Zuckermann Fortepiano: Five octaves, FF-f''', double strung, dampers controlled by knee-levers, hand-operated moderator. Case in cherry, modeled after Stein, with turned and fluted legs, frame-and-panel lid, and exquisite mouldings. Action is a 'hybridized' Viennese."
This was my 7th kit instrument, and the 5th built from Zuckermann parts. The parts arrived on October 2,1998; within three weeks the carcass was assembled and standing on its own legs. Although this is a dramatic and immensely satisfying stage in the building, it is only the beginning.
The contruction manual said, "those who claim that our kits don't provide enough work for a winter project will have no cause to complain this time." And they were right! Twenty weeks and 3300 parts later, all the glueing, hammering, drilling, veneering, oiling, varnishing, and stringing were done, and the action was assembled and somewhat playable.
By this time, however, Spring had arrived and outdoor concerns drew my attention away from the piano. Now that Autumn is upon us again, I am eager to give the instrument a proper voicing and regulation so it can join "the fleet." Although building the fortepiano was a very enjoyable experience, I think I'll stick to clavichords and harpischords in the future!
Owner: Brian Joyce earned a bachelor's degree in composition and a master's in musicology, both from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he has worked in the university's music library since 1985. Brian is associated with the publisher Latham Music Enterprises and has written numerous works for various vocal and instrumental forces, with a particular fondness for chamber music. His interest in harpsichords began as a teenager playing on a couple of Z slab sides in his home town. Since then he built a Burton single, a ZHI King of Sweden clav, one of Carl Fudge's "Hubert" clavs (and later the ZHI equivalent), a big ZHI unfretted clav, a ZHI Flemish Double and this fortepiano. Along the way he also rebuilt an Italian Virginal and finished off an early ZHI Flemish Single for an area high school.
Owner: Brian Joyce