Stephen Morris Early Keyboards

In 1986, it seems so long ago now, I graduated from The London College of Furniture on the Commercial Road in Whitechapel London E1. “Elsie Eff” (LCF) has undergone many transformations since, as have I, but suffice it to say it is now the London Guildhall University. I had been there to study for a BTec HND in Musical Instrument Making (Harpsichord) and had decided early on to specialize in early English instruments. I felt this would make me different from all the other makers who created fine copies of early Italian harpsichords or Flemish instruments in the tradition of Ruckers and the like.

For my final dissertation I decided to do a comparative study of the English Bentside Spinet in its heyday period from 1660 to 1730.

I will probably add more to the story of how this dissertation came about, the collection of information and what happened to it since in a later post. For now though there have been some requests over the years for the dissertation to be shared in the public domain. I had left a copy at LCF, together with my archive of photos, notes and measured drawings, in the care of Lewis Jones but I am sure it has since mouldered away in a backroom behind the library. A recent request to read my text prompted me at last to catch up with technology and scan the document into PDF format so ti could at last be shared. I never had a soft copy. It was created on my first ever Personal Computer Wordprocessor and Amstrad 512! With its green screen and locoscript software I thought it was the bees knees! Unfortunately it was not capable of storing images or files above a paltry 144kb which was all you could fit on a “floppy disc” in those days.

Here then for the time being is the full dissertation in PDF format split into chapters or available as a single zip file………… download, read, enjoy and comment……..
01 Spinet Intro
02 Charles Haward text
03 Charles Haward details
04 Player and Aston text
05 Player and Aston details
06 Stephen Keene text
07 Stephen Keene details
08 Hitchcock text
09 Hitchcock details
10 Other makers text
11 Other makers details
12 Appendix A – ironmongery
13 Appendices B-D etc
The English Bentside Spinet 1660 to 1730 whole dissertation Zip File

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