Clavecin oculaire, more ‘honest’

In the first item about the Clavecin Oculaire, I noted that my simulation was ‘dishonest’. I was simply coloring the individual strips of a display screen. This was physically impossible in 1740.   It’s also too digital and precise.   Writers who described Castel’s insrument disagreed on mechanical details, but agreed that the colors blended like music.

Kruger’s version had 12 candles focused inward through a prism, with gates or doors opening a path from the candle matching the currently played note on the harpsichord.

Now I’ve got a more ‘honest’ simulation, with 12 colored lights focused through a prism toward the screen. I still couldn’t make the gates control the lights, because Poser
doesn’t have pinpoint candle-size lights. So I varied the intensity of the ‘candles’.

I’ll show two different rendering modes for each. In Poser’s preview mode, the lights are rectangular and wide, and you can see each light reflecting on the wood surface of the instrument. In full render, each light is circular and more tightly focused.

I really prefer my first ‘dishonest’ strip-screen because all notes are clearly visible.  It’s more Baroque, less Romantic.  Between the ‘honest’ forms, I prefer the preview; but the rendered form is probably closest to what Kruger’s listeners were seeing.

First the Telemann piece in preview form:

Kruger instrument playing Telemann

Then the Telemann piece in rendered form:

Kruger playing Telemann, fully rendered

Then Sousa in preview form:

Kruger playing Sousa, preview

And finally Sousa in fully rendered form.

Kruger playing Sousa, rendered.