The collections of instruments at Klaverens Hus are presented by type of keyboard instrument. We follow the usual principles of instrument taxonomy to divide them according to how the tone is formed. It takes place either in the combination of mechanism plus strings (within the main group of chordophones) or mechanism plus air (within the main group of aerophones).
What they have in common is that they have a keyboard.
The stringed keyboard instruments (chordophones)
These instruments can form the tone in different ways:
The plucked instruments such as harpsichords have a plectrum that plucks the strings. Different shapes of these instruments have different names (virginals and spinets).
Hammer instruments have, as the name suggests, some type of hammers or mallets, which strike their respective strings. Within instrument taxonomy, they form their own group within the so-called the chordophones.
The clavichord has small metal blades call tangents that strike the string, and also determine the sounding length.
Alternatively, pianos have more familiar looking hammers, which strike the strings. These hammers have developed over the 18th and 19th centuries, so that the hammers found in a modern piano only bear the barest resemblance to those designed by Cristofori for the first pianos in the first decades of the 18th century.
Organs and related instruments (aerophones)
The harmoniums or pump organs have no strings but brass reeds or parts, which are set into oscillation as air passes through them. Some types of instruments blow air through the reeds, and some suck air in through the reeds.
Self-playing instruments make their music mechanically. In our collections we have two main groups of musical automata – autopianos with rolls (hammers) and crank organs with discs (pedal organs).
There are also those instruments that cannot be assigned to these groups in an easy way, e.g. electronic instruments which can create the sounds of chordophones, and aerophones – and be programmed to play automatically.