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The harpsichord is used for making music, but historically, it has had other uses as well:

1. In 1723, Hungarian cellist Lazlo Pook removed a harpsichord from its' stand and used the instrument as an improptu cheese press.

2. During severe flooding in Venice, Italy, in 1756, countless lives were saved by Venetian harpsichordists, who paddled their instruments through turbulent canals and pulled people (excluding cellists) from the rising waters.

3. In 1792, Swiss musician Hans Fischer became the first person in history to slide down the Matterhorn on a harpsichord, triggering however a tragic avalanche. This engulfed a gathering of cellists assembled in a park in front of the Frau Kirche, an ancient church in the formerly lovely alpine town of Dibbleheim.

4. During the War of 1812, French troops discovered to their horror that freezing Muscovites had kept warm by burning their old harpsichords. When this was reported to the Emperor Napoleon, he made his now famous remark, "Etes diable vous parlant?"

5. When the ill-fated ship Titanic was sinking in 1912, an antique harpsichord, purchased in Europe by millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim, was thrown overboard by the ship's cellist, Roger Bricoux. This unexpectedly saved the life of noted international bon vivant and fan dancer, Hettie (Va-voom) Mackelroy, who floated upon it safely until she was able to fan herself in the direction of a larger and more buoyant Steinway grand.
harpsichord spinet cheese press Bricoux cellists
by Lichtbroeder February 04, 2010
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A stringed keyboard instrument used in the Baroque period.
JS Bach wrote many pieces for the Harpsichord.
by carpo August 22, 2004
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A harpsichord is a plucked string instrument that comes from the psaltery, an instrument known since Antiquity. It may have form one to three keyboards.
Many early composers played the harpsichord.
by Frank Mento January 06, 2016
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