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Article

Lynda Sayce

(d Nuremberg, Dec 4, 1521). German lute maker. He was active at Nuremberg in 1465 and became well known for his instruments in France as well as in Germany. In 1469 Charles the Bold of Burgundy bought three of his lutes for players at his court. Gerle lived at one time in the Kotgasse in Nuremberg, and moved from there to the Breitengasse in ...

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Denzil Wraight

(fl c1521). Italian harpsichord maker. A ‘Jerome of Bologna’ was referred to by Michel Corrette in Le maître de clavecin (Paris, 1753), but otherwise little is known of this maker who worked in Rome. His only known harpsichord, dated 1521, is now at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It was held to be the oldest surviving harpsichord, which distinction has passed to an instrument of ...

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Hybrid  

Laurence Libin

Instrument that combines in one unit essential features of two or more different instruments. Produced since the Renaissance if not earlier, hybrids can offer unusual performance capabilities, although many have been created only for novelty purposes, for reasons of economy and convenience, or to demonstrate their makers’ ingenuity. Modern examples include the unique Bassoforte (incorporating parts of an electric bass guitar and a piano) and Experibass (assembled from parts of various bowed instruments) built by the composer Diego Stocco for his own use....

Article

Herbert Heyde

This article discusses trends in organizing the production of European instruments from the 15th century to the mid-19th.

During the 15th century European instrument making entered a new phase with the rise of polyphonic instrumental music. Previously, folk and minstrel instruments had been made mostly by the players themselves. The intricacies of polyphonic music and the social context in which sophisticated instruments such as clavichords, trombones, lutes, and viols were played demanded craft refinement and specialization. The professional traditions of organ building and bell founding provided precedents upon which the new branches of trade could build. While the production of folk instruments continued as it had previously, the new, commercial approach to instrument making gradually evolved into two major forms, which were first observable in the processes of both bell founding and organ building. These forms were small craft-workshops and entrepreneurial businesses. These two forms sometimes intersected; small workshops would sometimes grow and develop into entrepreneurial businesses....

Article

Jantar  

Philippe Bruguière and Genevieve Dournon

(1) Sanskrit word yantra means ‘any instrument or apparatus’. The musical term jantra appears in the 15th-century Kallināth’s commentary of Sangītaratnākara as the popular name of the tritantrī vīnā, a vīnā mentioned two centuries earlier by Sarngadeva and likely to belong to the tube zither family. The ...

Article

Wolfgang Boetticher

(b Schwäbisch Gmünd, c1445–50; d Vienna, early March 1526). German lutenist, composer and probably lute maker. His family came from Württemberg; his father may have been one Hartmann Judenkünig. He is first recorded in 1518 as a lutenist in the Corpus Christi confraternity at the Stephansdom in Vienna; he had probably already been working as a musician there for some time, and he lived in the oldest quarter of Vienna in a house called the ‘Gundlachhaus’, later celebrated under the name of ‘Köllnerhof’ as a centre for musicians and merchants. Although he was not a member of the nobility, his prominent position as a citizen is indicated by a coat of arms depicting a string player, which appeared in both his books; both books also include a full-page woodcut showing a bearded lutenist (probably Judenkünig himself), together with a pupil playing a large viol. Judenkünig was in contact with the learned humanistic community of Vienna: he arranged some of the odes of Petrus Tritonius, and he seems also to have been familiar with the ideals of the poetic-mathematical circle around Conrad Celtis. His date of death at an advanced age was recorded in the margin of one copy of his ...

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(b Breslau, c1425; d ?Schweidnitz, Silesia, after Feb 4, 1499). German organ builder. He was initially apprenticed to a carpenter called Nickel; it is not known who taught him organ building. By 1460 he was considered an ‘egregius magister in ista arte’. He was active in a wide geographical area extending from Silesia to Saxony, Thuringia, Franconia and Swabia far into southern Germany. Like many leading organ builders of the second half of the 15th century (such as Heinrich Traxdorf, Leonhard Mertz, Burkhart Dinstlinger, Friedrich Krebs and Hans Tugi) he was well-travelled. His organs are characterized by the use of independent divisions and stops (...

Article

(b Schalkhausen, nr Ansbach; d Strasbourg, 1493). German organ builder. He was active in Franconia from 1471 until his death. New organs or restorations are known for the churches of St Sebaldus, Nuremberg (small organ 1471; large organ 1481), St Martin, Amberg (...

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Denzil Wraight

(d 1517). Italian instrument maker who worked in Venice. He is known both through an organ with paper pipes of 1494 and his correspondence with Isabella d'Este, a customer and patron who commissioned a virginal (clavicordio) from Lorenzo in 1496. This instrument is probably the one depicted in an intarsia in Isabella's ...

Article

Hans Klotz

(b Delft, ?c1400; d Delft, 1480). Netherlandish organ builder . He may have learnt his trade from the Delft organ builders Godschalk and Jannes. In 1446 he was granted, as an organ builder, the freedom of the city of Bruges. In 1472 he was in Tournai, and was also in Lille as a surveyor. He was patron of a prebend at St Pancraskerk, Leiden, and in ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

(b Vienna, Austria, 1370; d Nuremberg, Germany, 1401). Viennese physician, medical astrologer, organist, and presumed harpsichord maker. The earliest dated reference to what might be a harpsichord is in a letter from Padua of 1397 that names Hermann Poll as its inventor. Poll earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Vienna between ...

Article

Denzil Wraight

(b 1499–1506; fl 1530–64). Italian maker of keyboard instruments. Active in Verona, he is known from four signed and dated virginals (1532, 1556, 1558 and 1564). A further three virginals and one harpsichord have been attributed to him (see Wraight) and he is linked with two other harpsichords. He is also known to have worked on the organ of S Maria in Organo, Verona, in ...

Article

Umberto Pineschi

( b Prato, 1417; d Napoli, 1492). Italian organ builder . He was the foremost member of the important 15th-century Tuscan school of organ building centred in Prato (another notable member was Matteo da Prato). His organs include those built for S Agostino and S Maria della Scala, both in Siena (before ...

Article

Lute maker. He was active in Bologna in the late 15th century and early 16th. See under Maler .

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Organ builder. See under Suisse.

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(fl Mainz, c1440–44). German organ builder. He built three organs in Nuremberg between 1440 and 1443: the large organ for St Sebaldus (the modified case was destroyed in 1945) and two (medium and small) for the Frauenkirche. In 1444 he made an organ with ...

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(b Basle, c1460; d Basle, summer 1519). Swiss organ builder. He was the son of a Basle gunsmith and matriculated at Basle University, 1476–7. By about 1500 he was one of the most important organ builders in Switzerland and south-west Germany. He appears to have worked in Mantua Cathedral in ...

Article

Guy Oldham and Stephen Bicknell

(fl Oxford, 1483–9). English organ builder . In 1486 he constructed a ‘pair of organs’ (i.e. an organ) for the chapel of Magdalen College, Oxford for the sum of £28, and in 1488 repaired it for 40s. In 1487 he entered into an agreement with R. Fitzjames, warden of Merton College, to make a similar instrument, also for £28. According to the late 17th-century antiquary Anthony Wood, who believed that Wotton's first name was William, he was the father of Lambert Simnel, pretender to the English throne in ...