Vol. 7 (2022)
Notes and Discussions

The Ocular Harpsichord ‘La Toilet’

Leman Berdeli

Published 2022-11-18


  • Ornament,
  • Embellishment,
  • Keyboard Instruments,
  • Style

How to Cite

Berdeli, L. (2022). The Ocular Harpsichord ‘La Toilet’. Diciottesimo Secolo, 7, 157–162. https://doi.org/10.36253/ds-13359


The color organ with its modern interpretation is an electronic device representing sound in a visual configuration. The origins of the color organ inventions can be traced back to the hand-operated models based on harpsichord design promising the splash of colors upon pressing a key. In this perusal, the harpsichord appears as a tool of fashion with its unique interpretation taking place in a setting where the author got into the habit of calling the ocular harpsichord ‘la toilet’. The acquisition of a certain tendency made the author develop a habit of calling ornaments in general as ‘visible music’. Throughout the narrative incorporating romantic features, the concept of ornament in music manifests itself visibly on clothing and architectural decoration adhering to the philosophical fulcrum between the 18th-century decorative aesthetics and the inventiveness of the Lumières. As a logical consequence, a mathematical structure applied in architecture could turn into keyboard compostition.


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