Medieval keyboard instrument.docx - Medieval keyboard...

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Unformatted text preview: Medieval keyboard instrument The assumed intent of a medieval keyboard instrument with hammers was more likely a keyed version of the hammered dulcimer, replacing the challenges and limitations of producing notes with only two handheld hammers with the relative ease of playing and increased polyphonic capabilities inherent in any keyboard instrument. 6e dearth of historical evidence also makes it di>cult to defend any attempt at recreating the instrument which dares to venture beyond the stark con2nes of the miniscule body of ‘evidence’ against the inevitable accusations of ‘speculation’ or ‘anachronism’. Indeed, while this presents the designer/builder with a tremendous amount of freedom, it implies an equally signi2cant responsibility, for neither can we be satis2ed with a complete fabrication ex nihilo. 6e eventual design must nonetheless represent a plausible artifact of the ‘spirit of the times’, that is, it must be in harmony with medieval intellectual concepts, aesthetics, and instrument-making technology, primarily organ making. In this sense, while it is tempting to simply adopt what scant guidance can be gleaned from the historical sources in a desperate attempt to remain ‘historically accurate’, we must recognize that even following this path would entail a considerable amount of invention. For this reason we decided to use the evidence of ZCM and RCM as only part of a more holistic process of experimentation and imaginative creation guided by a broad vision of the medieval intellectual and technological environments ...
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