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Re: GG:what is/are virginals?

OK, I've gone and done it...there's now a page containing 24 samples of
various harpsichords and related instruments (including two different
virginals).  Each sample is about fifteen seconds long, in .WAV format. 
Give 'em a try! 


> On Wed, 29 May 1996, I wrote: 
> > A virginal usually sounds darker than a harpsichord of the same area/time. 
> > More fundamental tone, fewer high harmonics.  That's due to the fact that
> > the virginal plucks the string farther from the bridge.  The tone is very
> > distinctive; difficult to confuse with either harpsichord or clavichord. 
> When I get some time, maybe I'll make a few short .WAV sound files of
> various harpsichords, clavichords, and virginals for my home page.  There
> is quite a bit of variation in sound among Italian, French, German, and
> Flemish harpsichords.  But a virginal is immediately recognizable as a
> virginal, as opposed to any harpsichord.  I guess I should make a sample
> of Gould's Wittmayer, too.  And a Pleyel.  :)
> (...)
> > And the harpsichord doesn't have a "profusion of sympathetic
> > vibration"...the strings are damped when not being played.  A jack at rest
> > has its damper resting on the string. 
> To this I should add that some modern reconstructions of the Lautenwerk
> (gut-strung harpsichord) leave at least one set of strings entirely
> undamped.  But such an instrument is an exception. 

Bradley Lehman, bpl@umich.edu       http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/