The harpsichord is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. Like a pipe organ, a harpsichord may have more than one keyboard manual and harpsichords may have stop buttons which add or remove additional octaves. Some harpsichords may have a lute stop, which simulates the sound of a plucked lute. This activates a row of levers that turn a trigger mechanism that plucks one or more strings with a small plectrum made from quill or plastic. The strings are under tension on a soundboard, which is mounted in a wooden case; the soundboard amplifies the vibrations from the strings so that the listeners can hear it.
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- Hannibal Lecter: I prefer the sound and feel of the harpsichord. More alive, the music arrives like experience, sudden and entire. The piano has the quality of a memory.
- Encyclopedic article on Harpsichord at Wikipedia