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Selected Publications

Books dealing with keyboard instruments

The Collegium: A Handbook, New York: October House, 1977.
Since this book may interest some of you who run ensembles I've included it, even though it's not particularly about keyboards. The early music collegium is not as popular as it was when I wrote it; still, I think the book would prove valuable to anyone charged with running such an organization. It deals with starting a collegium, types of collegia, programming, rehearsing, and the requirements for the director. It was reviewed in the pages of Early Music, where it was described as "a book that will be read with pleasure and profit by almost anybody involved in the performance of early music." Copies are still available from Zuckermann Harpsichords International.

The Harpsichord Owner's Guide, Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1987. Paperback edition, 1992.

When someone tells me "I've read your book" I know that this is the one they're talking about. It has done well and still sells strongly every year, which means that it still continues to fill a need. It was a book I very much enjoyed writing, since it forced me to codify all that I had learned about building, maintaining, and repairing harpsichords. The information in the book has stood up quite well, and aside from some of the things in the history section, there is little in it I would change if I were writing it today. For a complete list of contents click here.

With George Lucktenberg, Early Keyboard Instruments in European Museums, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997.

George Lucktenberg began his famous tours of European keyboard collections in the late '70s. I started going with George as a member of the entourage, then became his partner, and ended up directing the last group of excursions. At that time we conceived of the idea of putting everything we had learned into book form, as a resource for the early keyboard lover contemplating a European visit, or even for someone who simply enjoys reading about harpsichords, clavichords, and early pianos. It includes descriptions of the museums and the instruments to be seen in them, and even though it doesn't include every collection and every instrument, it contains an enormous amount of information. It's profusely illustrated. For a complete list of contents click here.

A History of The Harpsichord, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.

This book came out in May, 2003. It tells the 600-year history of the harpsichord for the first time. Much has recently been learned about the instrument's early years, and that information has changed the way we think of some of its history. For example, it has become obvious that in addition to the well-known Northern and Italian styles of building harpsichords, there was an equally influential international style practiced in England, France, and Germany. The book goes up to the present day.

Articles dealing with early keyboard instruments

  • "Just Because it Glitters Doesn't Mean it Bounces," Journal of the Catgut Acoustical Society 41 (1984), 35-36.

  • "The Truth About Temperament," The Guild of American Luthiers Quarterly XII/2 (l984), 10-16.

  • "The Acoustics of the Harpsichord: Response Curves and Modes of Vibration," Galpin Society Journal XXXVIII (1985), 55-77.

  • With K. D. Marshall and T. J. Hendrickson," The Acoustics of the Harpsichord," Scientific American 264/2 (February, 1991), 110-15.

  • "Basic Harpsichord Acoustics," The Early Keyboard Journal 9 (1991), 21-50.

  • With W. R. Savage, T. J. Hendrickson, and K. D. Marshall, "Air and Structural Modes of a Harpsichord," Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 91/4 (April, 1992), 2180-89.

  • "From Rags to Riches: A Survey of Clavichord Decoration," Proceedings of the International Clavichord Symposium. Torino: Istituto per i Beni Musicali in Piemonte, 1993, 215-223, xxi-xxiv.

  • "The Harpsichord: 1968-76," On Bunker's Hill: Essays in Honor of J. Bunker Clark, ed. By William A Everett and Paul R. Laird. Sterling Heights, MI: Harmonie Park Press, 2007, 139-147.

Ed Kottick
502 Larch Lane    Iowa City, IA 52245
Phone: 319.337.3770 (H) — 319.321.7604 (C)
Email: ed@kottick.com