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The Revival of Harpsichord Making

At the end of the 19th century, French virtuoso pianist Louis Diémer initiated the revival of harpsichord making. At the world's fair in 1889, three newly constructed harpsichords were displayed: two had been built by the largest French piano firms, Érard and Pleyel, and the third by restorer Louis Tomasini. In these instruments, characteristics of French pianos, such as the backpost construction, were combined with the cases and sound qualities of historical harpsichords. After years of detective work, the Berlin Musikinstrumenten-Museum acquired all three of the world’s fair's harpsichords.

The revival harpsichords caused quite a stir among experts in the late 19th century, since their two manuals and the stringing with multiple courses allowed for a variety of timbres. The registrations were changed through hand stops or, like with the illustrated instrument by Pleyer, through pedals.