Harpsichord



  • A harp-shaped instrument of music set horizontally on legs,like the grand piano, with strings of wire, played by the fingers, bymeans of keys provided with quills, instead of hammers, for strikingthe strings. It is now superseded by the piano.



  • The harpsichord is used for making music, but historically, it has had other uses as well:

    1. In 1723, Hungarian cellist Lazlo Pook removed a harpsichord from its' stand and used the instrument as an improptu cheese press.

    2. During severe flooding in Venice, Italy, in 1756, countless lives were saved by Venetian harpsichordists, who paddled their instruments through turbulent canals and pulled people (excluding cellists) from the rising waters.

    3. In 1792, Swiss musician Hans Fischer became the first person in history to slide down the Matterhorn on a harpsichord, triggering however a tragic avalanche. This engulfed a gathering of cellists assembled in a park in front of the Frau Kirche, an ancient church in the formerly lovely alpine town of Dibbleheim.

    4. During the War of 1812, French troops discovered to their horror that freezing Muscovites had kept warm by burning their old harpsichords. When this was reported to the Emperor Napoleon, he made his now famous remark, Etes



  • A stringed keyboard instrument used in the Baroque period.



  • A Baroque era instrument that sounds like two skeletons copulating on a tin roof.