The Clavisimbalum of Henri Arnaut de Zwolle

The Clavisimbalum is drawn and described by Henri Arnaut de Zwolle in his manuscript of c.1440. This is a fascinating and intriguing instrument and for this model the I have used the first of Arnaut's, "devices for attacking the strings", "the first and best", as he says. The action, quite different to the jacks and regitsers that we are familiar with today, is responsive and performs reliably. Although the clavisimbalum may be described as an 'early' early instrument my reconstruction is never the less perfectly viable.
Stage build of Clavisimbalum

It has a compass of 35 notes chromatic from B - a" and is strung with brass and iron un-damped. The instrument has a clear voice, crisp and bright with plenty of volume, the sound has been likened by one observer to the clarsach, an early type of harp. The clavisimbalum is available in its simplest form or may be embellished with pierced roses and painted decoration. The clavisimbalum is available in its simplest form or may be embellished with pierced roses and painted decoration.

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Specification: Compass: B a" Strung with brass and Iron Pitch: a' = 554Hz. (4th above a = 415Hz) Dimensions: Length 920mm, Width 560mm, Height 120mm.