The New International Encyclopædia/Virginal
VIRGINAL (OF., Fr. virginal, from Lat. virginalis, maidenly, from virgo, maiden; so called probably because played especially by young girls). A keyed instrument, one of the precursors of the pianoforte. It resembled in form a small pianoforte, with a compass of four octaves, furnished with a quill and jack like those of the spinet, and a single string to each note.