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Clavichord Maker in London 1987–2020


This workshop closed in July 2020. I can no longer make instruments or sell supplies, but this web-site remains live; all existing reference material and links will be maintained and extra items will be added from time to time.

If anyone needs help or advice about an instrument made by me, please contact me by e-mail.




The Clavichords of C. P. E. Bach and Haydn, talk delivered at the British Clavichord Society meeting in London, 21 November 1998. It was subsequently published in Tangents, the Bulletin of the Boston Clavichord Society, No. 28 (Spring 2010)
The Temperament of the Donat Clavichord, web-site essay, July 2002.
Aspects of Clavichord Design and Set-up, a talk delivered to the British Clavichord Society meeting in Edinburgh in 2002. It subsequently appeared (May 2003) in Clavichord International, Vol. 7 No. 1.
Link to: Understanding the clavichord, a talk delivered to the British Clavichord Society meeting in Kendal, Cumbria, in 2003.
Twined strings for Clavichords: a practical account, drawing on my own experience.
Clavichord Making in the 1890s and Today, article that appeared in the William Morris Society Newsletter, Summer 2007.
Arnold Dolmetsch’s Clavichord-Making in the Years before 1914: full text of an article which first appeared in De Clavicordio VIII (proceedings of the 2007 Magnano Clavichord Symposium) (pdf).
Two Books on Temperament: a review (which first appeared in BCS Newsletter 41 in 2008) of books by Ross Duffin and Alexander Mackenzie of Ord.
Reconstructing Mersenne’s Clavichord: full text of an article which first appeared in De Clavicordio X (proceedings of the 2011 Magnano Clavichord Symposium) (pdf).
The Triple-fretted Clavichord in the Benton Fletcher Collection: observations and recommendations: this 2015 report is reproduced here by kind permission of the National Trust. It covers the origin, stringing and temperament of the instrument (pdf).
A Mystery Clavichord: an article which first appeared in BCS Newsletter 72 in October 2018 (pdf).
The History of the Meerbach Clavichord in the Geelvinck Music Museum, Zutphen: from Clavichord International, November 2020 (pdf).
Arnold Dolmetsch’s First Workshop Assistant: an article which first appeared in the Dolmetsch Foundation Bulletin in Autumn 2020.
Training the Next Generation of Harpsichord, Clavichord and Fortepiano Makers and Technicians: a talk delivered at a meeting of the Musical Instruments Resource Network, 17 September 2021 (pdf).
A Chronological List of published articles, etc., by Peter Bavington can be found here (pdf).
The following informal essays appeared originally in the blog ‘Workshop News’:
Restoration (August 2001)
Starting a new instrument (December 2001)
Swedish clavichords (May 2002)
Taking on a trainee (September 2002)
Setting up a clavichord (March 2004)
Thoughts on copying (May 2005)
Making and using over-wound strings (September 2005)
Sustain, and how to achieve it (July 2006)
Decoration on clavichords (August 2007)
Variability in design of old clavichords (December 2007)
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This section contains lists and other documents which will be of interest mainly to those doing research into keyboard instruments, particularly the clavichord.

Please feel free to print out or download any of these documents. I would be particularly grateful for additions, corrections or comments.

An annotated transcription of the Chickering early-instrument log-book, recording all the instruments made between 1906 and 1911 at Chickering & Sons factory, Boston USA, under the supervision of Arnold Dolmetsch. (PDF)
A key to some of the personalities named in the annotated transcription. (PDF)
A list of surviving clavichords with short-and-broken bass octave. Updated April 2008.
A checklist of keyboard instruments in the St Petersburg Museum. Updated March 2008.
A checklist of clavichords made by members of the Schiedmayer family. Updated Novembeer 2016.
Surviving clavichords attributed to Johann Heinrich Silbermann. Updated August 2015.
Link to The Arnold Dolmetsch Clavichord of 1896–7 in the Edinburgh University Collection: a restoration report by John Barnes. (PDF).
Catalogue of Surviving Multiple-fretted Clavichords.
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A Doomed Estate: Robin Hood Gardens (pdf).
A London Journey: my journey to work. With reflections on the history, architecture and sociology of London.
Fancy Bread: a Boyhood Memoir (pdf).
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This link will take you to a performance by Julian Perkins of Handel’s lovely Air in G minor, HWV 467, played in the composer’s London bedroom on a small clavichord made by Peter Bavington in 2016.

Here you can hear Timothy Roberts playing Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonata in D minor, K 9, played on an ‘Iberian’ clavichord made by Peter Bavington in 2001.

This link is to a performance by Richard Smith of J. J. Froberger’s Lament for Ferdinando IV, FbWV 612, played on a fretted clavichord after Bodechtel made by Peter Bavington in 2008.


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PETER BAVINGTON was born in 1941 and educated at William Ellis School, London and Exeter University. After working for many years as a Civil Servant, he decided in 1982 on a complete change of career and enrolled at the London College of Furniture (now part of London Metropolitan University), where he studied early keyboard instruments under Lewis Jones. In 1985 he obtained his Higher National Diploma in Musical Instrument Technology with distinction in every unit.

He then spent two years working with John Rawson before founding his own London workshop, making and restoring harpsichords, clavichords and fortepianos. In addition to individual musicians, his customers included the Royal Academy of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Hochschule der Künste Berlin.

Peter retired from instrument making in 2020. He continues to undertake research into all aspects of clavichords and other musical instruments, and is the author of numerous articles (click here for list) and the book Clavichord Tuning and Maintenance, now in its third edition. He was a founder member and past Chairman of the British Clavichord Society (now disbanded). In 2020 he received the Anthony Baines Memorial Prize, which is awarded annually for an outstanding contribution to organology, the study of musical instruments.

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last update June 2021