Published on 25. May 2013 by Johannes Huefken
The biggest challenge consisted on the one hand in the clean execution and on the other hand in the accurate construction. The planning of the claviorganum was carried out throughout the theoretical training. After 1 1/2 years the time had come: The drawings could be printed. In the following 5 points you will get an overview of the development:
1. The idea
Two self-sufficient instruments can be played together via a belt if desired. The organ takes up the shape of the harpsichord's grand piano.
2. The concept
The reed stop should be positioned in front of the reeds of the sound mechanics, so that it can easily be readjusted at any time.
The harpsichord is one-manual in design. It should be able to be placed on the organ both as a single instrument and easily and without the risk of damaging the coupling apparatus.
3. The Challenge
It is impossible to construct the harpsichord first and then the organ or vice versa. Both had to grow in parallel. The harpsichord determines the shape, while the organ determines the size. The organ should not exceed 98 cm wide to fit through a 100 mm door.
Disposition, scale length, position on the chest, the distribution of the bass pipes and many technical questions such as wind supply, sound and register mechanics as well as the transposing device had to be clarified in order to determine the dimensions of the organ, which in turn gave the harpsichord its frame.
I will not go into the construction of the organ part here.
The harpsichord should be able to be coupled to the organ. For this organ, one-armed keys in combination with pendants are ideal as hanging action. In contrast, a harpsichord always has two-armed keys, as can be seen in the following drawing.
Besides tuning the technical details, the biggest challenge for me was that I had never built a harpsichord before and it was still to serve as part of my masterpiece.
... the experienced harpsichord maker instructed me after work and during countless lunch breaks in the construction, explained working sequences, taught me manufacturing techniques and gave me many tips that have a decisive influence on the sound. In addition, of course, good literature also had to be studied.
I will report on this in the next block posts.
5. The harpsichord
Since the organ was to be modeled after Dom Bédo's description, the construction of a French or Flemish harpsichord also made sense. After much consideration I decided for a concept after Albert Delin 1712 - 1771, whereby the main focus was on taking over the scales of Delin. The harpsichord is adapted to the exact size of the organ. Thus, the harpsichord is not a faithful replica of the original.
During the construction, great importance was attached to the tonal result and good playability. Many production methods of our "baroque masters" were adopted.
In the next blog post, the practical harpsichord construction begins with the delicate soundboard.