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- H -

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.
 
Handstop
A mechanism operated by the hand which moves the register or the buff stop batten.
 
Harpsichord
To be distinguished from the spinet and the virginal. The harpsichord has a bentside. The strings are parallel to the key levers.
 
Hitch (of a pedal or knee lever)
A device to hold the knee lever or pedal locked "on" against the spring tension of the mechanism.
 
Hitchpin
The pin which retains the end of a string opposite the wrestpin.
 
Hitchpin rail
The molding or rail into which a hitchpin is driven.
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- I -

Ictus
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 wrestplank.
 
Inner-outer
That style of Italian instrument in which the instrument is distinct and separate from a decorated outer box.
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- J -

Jack
The device which rests on the key and plucks the string.
 
Jack plane
A medium sized hand plane 13" to 18" (33cm to 46 cm) long.
 
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.
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- K -

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 battens
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 harpsichord.
 
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.
 
Knee
A triangular brace on the interior of an Italian harpsichord.
 
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.
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- L -

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 bristle.
 
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 texture.
 
Liner
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 an instrument.
 
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 register.
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