Elizabethan Keyboard Instruments


We all know that in English history the Elizabethan Era is the one which is known as the Golden Era. It was during this Golden Era that music was a vital part of the lives of the people of that time.

elizabethan era keyboard instruments

You will find that during this period the popularity of music had grown to vast proportions. Even the Queen herself was well very in a wide variety of musical instruments. The most popular instruments during this time were the Elizabethan keyboard instruments.

These Elizabethan keyboard instruments weren’t only the ones from the Elizabethan era. They also included instruments from the medieval period as well. The keyboard instruments are those instruments which have different keys generating different sounds. They even have add-on which will help to generate their sounds like pedals and stops and so on.

elizabethan era keyboard instruments

Some of the well known Elizabethan keyboard instruments were

  • Harpsichord – this keyboard instrument has various strings which run from the front to the back of the horizontal box which is wing shaped and soundboard. This Elizabethan keyboard instrument has a mechanism in which the strings are plucked. It existed in a very simple form during the 14th Century and had started getting importance from the 16th century. You can use a stop with the harpsichord if you want a variation in the dynamics.
  • Virginal – this belongs to the family of the Harpsichord. It is like a small harpsichord which has a variety of shapes and sizes as well. This instrument has a keyboard and a mechanism in which the quills plucked the strings which are horizontally stretched.
  • Spinet – it is another part of the family of harpsichords. It is like an upright piano where you need to pluck the string instead of striking it.
  • Church organs – this is known as the “king of instruments”. It can produce sounds with the help of pipes which have a supply of air from bellows and it is controlled with the help of a large musical keyboard which is very complex. It produces sounds which are almost like an entire orchestra itself.
  • Clavicytherium – this is another type of a harpsichord where the strings are vertical and it faces the player. It follows a principle similar to an upright piano. You will find that here the jack will move in a horizontal manner it does not even need the assistance of gravity.

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