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Philip Wyse

February, 1996

I bought a Taskin kit (#1227) from you in 1976. I had virtually no experience with handicrafts of any sort, so it took me about four years to complete the work on the kit, but in the end I had a beautiful instrument which I have used extensively throughout South Dakota and in a couple of other states. For at least ten years, my harpsichord has been a very

popular feature at the piano week of the International Music Camp in the Peace Gardens of North Dakota and Canada. Carting the instrument around has put a few nicks in the paint, but it still looks very nice. There are no cracks in the soundboard. After a few weeks of 80% humidity some of the bass strings will buzz on the 4' bridge, but normally the soundboard is quite

stable. There have been occasions when I have traveled long distances with the harpsichord and it has remained well enough in tune so as to require no more than a quick touch up before performance. I believe most of the plectra are still originals; a few have broken, but most of the replacements have been made to improve the voicing.

I made my own rose; the design displays a singing bird and the Spanish caption ENTONEMOS UN CANTO (Let's sing a song).

Philip Wyse
Brookings, South Dakota

Mr. Wyse noted that while he had stated that he had virtually no experience with handicrafts of any sort, he had made 8 small wooden articles on a lathe with his father's supervision, assembled a simple plywood enclosure for a small speaker, assembled a couple of Heathkits, and knitted three sweaters "after being told by a faculty colleague that men can't learn to knit." He also noted that he had a different kind of experience that probably helped him greatly. As a child he grew up in Nicaragua in a school that his parents ran. As a child and adolescent he spent quite a lot of time in the school carpenter shop, chatting with workmen and observing them as they made beautiful furniture for classrooms and church. "I never received any training from the men and I didn't make anything in their shop, but I did learn to respect the ingenuity and great technical skill that the men brought to their tasks...."

Mr. Wyse started with a case assembled kit. As he says, "I had nothing to do with the beautiful lines and precise measurements of the case.... I had a neighbor who operated a body shop out of his garage. He sprayed the lacquer finish; I sanded between the many coats...."

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