Harpsichord maintenance

Updated July 2014

I provide maintenance of harpsichords after historical models to the highest standards.

Typically, such work includes the re-regulation of the plectra that are in place in the instrument, and the replacement of weak or otherwise compromised plectra (usually between five and fifteen in well-kept harpsichords). My goals are to produce durable plectra that enable the instrument to speak as it ‘wants’ to speak, and to achieve a regular overall impression.

Unless otherwise agreed, a regulation of the plucking points (staggering), and any necessary damper readjustment are included in the service. I also can take care of other minor technical issues, provided they can be solved outside a workshop.

I do not provide a re-stringing service. The stringing schedule of a harpsichord is part of the original design and ought to be modified by the builder of the instrument. I can, however, replace single broken strings if necessary.

– the revision of a two-manual harpsichord (using the existing plectra as much as possible) takes three to four hours. Variation is possible depending on the state of the instrument.
– fitting a whole two-manual harpsichord with new plectra takes about two working days.

I have maintained harpsichords for more than 30 years. All my private harpsichords are quilled with bird’s feathers. When voicing other instruments, I recommend Delrin plectra for a variety of reasons. I have extensive experience in voicing with this material.

Fee: 65 € per hour; travel costs are divided between customers whenever possible. Ideally, I’m combining several maintenance and concert engagements in one place to ensure low travel costs per customer.

Please contact me to discuss your particular requests.
Booking: tilman[at]skowroneck[dot]de or view the contact page.

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