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date: 23 October 2019

Hieronymus Bononiensis [Jerome of Bologna]locked

  • Denzil Wraight


[Jerome of Bologna]

(flc1521). Italian harpsichord maker. A ‘Jerome of Bologna’ was referred to by Michel Corrette in Le maître de clavecin (Paris, 1753), but otherwise little is known of this maker who worked in Rome. His only known harpsichord, dated 1521, is now at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It was held to be the oldest surviving harpsichord, which distinction has passed to an instrument of 1515–16 by Vincentius. A harpsichord in the Castello Sforzesco, Milan (cat. no. 579), falsely dated 1503 and now converted to a crude clavichord, was probably made in 1539 but is of similar size and style and assists in identifying the original state of the Hieronymus instrument.

Recent examinations of the 1521 harpsichord have led to conclusions that supersede some of those of earlier literature (Hubbard, Schott and Grove I). Originally the instrument was single strung and, as Debenham discovered, had a 50-note compass. Wraight (...

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Early Music
London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Theatre Museum