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Harpsichord Workshops

Presented by Edward Parmentier

Application Deadline: May 1, 2014

General Information

In these workshops attention is given to the musical needs of each participant. Each player is taught in such a way as to bring them forward from the level of experience they individually have had. Harpsichordists, organists, and pianists of intermediate and advanced levels are invited. Each player is guaranteed a harpsichord to practice on, either alone or shared with only one or more people. Those bringing an instrument are guaranteed a locked, air-conditioned room for it, with exclusive access, plus help moving it in and out.

The workshop class schedule is from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM (with breaks) at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, in Ann Arbor Michigan. Each workshop will end at 5:00 PM on Friday; the workshops are open to participants who will be present at 9:00 AM on Monday and will be staying until 5:00 PM on Friday.


Fundamentals of Harpsichord Performance & Repertoire

June 9 - 13, 2014

Faculty Director:  Edward Parmentier, University of Michigan

This workshop is designed for pianists and organists making a transition to the harpsichord and for harpsichordists wishing a broad coverage of a wide range of issues. It will present: 1) fundamentals of harpsichord playing, including touch, articulation, phrasing, fingering, tempo, ornamentation and rhythm; 2) basic information about harpsichord repertoire: styles, genres, and composers; 3) principles of basso continuo accompaniment technique. The emphasis will be on performance; musicological issues will not be emphasized. The format of the workshop will be performance-and-discussion classes; there will be no private lessons. At the start of the workshop participants will be given music to work on during the week. In addition, participants may bring personal repertoire of their own choosing to play during the week, but this is not required. A 2004 copy of a Flemish harpsichord by Dulcken will be used in the classes.

Suggested purchases (not required for the workshop) of readily available harpsichord music include: Francois Couperin's L'Art de toucher le Clavecin; Dover editions of Sweelinck, Pachelbel, F. Couperin, Froberger, Handel, Bach, Byrd (My Lady Nevell’s Booke), and The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book  (2 vols.); Le Pupitre or L'Oiseau-Lyre editions of Louis Couperin; and Schirmer (and other) editions of Scarlatti.

Application Deadline: May 1, 2014

Harpsichord Suites of J.S. Bach

June 16-20, 2014

Faculty Director:  Edward Parmentier, University of Michigan

This workshop is an immersion in harpsichord music and playing, through performance and study of the major harpsichord suites of J.S. Bach. Harpsichord touch, phrasing, articulation, ornamentation, rhythm, technique, and other performance matters will be discussed. The emphasis of the workshop will be on performance; musicological aspects will not be emphasized. The format of the workshop will be performance-discussion classes; there will be no private lessons. A 2006 copy of a German harpsichord by Mietke will be used in the classes. Each participant is to be working on four suites, one suite from each of these four categories: the six English Suites, the six French Suites, the seven Partitas-plus-French Ouverture, and the five miscellaneous suites BWV 818/818a in A minor, 819/819a in E-flat, 823 in F minor, 996 in A minor or E Minor (there are versions in both keys), and 997 in C minor. Participants are to notify Mr. Parmentier ( of their repertoire choices as soon as they know them. Please contact Mr. Parmentier if you would like advice on repertoire choice. Editions: Baerenreiter, Henle, Vienna Urtext, etc.

Application deadline: May 1, 2014


The daily schedule for each workshop is 9 AM to 8 PM (Friday ends at 5 PM), with breaks for meals. Other breaks and practice time are built into the schedule. The workshop is open to those who will be present for the Monday morning 9:00 AM start, and who will be staying until the Friday 5:00 PM ending.

Application Procedure

The application deadline has passed, but inquiries for wait list consideration are still being accepted. If interested, please send an email to: Please include your name, phone, email address, and a description of your musical background.


No audition is required. Admission to the workshops will be decided by Mr. Parmentier. If appropriate, Mr. Parmentier will communicate with each applicant ahead of time, to discuss their background and preparation for the workshop.


  • Non-refundable Application Fee - $30
  • Workshop Fee - $500 per workshop
  • Apply to one or both workshops; online form available in December

Admission Notification

Admission to the workshops will be decided by Mr. Parmentier. Applicants who apply by the May 1, 2014 deadline will be sent an admission decision notification via email no later than May 4, 2014. Applicants who apply after the May 1 deadline will be considered for admission based on space availability.


For information or questions on the harpsichord workshops, their contents and activities, please contact Professor Parmentier, Director of Harpsichord Workshops, (734) 665-2217 or by email at

For more information on workshop registration or other School of Music, Theatre & Dance Workshops, please contact the office of Youth & Adult Programs at (734) 936-2660 or


harps 1 Harpsichord 035harps 2
"I think I learned more about music in one week than two years in music school."
2013 Participant

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower