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Portuguese Stringed Keyboard InstrumentsThe history of keyboard instruments in Portugal has a special interest, not only because Domenico Scarlatti’s patron, Maria Barbara, was a Portuguese princess, but also because keyboard developments there followed a different course from the rest of Europe. The fret-free clavichord, for example, so common elsewhere in the second half of the eighteenth century, never really gained a strong following in Portugal, and Portuguese makers developed their own special version of the newly invented fortepiano.

This book, written by two foremost experts in the field, is the first comprehensive study of Portuguese keyboard history and surviving instruments from the eighteenth century. It supplements and supersedes Gerhard Doderer's monograph on Portuguese clavichords, published nearly 30 years ago and now out of print. As well as a survey of Portuguese keyboard instrument making from the Renaissance through to the Romantic era, it contains biographies of eleven makers – including much new material – and full technical descriptions of 37 clavichords, harpsichords, fortepianos and bentside spinets. The instruments catalogued include those in public and private collections in Portugal and in other countries. There are 109 plates, nearly all in full colour, giving detailed views of every instrument including X-rays in some cases. Since mouldings have proved to be a useful tool in identifying the workshop from which an instrument originates, a section of moulding profiles is included.

‘An essential book for the library of anyone with an interest in stringed keyboard instruments’ – Darryl Martin, writing in the Galpin Society Journal.

‘An invaluable reference work, not just to clavichordists and makers, but to all who are interested in the still relatively unknown world of Portuguese keyboard instruments’ – John Collins, writing in Clavichord International.

Softback, 250 × 192 mm, 498 pages, 109 plates, nearly all in full colour.
Published by Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon. ISBN 972–666–077–7

For contents, click here.