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Musical Instruments

Specialized information for performers of musical instruments.

History of Keyboard Instruments

Early Keyboard Instruments

DVD: Early Musical Instruments, by David Munrow

Early Keyboard Instruments: A Practical Guide, by David Rowland

The New Grove Early Keyboard Instruments, by Edwin Ripin

History of the Piano

Giraffes, Black Dragons, and Other Pianos: A Technological History from
Cristofori to the Modern Concert Grand, by Edwin M. Good, 2nd edition

The Pianoforte in the Classical Era, by Michael Cole.

VHS: The History of the Pianoforte: Famous or Noteworthy Instruments
Played by Great Artists: A Documentation in Sound

Electronic Instruments

Keyboard Presents Vintage Synthesizers: Groundbreaking
Instruments and Pioneering Designers of Electronic Music Synthesizers, by Mark Vail

Modern MIDI: Sequencing and Performing Using Traditional and Mobile Tools, by Sam McGuire

The MIDI Manual: A Practical Guide to MIDI in the Project Studio, by David Huber, 3rd ed.


Historical Performance Practice and the Organ

Medieval & Renaissance

The Organ in Western Culture, 750 - 1250

  • ML553 .W54 1993

Baroque Era

The Organs of J.S. Bach: A Handbook, by Christoph Wolff

  • ML576.3 .W6613 2012

Bach's Feet: The Organ Pedals in European Culture, by David Yearsley

  • ML626 .Y43 2012

The Evolution of Organ Music in the 17th Century: A Study of European Styles

  • ML570.2 .S53 2012

The Registration of Baroque Organ Music, by Barbara Owen

  • MT189 .O94 1997

The Keyboard in Baroque Europe, by Christopher Hogwood

  • ML720.1 .K49 2003

Playing Bach on the Keyboard: A Practical Guide, by Richard Troeger

  • MT179 .T76 2003

19th - 21st Centuries

Twentieth-Century Organ Music, by Christopher Anderson

  • ML607 .T84 2012

National and Regional Traditions

The History of the English Organ, by Stephen Bicknell

  • ML578 .B53 1996

French Organ Music in the Reign of Louis XIV, by David Ponsford

  • ML624 .P66 2011

The Language of the Classical French Organ: A Musical Tradition Before 1800,
by Fenner Douglass

  • ML574 .D69 1995

The Organ and Its Music in German-Jewish Culture, by Tina Frühauf

  • ML626 .F7813 2009


Articles about the Organ in Oxford Music Online:

"Organ" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2001

"Organ" in The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, 2013

"Registration" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2001

Books about the Organ in the Music Collection:

Understanding the Pipe Organ: A Guide for Students, Teachers, and
Lovers of the Instrument, by John R. Shannon

  • ML 552 .S338 2009

The Cambridge Companion to the Organ, by Nicholas Thistlethwaite

  • ML550 .C35 1998

The Organ in Western Culture, 750-1250, by Peter F. Williams

  • ML553 .W54 1993

Organ Syllabus, by the Royal Conservatory of Music, 1999 edition

  • ML 132.O7 R69 1999

DVDs about the organ in Educational Technology & Resources Collection

  • Pulling out the Stops: A History of the Organ (4 volumes)
  • Ullrich Böhm playing some Bach at St. Thomas Church
  • Around the Wanamaker Organ in 80 Minutes
  • The King of Instruments, with Gillian Weir
  • The Grand Organ of Canterbury Cathedral, a recital by John Robinson

Magazines, Journals, and Annuals Devoted to the Organ

  • American Organist:  In print only.  Current issues:  First Floor East; Bound volumes: Second Floor West

(Previously: American Guild of Organists, 1967 - 1978)

  • Choir & Organ (log in required from off campus)
  • Diapason:   In print only.  Current issues:  First Floor East; Bound volumes: Second Floor West
  • The Organ Yearbook:  ML5 .O875 1970.  Music Collection, Lower Level West
  • The Tracker (log in required from off campus)

Harpsichord & Clavichord

Books about the History of the Harpsichord and Clavichord

A Guide to the Harpsichord, by Ann Bond

  • ML651 .B66 1997

Books about Harpsichord Repertoire

A History of Music for Harpsichord or Piano and Orchestra, by John Harris

  • ML1263 .H37 1997


Historical Harpsichord Technique: Developing la douceur du toucher, by Yonit Kosovske

  • ML651 .K67 2011

Playing the Harpsichord Expressively: A Practical and Historical Guide, by Mark Kroll

  • MT252 .K76 2004

Couperin:  L'art de toucher le clavecin (The Art of Playing the Harpsichord), 2nd ed.

