Select a Letter: H
I J K L
- Half hitch
- A mechanism in a pedal or a handstop harpsichord which
allows a register to be put half-way on producing a piano effect.
- A mechanism operated by the hand which moves the register or
the buff stop batten.
- To be distinguished from the spinet and the virginal. The
harpsichord has a bentside. The strings are parallel to the key levers.
(of a pedal or knee lever)
- A device to hold the knee lever or pedal locked
"on" against the spring tension of the mechanism.
- The pin which retains the end of a string opposite the
- Hitchpin rail
- The molding or rail into which a hitchpin is driven.
- The accent resulting from the transients produced at the
instant of plucking a string.
- Inner edge
- The inner edge of the case above the soundboard and
- That style of Italian instrument in which the instrument is
distinct and separate from a decorated outer box.
- The device which rests on the key and plucks the string.
- Jack plane
- A medium sized hand plane 13" to 18" (33cm to 46
- Jack rail
- A bar of wood, felted on the underside, which is mounted
above the jacks and limits their upward motion.
- Just scale
- A scale in which the string length is doubled for each
octave of descent.
- Key batten
- A piece screwed to the case bottom at the front of the
instrument under the lower manual.
- Key bed
- The frame upon which the keys are mounted.
- Keyboard brackets
- The elaborately profiled ends of spine and cheekpiece at
either side of the keyboard of an Italian harpsichord. Also the profiled pieces at either
end of the projecting keyboard of an Italian spinet or virginal.
- Keyboard support
- Pieces of wood glued to the bottom under the keyboard which
support the keyboards off the bottom of the instrument.
- Key button
- The piece of wood with a rectangular hole placed on top of
the key lever at the balance pin rail.
- Key dip
- The depth to which a natural key can be depressed - measured
at the front of the keyhead - usually 5/16".
- Key frame
- See key bed.
- Key head
- The wide part of the front of a natural key.
- Key lever
- The key, especially the part out of sight inside the
- Key panel
- The glued-up panel from which the keys are sawed out.
- Key top
- The ebony, bone, ivory, boxwood or other material applied to
the top of a natural key.
- A triangular brace on the interior of an Italian
- Knee lever
- A device, operated by the knee of the player, which is
linked to the register, the coupler, or the buff stop to turn it off and on.
- Leaf spring
- A spring made of a flat blade of metal as opposed to a
spring of coiled wire. Brass leaf springs are often found in Italian jacks in place of
- Leather plectrum
- A plectrum made of leather. In modern instruments the
material is that used in the soles of shoes - cowhide which has been rolled to consolidate
it. To be distinguished from peau de buffle which is much softer and coarser in
- The strip of wood glued around the inside of the case of an
instrument to support the soundboard.
- Lock board
- The board which closes up the front of a harpsichord. It is
usually fitted with a lock.
- Lower belly rail
- See Belly rail.
- Lower edge molding
- The molding running around the lower edge of the outside of
- Lower guide
- The fixed lower bearing which maintains the jacks in
position over the key levers.
- Lute stop
- A rank of jacks placed at the extreme end of the eight foot
strings. It is set into a slot cut diagonally across the wrest plank near the eight foot
nut. The tone is very nasal which gives rise to the alternate designation of Nasale