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Early 1500s, Virginal

Virginal Built by Joannes Grauwels, c. 1580

So-called because the instrument was played predominately by ‘maids and young ladies,’ and was the fitting expression for accompanying “sweet voices singing hymns,” the virginal became an improvement on the clavicytherium, replacing its strings with steel and iron instead of catgut. It did not displace the clavichord, though its improvements were evident. Queen Elizabeth possessed several Venetian specimens.

William Byrd’s ‘Rowland,’ performed on a virginal. 
Virginal y Clavicordio