The harpsichord, with its plucking action, probably appeared late in the 14th century.  The oldest known surviving one dates from about 1485.  It can come in a variety of forms.  The grand harpsichord, through various combinations of its multiple sets of strings, registers and stops, can produce a variety of sounds which permit the player to alter the tonal color of movements and pieces according to his or her interpretations.  The more compact forms of the virginal harpsichord and the spinet harpsichord usually have just one set of strings, but offer reduced size and weight along with quicker maintenance and lower purchase cost.

For more information about harpsichords please see the “About” section.