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How many keys needed to play bach (Read 3314 times)

Offline pianostarq

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How many keys needed to play bach
« on: October 27, 2015, 03:25:07 AM »
Hello all, I am in the process of selecting a harpsichord for purchase. One of the ones I saw at the store that I fell in love with has 52 keys but I am concerned that this would restrict the repertoire I can play on it. Would this keyboard suffice for Bach's keyboard works or will I need to find a larger keyboard?

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: How many keys needed to play bach
«Reply #1 on: October 27, 2015, 03:31:16 AM »
Ooh, a harpsichord? Great choice.
Bach wrote for 61 key keyboards, if memory serves, so you may be hindered.
I'd find a larger one to be safe. That said, I'm no harpsichord expert.
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Offline dcstudio

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Re: How many keys needed to play bach
«Reply #2 on: October 27, 2015, 08:02:43 PM »
Hello all, I am in the process of selecting a harpsichord for purchase. One of the ones I saw at the store that I fell in love with has 52 keys but I am concerned that this would restrict the repertoire I can play on it. Would this keyboard suffice for Bach's keyboard works or will I need to find a larger keyboard?

yes it will cut out quite a bit of your repertoire  :)   if you have been playing on an acoustic piano the change will cause your eye to misjudge things.  It takes some getting used to.  This sounds like an older basso--continuo type harpsichord.. 

I thought you were buying some cheap electric keyboard -- a Harpsichord...  ?   what on Earth for?  those are nightmarish instruments to maintain...not to mention that harpsichord techs charge an arm and a leg.

unless you are like in an indie rock band and you are looking for an eye-catching FX kind of thing 52 keys is pretty small.  the smallest standard keyboard today has 61 keys and it's useless except as a controller..  lol.

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: How many keys needed to play bach
«Reply #3 on: October 28, 2015, 01:17:00 AM »
@DC
Not entirely useless. If he's only looking to play baroque era music on that, there's a lot he can play (since, again, the keyboards in Bach's life only ever had 61 keys), as 52 was a smaller size for a while.
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Offline dcstudio

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Re: How many keys needed to play bach
«Reply #4 on: October 28, 2015, 04:21:47 AM »
. If he's only looking to play baroque era music on that, there's a lot he can play (since, again, the keyboards in Bach's life only ever had 61 keys), as 52 was a smaller size for a while.

lol... ok. :)  the aforementioned repertoire notwithstanding--it's pretty much useless as a substitute for the piano.. and they are nightmares to maintain.   

Offline pianostarq

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Re: How many keys needed to play bach
«Reply #5 on: October 28, 2015, 05:30:43 AM »
Nobody said it was replacement for the piano. I've got plenty of those. I've studied performance practice my entire life in conservatory and play in several baroque ensembles and am looking an instrument to have in my home for convenient practice. Obviously I will not be attempting to play pianoforte repertoire on the harpsichord, but instead play period music. As for maintenance, I am well acquainted with harpsichord care and tuning. Thanks for the comments but any baroque experts out there want to weigh in?

Offline pianostarq

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Re: How many keys needed to play bach
«Reply #6 on: October 28, 2015, 05:41:54 AM »
chopinlover01 thank you for the help!!

Offline dcstudio

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Re: How many keys needed to play bach
«Reply #7 on: October 28, 2015, 01:54:20 PM »
 

Nobody said it was replacement for the piano. I've got plenty of those. I've studied performance practice my entire life in conservatory and play in several baroque ensembles and am looking an instrument to have in my home for convenient practice. Obviously I will not be attempting to play pianoforte repertoire on the harpsichord, but instead play period music. As for maintenance, I am well acquainted with harpsichord care and tuning. Thanks for the comments but any baroque experts out there want to weigh in?


lol..please...no one with that amount of harpsichord and piano exp  would need to ask such a BASIC question. :) "How many keys to play Bach?"      a google search will tell you exactly what rep fits in that size.





good luck. :)

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: How many keys needed to play bach
«Reply #8 on: November 01, 2015, 12:52:55 PM »
If you're only going to practice on it I'd get a clavichord - very low maintenance.  Your baroque keyboard should really go up to E.   For Bach up to C will do but you won't be able to play some of his sons' music.
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