Harpsichord

This harpsichord was made in Rome in 1521 by Jerome of Bologna. Although almost nothing is known about its maker, this example is one of the earliest dated keyboard instruments to survive. Rome was the ideal place for an instrument maker to be in the early 1500s because music flourished there as much as art and architecture. Pope Leo X (reigned 1513-1521) was a keen patron of music and collector of musical instruments. Like most other surviving harpsichords of this date, this instrument, although treasured because of its quality and prestige, has subsequently been altered so as to keep up with the latest musical fashions.