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Collection of Historical Keyboards

Han's Studio for Piano houses a small but unique collection of historical-design keyboard instruments, representing the Medieval, Renaissance, and Late-Baroque periods.

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1 

French double harpsichord by Craig C. Tomlinson  (Vancouver), 2010

Copy of the Pascal Taskin 1769 

Permanent collection

Equipped with 8' 8' 4' choirs and buff rail, this versatile late-Baroque harpsichord is suitable for everything from Bach, Rameau, and Couperin to Haydn and early Mozart. The keyboards and transposable and can be coupled. 

 

Craig Tomlinson is a master builder of historical keyboards, and his instruments have been performed by renowned artists internationally. In Alberta, his harpsichords are used by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the University of Calgary, and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. This particular instrument has been featured in concert with Early Music Voices, Rosa Barocca, Calgary ProMusica, and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

Available for local rental This harpsichord has been featured in concerts by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Early Music Voices, Calgary ProMusica, and ChamberFest West. It is available for use by professional music organisations and individuals. 

ABOVE: Tomlinson French double: detail of soundboard rose

BELOW: Tomlinson French double and Redsell Italian virginal

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2 

Italian virginal by Matthew Redsell (Toronto), 1981

Copy of Renaissance design

Permanent collection

The polygonal virginal is a small harpsichord with its strings perpendicular to the keyboard. This instrument design was first seen during around the late 15th Century. It has a short range but a very strong sound, which developed into the distinct timbre of the Italian Baroque instruments. It is suitable for Renaissance virginal school keyboard music.

This particular instrument was originally built for Gertrude Lazda. In 2018 it was donated as a restoration project to Han, who has since brought it back into playing condition.

Available for local rental This virginal is available for use by professional music organisations and individuals. 

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3 

Portative organ by Paolo Previtali (Milan)

Copy of Medieval design

Permanent collection

 

This instrument, which was popular during the Italian Trecento period, dates as far back as the 11th Century. Modern knowledge of it derives completely from Medieval iconography in the form of paintings and illuminated manuscripts, since there are no extant copies from the time. The performer plays the keyboard with one hand while operating the bellows with the other. 

Available for local rental This organetto is available for use by professional music organisations and individuals.

 

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4 

French double harpsichord by Sabathil & Son (Vancouver Island)

Modernised development of French 18th Century design

On loan to the studio

 

As a company Sabathil began with production of 'revival harpsichords' and eventually began building more historically-informed instruments, but with some modern advancements in construction. This instrument is an example of the latter.

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Previous Collection Item 

Unfretted clavichord by Alec Hodsdon (Suffolk), 1960

Copy of Baroque design

(no longer in the collection)

 

The clavichord, which originated in the Medieval period, bears some resemblance to both the harpsichord and the piano. It produces sounds by pressing metal tangents to the strings; the tone is very soft but capable of limited dynamic nuances. It was popular as an instrument for practice and composition.

This particular instrument was acquired, restored, and subsequently sold in 2014.

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