virginal



[Eng.]


A keyboard instrument popular in the Renaissance in England that is related to the harpsichord. A virginal has one set of strings and jacks, and one keyboard; it is distinguishable from a spinet in that the strings run parallel to the keyboard rather than at an angle. The virginal enjoyed popularity in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, when several books were written containing music for it, among them the famous Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.


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