Origin of harpsichordobsolete French harpechorde or Italian arpicordo from arpa (LL harpa from Germanic an unverified form harpa: see harp) + corda (see cord); -s- is intrusive
a stringed musical instrument with a keyboard, often with two manuals: the strings are plucked by points of leather or quill when the keys are pressed, producing short, abrupt tones
A keyboard instrument whose strings are plucked by means of quills or plectrums.
Origin of harpsichordAlteration of obsolete French harpechorde from Italian arpicordo arpa harp ( from Late Latin harpa ) ( of Germanic origin ) corda string ( from Latin chorda ) ( from Greek khordē ; see gherə- in Indo-European roots.)
- The greater richness of tone of the modern pianoforte is a better compensation for any bareness that may be imputed to pure two-part or three-part writing than a filling out which deprives the listener of the power to follow the essential lines of the music. The same holds good, though in a lesser degree, of the resources of the harpsichord in respect of octavestrings.
- To sacrifice phrasing, and distinctness in real partwriting, to a crude imitation of the richness produced mechanically on the harpsichord by drawing 4-ft.
- The chords necessary in this part, which with its supporting bass is called the continuo, were indicated by figures; and the evanescent and delicate tones of the harpsichord; lent themselves admirably to this purpose where solo voices and instruments were concerned.
- In 1740, on the recommendation of the Dean of Hainburg, Haydn obtained a place in the cathedral choir of St Stephen's, Vienna, where he took the solo-part in the services and received, at the choir school, some further instruction on the violin and the harpsichord.
- Chamber-music. - Bach's and his contemporaries' combinations with the harpsichord show the natural fondness, in his day, for instruments of a tone too gentle for prominent use in large rooms, or indeed for survival in modern times.