Spinet build 1765 by Johann Heinrich Silbermann. Bachhaus Eisenach, Germany. Click for a more detail watch, revealing the consumption of bookmatched veneering. A spinet is a smaller type of harpsichord or other keyboard instrument, such as a piano or harmonium .
Spinets as harpsichords [edit ]
Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata in F minor K.69
Reading: Spinet – Wikipedia
Performed on a spinet by Ulrich MetznerProblems playing this file? See media help. When the term spinet is used to designate a harpsichord, typically what is meant is the bentside spinet, described in this section. For other uses, see below. The bentside spinet shares most of its characteristics with the life-size instrument, including action, sounding board, and case construction. What primarily distinguishes the spinet is the angle of its strings : whereas in a life-size harpsichord, the strings are at a 90-degree slant to the keyboard ( that is, they are parallel to the musician ‘s gaze ) ; and in virginals they are analogue to the keyboard, in a spinet the strings are at an angle of about 30 degrees to the keyboard, going toward the right. The lawsuit of a bentside spinet is approximately triangular. The side on the right is normally bend concavely ( hence the list of the instrument ), curving away from the player toward the right rear corner. The longest side is adjacent to and parallel with the bass strings, going from the right rise corner to a location on the player ‘s left. The front side of the spinet contains the keyboard. typically, there are very unretentive sides at the right back and on the left, connecting the bentside to the long side and the long side to the front. The other major aspect of spinet plan is that the strings are arranged in pairs. The gap between the two strings of a pair is about four millimetres, and the wide col between pairs is about ten. The jacks ( which pluck the strings ) are arranged in couple deoxyadenosine monophosphate well, placed in the wide gap. They face in opposite directions, plucking the adjacent string on either side of the wide gap. The fact that half of the gaps are four millimetres alternatively of ten makes it possible to crowd more strings together into a smaller case .
Diagram showing the arrangement of jacks and strings in a bentside spinet. For explanation, see main textbook. In the mental picture above, the jacks are concealed beneath the jack rail at the center of the instrument. The disadvantage of the pair design is that it generally limits the spinet to a individual choir of strings, at eight-foot cant, although a double-strung spinet by John Player is known. In a life-size harpsichord, the registers that guide the jacks can be shifted slightly to one english, permitting the player to control whether or not that especial fit of strings is sounded. This is impossible in a spinet, due to the alternating orientation of the jacks. For an exception to this point, see “ spinettone ”, below .
spinet by Zenti from 1637, now in the Musical Instrument Museum in Brussels The angling of the strings besides had consequences for tone quality : broadly, it was not possible to make the overcharge points as close to the addict as in a regular harpsichord. Thus spinets normally had a slenderly unlike tone quality, with fewer higher harmonics. Spinets besides had smaller soundboards than even harpsichords, and normally had a weaker voice. For these reasons, the spinet was normally only a domestic instrument, purchased to save money and conserve domestic space .
history [edit ]
Girl at a Spinet, 1871 painting by , 1871 painting by Gabriel von Max Harpsichord historian Frank Hubbard wrote in 1967, “ the earliest [ bentside ] spinet known to me was made by Hieronymus de Zentis in 1631. It is quite potential that Zentis was the inventor of the type so wide copied in other countries. ” He further notes that the spinet in France was sometimes called the épinette à l’italienne, supporting an italian beginning. In England, builders included John Player, Thomas Barton, Charles Haward, Stephen Keene, Cawton Aston, and Thomas Hitchcock. The spinet was belated developed into the spinettone ( “ big spinet ” ) by Bartolomeo Cristofori ( 1655–1731 ), the inventor of the piano. The spinettone incorporated multiple choirs of strings, with a inclination of 1 × 8′, 1 × 4′, and used the lapp clever mechanism for changing stops that Cristofori had earlier used for his egg-shaped spinet. The spinettone was a local success among the musicians of the Medici court, and Cristofori finally built a total of four of them. [ 4 ] Spinets are occasionally made nowadays, sometimes from kits, and serve the same purpose they always have, of saving money and space .
other uses of “ spinet ” for harpsichords [edit ]
A sumptuously decorated pentangular spinet from 1577 by Annibale dei Rossi ; 49 keys The pentangular spinet was not a spinet in the sense given above, but quite a virginal ; its strings were parallel to the keyboard. typically, the pentangular spinet was more compact than other types of virginals, as the pentagon human body arose from lopping off the corners of the original rectangular virginal design. More broadly, the word spinet was not always very sharply defined in former times, particularly in its french and italian connate forms épinette and spinetta. Thus, for exemplar, when Bartolomeo Cristofori invented a fresh kind of virginals in 1688, he called it the “ spinetta ovale ”, “ egg-shaped spinet “ .
