The German harpsichord was influenced by both the French and the Italian schools. Typically, its sound has very clean speech with a full timbre and much “presence”.

The disposition may be one keyboard with two unison registers (8’8′) or two keyboards with three registers (8’8’4′), with a compass of up to five octaves.

german harpsichord

The tail is often rounded, a distinctive feature of German instruments. The structure of the case, rather lightly-constructed, recalls the Italian school, as do the profiles of the mouldings.

german harpsichord

Often the case has a natural-wood finish, with a simple and linear esthetic, or perhaps painted only on the outside.

The instrument of J.A.Hass are particularly remarkable, superbly executed in both technical and aesthetic aspects. Some of his instruments also have a register at the lower octave (16′).

german harpsichord

PlayJ.S. Bach, Sonata BWV 1019/4
Andrea Marcon