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Andrew Porter

A translation of Wagner’s ‘Handlung für Musik’, his designation of the Lohengrin libretto, used by French Wagnerians (e.g. d’Indy, on the title-pages of his Fervaa and L’étranger) to suggest something more elevated than a mere opera.

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Action of a modern grand piano: on pressing the key the movement is transmitted via the pilot to the intermediate lever; the jack then acts on the roller of the hammer which rises towards the string. The moment the backward projection of the jack contacts the set-off button the jack moves back permitting the hammer to escape and to continue in free flight to strike the string and then begin its descent; it is then caught and retained by the check and repetition lever as long as the key remains depressed. If the key is partly released the hammer is freed from the check, and the roller is acted on directly by the repetition lever; it is thus possible to strike the key again by depressing the key a second time (the jack will re-engage with the roller only when the key has been fully released so that a full hammer stroke may be made)...

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Action of a modern upright piano: the movement of the key is transmitted directly to the jack which in rising pushes the hammer forward towards the string until the backward projection of the jack reaches the set-off screw, thus allowing the jack to escape and the hammer to fall back from the string to be caught by the check; the return of the hammer is assisted by the tape which is so adjusted to jerk the hammer away from the string at the moment of impact...

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Action of a piano by Bartolomeo Cristofori, 1726 (shown in fig.2)

Article

Stefano Zenni

(b Turin, Italy, March 21, 1952). Italian tenor and baritone saxophonist, bass clarinetist, and leader. He first played jazz in the Turin area in the early 1970s. In 1974 he was a founding member, with the guitarist Claudio Lodati, the double bass player Enrico Fazio, and the drummer Fiorenzo Sordini, of the quartet Art Studio, for which all four members provide compositions and arrangements; the group plays throughout Europe in a style mixing free improvisation techniques, extended forms, and contrapuntal work. In ...

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Francesco Bussi

(b Naples, Aug 25, 1829; d Portici, nr Naples, Feb 2, 1909). Italian composer and pianist. He studied the piano and composition in his native town, where he spent his entire life. His prolific output of fluently written, light and brilliant pieces (more than 400 works) won great success with the conventional middle class in Naples, which was culturally behind the times and inclined towards the flimsy, often frivolous genre of salon pieces: Acton's works became an indispensable part of the piano repertory of all daughters ‘of good family’ in Bourbon Naples. An amiable figure but of little distinction, he had no following of his own as a teacher, unlike his Neapolitan colleagues Costantino Palumbo and Alfonso Rendano....

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Opera by Minoru Miki; see Ada .

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Record label, established in 1920, on which Pathé first issued lateral-cut discs in the USA; the company began using the name in other countries the following year.

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Howard E. Smither

A term used from the mid-17th century to the early 18th in Protestant Germany, particularly in the areas of Saxony and Thuringia, for sacred dramatic compositions based on biblical stories. The actus musicus is similar in function and general structure to the Lutheran historia, that is, both were performed within the context of the liturgy and both are musical and textual elaborations of a biblical story. The ...

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Liz Thomson

(b Maynardville, TN, Sept 15, 1903; d Nashville, TN, Nov 23, 1992). American country singer-songwriter and publisher. He was first influenced by traditional music heard at home, much of it British, and by music at the church where his father was the pastor. His Southern Baptist heritage became evident in the mournful, wailing style of his vocals. A keen sportsman, he was denied a professional athletic career through ill-health, but learnt to play his father’s fiddle. His early career was in so-called medicine shows, and radio appearances with local musicians led to the formation of his first group, the Tennessee Crackerjacks. His first record followed in ...

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Catherine Collins and Barry Kernfeld

(bPativilca, Peru, Dec 12, 1944). Peruviandrummer and percussionist. He learned trumpet and piano with his father, but was self-taught as a drummer. At the age of 16 he became a studio musician in Lima and in 1964 he was engaged by the dance-band leader Perez Prado to work in Las Vegas. From ...

