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Arnold Dolmetsch's "Green Harpsichord" and the Musical Arts and Crafts
Keyboard Perspectives (2017)
  • Edmond Johnson
This study uses Arnold Dolmetsch’s “Green Harpsichord” as a starting point for a larger discussion of the relationship between Arnold Dolmetsch, William Morris, and other members of the Arts and Crafts movement who were active in London in the 1890s. Built in 1896 and displayed that same year by the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, the Green Harpsichord was the harpsichord built in England in nearly a century, and its design and decoration reflect its position as an object that had to negotiate the aesthetics of the past and the practical needs of the present. The article concludes by looking at how the relationship between the early music revival and the Arts and Crafts movement. At a time when many in the musical establishment were saw early music as little more than a curiosity, the enthusiastic support from Herbert Horne, William Morris, and others within the Arts and Crafts community did much to validate Dolmetsch’s efforts, not only by providing him with spaces to perform and exhibit, but also by promoting an aesthetic ideal that was particularly well-matched to his work. 
  • Arnold Dolmetsch,
  • harpsichord,
  • Arts & Crafts,
  • William Morris,
  • Early Music,
  • Early Music Revival,
  • Helen Coombe
Publication Date
Citation Information
Johnson, Edmond. "Arnold Dolmetsch's 'Green Harpsichord' and the Musical Arts and Crafts." Keyboard Perspectives 10 (2017): 145-167.