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Trasuntino harpsichord

Ferrini harpsichord

This instrument is based on an original by the Venetian builder Alessandro Trasuntino of 1531. As with all 16th century harpsichords, the original has been much altered, but it probably had a range of C/E -f'''. This extended range in the treble, common to 16th century Italian instruments can be explained as a way of providing 2 pitches to play at (as with Ruckers transposing doubles). In fact it was quite common in 16th century and early 17th century music for the score to be marked with an idication to play the music transposed down a fourth. As the string lengths are longer than Italian 17th century instruments, transposing up a fourth (so that the top note becomes c''') would give a pitch of around 440HZ. For this reason it was decided to build the keyboard as if the player was using this higher pitch, as is in fact the present keyboard in the original harpsichord.

listen to the Trasuntino in mp3 listen to the Trasuntino in .wav

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