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Spinet, Stephen Keene, London, c. 1685

DETAILS

Object name
Maker
Date
circa 1685
Place
Object number
RCM0179
Acquisition
Gift from Grove, George — 1895

Description

This late 17th-century English walnut spinet has a curved (rather than angled) tail and compass of G1/B1 bass short octave to d3 (52 notes). The short octave is a way of maximizing the usefulness of all the notes, so in the bass where chromatic notes would not have been required by the music of the time, these notes are tuned differently to what one might expect. The lowest note, which looks like B1, is tuned to G1, C♯ plays A1 and E sounds B1, giving a full diatonic scale of G major. This instrument is one of the surviving spinets by Stephen Keene, which range in date from 1685 to c. 1715.

Dimensions

Length: 1555mm. Case height: 172mm.

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