Harpsichords, Clavichords
and Virginals

Jack Peters Harpsichords


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Jack Peters
Webside greetings! As you can see I've been building keyboard instruments based on original historical instruments for almost thirty years.  I try to determine the type of music my client will play, and present to them optional solutions.  A few of my recent clients have specialized in music of the renaissance which requires smaller, more colorful instruments. Although I've built the following double manual harpsichords: Dulcken #1 lives in Toronto.  Dulcken #2 lives in Austria.  My two manual Zell lives here in Seattle and has been recorded and my two manual Bellot also lives here.

If I build more doubles they will be like my copy of the 1667 anon. French in the Boston museum.  I also very much like the Tibaut and the Denis doubles.  There are far too many makers who turn out the 18th century Blanchet, Hemsh, and Dulckens for me to complete with and I personally like building small practical instruments that most people can afford.

I am passionate over small extrovert Italian instruments which are easy to maintain and move about.  I feel strongly that the true musician should seriously explore the Clavichord since it is so challenging to play well.  I love turning wonderful woods into lasting objects of beauty.  My  home workshop is a fascinating must see for anyone visiting the Seattle area.

Recent Instrument Projects

Click to EnlargeIn the last two years most vehicles have shrunk and the demand has been for easier to transport, easier to setup and tune harpsichords. Since we do a lot of rental work, we move a lot of harpsichords. We have designed an entire line of tiny "car" harpsichords which because of their trim waists, will fit into the smallest cars, and permit at least one passenger in front.

Click for more picturesThe first of these, "Castor," is a C/E-d3 single brass strung harpsichord with full tone (1x8) weighing 27 pounds. The second, "Pollux" has a chromatic lowest octave so you can play Bach, Handel and a lot of the later literature. It also is single strung (1x8) and easy to tune fast. The third, "Jupiter," is a bigger harpsichord, 65 inches long with 1x8 + 1x4 stringing. A fourth instrument is a 62 inch double curve bentside south German harpsichord with 2x8 choirs with a GG/BB-d3 compass.  I think I'll give it the nickname "Hans."

Most Recent Instrument Projects

Zarlino drew this diagram of an enharmonic harpsichord.  I have reproduced as shown two octaves A to a.  This is a dulce melos built after the diagrams shown in the manuscript by Henri Arnaut de Zwolle c.1440.  The action is that of a rudimentary piano. Three octaves are derived from one octave of strings on 4 bridges. Building a long iron scale Italian is a new adventure for me.  This instrument is based on an instrument in the museum in Florence by Berterimi 1577.  The original had a single 8' only.  I have added a 4' and extended the compass in the bass chromatically. 
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Clavichords at the Boston Early Music Festival 2003. Our display at the Boston Early Music Festival  2003.


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Jack Peters Harpsichords
14330 Phinney Ave N.
Seattle, WA 98133

(206) 364-8254