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Howard Schott

(b Kingston-on-Thames, May 30, 1938). English maker of fortepianos, clavichords, and harpsichords. He was educated at the Guildhall School of Music, London, where he specialized in keyboard instruments, studying the piano with Frank Laffitte, the harpsichord with Celia Bizony, and the organ with Harold Dexter. After some years as a music teacher, during which he also undertook some restorations of early keyboard instruments, he became curator of the Colt Clavier Collection, Bethersden, Kent (...

Article

James B. Kopp

(b London, UK, July 17, 1946). Conservator of musical instruments and maker of brasses, based in Ottawa, Canada. After studying fine arts and English at the University of Toronto, he joined the Canadian Conservation Institute, Ottawa, in 1975 as a conservator of furniture and wooden objects. He was trained in instrument conservation at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, and received a PhD from the Open University in ...

Article

Baschet  

Hugh Davies and Laura Maes

French sound sculptors and instrument inventors. Bernard (b Paris, France, 24 Aug 1917) and his brother François (b Paris, France, 30 March 1920) developed a variety of sound sculptures and new instruments under the generic name Structures sonores. Bernard Baschet trained and originally worked as an engineer, and then (...

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Christopher Nobbs

(b Ely, England, June 2, 1941). English clavichord and harpsichord maker. Educated in London and Exeter, he worked for many years as a civil servant in London. After building his first instrument, based on an Italian polygonal spinet, he studied early keyboard instrument making at the London College of Furniture under Lewis Jones from ...

Article

James B. Kopp

(b Heidenheim, Germany, March 16, 1944). German maker of early wind instruments. He played the flute from age 11. In 1961 he passed the journeyman’s examination as a precision mechanic and worked until 1965 in industry (for Carl Zeiss, Telefunken/AEG, and ELDATA). He passed the Abitur in ...

Article

Barbara Owen

(b Alliance, NE, Aug 23, 1944). American organ builder. After graduating from the University of Nebraska, he was apprenticed to Charles McManis of Kansas City and in 1969 established his own firm in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1971 he received the master’s degree from the same university; one of his first organs was built for the Wesley Foundation there in ...

Article

James B. Kopp

(b Apeldoorn, Netherlands, Oct 8, 1945). Dutch maker of bagpipes and other historical woodwind instruments. Largely self-taught as a maker, he fashioned instruments from household objects (cigar-box lutes, flutes from electrical conduit, etc.) from the age of six. His parents sent him at the age of ten to a course of the Dutch Pipers Guild, whose members made simple flutes of natural cane (...

Article

Luis Sanchez

(b Hagerstown, IN, Jan 2, 1927). American fortepiano maker. In 1959 he discovered and later copied an original German square piano by Christian Ernst Frederici (c1758) in Cambridge City, Indiana. In 1965 his copy of this instrument attracted the attention of Scott Odell, conservator of musical instruments at the Smithsonian Institution, who invited Belt to examine and make drawings of the Smithsonian’s fortepiano built by Johann Lodewijk Dulcken (...

Article

Jody Diamond

(b Bay Shore, NY, April 7, 1946). American composer, performer, instrument builder and ethnomusicologist. She received the BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and the MA and PhD from Wesleyan University, where she studied Indonesian and Indian music. She has performed with the ensembles of Philip Glass, Jon Gibson, Alvin Lucier, Philip Corner and Daniel Goode. In ...

Article

Laurence Libin

(b Bronx, NY, Oct 22, 1946). American luthier, notable for handmade archtop jazz guitars. In childhood he learned woodworking from his father, a skilled cabinetmaker, and music from an uncle, a violinist; his grandfather had worked for Steinway & Sons. A visit to the Gretsch guitar factory in Brooklyn fueled his interest in the instrument; he played a Chet Atkins model 6120 guitar from ...

Article

Laurence Libin

(b Madrid, Spain, July 2, 1932). Spanish guitar maker. He became interested in guitar making while studying the classical guitar with Daniel Fortea, a pupil of Tárrega. He was apprenticed in 1954 to Ramírez and rose to become head of that famous workshop, leaving in ...

