A small keyboard instrument popular in the Renaissance, which is distinguished from other keyboard instruments of the era by the fact that its strings are struck rather than plucked. Because the strings are sounded only by being struck, the volume of the clavichord is very soft. It is one of the simplest keyboard instruments, built into a rectangular frame in which the keys and attached levers are fixed; the levers strike the strings by means of small, metal hammers.

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