Grant O'Brien's book, now a 'standard work' in the field of Early Keyboard Organology:

Ruckers.  A harpsichord and virginal building tradition.

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first published as a hard-back book by Cambridge University Press in 1990

and digitally re-published by Cambridge in paper-back format in 2008.



You can order your own copy signed personally by the author with whatever dedication you would like.


Total cost 43.65 plus P&P.


Description of this book (taken from the CUP advertising details):

          The name of Ruckers is as important to early keyboard instruments as Stradivarius is to strings. This book describes in close detail the art and technique of the Ruckers family, who produced harpsichords and virginals throughout a period of over 100 years. Dr OBrien provides detailed information about the construction and decoration of Ruckers harpsichords and virginals, as well as the numbering, pitch, stringing, and the determination of the original state of their instruments. Like Stradivarius violins, Ruckers instruments were later altered, and the nature and musical significance of these alterations are discussed, as is the influence of the Ruckers style on later building practice. The instruments in their original and altered states are considered in relation to the music of the time and to contemporary performance practice both during the time of Ruckers family and during the time of the use after they had been modified in the later 18th century.. The text is richly illustrated with diagrams and pictures of original instruments, and with plan-view photographs reproduced at a scale of 1:10. The book also contains a partially illustrated catalogue of authentic and fake instruments, followed by extensive appendices and a comprehensive bibliography.



Conventions and definitions;


Chapter 1.  Ruckers family history and the Guild of St Luke;

Chapter 2.  The pre-Ruckers instruments and traditions;

Chapter 3.  The types of instrument built by the Ruckers, and the Ruckers numbering system;

Chapter 4.  The stringing and pitches of Ruckers instruments;

Chapter 5.  The construction of virginals;

Chapter 6.  Construction of Ruckers harpsichords;

Chapter 7.  The decoration of Ruckers instruments;

Chapter 8.  The determination of the original compass, disposition and pitch of Ruckers harpsichords;

Chapter 9.  Trademarks of Ruckers instruments;

Chapter 10.  The influence of the Ruckers/Couchet tradition on later harpsichord-building practice;

Chapter 11.  The Ravalement of Ruckers and Couchet clavecimbels;

Chapter 12.  Ruckers clavecimbels and music;

Catalogue of Ruckers instruments;


This book is also available from bookstores or directly from Cambridge University Press, Amazon, etc.


How to order this book


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