Custom Instruments

Flemish 17th Century Single-Manual Harpsichord (original range)

Small harpsichord after Andreas Ruckers (1640)
restored to original range
(Available as a custom instrument only)

Flemish single-manual harpsichord after Andreas Ruckers, 1640 (restored to original range)This instrument has been restored to original range and disposition: C/E - c''', 1 x 8', 1 x 4', buff (split at e'/f') and faithfully represents a type that persisted in its own state of perfection for generations.   It only became outmoded with the gradual addition to general musical practice of notes that became increasingly difficult to accommodate to the 45-note keyboard.   At that time, the instruments were so famous and well-thought-of that they were subjected to all sorts of rebuilds which, for the most part, tended to rob them of some or most of their original magic.   (We offer a very close copy of this instrument in its later, 18th century state.)   If you can accommodate yourself to the 45-note range, the aural payback is glorious.   Because these instruments were so prized, there are no pristine antiques of this type left.   Building a new, rigorous copy is the best way to hear what such an instrument would have sounded like when new.   It was a distinct privilege to receive, and a delight to execute this commission and we wish to share the results.  

Small Flemish single,

Hubbard & Broekman, 2004

Soundboard painting: Barbara Pixton







Small Flemish single, original range - Offering Sheet

Listen to the small Flemish single...

You can hear an excerpt from a demonstration CD we have prepared for this instrument.  The program includes music of the English virginalist school, music of Sweelinck and his students (naturally!) and music by Pachelbel and Buxtehude.  (Please note: for web distribution we have removed the varied repeats.)


Puer natus in Betleem; Gisbert Steenwick   (long file – contains all three short samples, below)

Long sample - 1500K 192 kbps mp3 file (66 seconds)


Puer natus, Variatio 1: 8' only, L.H. buff

Short sample - 476K 192 kbps mp3 file (20 seconds)


Puer natus, Variatio 2: 8' only

Short sample - 500K 192 kbps mp3 file (20 seconds)


Puer natus, Variatio 3: 8' & 4'

Short sample - 528K 192 kbps mp3 file (21 seconds)

~ A Note About The Files ~

Not all mp3 files are equal! The sound of a harpsichord is particularly difficult to compress satisfactorily. The bit rate we have chosen for these samples is the lowest that reproduces the original recording with negligible loss. Download times will vary widely depending on your setup and the quality of your connection.   On a 28K Internet connection, the shorter sound sample may take from about 5 to over 10 minutes to download. If you have a fast connection (T1, cable modem, DSL) please try the long sample - you may expect download times substantially under a minute.

~ Problems Playing the File ~
If you cannot play the file through your web browser, PC users with the Microsoft browser can right click on the link, then choose the "Save target" option to download the file, then use an MP3 player (or a the Windows media player) to listen to it.

We have prepared a demonstration CD which demonstrates the voice of this instrument ($10.00 ppd. in U.S.). Please - inquire via our contact form.

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updated: 11/13/03