Unfretted Clavichord Silbermann

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Johann Heinrich Silbermann (1727- 1799), was son of Andreas and nephew of Gottfried Silbermann. The Silbermann family was one of the most important German families of organ builders.

Very famous for his musical activity (composer and organist), his instruments were recognized everywhere:

“… everywhere in the musical world his instruments are so famous and praised, since nothing more is to be said in their praise.

Both harpsichords as well as pianoforte and clavichords … are outstandingly beautiful in tone as well as in craftsmanship” (J.N. Forkel, 1782).

This clavichord is “unfretted”, i.e. each string produces one tone. The advantages, compared to the tied clavichord, are: you can play all notes simultaneously, even in the interval of a semitone.

Above all, you can tune the clavichord with the desired temperature every time.

  • Original: Johann Heinrich Silbermann, Strassburg 1775
  • Dimensions: cm 137 x 49 x 16
  • Compass: FF-f3 (61 notes)
  • Original compass: FF-f3 (61 notes)
  • Disposition: one keyboard, 8′, unfretted
  • Pitch: a = 415 or 440 Hz
  • Materials: case in walnut, bottom and soundboard in spruce (from Val di Fiemme), bridge in pear, keyboard in spruce covered with ebony and bone.
  • Decoration: varnished wood
  • Stand with four turned legs
  • Price



Bench with adjustable height, standard or in style
Transport cover

Listen to this instrument:

William Horn