This instrument was developed to provide a practical continuo instrument. It is small and easy to maintain. In its 1x8’ design it provides the basic harpsichord sound, one that can be voiced rather loud in order to balance with large ensembles. When built as a 2x8’, the player can choose from a wider tonal pallet. Both configurations include a “buff stop” which, while not common in Italian harpsichords, provides a wonderful lute-like quality to the sound. Its small size means that it is highly portable and fits nicely in the crowded space often found in orchestra pits.
This instrument has been used by various ensembles when presenting early Italian operas, such as those of Monteverdi.