For my Italian virginal, I have taken as my model the instrument known as ‘Queen Elizabeth's Virginals', to be found in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. This instrument is well known as a nicely proportioned, splendidly decorated example of the ubiquitous Italian virginal. Although unsigned and undated, it probably dates from around 1570.
The original instrument is a true inner instrument housed in an outer case. I offer it as illustrated, constructed entirely in cedar or cypress, with a removeable hinged lid, and supported by a simple trestle stand.
The surprisingly robust sound of the Italian virginal lends itself ideally to the earlier repertoire, including the English Virginalists. As a small practise instrument requiring minimal space, together with its easy portability, it makes for a useful ‘first' instrument, or as the choice when space is limited. The ‘practise' aspect of the virginal can be enhanced by the extended compass that can be incorporated.
|Range||Either as the original, short-octave C/E – f3|
|Or short-octave GG/BB – c3|
|Or extended to AA – d3|
|All versions can transpose A415-440, or double transpose A415-440-466|
|Disposition||1 x 8'|
|Keyboards||Boxwood naturals and arcades, with rosewood or ebony accidentals|
|Decoration||Case constructed entirely in cedar or cypress, with an oiled finish
Intricate decorative rose in the soundboard
Max length and width 64" x 21" (163 x 54cm)