THE INSTRUMENT COLLECTION

Acquired over several decades, the collection of musical instruments includes examples from at least four centuries of keyboard types, beginning with the clavichord. As a result, students and clients are are able to utilize and experience first hand a reasonably accurate example of keyboard instruments from before the time of J. S. Bach through the current day.

Clavichord

This unfretted instrument is an example of the instrument that is known to have been one of the favorite practice instruments of J. S. Bach. We know, for example, that he had a two manual and pedal clavichord, which would have enabled him to practice not only all of his keyboard works, but also those written for pipe organ. Although the clavichord produces an extremely quiet tone, it differs from the harpsichord or lautenwerk (lute-harpsichord) in that subtle gradations of dynamic are possible -- an effect not possible on the harpsichord. It's importance as an example is therefore great, as it exemplifies the dynamic gradations that may be used for interpreting the works of Bach on the modern piano.

Harpsichord

The Neupert French Double (meaning with two keyboards) harpsichord is modeled after an exact replica of the Hemsch harpsichord made by the J.C. Neupert company in 1980. Henri Hemsch was a French harpsichord maker of German origin and is considered one of the most important Parisian makers of his time. This Neupert reproduction displays the robust and clear tone that would have been required of a continuo keyboard instrument for concerti, cantata, oratorio and small ensemble works by Bach and other baroque composers. The action of the harpsichord (plucking the string instead of touching it, as is the case on the Clavichord) demonstrates for the player the small but exact finger movements required for baroque music. 

Pianos

Steinway Model B #222131 (born 1923) is the main teaching instrument. It is made with a waterfall mahogany case and has a very light German Renner action. It's tone is clear, with an exceptionally beautiful tenor range and somewhat flutey bass register.  The instrument was rebuilt by Percy Aycock in the 1980s.

Steinway Model B #154985 (born 1911) is a more concert/recording level instrument and is primarily used for studio solo recordings and recordings for vocalists and instrumentalists. It is in a reddish mahogany case with a New York Steinway action that has a little more "kickback" than the Renner action on the 1923 B. The tone of this piano is demonstrably bigger and more robust than the 1923 piano, and translates better in the recording situation. This instrument was rebuilt by the Cunningham Piano Company of Philadelphia.

 

Electronic Instruments

Allen Protegé electronic organ | This two manual and pedal instrument serves well as a practice and teaching instrument and can demonstrate to students with reasonable accuracy the basic sounds of the classical pipe organ. Future plans include installing digital samples of famous extant pipe organs so that even greater authenticity can be utilized for practice and performance/recording purposes. Full MIDI recording and playback function is incorporated into the build of this instrument.

MIDI keyboards and rack synthesizers | The MIDI studio is equipped with a Roland Alpha Juno 2 keyboard synthesizer and two additional rack mounted synths (Roland U-220 and E-mu Systems Proteus/2). Additional VST instruments can be utilized via the Cakewalk or Pro Tools DAW systems in the studio.