The Keyboard in London

My photo
We (Mike Lurie, Greg Dunbar, Lauren Buono, Shawn Riley & Bryn Coveney) are a group of students studying abroad in London for the semester from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. This blog is to document our class experiences in "The Keyboard and it's Role in London Society" course, which is being taught by Diane Birr at the Ithaca College London Center, in South Kensington. Our studies focus on keyboard instruments (the Virginal, Harpsichord, Pianoforte, Piano, Organ, Electronic keyboard) and explore how these instruments are historically interwoven with the personal and social fabric of London society.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, containing 4.5 million objects. In this museum of invaluable and interesting objects, is a spectacular collection of harpsichords, a claviorgan, a cabinet organ, spinets, virginals, and pianos that range from 1521 to 1903. These fantastic instruments can show us how the keyboard has developed, as well as what the keyboard represented long ago.

Claviorgan (1579) Made in London by Lodewyk Theewes

A virginal owned by Queen Elizabeth

"Each instrument has its own aura and beauty, fully exposed when played for an audience. It's amazing that beyond being viewed as works of art, some keyboards had practical aspects. One that I found most amusing was a cabinet organ from 1610 that had 28 separate drawers organized above the keys."


"I loved the ornate artwork of the instruments! It really shows that these instruments were a form of artwork without even hearing them sound!"

-- Shawn

"Here we were able to see the virginal that is said to have been Queen Elizabeth's very own. Despite its moderate size it was covered in gold detail and had the royal emblem on it. The beauty of this virginal was being able to stand in front of it just as the Queen herself did. A Queen who had such a love for music..."


1 comment:

scott davidson said...

Some pretty designs alright. Doing the painting yourselves is more fun but a good place for ideas for more design is this site of, that I use to help with my wall decorations.
You can browse for a painting like this The tree, by 20th century Czech artist, Frantisek Kupka, for example, , that can be ordered on line and delivered to you.