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, 6 February 2008



Guest Lecturer
Museum of Instruments
Royal College of Music

One of the class sessions took place in the Museum of Instruments at RCM.  Guest Lecturer Lance Whitehead spoke on the keyboard in the late 18th century.  His lecture included information on keyboard makers, who would have played the instruments, as well as the role 
of women in piano manufacturing.  In addition, we were delighted to have Dr. Whitehead demonstrate several of the historical keyboards in the Museum's collection.

Lance Whitehead's bio:
BMus (Hons), BA (Open), MMUs, PhD, LTCL, LGSM
Lance studied music at the University of Edinburgh, gaining a PhD in 1994 for his thesis  'The Clavichords of Hieronymus and Johann Hass'.  On leaving Edinburgh, he spent three years as Director of Music at a Prep school, before working as Assistant Curator and later, Research Fellow in Organology at the Royal College of Music, specialising in 18th-century keyboard instruments.  He has also worked as a Crime Scene Examiner and Fingerprint Officer for the Metropolitan Police and undertaken a humanities degree with the Open University focussing on 19th-century European History and Renaissance Art.

Publications and websites relevant to Dr. Whitehead's lecture:

Michael Cole, 'The Twelve Apostles? An Inquiry into the Origins of the English Pianoforte', in Early Keyboard Journal, Vol. 18 (2000), pp. 9-52.

Lance Whitehead and Jenny Nex, 'Keyboard instrument building in London and the Sun Insurance records, 1775-87', in Early Music, Vol. XXX/1 (Feb. 2002), pp. 4-25.

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