Posted on

Harpsichord Basics

Harpsichord Basics

by J.R. Beall

Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Newsletter Volume 1, #2, 1973



Almost since the beginning of my career as a luthier, I have been obsessed with the desire to build harpsichords. My inclinations were, however, met with a great deal of difficulty resultig from the fact that in my part of the country, harpshichords and their makers are rare.

After quite a long period of dilligent investigation, I did manage to compile a list of information on the subject and was able, successfully, to build my first instrument.

The completion of my own scratchbuilt harpsichord was one of the most exciting and satisfying occurences of my career as a luthier, and I recommend it highly to those of you with similar aspirations.

Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article

This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page.

If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.
Posted on

The American Luthier: A New Era

The American Luthier: A New Era

by J.R. Beall

Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Newsletter Volume 1 #1, 1973



Guitars of all kinds are currently enjoying an unprecedented popularity in this country and, indeed, throughout the world. People of every sort are playing or enjoying the performance of guitar music and even the ivied halls of American’s most prestigious conservatories are echoing at last with the sounds of the guitar. The upshot of this welcome boom in popularity and attendant dignification of the guitar as a legitimate instrument is that classic guitars of very fine quality are in high demand and very short supply. Although quite good instruments are available at very reasonable prices, really excellent ones are frequently unavailable at any price. Many advanced students, teachers, and budding concert artists would like to own outstanding instruments but are unable to find them. The guitar, unfortunately, does not have the long, rich history of the violin and artists, therefore, are unable to find antique instruments of high quality. As a result, one must conclude at last that the really top quality concert instruments are yet to be made. This, then, brings me to the point of my writing which is that when guitars of outstanding quality are finally made more available, they will come, for the most part, from small shops in the United States.

Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article

This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page.

If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.
Posted on

Review: The Modern Harpsichord by Wolfgang Joachim Zuckermann

Review: The Modern Harpsichord by Wolfgang Joachim Zuckermann

Reviewed by J.R. Beall

Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Newsletter Volume 1, #1, 1973

The Modern Haprsichord
Wolfgang Joachim Zuckermann
Octoberhouse Inc. $15.00

This recent book by Mr. Zuckermann is a large, well-illustrated, intelligently written and edited volume that lists and comments on most of the known makers of today. It contains, also, an historical preface and a practical guide to the care and feeding of all kinds of harpsichords, ancient and modern. This book is interesting, readable, sometimes humorous, often bitingly critical. Zuckermann’s liberal use of his own rather strong opinion seems not to detract from the authority of this well-researched work. Anyone interested in buying or building a harpsichord will find this book immensely valuable and well worth its $15.00 price. Having just finished my first scratch-built harpsichord, I speak from personal experience.