One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
- another term for harpsichord
- ‘In the midst of the orchestra, the cembalo has been placed.’
- ‘The instrumental ensemble he has assembled - the scores that have come down to us do not indicate instrumentation - consists of three violins, two violas, two cellos, two cembalos, two lutes, harp, two flutes, dulzian, and two cornets.’
- ‘The right cembalo in the right hands provides a cleansing of the musical palate, enjoyable to the point of tears.’
Mid 19th century: from Italian, shortening of clavicembalo, from medieval Latin clavicymbalum, from Latin clavis ‘key’ + cymbalum ‘cymbal’.
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