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David Fuller

Used in titles, particularly in the later 18th century, to indicate that one or more instruments may be left out, e.g. Tapray: Simphonie concertante pour le clavecin et le piano-forte avec orchestre ad libitum (1783), and in scores, as a direction to the player to improvise or ornament. Handel's Organ Concertos op.7 furnish several examples: embellishment of a written line (no.2, Overture), elaboration of a fermata (same movement), continuation of a solo passage (no.1, first movement), improvisation of an adagio on a harmonic skeleton (no.5), and improvisation of a whole movement ...

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Ada  

Masakata Kanazawa

Opera in two acts by Minoru Miki to a libretto by James Kirkup after Otokichi Mikami; London, Old Vic, 5 October 1979.

In a Zen monastery, Yukinojō (tenor), once a popular kabuki actor specializing in female roles, reminisces over his past with remorse, seeing a vision of his beloved Namiji (soprano). He was destined to avenge his parents’ death by killing Lord Dobe (bass), a corrupt magistrate, and his henchman Kawaguchiya (tenor). He accomplished the deed successfully and also caused the downfall of Hiromiya (bass), a dishonest rice dealer, but it was done at the price of the life of Namiji, Lord Dobe’s daughter, promised to the Shogun (tenor). The music consists principally of declamatory solo singing with few ensembles, and exploits the tone colours of individual instruments. The orchestra is small and includes three Japanese instruments: koto, shamisen and percussion. The writing is spare but dramatically effective. At the première the role of Yukinojō was performed by two artists: a singer and a dancer....

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David Fallows

A tempo designation suggesting something more lighthearted than Adagio as in Poulenc’s Les biches and Stravinsky's Piano Sonata (1924). But its most famous use is in Mahler's Fifth Symphony, where the fourth movement, for strings and harp, has the title Adagietto and the tempo designation ...

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Adagio  

David Fallows

A tempo designation whose meaning has changed substantially over the years. Early forms of the word in musical scores include adaggio (Monteverdi, 1610; Cavalli, L’Elena, 1659) and adasio (Frescobaldi, 1635; Erasmus Kindermann, 1639). In the 18th and 19th centuries it was often abbreviated to ...

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Lars Westin

(b Spånga, Sweden, April 18, 1945). Swedish trumpeter, composer, and leader. He started playing in amateur bands around Stockholm while in his teens and worked towards a career as a lawyer before becoming a full-time musician in 1972, upon the formation of the group Egba; he eventually became the leader of the band and the main contributor of compositions to its repertory. Egba’s music combined jazz-rock with African and Latin rhythms and melodies, though its last album (it disbanded in ...

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Geoffrey Chew

(b ?Libice, Bohemia, c956; d nr Danzig [now Gdańsk], April 23, 997). Czech bishop, missionary, martyr, and saint. He belonged to the powerful Slavník family and was baptized Vojtěch, taking the name Adalbert at his confirmation. Educated at Magdeburg, he was consecrated Bishop of Prague in 983. Owing to opposition he twice resigned the see and travelled to Rome, returning each time to Prague. In Italy he became a Benedictine (989) and visited Monte Cassino; he founded the first Benedictine houses in Bohemia (Břevnov, 993) and Poland (Międzyrzecz, ...

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T.M. Scruggs

(b Danlí, 1872; d Tegucigalpa, 1947). Honduran composer and concert bandleader. He studied at the Honduran National Conservatory and was active as an organist in Guatemala City and in Danlí. Trained also as a civil engineer, he invented an organ of bamboo pipes he named the ...

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José López-Calo

(b La Coruña, Aug 24, 1826; d Lóngora, nr La Coruña, Oct 16, 1881). Spanish composer. He studied the piano with Moscheles in London from 1840 to 1844, and possibly also had lessons from Chopin in Paris. On his return to Spain he lived in La Coruña and Madrid, where some of his compositions were performed, and then at his palace of Lóngora, where he dedicated himself wholly to composition. The influence of Moscheles and, particularly, Chopin was decisive throughout his creative life. He composed one opera, ...

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Adam  

Tom R. Ward and David Fallows

(fl 1420–30). Composer, possibly French. His three rondeaux, Au temps vendra, Au grief hermitage and Tout a caup, were copied into the manuscript GB-Ob Can.misc.213 soon after 1430 (all ed. in CMM, xi/2, 1959). He could be identifiable with Adam Fabri, clerc de matines...