Welcome to the CRIC website!

Welcome to the Centre de Recherche sur l'Interprétation au Clavecin (CRIC). Our main aim is to support innovative performance practices such as the use of a computerized harpsichord in concert and the realistic reproduction of a real performance in a different tuning. Harpsichord performance is virtually unexplored as a research topic. As an instrument, the harpsichord holds many challenges for a performer. When a harpsichord key is pressed, the corresponding string is plucked by a plectrum rather than struck by hammer as for the piano. Changing the force applied to the key makes little or no difference to the volume of the resulting sound, and there are no pedals to modify how freely the strings can vibrate, so control over the volume of notes produced is very limited. However, the player has definite control over the length of notes and the spaces between them, and skilled harpsichordists are able to produce lively and moving performances.


Hank Knox, Department of Performance, Schulich School of Music, McGill University