terminology [edit ]
Modern bentside spinet built by Clavecins Rouaud, Paris
In earlier times when english spell was less standardize, “ spinet ” was sometimes spelled “ spinnet ” or “ spinnit ”. “ Spinet ” is standard today. Spinet derives from the italian spinetta, which in 17th-century Italian was a discussion used broadly for all quilled instruments, specially what in Elizabethan / Jacobean English were called virginals. The specific italian bible for a virginals is spinetta a tabola. Likewise, the french derivation from spinetta, épinette, is specifically what the virginals is called in French, although the son is besides used for any other modest quilled instrument, whether a humble harpsichord or a clavichord. In german, Spinett and Querflügel are used. A dumb spinet is a manichord or “ clavichord or clarichord “, according to the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary .
Spinets as pianos [edit ]
Spinet piano made by Baldwin and sold under the stigmatize name Acrosonic. Date of fabricate unknown . A spinet piano manufactured by Gulbransen detail of the interior structure of the Gulbransen spinet shown above. The drop legal action, lying below the level of the keyboard, can be seen, american samoa well as the extreme fish of the strings needed to provide sufficient length of strings within the limited case height. Click on image for expanded view. The spinet piano, manufactured from the 1930s until recent times, was the apogee of a course among manufacturers to make piano smaller and cheaper. It served the determination of making pianos available for a broken price, for owners who had little space for a piano. many spinet pianos still exist today, left over from their period of fabricate. The defining characteristic of the spinet was its drop action ( sometimes called indirect blow action ). In this device, the keys did not engage the legal action directly ; quite they pulled up on rods called “ stickers, ” which in become pulled upward on levers located below the flat of the keyboard, which in change state engaged the legal action. The stickers were sufficiently long that the hammer heads ( the highest separate of the action ) ended up at roughly the same upright level as the keyboard. Thanks to the drop action, spinet pianos could be made very small ; the crown of a spinet rose only a few inches above the level of the keyboard itself ( see effigy above ). however, according to piano author Larry Fine, the cost in quality was considerable. The stickers were “ much noisy and troublesome. ” furthermore, to make room for them, the keys had to be made shorter, resulting in “ identical poor leverage ” and frankincense a poor sense of touch and control for the player. last, the very short strings of the spinet resulted in a narrow rate of harmonics and therefore in poor spirit choice. The spinet was besides the bane of piano technicians. Concerning the trouble of servicing them, Fine writes
Spinets … are very difficult to serve because even the smallest haunt requiring removal of the action becomes a major ordeal. Each of the get in touch stickers has to be disconnected and tied up to the action and all the keys have to be removed from the piano before the military action can be lifted out. [ 6 ]
piano spinet history [edit ]
According to piano historian Arthur Loesser ( 1954 ), the first spinet piano was offered to the public in May 1935, by an american manufacturer Loesser does not identify. however, according to the Blue Book of Pianos, this manufacturer was Winter and Company ( which finally became contribution of the Aeolian-American Corporation ) [ 7 ] who sold this piano as the Winter “ Musette ”. [ 8 ] [ 9 ] The Musette, along with its spinet cousins, were initially a success, being the entirely kind of piano that many people could afford in the depths of the Great Depression. ( According to Loesser, the price could be less than $ 300, “ about twenty-five percentage lower than … a small erect of 1924. ” ) Loesser notes that the spinet was not wholly new, as very small pianos had been manufactured at diverse times in the nineteenth hundred. After the 1930s, many people still continued to purchase spinets ; a 1947 study showed that about 50 percentage of all pianos sold during that production year were piano string vertically of 37 inches in altitude or less. [ 11 ] The spinet enjoyed decades of popularity after the 1930s, but production was halted in the early 1990s .
Spinets as organs [edit ]
The spinet electric organ, a merchandise of the mid-20th century, served the same officiate ( domestic context, broken price ) that was served by spinet harpsichords and spinet piano. The spinet organ physically resembled a small upright piano, and presented simplified controls and functions that were both less expensive to produce and less intimidating to learn than other organs .
Notes [edit ]
References [edit ]
Harpsichord spinet [edit ]
Piano spinet [edit ]
- Fine, Larry (2001), The Piano Book (4th ed.), Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts: Brookside Press, ISBN 1-929145-01-2
- Loesser, Arthur (1991) , Men, Women, and Pianos: A Social History, New York: Dover Publications; originally Simon and Schuster
far read [edit ]
- The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians offers detailed coverage of the harpsichord spinet; see under “Spinet”.