Clavichord


Broman, Johan

Style: harpsichord
Inv.no.: N83118
Place: Stockholm
Date: 1756
Compass: FF—f3
Dimensions: 3600 x 974 x 288

This harpsichord is built according to ideas presented by the Royal Swedish Academy of Science. The scale is Pythagorean down to C, i.e. the sounding string lengths are doubled for each octave. The 4-foot strings also follow the same Pythagorean scale.

There are no string gauges showing the string thicknesses. According to the Academy all strings should be of the same material and have the same thickness. Where the scale is Pythagorean all strings will have the same tension and thus were supposed to stay in tune with each other even if temperature changes affected the pitch. Variations in humidity, however, play an even greater role in tuning instability and the behaviour of the instrument must have been a disappointment for the Academy. This is corroborated by the obituary by Henric Nycander, published in 1779, when Jacob Faggot died. He was the man in the Academy who had been responsible for the ideas. Apparently they never understood why the instrument failed, as mistakes in the scale were supposed to be the reason.

Drawing