Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.


Suite for Harpsichord

for harpsichord

Year:  1985   ·  Duration:  13m

Year:  1985
Duration:  13m

Composer:   David Farquhar

Films, Audio & Samples

David Farquhar: Suite for h...

Embedded audio
See details ➔
Sample Score

Sample: Pages 1-2, 5, 8, 10

See details ➔


To borrow items or hire parts please email SOUNZ directly at


This Suite is dedicated to Lou Harrison, the 'Usonian' (and Californian) Composer, who was in New Zealand in 1983 as a Fulbright fellow. He encouraged my interest in writing for the harpsichord, and in modal writing and turnings; he also gave a marvellous African-style performance on the little mbira (thumb-piano) from Cameroon that my wife had given me some years previously. The tuning of this instrument provided a scatter of eight notes oven two octaves; these eight notes form the basis of the modes used throughout the suite. In the second and fourth movements, which are labelled Giuoco meaning play, I have also used the thumb-piano style of alternation hands and kept fairly literally to the instrument's actual pitches. The other three movements oscillate between modes based on C and A throughout. I have tried to avoid mechanical motor-rhythms and to bring out the instrument's expressive and phrasing possibilities.

Contents note

  1. Prelude
  2. Giuoco I
  3. Intermezzo
  4. Giuoco II
  5. Finale

Performance history

06 Apr 1988: Performed by Douglas C Mews on 5th April 1988.

27 May 2009: 'Bang on a Can' fundraiser