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Cover: The Hubert Clavichord Data BookThis book, first published in 2000 following fifteen years of research, is a comprehensive study of the clavichords of Christian Gottlob Hubert (1714–1793). The author, Koen Vermeij, is a distinguished Dutch keyboard-instrument maker and restorer, who has made many beautiful instruments based on Hubert's designs. He has published numerous articles on keyboard-instrument subjects, and is a founder member of the Netherlands Clavichord Society.

The eighteen surviving Hubert clavichords (and a nineteenth instrument, lost during the Second World War) are described as completely and precisely as possible. The descriptions focus on facts, on what can be seen and measured. The only exception to this objective approach is in the sections which convey the author’s opinion on the present constructional and musical condition of each instrument.

The book can be read in a number of ways:

  • It’s quite possible to enjoy it as a richly illustrated picture-book about a subject of personal interest, in the way one can be pleased with books on architecture, watches or wine. More than 700 photographs help to create a feeling of closeness to the instruments presented.
  • For keyboard-instrument makers, or those who aspire to this craft, this book offers assistance in designing and building by means of the many measurements given, the materials listed and the detailed pictures.
  • Finally, for musicologists and organologists, this study provides lots of data on the history of the instruments, i.e. information about ownership, restorations and reference material. The tables following the descriptions contain an immense amount of data for making comparisons, and are a basis for research into important subjects such as measurement systems, proportions, scalings and temperaments.
  • Hubert has been called ‘the Stradivarius of the clavichord’. He might have been highly surprised by a book like this. He would have regretted the small number of remaining instruments, but he would probably have been grateful to all the restorers who did their utmost to keep his instruments in good playing order through the centuries, not necessarily always enjoying the quality of their work. But this modest craftsman from a small town somewhere in 18th-century Bavaria could never have foreseen that he would become an instrument maker of great importance to 21st-century lovers of the clavichord throughout the world.

    The Hubert Clavichord Data Book is acknowledged as the standard reference work on the clavichords of C. G. Hubert. Since its first publication in 2000, it has been continually updated and revised. This new Keyword Press edition was prepared in December 2015; it includes a report of the restoration by the author of the 1772 Hubert clavichord in the Neumeyer–Junghanns–Tracey collection at Bad Krozingen.

    Hardback, 304 pages, with over 700 black-and-white photos.
    ISBN 978–0–9555590–5–1.

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    Price: £90.00 plus post & packing