A clavier is any stringed musical instruments played with a keyboard, such as the harpsichord, the clavichord, and later the piano. The name 'clavier' comes from the German klaviatur meaning 'keyboard'.


Bach's Das wohltemperirte Klavier (the title of his 48 preludes and fugues) has been thought by most authorities to imply the use of the clavichord, but by others (partly by internal evidence) to imply that of the harpsichord. The two instruments were, in Bach's day, both in use and probably neither was exclusively intended.