Harps, Harpsichords, and Clavichords

  • Neville H. Fletcher
  • Thomas D. Rossing
Part of the Springer Study Edition book series (SSE)


In Chapter 9, we discussed plucked-string instruments of the guitar and lute families, having a relatively small number of strings, the sounding length of which can be varied by pressing them with a finger against a set of fixed frets. These instruments are further characterized by being light in weight and having a bulbous hollow sound box and a long neck and fingerboard.


Open String String Length Sound Power String Vibration Attack Transient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ando, M. (1989). Koto scales and tuning. J. Acoust. Soc. Jpn. E10, 279–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ando, Y. (1986). Acoustics of sohs (kotos). Proc. 12 Int. Congress on Acoustics, Toronto, Vol. 3, paper K1–5.Google Scholar
  3. Baines, A. (1966). “European and American Musical Instruments,” Figs. 159–406. Viking Press, New York.Google Scholar
  4. Firth, I.M. (1977). On the acoustics of the harp. Acustica 37, 148–154.Google Scholar
  5. Firth, I.M. (1986). Acoustics of the Irish, Highland and Baroque harps. Proc. 12 Int. Congresss on Acoustics, Toronto, Vol. 3, paper K3–10.Google Scholar
  6. Fletcher, N.H. (1977). Analysis of the design and performance of harpsichords. Acustica 37, 139–147.Google Scholar
  7. Gough, C.E. (1981). The theory of string resonances on musical instruments. Acustica 49, 124–141.Google Scholar
  8. Hubbard, F. (1967). “Three Centuries of Harpsichord Making.” Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  9. Kellner, H.A. (1976). Theoretical physics, the harpsichord, and its construction-a physicist’s annotations. Das Musikinstrument 2, 187–194.Google Scholar
  10. Lieber, E. (1975). Moderne Theorien die Physik der schwingenden Saite und ihre Bedeutung für die musikalische Akustik. Acustica 33, 324–335.MATHGoogle Scholar
  11. Marcuse, S. (1975). “A Survey of Musical Instruments.” Harper and Row, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Thomas, M. (1971). String gauges of old Italian harpsichords. Galpin Society Journal 24, 69–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Thwaites, S., and Fletcher, N.H. (1981). Some notes on the clavichord. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 69, 1476–1483.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Trendelenburg, F., Thienhaus, E., and Franz, E. (1940). Zur Klangwirkung von Klavichord, Cembalo und Flügel. Akust. Zeits. 5, 309–323.Google Scholar
  15. Weinreich, G. (1977). Coupled piano strings. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 62, 1474–1485.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Weinreich, G. (1979). The coupled motion of piano strings. Sci. Amer. 240(1), 118–127.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Weyer, R.D. (1976). Time-frequency-structures in the attack transients of piano and harpsichord sounds-I. Acustica 35, 232–252.Google Scholar
  18. Weyer, R.D. (1976/1977). Time-varying amplitude-frequency-structures in the attack transients of piano and harpsichord sounds-II. Acustica 36, 241–258.Google Scholar
  19. Zuckermann, W.J. (1969). “The Modern Harpsichord.” October House, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neville H. Fletcher
    • 1
  • Thomas D. Rossing
    • 2
  1. 1.CSIRO Australia, Research School of Physical SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsNorthern Illinois UniversityDe KalbUSA

Personalised recommendations