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  • 1.  Earl Russell Harpsichord

    Posted 04-05-2013 16:52

    I have been asked to work on 2 Harpsichords by Earl Russell, formerly of Mount Union College in Ohio. One is at a church and the other at home. Unfortunately they are about an 1 ½ hour away, so I want to get as much information as possible about his instruments before I go there so that I have the appropriate materials with me.


    Does anyone have experience with his instruments and can you tell me if he worked with modern steel wire or the reproduction steel/iron/red brass/yellow brass? The instruments are a double 2X8' and a double 2X8", 1X4'. The owner is trying to get information about the scaling but if anyone has any information from your experience I would very much appreciate it.


    Thank you.


    Rex Roseman

    Harpsichord Technician

    The University of Akron

    330 289-2948

  • 2.  RE:Earl Russell Harpsichord

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-05-2013 18:01
    I don't know specifically, but would definitely guess low tensile wire as a starting point, judging from the sort of thing he did - reproduction of specific historical instruments. I would contact Robert Murphy, who has probably seen instruments by Earl Russell, being up at Oberlin, in your neck of the woods. I don't think Robert watches this list.

    Fred Sturm
    University of New Mexico
    "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination." - Einstein

  • 3.  RE:Earl Russell Harpsichord

    Posted 04-08-2013 09:23

    Thank you for that information. Robert Murphy is a good suggestion for local information.

    Through other research I found that Earl Russell did use the low tension wire, so that is what I will bring.

    Rex Roseman
    Akron OH

  • 4.  RE: Earl Russell Harpsichord

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 09-13-2021 16:57
      |   view attached
    I was researching Russell harpsichords and came across your post from 2013.  We have a Russell harpsichord at the University of Nevada, Reno, and it came with this stringing scale.  I expect it's a little late now, but I thought you still might like to see it.

    Robert Callaghan
    Reno NV

  • 5.  RE: Earl Russell Harpsichord

    Posted 09-14-2021 03:40
    Hello Rex.  One thing would help enormously - the speaking length of those strings!  With that information together with the scaling posted from 2013, it would be
    helpful to you to compare stringing schedules from similar instruments such as a whole load of them given in "A Handbook of Historical Stringing Practice for
    Keyboard Instruments" by Malcolm Rose and David Law. Malcolm Rose is local to me and I have been privileged to watch him draw brass strings for me. He sells
    copies of this fantastically fully documented 215pp. soft-back book. Look him up on internet: His workshop is in English Passage, Lewes, East Sussex, UK.
    Good luck!  Michael Gamble, UK

    Michael Gamble
    semi retired