Article

Laurence Libin

(b Chelsea, London, UK, Dec 20, 1957; d London, UK, Aug 18, 2007). English organ designer and organ historian. He attended Westminster School, Winchester College, and St Chad’s College, Durham University, before beginning work in 1979 for N.P. Mander Ltd. He collaborated with his architect brother Julian on the case for Mander’s organ at Magdalen College, Oxford, completed in ...

Article

Barbara Owen

(b Annapolis, MD, Dec 7, 1946). American organ builder. After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in architecture, he studied organs informally in America and Europe before serving an apprenticeship with John Brombaugh for four years. In 1978 he opened his own workshop in Provo, Utah, to build mechanical-action organs based on historical northern European tonal principles, and in ...

Article

Allison A. Alcorn

(b Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey, UK, March 14, 1940). English dealer in musical instruments, rare music books, music iconography, and related ephemera. After leaving school at the age of 16, Bingham trained as a quantity surveyor and opened his own surveying business in 1961, about the same time he began dealing in general antiques. He had a partnership in a musical instrument business for one year until ...

Article

Jonathan Santa Maria Bouquet

(b Soresina, Italy, April 2, 1929). Italian violin maker. Bissolotti was trained initially as a woodcarver and engraver in Castelleone, and subsequently learned marquetry and cabinetmaking in Cantù. He attended the Scuola Internazionale di Liuteria di Cremona (S.I.L.C.) from 1957 to 1961 and studied with Pietro Sgarabotto, Giuseppe Ornati, Luigi Galimberti, and Simone Fernando Sacconi. Shortly after graduating Bissolotti opened his own workshop in Cremona, constructing mainly violins and occasionally other string instruments including lutes and guitars. Sacconi shared Bissolotti’s workshop most summers from ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Synthesizer module manufacturer founded by John Blacet (b 1946) in 1978 as Blacet Music Research in Lakeview, Oregon. Blacet initially made kits for analogue modules including a digital pattern generator, a voltage-controlled clock with event arranger, a phase filter, and a frequency divider, followed by analogue delay modules, the ‘Dark Star’ (a mini noise module) and the ‘Syn-bow’, a self-contained wand-controlled synthesizer. With the popularity of digital synthesizers in the 1980s Blacet’s business plummeted, but renewed interest in analogue synthesis in the 1990s enabled him to produce a full line of kit and assembled analogue synthesizer modules in the Frac format. These modules are noted for fitting a large amount of functionality into very small modules. In spring ...

Article

(b Springfield, MA, June 13, 1965). American composer, performer, and instrument maker, based in Oakland, California. She holds the BA in Computer Science and Music from Dartmouth College (1987) and MA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College (...

Article

David Lasocki

(b Haddington, Scotland, July 3, 1943). French recorder maker. He settled with his English father and French mother in France in 1960. He graduated with a gold medal from the recorder class at Lille Conservatoire in 1975, then taught himself recorder making with help from Friedrich von Huene and Claude Monin as well as woodworkers near Lille. In ...

Article

Laurence Libin

Registered trademark for sets of tuned percussion tubes. The tubes, made of coloured, radially flexible plastic, are of graduated length and pitch and produce sounds when hit against surfaces (including the human body), against one another, or by striking the tubes with mallets. An optional cap fitted to a tube lowers its pitch one octave; caps on both ends allow a tube to enclose rattling pellets. The descriptive name (‘boom’ plus ‘whacker’) was coined by Craig Ramsell, who invented the instruments in California in ...

Article

Geoffrey Burgess

American makers of historic oboes. The craftsman Jonathan Bosworth (b Ithaca, NY, 18 June 1938) and oboist Stephen Hammer (b Rochester, NY, 14 April 1951) worked in partnership copying historical double-reed instruments from 1975 to 2002. Their first copy was of an oboe by Thomas Stanesby Sr, then in the possession of Dr Robert M. Rosenbaum. This was followed by copies of oboes by various 18th-century makers, including Thomas Stanesby Jr, J. Denner, Charles Bizey, William Milhouse, C.A., Heinrich Grenser, and J.F. Floth; oboes d’amore by Denner and J.H. Eichentopf; an oboe da caccia by Eichentopf; a tenor oboe by J.C. Denner; and shawms after anonymous specimens (in ...