A harpsichord is a musical instrument similar to a piano played by means of a keyboard. It produces sound by plucking a string when a key is pressed.
"Harpsichord" designates the whole family of similar plucked keyboard instruments, including the smaller virginals, muselar, and spinet.
The harpsichord was widely used in Renaissance and Baroque music. During the late 18th century it gradually disappeared from the musical scene with the rise of the fortepiano. But in the 20th century it made a resurgence, used in historically informed performance of older music, in new (contemporary) compositions, and in popular culture.