A harpsichord is a musical instrument that looks like a piano but has a noticeably different tone. The harpsichord was very popular in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Mozart, Haydn, and Bach all wrote many compositions specifically for harpsichord. In the 19th century, the piano became the instrument of choice and the harpsichord fell out of favor. Although both instruments are played by pressing keys on keyboards, a piano has strings that are struck with a small hammer when a note is played, while a harpsichord's strings are plucked. Harpsichord comes from Latin roots harpa, "harp," and chorda, "string."