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S T U V
- A square groove cut along the edge of a plank.
- A device to maintain the lateral alignment of the keys -
found only in antique harpsichords.
- The row of jacks, one for each key, mounted in a
register and plucking a choir of strings.
- A French term referring to the extension of the original
range of a harpsichord. Ápetit ravalement, four octaves range; á ravalement,
between four and five octaves range; á grand ravalement, five octaves range.
- A thin strip of wood or metal punched with holes to
receive the jacks. It is mounted in the harpsichord flush with the soundboard (with the
exception of some antique Italian instruments) in the gap between the soundboard and the
wrestplank. It can serve as the upper bearing for the jacks and can be moved
longitudinally to bring a rank of jacks into or out of play, i.e. "on" or
- The combination of stops in use at any one moment. To be
distinguished from disposition.
- See Soundboard rib.
- The sides of the case - composed of cheek, bentside, tail,
spine, and name-board.
- Rolled cowhide
- See Leather plectrum.
- The ornamental rosette set into a hole cut into the
soundboard. Usually of cast metal in North European instruments and of parchment and
veneer in Italian instruments. It is almost never cut into the wood of the soundboard as
in the lute.
- A tool used mainly to cut grooves, and especially to level
the bottoms of grooves. 1. A power driven cutter with appropriate table and fence. 2. A
hand tool somewhat like a plane with a chisel-shaped cutter which projects from the
- The length of the strings of an instrument. Since they
double in length for each octave of descent most of the string lengths can be calculated
if that of one string is known. The usual convention is to specify the length of c''. (In
the case of eight-foot choirs, the shorter string is usually measured.)
- Screw setter
- A step-drill which in one operation will (1) drill a deep
tap sized hole for the threads of a screw, (2) counterbore the top part of the hole for
the shank of the screw, and (3) counter sink for the screw head. The best type can be
adjusted for the relative depth of drilling for any of the three elements. It may be
obtained to suit screws of various diameters.
- Scrolled cheeks
- Decoration of the right and left sides of the keyboard well
with fret-sawed appliqués reminiscent of the front of an Italian harpsichord in its outer
- 1. Of a saw - the bending of the teeth alternately to left
and right to give clearance in the cut. 2. A nail - to drive the head of a nail beneath
the surface of the wood with a special punch (nail-set).
- Shove coupler
- A manual coupler which is operated by sliding the upper
manual toward the nameboard.
- The sideward turn of the string at the nut or bridge which
maintains the string in position against the pins of the nut or bridge.
- Sixteen foot choir
- One string per note at sixteen-foot pitch.
- Sixteen foot pitch
- The pitch of a choir of strings which is tuned an octave
lower than the piano. a' sounds 220 cycles per second. A stop of open organ pipes at
sixteen foot pitch would require a pipe sixteen feet long at C.
- Sixteen foot stop
- A rank of jacks which pluck a choir of strings at sixteen
- A register.
- The long straight side of the rim. The side of the case of a
virginal which is opposite the keyboard.
- In modern usage, any jack-action instrument which is not a
virginal, a harpsichord, or a clavicytherium. There are a variety of case shapes such as
the Italian pentagonal spinet and the bentside spinet. All have in common strings which
are more or less perpendicular to the key levers.
- Soundboard rib
- A strip of wood glued to the underside of a soundboard to
- The adjustment of the endpins to produce successive rather
than simultaneous plucks when several stops are on.
- A rank of jacks or a device producing a peculiar tone
quality or alteration of the sound. Examples are: eight foot stop, machine stop, buff
- Stop lever
- The lever which turns a stop off and on.
- String band
- The choirs of strings as viewed from above.
course (a course of strings)
- All the strings required for one note on the keyboard,
typically 2 x 8', 1 x 4'.
- A narrow band of inlay, either of plain wood or a composite
- Stringing list
- The list of the strings of a harpsichord giving the diameter
and kind of wire used for each.
- The short piece of the case rim at the small end of the
- The adjustment of the intervals of the scale in keyboard
instruments so as to adapt them to the purposes of practical harmony: consisting in slight
variations of the pitch of the notes from true or "just" intonation in order to
make them available in different keys.
- Temperament, equal
- The division of the octave into twelve equal intervals or
- A system of tuning with flattened fifths and pure major
thirds. Certain keys are favored at the expense of others.
- A harpsichord with three choirs of strings, normally 2 x 8',
1 x 4'.
- The pivoted part of a jack which carries the plectrum.
- The nonperiodic vibrations which produce the clicking sound
heard at the instant of plucking a string.
- Transposing keyboard
- A keyboard which effects a transposition mechanically. The
commonest type slips sideways so that the keys may be made to lie under any one of several
jacks and thus sound tones higher or lower than those normally assigned to each note.
- The mechanism linking a pedal or knee lever with the part of
the action it operates. For a typical pedal this would consist of: pedal (and its pivot or
axle), pedal rod, roller (and its support, the roller board), tracker, riser (and its
associated pivot), and adjustments at the junction of riser and register.
- Cast-in projections on either side of a moveable object to
serve as pivots. Here the word refers to the projections on either side of the tongue.
- Tuning hammer
- The metal key with mortised end used to turn the wrest pins
- Upper belly rail
- See Belly rail.
- Upper manual
- The rank of jacks which rest on the upper manual key levers
and pluck an eight foot choir - the front eight foot (q.v.).
- A term used in a general sense in England until the middle
of the 17th century to cover all jack-action instruments. After that it was limited to
oblong single-choired instruments, the strings of which are more or less perpendicular to
the key levers, and with both nut and bridge resting on the soundboard.
- The operation of shaping the plectra and regulating the
jacks to produce an even and properly functioning stop.
- Wrest pin
- A threaded pin with square or oblong head upon which the end
of the string is wound. It is driven into the wrestplank and is turned in tuning the
- Wrest plank
- The heavy hardwood block set across the instrument (behind
the name board) into which the wrestpins are driven.
- Wrest plank blocks
- The blocks glued to the side of the case on which the wrest
planks of some harpsichords are mounted.