Italian harpsichords are pleasing in their tone and serve well for accompanying singers or other instruments. They are short-scaled and as a result, their sound characteristically has a sharper attack and quicker decay than that of Flemish or French harpsichords. It is this clarity of voice that distinguishes Italian harpsichords from later instruments.
Our example is a beautiful Italian double stringed harpsichord, recorded at the Swedish National Radio, studio 5.
* The buff or buff-stop is a strip of wood which sits under the strings near the nut and has pieces of felt or leather glued onto it. It can be moved so that the pieces of felt touch the strings to produce a muted sound, like a lute.