Yes indeed, it's here!
Quite an event in any household, and I was of course
really excited as the truck deposited its precious load.
So there it is in the garage - upside down.
But we righted it.
And then it had to be opened. Your thoughtfully enclosed
tool worked for most of the screws. But there was a bit of a struggle with two
But at last I managed it. And then I felt a bit Carter
must have felt when he opened Tutankamon's tomb!
Next problem was to get it up and put the legs on and get
it into its new home.
Where Mimi immediately took control........
This required a closer look!
Meanwhile, as predicted, Liam was taking over the crate
and wanted to know if it would float in the pool...
But I managed to persuade him that what was in the crate
really was more interesting than the crate itself (despite the work of art
status you attributed to it!)
Yesterday evening I finally plucked up my courage and
decided I would have a go at tuning it!
Never having done this before I was of course scared that
the first thing I would do would be twang a string!
So I got out my Korg OM 12 and those TWO tuning wrenches.
Goodness am I glad you said I needed two! I think I would have gone round in
ever-decreasing circles if it hadn't been for that!
I was a bit perplexed by the bit of felt and the thing
that looks like a blackboard rubber. But I decided these must be tuning aids and
that the blackboard rubber was to dampen the string not being tuned (???)
Anyway, much to my surprise I was able to do it! I did a string and then did the
other one to obtain a unison - which the meter measured. And after an hour, a
couple of coffees and a bit of nervous tension, there we were at 440 in the
Valotti temperament (which I have come to prefer with Werckmeister III a close
My music teacher came today and was enthralled to see the
clav finally here! It looks better in reality than in the photos (I was afraid
it would be a much darker brown). Claude, my wife (that's short for Claudine
by the way) hasn't seen it yet, she had to go to Paris on business and
won't be coming back until tomorrow - but she was afriad it really would be
But it really looks good - and it's great too to think
that it has a bit of a history to it.
I must admit I was surprised to hear how quiet it
is. I understand now everything about clavichords being the ideal domestic
instruments. You won't get the neighbours banging on the door to complain if
you're playing music and midnight! It's kind of the Baroque equivalent of
listening to music on headphones I guess! But there is a charm about it that is
quite captivating. Rose-Marie (my music teacher) who normally only teaches using
pianos was really intrigued - and said, by the way that the tuning was spot
It certainly teaches you to use a delicate touch (or else
you go into Bebung and that can of course sound off key).
So there we are! Now it's a question of learning to live
A couple of questions:
There is one note (the Gsharp above middle C) which sticks.
That is to say if you play it, the key won't fall back, so if you have to play
it again you get a muted ping and you have to lift the key with finger and thumb
to get it back down. Bit difficult if you want to trill. Will this right itself
do you think or is minor surgery required?
Also, there is a little crack in the soundboard about two
inches long just to the left of the bridge. I don't know if that was there
before, do you remember it? Or could that have happened in the belly of the
plane? I wouldn't have thought it was serious at these volume levels, but anyway
better tell you in case there are any precautions to take. By the way, Nimes
gets very dry indeed in summer. Should I worry about humidity?
There we are . One happy customer who has added Baroque
tuning to his range of skills.
Do let me know about the sticky key, the blackboard
rubber, and the little crack. Oh yes and the humidity issue.
Thankyou so much for making this possible.
All the best to both of you - and the cats - and