Definition of clavichord in English:


See synonyms for clavichord on

Translate clavichord into Spanish


  • A small, rectangular keyboard instrument producing a soft sound by means of metal blades attached to the ends of key levers that gently press the strings, popular from the early 15th to early 19th centuries.

    ‘Mozart's lifetime witnessed the coexistence of four kinds of keyboard instrument: the harpsichord, the clavichord, the fortepiano, and the organ.’
    • ‘New instruments that appeared during the early Renaissance, in the second half of the 15th century, included the harpsichord, the clavichord, and the viol and violin families.’
    • ‘In parallel with this I plan to visit museums where there are early keyboard instruments, either harpsichords or clavichords.’
    • ‘He does not pretend it is a clavichord or a harpsichord, and the instrument's full ranges of volume, tone, and color are used.’
    • ‘Your husband must be loaded (as well as bonkers) in order to be able to afford to stable four pianos, two pump organs, one harpsichord and a clavichord.’
    • ‘These keyboard works were written mainly for the clavichord, an instrument that was on the way out; yet even as he played and wrote increasingly for the piano, he took the earlier instrument to the greatest heights.’
    • ‘Technically, piano-playing began to shift from the digital emphasis growing out of light-actioned clavichords and harpsichords to working with the strength and flexibility of full arms and even back.’
    • ‘And there were few overdubs; he was surrounded by a grand piano, a clavichord and a Fender Rhodes electric piano, and switched between them on-the-fly, as he did in concert.’
    • ‘He makes it as living and penetrating as the violin, as responsive and elusive as the clavichord.’
    • ‘It seems, nevertheless, that his ‘organ-like’ extemporisations were called forth by the clavichord, if not actually the organ.’
    • ‘She has also mastered harpsichord and clavichord, conducted, and provided scholarly editions of some of Bach's non-keyboard works.’
    • ‘Its treatment of the modern piano as a vehicle for Bach reflects older emphases, and praise for the clavichord might be wishful thinking, yet the writing is full of common sense and musicianship.’
    • ‘The album features his baroque improv skills on the clavichord (playing three at once on occasion).’
    • ‘He discusses the clavichord in general, with descriptions and photos of the three instruments which he plays.’
    • ‘I longed to make a sound on the glass flute or play a Bach on the clavichord; it seemed an injustice to have such precious instruments locked away behind glass cases, never again to be played.’
    • ‘He would be taught the horn, the clavichord, and the violin.’
    • ‘He also loved music and was an accomplished musician playing the flute, harpsichord and clavichord.’
    • ‘They talked together privately and sat together at supper and afterwards he played to her on the clavichord and the lute.’
    • ‘These gracefully escalating motifs, delivered on piano, mandolin, clavichord and (most prominently) accordion, are so utterly French that a waft of garlic and stale Gauloises hits you as you peel back the plastic.’
    • ‘As she rises from a low chair at which she has been playing the clavichord, she disentangles the folds in the capacious dress which emphasises her tiny form.’



/ˈklavəˌkôrd/ /ˈklævəˌkɔrd/


Late Middle English from medieval Latin clavichordium, from Latin clavis ‘key’ + chorda ‘string’.