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Laurence Libin

Pure-tuned harmonium developed by the German physicist and music theorist Arthur Joachim von Oettingen (b Dorpat, Livonia, 28 March 1836; d Bensheim, Germany, 5 Sept 1920) and built by Schiedmayer in Stuttgart. An example from 1914 is in the Musikinstrumenten Museum, Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung, Berlin. Designed to sound pure 3rds, 4ths, and 5ths, it is based on an octave division into 53 (in some versions, 72) tones and has a complex multilayered but symmetrical keyboard similar to that of Bosanquet’s enharmonic harmonium. Oettingen studied astronomy and physics at the University of Dorpat and continued his education in Paris and Berlin. He was appointed a professor in Dorpat in ...

Article

Laurence Libin

Many types of instruments throughout the world have been assigned male, female, or sometimes ambivalent gender. These attributes, rooted in prehistoric animism and sexual dualism, bear on the perceived nature of the instruments themselves (which might be thought to embody male or female spirits, or to personify abstract sexualities) and also on their musical and social functions and the circumstances surrounding their making and playing. Even if an instrument is not given a gender, customs may govern whether it is appropriate for use by men or women or both. An attribution depends on many aspects of an instrument and a society’s attitude toward those aspects, among them morphology (e.g. phallic, like many bagpipes; womblike, like many bells and drums; or evoking pregnancy, like the rounded body of a lute), material, means of sound production (e.g. blowing, beating, stroking), high or low pitch, sound quality and power or affect, degree of apparent physical effort involved in playing, and playing posture (e.g. many Victorians considered holding the cello between the legs unladylike; in Kerala, India, a woman who raises her hand near her breast in order to strike a drum could appear immodest)....

Article

Murray Campbell

(b Cleveland, OH, July 19, 1915; d Pittsburgh, PA, Feb 10, 2010). American scientist and acoustician. After studying physics at Case Institute of Technology (BS 1937), he carried out research in nuclear physics at the University of Illinois (PhD 1941). He then joined the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, remaining with the firm for the rest of his professional life; he retired in ...

Article

(b Detroit, MI, June 20, 1917; d New York, NY, Jan 4, 2011). American acoustician. At UCLA he studied mathematics and physics (BA 1938, MA 1940), then went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study acoustics under Philip McCord Morse (PhD ...

Article

Brooke Bryant

Record company. Based in Portland, Oregon, and Olympia, Washington, Kill Rock Stars (KRS) was started by Slim Moon in 1991. Moon ran the label until 2006, when his wife, Portia Sabin, took over as president. KRS primarily promotes music by local artists and has remained unaffiliated with a major label. The label describes itself as “queer-positive, feminist and artist friendly.” KRS and many of its artists have been closely associated with ...

Article

D. Quincy Whitney

(b Springfield, MA, May 24, 1911; d Wolfeboro, NH, Aug 7, 2009). American violinmaker, acoustician, and writer. A trumpeter and biology graduate of Cornell University (AB 1933) and New York University (MA 1942), she left both disciplines to embrace string instruments and acoustical physics. While teaching science and woodworking at the Brearley School, chamber music colleagues convinced her to take up viola. A woodcarver since childhood, Hutchins, at age 35, decided to make a viola. Hutchins then studied luthiery with Karl A. Berger (...

Article

Alex U. Case

Form factors for loudspeakers designed for proximity to the ear. Ear buds and in-ear headphones are inserted into the ear canal, circum-aural headphones fit over the entire outer ear, and supra-aural headphones are placed against the outer ear. The addition of a microphone near the mouth produces a headset useful for two-way communication....

Article

Alex U. Case

A transducer that converts a signal from the electrical domain into the acoustical, transforming a pattern of changing electrical voltages into a similar pattern of changing air pressures.

Whenever electricity flows, it is accompanied by a magnetic field. Play an audio signal through a wire, and a changing magnetic field forms around it, a magnetic analogy for the electrical variations within. Let that wire’s changing magnetism interact with a fixed magnetic field and it will be pushed and pulled back and forth, a mechanical realization of the electrical signal. When that conductor has a flat ribbon shape, it can energize the air directly and is the basis for a ribbon loudspeaker. Make the conductor a coil of wire and attach it to a piston light enough to vibrate quickly, yet rigid enough to move the air around it, and a moving coil loudspeaker is born....

Article

A term occasionally used in medieval writings instead of ‘diapente’ for the interval of a 5th; it has become the standard term in Italian.

Article

Charles Garrett

Music associated with the Creole people, of mixed European and African descent, in the gulf region of the United States, particularly Louisiana. For further discussion see articles on Jazz , New orleans , New orleans music , Swamp pop , and Zydeco . louis moreau Gottschalk integrated Creole folk music into his compositions. Well-known Creole musicians include ...