Bentside Spinet




Bentside Spinet, copy from J.H. Silbermann

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The bentside (or crosswise) spinet originated in Italy but achieved its widest diffusion in Germany, France, and England.

This instrument by Silbermann is somewhat longer than the typical, thus enhancing the timbre of the bass notes, even though the actual size of the instrument is half that of a harpsichord.

The performer sits practically at the side of the instrument rather in front of it. The timbre resembles that of a German harpsichord (obviously with only one register).

The various versions that can be built (painted case or natural wood) are very similar in sound.

  • Original: Johann Heinrich Silbermann, Strassburg 1767
  • Dimensions: cm. 200 x 72 x 23
  • Compass: FF – f3 (61 notes)
  • Disposition: one keyboard, 8′, Lute
  • Pitch: a = 415 Hz, transposable +/- one semitone (440/392 Hz)
  • Materials: case in lime, bottom and soundboard in spruce (from Val di Fiemme), keyboard in spruce covered with ebony and bone,
    register and bridges in beech, jacks in service
  • Decoration: painted case and gilded mouldings, Parchment rose on the soundboard
  • On request: case in natural wood (cherry, walnut or others)
  • Stand with four turned legs



Two colors painting
Oil painting inside the Lid
Flower or geometric decoration on the case
Case in natural wood (Walnut, Cherry)
Stand with hand carved legs, after the original
Bench with adjustable height, standard or in style
Transport cover

William Horn

videoJ.S. Bach, Goldberg Aria
William Horn

PlayJ.S.Bach, Invention 1, C Major BWV 772
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PlayJ.S.Bach, Jesus meine Zuversicht BWV 728
William Horn