Bowed clavier

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Bowed clavier - engraving from Syntagma Musicum by Michael Praetorius (1575)
Bowed clavier (1625) by Raymundo Truchado - MIM Brussels

The bowed clavier (Bogenclavier,streichklavier or geigenwerke in German) is a keyboard instrument strung with gut strings, the tone of which is produced by a steadily revolving, well rosined cylinder powered by a foot pedal, a mechanism similar to that found in the hurdy-gurdy[1]

The Geigenwerck was illustrated and described by Michael Praetorius in his treatise on musical instruments Syntagma Musicum II, in the section De Organograhia, published 1614-20 in Germany.

It was re-invented by Joh. Hohlfeld of Berlin in 1751. This instrument and another one of his inventions, a device that recorded keyboard improvisations in real time, were mentioned in the "Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments" by C. P. E. Bach.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dolmetsch Online

"Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments", Section Two, W. W. Norton & Company (November 1948), ISBN 0-393-09716-1