Definition and background:
A small keyboard instrument popular in the Renaissance, which is distinguished from other keyboard instruments of the era by the fact that its strings are struck rather than plucked. Because the strings are sounded only by being struck, the volume of the clavichord is very soft. It is one of the simplest keyboard instruments, built into a rectangular frame in which the keys and attached levers are fixed; the levers strike the strings by means of small, metal hammers. Soft-toned keyboard instrument with strings, which are hit by metal 'tangents'. popular as a solo instrument from the 16th to 18th-centuries and revived today only for the performance of early music.
From Greek for "key", and "chord", a "string". A keyboard stringed musical instrument played by the tangent, or touch, action of small brass wedges striking the strings.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary