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Practice clavier made by Virgil

Advertised in the music magazine Etude in 1903 as "the most perfect scientific aid ever devised for Pianoforte Teaching, Study and Practice" (Vol. 21, No.2, p.78), the Virgil Practice Clavier was part of a genre of piano practice machines and devices aimed at improving player's technique through finger strength and control gained through extended and repetitive practice. These devices were for use at times when practice was not usually considered possible. Mostly they were small and therefore …


Object No.


Object Statement

Practice clavier, timber/ metal/ ivory, Virgil, [USA], 1890-1910

Physical Description

Rectangular keyboard musical instrument for practice purposes. Silent except for clicks to monitor speed, fluency and finger pressure. Timber case with 4 collapsible legs. Wooden keyboard fall slides back to reveal keyboard of seven octave compass from low AAA to B4. Top panel comes off to reveal weight and spring mechanism attached to each key. This can be adjusted via a key-like handle at the front. Detailed instructions for use, adjustment and maintenance, including illustrations, are attached to inside of upper panel. Collapsible music stand at front.

Name on board behind keys reads "Virgil/Perfected/Practice Clavier/London & Berlin" in gold lettering. Reproduction of exhibition medal in gold awarded in Berlin in 1901. Other instructions and patent dates also on board behind keys in gold lettering.


Credit Line

Gift of the estate of Jean Flavelle Davies, 2001

Acquisition Date

19 November 2001

Cite this Object


Practice clavier made by Virgil 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 23 March 2023, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Practice clavier made by Virgil |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=23 March 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.