A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Clavicytherium

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CLAVICYTHERIUM. An upright instrument allied to the horizontal harpsichord and spinet, but concerning which of all that tribe we have the least evidence. Mr. Carl Engel (Descriptive Catalogue, 1874), surmises that 'a pair of new long virginalls made harp fashion of cipres with keys of ivory,' mentioned in the inventory of King Henry VIII's musical instruments, was a clavicytherium. He goes on to say that this instrument had a stop or register to cause the strings to be twanged by small brass hooks, whereby a quality of tone like that of the harp was produced, and hence the name 'Arpichord,' by which Praetorius (Syntagma Musicum; Wolfenbüttel, 1619) describes a clavicytherium. [See Harpsichord.] [App. p.593 adds "This instrument is figured in Virdung, 1511, and a remarkable specimen from the Correr collection, now belonging to Mr. G. Donaldson of London, was exhibited in the Music Loan Collection, 1885, and is figured from a drawing in colours in Mr. A. J. Hipkins's 'Musical Instruments' (Black, Edinburgh, 1887)."]

[ A. J. H. ]