One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A keyboard instrument, especially one with strings, such as the harpsichord.
- ‘Look more closely and you might just recognise the features of the red-coated boy who sits at a portable clavier.’
- ‘Papa told me that we're going to take a trip soon, not so very far away, and I'll sing and play the clavier for important people.’
- ‘An extraordinary artist on the clavier and organ, his dexterity is amazing.’
- ‘Though he received lessons in academic subjects and singing, violin, and clavier, he received little instruction in composition.’
- ‘In addition there is a large body of secular work for diverse instrumental forces, such as the Brandenburg Concertos, orchestral suites, violin and clavier concertos, etc.’
Early 18th century: from German Klavier, from French clavier, from medieval Latin claviarius ‘key bearer’, from Latin clavis ‘key’.
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