History of the Clavichord
The history of the Clavichord. As the Greek modes formed the basis for the musical system of the church, so the Greek monochord is the type from which the monks evolved what they called the clavichord. The monochord has a movable bridge, therefore some time is lost in adjusting it in order to get the different tones. To obviate this inconvenience, a number of strings were placed side by side, and a mechanism inserted which, by pressing a key (clavis), would move the bridge to the point at which the string must divide to give the note indicated by the key. This made it possible to use one string for several different notes, and explains why the clavichord or clavicembalo needed comparatively few strings. This instrument became obsolete toward the end of the eighteenth century.