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The harpsichord is a stringed keyboard instrument that uses devices to pluck strings to make musical tones. It originated in the Middle Ages, possibly in the 1300s. Harpsichords were originally small instruments, called virginals, but became larger with improvements. Italian and Flemish instrument makers worked to make important improvements in the harpsichord, notably Hans Rucker of Flanders in the late 1500s.

The peak of historical harpsichord design occurred in France during the 1700s. French harpsichord makers studied and improved on the Hans Rucker designs. Pascal Taskin was known for his harpsichords during this era. In England, harpsichord-makers Jacob Kirkman and Burkat Shudi built harpsichords that were deemed some of the best and most visually beautiful. Popularity of the harpsichord... Read more

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