  • MT 252 .C6813 1995

Denis Delair:  Accompaniment on Theorbo and Harpsichord (1690)

  • MT68 .D4413 1991

Michel de Saint-Lambert: A New Treatise on Accompaniment with the
Harpsichord, the Organ, and with Other Instruments (1707)

  • MT68 .S1513 1991

Books and Information about Temperament, Tuning, and Construction

Treatise on Harpsichord Tuning, by Jean Denis

  • MT165 .D4513 1987

The Harpsichord Owner's Guide: A Manual for Buyers and Owners, by Edward Kottick

  • ML652 .K57 1987

Harpsichord Design and Construction, by Evan Kern

  • ML 651 .K43

Tuning the Historical Temperaments by Ear, by Owen Jorgensen

  • MT 165 .J67

Piano Research & Reference

The Following Books Can be Found on the Music Collection Reference Shelves:

A Guide to the Pianist's Repertoire, 4th ed. by Maurice Hinson
ML 128 .P3 H5 2014

Piano Pedagogy: A Research and Information Guide by Gilles Comeau
ML 128 .P3 C66 2009

The Piano in Chamber Ensemble: An Annotated Guide, 2nd ed. by Maurice Hinson
ML 128 .C4 H5 2006

The Art of the Piano: Its Performers, Literature, and Recordings, 3rd ed. by David Dubal
ML 105 .D8 2004

The Pianist's Dictionary, by Maurice Hinson
ML 102 .P5 H46 2004

Piano Syllabus, by The Royal Conservatory of Music
ML 132 .P3 R3 2001

One Handed: A Guide to Piano Music for One Hand by Donald Patterson
ML 128 .P3 P38 1999

Piano Pedagogy

Selected Books on Piano Pedagogy:

Piano Pedagogy: A Research and Information Guide, by Gilles Comeau

  • ML 128 .P3 C66 2009

Teaching Piano in Groups, by Christopher Fisher

  • MT 220 .F47 2010

The Independent Piano Teacher's Studio Handbook, by Beth Klingenstein

  • ML 3795 .K54 2009

Piano Lessons with Claudio Arrau, by Victoria van Arx

  • ML 417 .A8 A9 2014

Menachem Pressler: Artistry in Piano Teaching, by William Brown

  • ML 417 .PB76 2009

Adaptive Strategies for Small-Handed Pianists, by Lora Deahl

  • MT 221 .D43 2017

What Every Pianist Needs to Know about the Body, by Thomas Mark

  • ML 3820 .M317 2003
  • DVD Video 10100

For more, search these Library of Congress Subject Headings:  

Tuning and Temperament

Modern keyboard instruments have standardized tuning, with an equal number of sound vibrations (megaherz) per half-step.  This is called equal temperament.  Before this method was developed, keyboard instruments were tuned by their maker, in the case of organs, or by the player, in the case of clavichord and harpsichord.  The builder or player used one of many systems to tune their instruments.

Oxford Music Online has these useful articles on temperament (Log in required from off campus):

"Temperaments" in New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd. ed., by Mark Lindley

"Equal Temperament," in New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd. ed., by Mark Lindley

Books in the Music Collection

A Guide to Musical Temperament, by Thomas Donahue

  • ML3809 .D66 2006

Tuning the Historical Temperaments by Ear A Manual of Eighty-Nine Methods for
Tuning Fifty-One Scales on the Harpsichord, Piano, and Other Keyboard
Instruments, by Owen Jorgensen

  • MT165 .J67