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The Italian Virginal Kit, 56 notes


Conceived & designed by David Way, revised by Marc Ducornet

"The virginal shares the plucking action of the harpsichord, but the strings run from side to side instead of away from the player. There are many different kinds of virginal, and one of the most impressive models is the Italian false inner-outer type. A trompe l'il effect is gained by the inner instrument finished in natural wood appearing to be separate from the painted exterior case. Because the string is plucked almost in its middle, the Italian virginal has a very characteristic sound with a rich booming bass and a crisp treble."

-- Marc Ducornet

The virginal is a personal, as opposed to for performance, instrument. It has a room-sized rather than concert-hall sized voice. Due to the deep plucking point it has a rich sound and a wide variation in timbre across its compass. Its hey-day was the Elizabethan period in England. Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I were all accomplished virginal players. The fashionable composers of the day such as William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, John Bull, etc., produced a wealth of attractive and playable music for the virginal which takes advantage of its special characteristics, eg, bright treble, rich midrange and plummy bass. This music is easily available today in such collections as The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, My Lady Rogers Virginal Book, and the Parthenia, to name but a few.


Disposition  1x8', no buff
Range  56 notes, GG- d'''
Dimensions  length 165cm; width 60cm; depth of case 19cm / 64" x 17" x 8"
Weight  about 35 lbs 
Action  keyboard with boxwood naturals and fruitwood sharps; wooden jacks working in boxguides; strung in brass
Wood  Case in poplar or lime, inner case veneer in cypress; spruce soundboard, walnut wrestplank Bridge, nut and mouldings in fruitwood
Stand  turned, traditional Italian style 
Instructions  manual in English with photographs; full size drawing 
Level of difficulty beginner

Standard Stage: Stage 1, ready to assemble.
$5,385.94 CAD*
$ 4,019.74 USD *
3 507,29 €

Options available:

Other stages up to finished instrument
please ask
please ask
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Italian parchment roses
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please ask

* Prices are listed in Euros as of Jan 01 2003, Canadian and Euro prices are calculated using exchange rates on November 2, 2003. Air freight to a major airport and customs clearance is included; local delivery from a major airport and any applicable taxes, duties, etc. are EXTRA. These kits come from France and exchange rates change all the time, so we suggest you contact us to confirm prices or check rates using The Universal Currency Converter.

--updated November 7, 2003






Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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