The harpsichord is one of those misunderstood musical instruments that delivers a whole lot more than most people expect from it. I fell in love with the harpsichord when I was in high school, and even though my piano teacher, good old Mrs. Melman, pooh-poohed it as “silly” and “tinkly,” a poor cousin to the full-bodied modern piano, I went on to study it in college, where I learned that Mrs. Melman basically had no idea what she was talking about. There are lots of different kinds of harpsichords, from the thin-sounding, “tinkly” one-manual low-end jobs to the great grand piano-size Pleyels, Zuckermanns and Grimaldis, and the sound and capabilities of the best harpsichords are pretty much limitless. This week, the Harpsichord Center, possibly Eagle Rock's best kept secret, continues its Friday Evening Artist's Series with Musical Espionage: Close Encounters During the 30 Years' War, by noted early-music keyboardist Gilbert Martinez, who performs 17th-century works by Bull, Tomkins, Chambonnieres, Froberger, Schneidermann and others, on an instrument guaranteed to charm and amaze you.

Fri., April 3, 8 p.m., 2009

LA Weekly