10

My answer is no, it isn't really possible to use a fingering technique to play an A440 recorder at A415. No professional would even try; they would instead, as Wheat noted, have a real A415 instrument or, if extremely confident and well rehearsed, transpose on-the-fly down a half-step. One can indeed bend most notes up or down quite a bit using half-holes, ...


9

I hope someone with actual harpsichord experience chimes in, since most of what I'm writing here is hear-say. As you no-doubt already know, the two main things that you lack on a harpsichord, compared to a piano, is a long sustain, and any appreciable dynamics. I've heard that one way to compensate for the lack of dynamics is to vary the duration of the ...


8

If you look at the scores for Corelli's concerti grossi, for example, you can see that the concertino (soloists) and the tutti (full orchestra) each have their own basso continuo parts. These continuo parts mostly coincide, but sometimes differ. The reason for this arrangement is not known for certain, but it could have something to do with fullness of sound ...


7

I played piano for 10 years before starting harpsichord. I largely play harpsichord now, although I do a lot of pinch-hitting on piano for church services, etc. Learning to play harpsichord well will expand your mind as a pianist and open up new performance opportunities. Additionally, there are many fantastic Baroque composers that are rarely heard ...


7

What you're seeing is probably figured bass notation. The numbers indicate which chords should be played over the bass notes. A note with a 7 underneath it, for example, is shorthand for an uninverted seventh chord with that note as root. See this link for a more detailed explanation: link.


7

As usual, imslp.org is your friend! If you go there and view or D/L one of the early editions, you will find several pages of instructions in the preface. In particular, there are examples of how each marking is to be played. Herewith is yours: Now you just need to translate the blurry French, or just look at the expanded lower line. There are ...


6

The history of harmony is related to the history of polyphony. The lyra of the Greek had different strings according to different modes but their music was monophone (only melodic). The polyphony has been developed by the monks (organii, bourdon, fauxbourdon). Mind that the church organ has been introduced before the harpsichord and the oud. Melody and ...


6

The Goldberg Variations are considered infamous / demanding for a few reasons, which I will outline briefly below. Firstly, the reasons why the work is infamous: The work is a theme and variations, and to my knowledge there is only one other JS Bach piece that follow suit (see comments below). The work represents the highest model of Baroque theme and ...


5

As a harpsichordist and pianist, I can say switching from piano to harpsichord should not pose any significant challenges. I started playing keys on an 88 key keyboard, and then went on to transition to harpsichord, and then a grand piano. As Tim mentions, dynamics do not exist on a harpsichord. Anything that you can play on a piano you'll be able to play ...


4

Western music has never been "harmonically driven". To get the misinformation about the lute out of the way first: lutes never had frets to impose "precise tuning". The frets were simply loops of gut tied around the neck of the instrument and were intended to be moveable at will by the performer They were simply playing aids, when the number of strings ...


4

The numbers, as already noted, are "figured bass", where the keyboardist would improvise an accompaniment part. The figures indicate what intervals above the bass note should be represented in the accompaniment part. So, for example, a chord marked "6/5" requires a third, fifth, and sixth above the bass note (the third is typically implied). This is the ...


3

What ever this is - a slur or not - the E has to be played on the second eight of the bar and preceding the mordent, as in the right hand are first to be played A and G. In my opinion the editor wanted to propose the idea to attack the mordent GF#G with an approach from the upper note A I have the Urtext Edition of Bärenreiter and here in this measure is ...


3

I think everyone has touched upon the "aural" feel of a harpsichord and the lack of a real sustain. I'll address the physical aspect of playing a harpsichord. In the piano, you have a hammer striking the strings, whereas in a harpsichord, the strings are plucked. In the case of the plucking, you need to have a certain amount of force (usually same across all ...


2

There are many preconceptions about switching from piano to harpsichord, as many people assume, since the keyboard is similar, that the techniques associated with piano are transferable. It is possible for pianists to thrash out pieces on the harpsichord, but it's a huge mistake to assume that piano playing and harpsichord playing are the same thing. An ...


2

Harpsichords pluck the string with a (now) plastic plectra, as opposed to hitting the string with a hammer. The physical nature of feeling the space between pressing the key down and hitting the pluck, actually plucking the string, and being under the plectra are essential to good harpsichord technique. The touch on a harpsichord is certainly "lighter" ...


2

You certainly can play music originally written and arranged for harpsichord on a piano without modification: All the commonly used keyboard instruments -harpsichord, clavichord, various types of organ, etc share the same keyboard layout. (Organs have foot pedals for playing bass notes, so organ music is not usually directly transferable to the piano.) ...


2

This has to be a mordent - as you say: You say you can hear and you've found music dictionaries explaining this. I've never seen this symbol before and I'm always sceptical to dictionaries too. But in this case - the symbol is always on the same note and is not remaining to the 1. ending - you can trust the information you have found. Riemann has ...


1

The short answer is that it depends on whom you ask. This wikipedia article is a very interesting read on the subject of piano pedals and their history. Here's a quote of the material most relevant to your question: Americus Backers' 1772 grand, his only surviving instrument, has what are believed to be original pedals, and is most likely the first piano ...


1

Leaving out the possible two-manual issue: Harpsicord music on piano will be different, but fine. You can take an authentic approach, or you can be naughty and investigate how pedalling and non-terraced dynamics could enhance (or ruin, depending on your viewpoint) the music! Piano music on harpsicord - not so easy. Because you HAVEN'T got the facilities ...


1

References to clavichords being "like" harpsichords are incorrect. The harpsichord plucks, the clavichord strikes. As a result playing the clavichord is quite different: one can slightly vary the pitch of the struck note by varying finger pressure on the key, ie you can make the pitch 'wobble'. Also, one will never get the feeling of playing a harpsichord by ...


1

Well, the technical difficulties are basically what you'll encounter with the three-part inventions or symphonies. In contrast to them, they are assembled into a musical whole rather than an educational one. The typical pianist rather rarely is confronted with the wish to make a performance from all three-part inventions. The Goldberg variations were ...


1

I recently bought a Dolmetsch spinet harpsicord after playing piano my entire life. As I just retired I was going to build a harpsicord but found the spinet. I have found the touch to be very different. Of course, there are no dynamic changes or pedals so there is an interpretive learning curve. However the greater difference is the care the harpsicord ...


1

No experience on a proper harpsichord, but my piano (electronic) has a harpsichord setting. Obviously the sound is fine, but it also disables the touch sensitivity. So from that aspect, it's possibly easier to play stuff, as dynamics don't exist! Since I play fairly percussively and dynamically on piano, it feels odd that nothing happens! Action wise - don't ...


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