Changing Keys : Keyboard Instruments for America 1700-1830
Through the instruments that comprise the historical keyboard collection of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation—including six harpsichords, six spinets, three organs, and twenty three pianos—Changing Keys: Keyboard Instruments for America, 1700-1830 explores the keyboard culture of America in the colonial and Federal eras. Curator and historian John R. Watson illustrates new ways to learn from historic instruments, treating these cultural artifacts as primary documents, through which readers learn about their construction, their period of early use, and their passage through time.
The 38 featured instruments are illustrated with color photographs, including many top view and detail photos as well as drawn diagrams. Each instrument serves as a springboard for discussion on the evolution of musical resources, construction technologies, and case decoration. Watson draws on the physical evidence of their manufacture, maintenance, and preservation to illustrate how this breed of instrument altered over time. Other topics include the lives and contributions of individual keyboard makers, including their technological innovations, and patents.
The book’s visually engaging format and approachable style will appeal to casual as well as academic readers. Technical specifications and pictorial glossary are included in the back.
This work is published in conjunction with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.