Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Spinets

http://www.holburne.org/muse/search/item.cfm?MuseumNumber=A375
Tis the season for Christmas music to be on ad nauseum.  One song that I keep hearing recently is We Need a Little Christmas which contains a line about singing carols at the spinet.  So in the spirit of the season let's look at the beauty that is this lesser-known musical instrument.

Spinets are the harpsichord's less popular sister...well in terms of notoriety at least.  They sound just like a harpsichord but the difference lies in that, unlike their big sister, they only have one set of strings so are a little more simple (check out this video of my colleague playing a harpsichord if you're not quite sure what I mean). Spinets are also smaller and tend to be 'bentside,' meaning they are a bit triangular and fit conveniently against a wall.  They are basically the basically the upright piano to the harpsichord's grand.  Therefore, if you weren't raking in Mr Darcy's income, you may have still been able to afford a spinet so as your daughters could tick off 'music' on their accomplished young lady checklist.  Despite being slightly more middle-class (if you will) spinet craftsmen still created some glorious pieces; so without further ado, let's fill our eyes with them.

http://alastairlearmont.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/blessed-st-cecilia-fashionable-places-of-amusement-public-entertainment-in-edinburgh-in-the-late-18th-century/









3 comments:

  1. They're mainly the basically the upright piano to the harpsichord's grand. Due to this fact, when you weren't raking in Mr Darcy's income, you may have nonetheless been in a position to afford a spinet in order your daughters might tick off 'music' on their accomplished young lady guidelines.

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  3. The second spinet shown is in George Frederick Handel's house in London. Bach, Purcell, and other composers owned and played them too, as did Pepys of "Pepys Diary" fame. That's good company, "middle class" not withstanding.

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