David Catalunya has conducted various research projects on medieval organs, bells, and keyboard instruments in close collaboration with instrument makers. The recreation of a 15th-century hammered clavisimbalum in 2012 was one of his most innovative projects, carried out in collaboration with the instrument builder Paul Poletti (Barcelona). 


Historical evidence suggests that strung keyboard instruments became increasingly popular in the 15th century. Chief among these sources is Arnaut de Zwolle’s well-known treatise (c.1440), which describes a number of different instrument layouts, as well as two different harpsichord-like plucking actions, a clavichord-like tangent action, and a simplistic piano-like hammered action. Arnaut’s text has provided a great source of inspiration for modern craftsmen wishing to recreate such instruments, given the relatively high degree of detail it provides. The purpose of Catalunya’s and Poletti’s reconstruction project was to explore the territory beyond Arnaut, with the ultimate aim of imagining a design for a hammered keyboard instrument within the confines of medieval technology and musical instrument making. This sort of late medieval pianoforte, or 'mechanized psaltery', as the sources from the period describe it, is able to produce a wide range of dynamics thus proving the 14th- and 15th-century keyboard music with an unsuspected dimension of expressivity and refinement.

The organologic research was published in the
Journal of the Alamire Foundation.



Live Radio Recordings by France Musique (2013)

Codex Faenza 117, Io me son

Codex Faenza 117, No na el so amante


Codex Faenza 117, Elas mon cuer


Buxheim Codex, Se la fece ay pale (Dufay)

Video/Recordings with ensemble Tasto Solo (dir. Guillermo Pérez)

Consort IX & X, form the CD "Early Modern English Music"

Excerpt form the CD "Early Modern English Music"


Excerpts from the CD "Le chant de leschiquier"


Benedicamus domino - Festival Toulouse Les Orgues

CD Recordings

Early Modern English Music, 1500-1550    

Ensemble Tasto Solo

Label: Passacaille © 2017. Catalogue number: PAS1028.


Supersonic Award (Pizzicato Magazine) 

Nomination for International Classical Music Awards 2018

Le chant de l'eschiqier | Dufay and Binchois songs in the Buxheim Codex

Ensemble Tasto Solo

Label: Passacaille © 2016. Catalogue number: PAS1012.

Meyster ob allen meystern | Conrad Paumann and the 15th-c Keyboard School
Ensemble Tasto Solo
Label: Passacaille & Musica Vera © 2009. Catalogue number: PAS950.

Faventina | The Liturgical Music of Codex Faenza 117 (1380-1420)
Ensemble Mala Punica
Label: Ambrosie © 2007. Catalogue number: AM105. 

Spinato intorno al cor | Zacara da Teramo
Ensemble Currentes

Label: Lawo Classics © 2012. Catalogue number: LWC1026.


Altera Luce | Francesco Landini, Guillaume Dufay, Machaut, Eivind Buene
Ensemble Currentes

Label: Lawo Classics © 2017. Catalogue number: LWC1026.


Photo Gallery

Hammered Clavisimbalum Paul Poletti 2012

Plectrum Clavisimbalum Philippe Humeau 2003