parts of the room; and suspended by broad black ribbons from the wall, on each side of the picture, were a guitar and a tambourine. ...
— Vivian Grey • The Earl of Beaconsfield

... perceived these agitations of mind in Jones, and was at no loss to discover the cause; for, indeed, she recognised it in her own breast. In a word, she was in love with him to distraction. It was not long before Jones was able to attend her to the harpsichord, where she would kindly condescend for hours together to charm him with ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IV. • Editors: Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... walks, in the shade of the woods, in the thousand windings of the park. In the evening I played the harpsichord, and I sang. It often occurred that I danced, danced for him. In the middle of a dance that would have excited a furor at the opera, I fell at his feet, completely overcome; he raised me up, pressed me to his heart and forgave me for having ...
— The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II • Various

... that the production of music for the piano has kept pace with the advance of the instrument. Dr. Burney mentions, in his History of Music (Vol. IV. p. 664), that when he came to London in 1744, "Handel's Harpsichord Lessons and Organ Concertos, and the two First Books of Scarletti's Lessons, were all the good music for keyed instruments at that time in the nation." We have at this moment before us the catalogue of music sold by one house in Boston, Oliver Ditson & Co. It is a ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 117, July, 1867. • Various

... are aware, has been accused of tuning his harpsichord to the key-note of a faction, and of substituting, wherever he could, a party spirit for the spirit of poetry: this, in the opinion of most persons, would derogate even from his poetical character, but we hope that Lord Byron stands alone in considering that such a prostitution ...
— The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals, Volume 2. • Lord Byron

... she plays the harpsichord and harp! How well she sings to them! Whoe'er would prove The power of song, should hear thy neighbour ...
— The Love-Chase • James Sheridan Knowles

... possessing the quality of exciting the spirits, this, like every other stimulus, either by constant use loses its effect, or unnerves the system it is meant to strengthen. The nerves through which the animal spirits circulate being, like the strings of a violin or harpsichord, too frequently braced, lose, at last, their natural tensity, and thus render the human frame ...
— A Treatise on Foreign Teas - Abstracted From An Ingenious Work, Lately Published, - Entitled An Essay On the Nerves • Hugh Smith

... about Gray's Inn Fields "humming to myself (which is now my constant practice) the trillo." He learned to play the lute, the flute, the flageolet, and the theorbo, and it was not the fault of his intention if he did not learn the harpsichord or the spinet. He learned to compose songs, and burned to give forth "a scheme and theory of music not yet ever made in the world." When he heard "a fellow whistle like a bird exceeding well," he promised to return another day and ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 3 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... for him, though perhaps he did not realize the extent of its effect at the time. In a word, all he had in the world went with the theatre. Nothing was left either for him or the principal shareholders. Yet he bore it all with fortitude, till he heard that the harpsichord, on which his first wife was wont to play, was gone too. Then he burst ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 2 • Grace & Philip Wharton

... far away. Much fish and game in brake and pool Must I have for my own preserve 550 And as for my house it must never swerve From an even temperature, cool In summer and in winter warm. Yes, and a comfortable bed Would not do me any harm, 555 All of it of cedar-wood, A harpsichord hung at its head: So do I find a monk's life good. I would lie and take my rest And sleep on far into the day 560 So that I could not my matins say For noise of the whistling and the singing Of shepherdesses' songs clear ringing. On partridge would I sup and dine, Of stockfish ...
— Four Plays of Gil Vicente • Gil Vicente

... explain why the legend grew up above the name, why the name attached itself, in many instances, to the bravest work of other men. The Concert in the Pitti Palace, in which a monk, with cowl and tonsure, touches the keys of a harpsichord, while a clerk, placed behind him, grasps the handle of the viol, and a third, with cap and plume, seems to wait upon the true interval for beginning to sing, is undoubtedly Giorgione's. The outline of the lifted finger, the trace of the plume, the very threads of the fine linen, which fasten themselves ...
— The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry • Walter Horatio Pater

... (or de Beaumarchais, for he got ennobled) had been born poor, but aspiring, esurient; with talents, audacity, adroitness; above all, with the talent for intrigue: a lean, but also a tough, indomitable man. Fortune and dexterity brought him to the harpsichord of Mesdames, our good Princesses Loque, Graille and Sisterhood. Still better, Paris Duvernier, the Court-Banker, honoured him with some confidence; to the length even of transactions in cash. Which confidence, however, Duvernier's Heir, a person of quality, would ...
— The French Revolution • Thomas Carlyle

