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How could it be that the instrument that made Bach famous, before being rejected in favor of the piano, is now finding its way to video games? Keep reading to learn more about the harpsichord.

What Is a Harpsichord?

Many imagine a harp as a large stringed instrument, often upright, played most often in the imagination by people wearing togas. However, such an instrument is not as easy to play as it looks. Each string plays a note, but there are only so many strings that can be pressed onto a harp, because the further the strings, the harder it it is for the musician to play.

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A harpsichord
Harpsichord

The harpsichord relieved much of this stress. It did this by having the player strike a key, which would then raise a lever to pluck the string in precisely the right location.

Since these picks could be made much skinnier than a human finger, this allowed an incredibly large number of strings to be placed on a harpsichord. Also, no longer did a player have to reach for the shortest strings across the whole harp, as now the keys were all at finger’s reach.

Diagram of how the harpsichord plucks a string
In one note; the longer strings play
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