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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 6, No. 7. June 9, 1943

Key-Board Music

Key-Board Music

Only a few people were privileged to hear Mr. R. S. Parker speak on "Key-board Music" on Monday, 31st May. They were fortunate in a really interesting address. To those of us who don't know much about keyboard instruments as such, it was an eye-opener, and even the old hands must have learned a thing or two.

Mr. Parker first dealt generally (with references to antiquity) with the main classes of instruments and showed how key-boards had been applied to almost all types. To many people "key-board" means "piano and organ," but there are dozens of other types not so well known. We were then initiated into the advantages of having a key-board, such as the ability to produce harmony on a solo instrument. After this he dealt with each instrument in turn, dismissing the organ rather summarily perhaps, but treating with loving care the clavichord, harpsichord, spinet, or virginal, until he came to the queen of instruments, the pianoforte. We noted with attention its advantages and disabilities, and heard of those who had written for it. To round off the evening Mr. Parker put on some records, first of a clavlcord sonata by Kuhnau, then a Haydn "Concerto for Clavecin and strings," and a sonata of Scarlatti. Finally, just to show us what the piano really could do, and as a contrast to the tinkling brilliance of the earlier instruments, he himself played a slow, sombre, beautiful piece by Debussy, "In a Gothic Cathedral."