Carl Dudash Harpsichords
P.O. Box 200 Norfolk, Connecticut 06058 (860) 542-5753
photo by Katherine Griswold
Carl and Marilee Dudash design, build, and decorate harpsichords and clavichords in the styles of the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries in their workshop in the northwest hills of Connecticut. Their instruments have been sent to customers across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Carl's designs are firmly based on historic principles, but they incorporate changes to improve structural integrity and modifications to customize the instrument to suit the client's wishes. Marilee is an accomplished artist who has studied the decoration of antique instruments in the finest museum collections in Europe and the United States. Her work includes traditional soundboard paintings, landscape paintings for lids and cases, faux marbre, chinoiserie, and gold leaf or bronze powder case designs.
Detail of chinoiserie from 1989 French Double
Working with you
"Our approach to building an instrument for you is simple. We listen to what you tell us about the kind of music you want to play, the space into which the instrument will go, and your preferences in decoration. Then we suggest an instrument which will suit your needs or, if necessary, we'll design an entirely new one for you. Having 30 years of experience in design, building and decoration, we can assure you that you will be pleased with your instrument."
Some friendly advice on buying an instrument
Play as many different instruments as you can. With some, you will quickly tire of their sound, or they will fight you at every turn because of an inconsistent, unresponsive action. On the other hand, some will draw you in, entice you to play more, and actually seem to make you a better player. In reality, these instruments are simply allowing you to be a better player because they don't have any vices of their own to hold you back. Look for quality workmanship in the case and clean execution in the details. All case joints should be tight, string spacing even, wire loops and tuning pin windings consistent, and, of course, the entire case should be nicely finished. These are all signs of competent, professional work. Finally, and most important, the instrument should sell itself. No amount of rhetoric from a builder can make an instrument sound, play, or look any better.
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