German Harpsichords after Mietke

Michael Mietke was the court builder in Berlin in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. J.S. Bach's purchase of a Mietke harpsichord for the Cöthen court in 1719 makes this builder all the more compelling.

These instruments have many similarities with 17th century French harpsichords. In fact, Mietke was selling his instruments and claiming they were of French origin, and was taken to court over this practice.

They have somewhat thin (10mm) bentsides, usually birch or maple, with a rather sharp curve in the tail. The rest of the case is Scotch pine. The single manual instruments were strung in brass, while the double was probably strung in iron, although it is available in brass as well.


FF to e3, A-415, 440, Iron or Brass strung.
Length: 93" (2.36m)
Width: 37" (.94m)
Height: 10" (.25m)

German Pictures
German Instruments



Picture of Mietke harpsichord

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