Norman Sheppard builds harpsichords and fortepianos based on historical drawings from the 16-19th centuries. His instruments are featured in the recordings and performances of the Madison Bach Musicians and Trevor Stephenson. To inquire about available instruments, or to order one, contact Norman.
P: 608-829-0944 | E: [email protected]
Hand-Built Harpsichords (Sold)
1660 Italian Harpsichord (built in 1997)
At only forty pounds, this instrument has remarkable clarity and precise intonation necessary for music of the Italian renaissance and early baroque period. It is ideal for chamber performances and is light enough to transport easily.
1679 Flemish Harpsichord (built in 1999)
The harpsichord of J. S. Bach's youth. This four-octave instrument, modeled after the 1679 Couchet in the Smithsonian, provides the compass and timbre for Bach's mid-life masterpiece, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I.
1780 Fortepiano (built in 2003)
The concert keyboard instrument of the high classical style. Its brilliance and articulation provide essential theatrical immediacy for the music of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.
1772 German double-manual harpsichord (built in 2011)
This large instrument is similar to the instrument purchased by J. S. Bach in Berlin in 1720. The size, weight, of this harpsichord produce a variety of timbres that make it perfect for playing Bach’s Brandenberg Concertos, and the music of Alessandro Scarlotti or George Fredrick Handel.
1719 German single-manual Harpsichord (built in 2007)
This single-manual harpsichord is ideal for playing any music by Bach. It is strung entirely with brass wire, which gives it a lyrical, Italian flavor. It has a brightness and clarity for solo performance, and enough volume and presence to be ideal for a chamber orchestra.
Handbuilt Harpsichords for Sale
Available March 2019
Buidling one of these historical keyboard instruments by hand takes a year or more from beginning to ready for sale. Because wood is a natural material, after an instrument is completed Norman won't sell it until it has settled in and adjusted to the tension and changes in humidity.
As of summer 2018, there are three harpsichords in the building stages. One is a large italian harpsichord. The second is an italian Virginal. The third is a german single manual. The large italian harpsichord should be available for sale approximately in March 2019. The other two are planned to be finished by mid-2020. Final prices are not available until the instrument is complete. The italian will be between $28-30,000. He expects the italian virginal to be approximately $12-15,000 and the german single-manual to be approximately $28-30,000.