... Ferdinand in her arms. Close-peeping through the folds of their mother's rich dress, were three other little ones; and a few steps farther were the Archduchesses Christine and Amelia. Near the open harpsichord stood the graceful form of the empress's eldest child, the Princess Elizabeth, who now and then ran her fingers lightly over the instrument, while she awaited the ...
— Joseph II. and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... the piano-forte was a wretched piece of mechanism compared with the superb instrument of to-day. It was originally a progressive growth from the ancient lyre, through the harp, psaltery, dulcimer, clavictherium, clavichord, virginal, spinet, harpsichord, to the piano of Christofali in the early years of the last century. At the period of Mr. Chickering's entrance into business, it was still very imperfect, and the various manufacturers of the instrument were ...
— Great Fortunes, and How They Were Made • James D. McCabe, Jr.

... a voluptuous languor, everything about her spoke of her accomplishments, her diversions, her talents,—a harp beside an open harpsichord, a guitar on a chair, an embroidering frame with a square of satin stretched on it, a half-finished miniature on a table among papers and books, a bookcase in dire disorder as if rifled by the hand of a fair reader as eager to ...
— The Gods are Athirst • Anatole France

... thing he did was to take a number of concertos written for the violin by Vivaldi, and set them for the harpsichord. In this way he learned to express himself and to attain facility in putting his thoughts on paper without first playing them on an instrument. He worked alone in this way with no assistance from any one, and often studied till far into the night to perfect himself in ...
— The World's Great Men of Music - Story-Lives of Master Musicians • Harriette Brower

... elastic body is struck, that body, or some part of it, is made to vibrate. This is evident to sense in the string of a violin or harpsichord, for we may perceive by the eye, or feel by the hand, the trembling of the strings, when by striking they are made to sound. If a bell be struck by a clapper on the inside, the bell is made to vibrate. The base, of the bell, is a circle, ...
— Popular Lectures on Zoonomia - Or The Laws of Animal Life, in Health and Disease • Thomas Garnett

... Antoinette A Cylinder Secretaire (Rothschild Collection) An Arm Chair (Louis XVI.) Carved and Gilt Settee and Arm Chair A Sofa En Suite A Marqueterie Escritoire (Jones Collection) A Norse Interior, Shewing French Influence A Secretaire with Sevres Plaques A Clock by Robin (Jones Collection) Harpsichord, ...
— Illustrated History of Furniture - From the Earliest to the Present Time • Frederick Litchfield

... instruments. However, the very fact that the Italian builders were unwilling to change their models suggests that their instruments were good enough to demand no further improvements. Anyone who has heard a properly restored Italian harpsichord or an accurately made reproduction will agree that the tone of such instruments is ...
— Italian Harpsichord-Building in the 16th and 17th Centuries • John D. Shortridge

... the window, like a harpsichord, though covered over to the ground: and when she is so ill that she cannot well go to her closet, she writes and reads upon it, as others would upon a desk or table. But (only as she was so ill last night) she chooses not to see ...
— Clarissa, Or The History Of A Young Lady, Volume 8 • Samuel Richardson

... reflect, in a conscious manner, on the signification of the notes, their value, and the order of the fingers he must observe; nay even without clearly distinguishing the strings of the harp, or the keys of the harpsichord. We cannot attribute this to the mechanism of the body, which might gradually accustom itself to the accurate placing of the fingers. This could be applied only where we place a piece of music, frequently practised; but it is totally inapplicable to a new piece, which is played by the professor ...
— Thaumaturgia • An Oxonian

... Herschel was engaged in playing the harpsichord in the orchestra of the theatre; and it was during the interval between the acts that he made his first general survey of the heavens. The moment his part was finished, he would rush out to gaze through his telescope; and in these short ...
— Biographies of Working Men • Grant Allen

... as I am convinced, strongly recommended him to my father, had the very contrary effect with me: I had never any delight in music, and it was not without much difficulty I was prevailed on to learn to play on the harpsichord, in which I had made a very slender progress. As this man, therefore, was frequently the occasion of my being importuned to play against my will, I began to entertain some dislike for him on that account; and ...
— Amelia (Complete) • Henry Fielding



Words linked to "Harpsichord" :   spinet, virginal, pair of virginals



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