A harpsichord is a keyboard instrument, widely used during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. It produces its sound by plucking the strings when the keys are pressed (contrary to the piano, which attacks the strings using a hammer). The harpsichord was largely replaced by the piano during the 18th century, but made a resurgence in the 20th century with the rise of historically informed performance. The word harpsichord is often used to designate the whole family of similar plucked keyboard instruments, including the virginals, spinet, and spinet.