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Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume

A piano played automatically by a pinned barrel or cylinder. In the form made in London by William Rolfe (from 1829) and others, an ordinary piano was augmented by a pinned wooden cylinder placed inside the case under the keyboard. This barrel was provided with a mechanical keyframe and a series of linkages or stickers which extend behind the soundboard to the top of the piano and operate an additional set of hammers which strike the strings through a gap in the soundboard. The barrel is turned by a clockwork motor driven by a heavy weight which is wound up to the top of the case. (For an illustration ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

(bap. London, England, Jan 1, 1685; d London, England, by 1735). English spinet and harpsichord maker. His father, also Thomas, was a butcher. He was apprenticed to Stephen Keene from 1 Aug 1699 for seven years and his initials (TB) appear in a Keene spinet of ...

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Anne Beetem Acker

(fl c1780–90). French keyboard instrument maker. Little is known about him; possibly he was related to the harpsichord builder Jean Bas of Marseille. A grand piano (1781, US.V.n) by Louis Bas, the earliest known French grand (excepting Johann Heinrich Silbermann’s from Strasbourg), is inscribed ‘Villeneuve lès Avignon’ on its interior. Inscriptions on two spinets seem to indicate that he worked in Marseille in ...

Article

An organ stop with flue pipes.

Article

David Rowland

Name given to a strip of parchment or silk which is made to buzz against the bass strings of the piano by means of a handstop, knee lever or pedal. It was first used towards the end of the 18th century and continued to be popular on the Continent until about ...

Article

Bätz  

Barbara Owen and Adri de Groot

Firm of organ builders of German origin, active in the Netherlands. The first organ builder of the family was Johann Heinrich Hartmann Bätz (b Frankenroda, nr Eisenach, 1 January, 1709; d Utrecht, 13 December 1770). Having learned cabinet making, Johann Heinrich was apprenticed to the organ builder J.C. Thielemann in Gotha for four years starting in ...

Article

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

Anne Beetem Acker

Australian piano firm founded by Octavius Beale (b Mountmellick, Co. Laois, Ireland, 23 Feb 1850; d Stroud, New South Wales, Australia, 16 Dec 1930). Beale came to Australia with his family in 1854. Having been sent back to Ireland for schooling, he returned and was working in a hardware store in Melbourne at age 16. Later he became a partner with Hugo Wertheim in a hardware business that imported sewing machines and German upright pianos. In ...

Article

Beard  

Device for modifying and stabilizing the speech of narrow-scaled flue pipes in organs. It is usually a cylindrical dowel positioned between the ears flanking the mouth, or a bar connecting the ears at the bottom. It acts passively on the flow of wind past the languid. A type of beard known as ...

Article

Cyril Ehrlich

German firm of piano makers. Friedrich Wilhelm Carl Bechstein (d Gotha, 1 June 1826; d Berlin, 6 March 1900), who founded the firm in 1853 in Berlin, served his apprenticeship with the Perau firm in Berlin, becoming foreman at the age of 22. He left in ...

Article

Beck  

Hans Klotz

German family of organ builders. Hans Beck (fl Grossenhain, 1514–57) built organs in Halle (1514–17, 1539), Delitzsch (1520) and Oschatz (1555). No organs by by his eldest son, Anton Beck (d Halle, 1563), are known to survive. Esaias Beck (...

Article

Margaret Cranmer

Russian firm of piano makers. Jakob Becker (Yakov Davidovich Bekker) (b Neustadt an der Haardt; d St Petersburg, 1879) founded a small workshop in St Petersburg in 1841, which was taken over by his brother Franz Davidovich 20 years later. The Russian piano industry developed later and on a smaller scale than the European, and several Germans played a large part in establishing the industry at St Petersburg. Becker became one of the best and most successful piano manufacturers, although its output was lower than that of contemporary English, American or German firms, producing 200 pianos in ...

Article

William Drabkin, Joseph Kerman and Alan Tyson

Reviser Douglas Johnson and Scott G. Burnham

(b Bonn, bap. Dec 17, 1770; d Vienna, March 26, 1827).German composer. His early achievements, as composer and performer, show him to be extending the Viennese Classical tradition that he had inherited from Mozart and Haydn. As personal affliction – deafness, and the inability to enter into happy personal relationships – loomed larger, he began to compose in an increasingly individual musical style, and at the end of his life he wrote his most sublime and profound works. From his success at combining tradition and exploration and personal expression, he came to be regarded as the dominant musical figure of the 19th century, and scarcely any significant composer since his time has escaped his influence or failed to acknowledge it. For the respect his works have commanded of musicians, and the popularity they have enjoyed among wider audiences, he is probably the most admired composer in the history of Western music....

Article

Obscure keyboard instrument, presumably a type of piano, invented by the mechanic, inventor, and historian Johann Christian Jürgensen (1744–1823) of Schleswig; it was intended to combine the sounds of several earlier stringed keyboard instruments. Jürgensen reportedly kept its working secret and made few examples....

Article

A mechanical instrument built by Johann Gottfried Kaufmann and his son Friedrich of Dresden about 1805. It sounded a trumpet fanfare by means of 24 free reeds (reportedly with resonators in the form of ‘reversed trumpets’) which could be played piano or forte; a crescendo and flourishes could be obtained on two connected kettledrums. A model that played all the regimental marches of the Prussian cavalry was built for the King of Prussia....

Article

Bellows  

Martin Renshaw

Properly speaking, the bellows of an organ or a harmonium supply wind directly to the soundboards (see Wind-chest), their own capacity being the only storage of wind against a large demand. Because at least two rectangular bellows are needed to wind an organ they have been called ‘a pair of bellows’. Wind is driven by the bellows' weighting (stone or lead weights, or a person standing on them) directly through wind-trunks into the pallet-boxes of the various soundboards; without an intervening reservoir to store and regulate the air, the resulting pressure may fluctuate....

Article

On a piano or harpsichord, the transverse, wooden brace that supports the front edge of the soundboard.

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Ned Quist and Linda L. Giedl

(b Hamm, Germany, Sept 27, 1909; d Aurora, CO, May 28, 2002). Composer, musicologist, conductor, and pianist of German birth; naturalized American. Born Artur Schlossberg, he grew up in an orthodox Jewish family. After the Schlossbergs moved to Mannheim in 1919, he was introduced to German organ and choral literature by Arno Landmann, first Kantor (...

Article

Nicholas Thistlethwaite

English firm of organ builders. It was founded about 1794 by Henry Bevington, who had worked as a journeyman for Robert Gray (see Gray & Davison before establishing his own business in Greek Street, Soho, London. Bevington took over John Snetzler's old premises in Rose Yard (used by Ohrmann & Nutt after Snetzler's time) a few years later. He was succeeded by his four sons, Henry (...

Article

Laurence Libin

(bc1730; d London, UK, Jan 2, 1804). English piano maker, possibly of German origin. During the 1750s he worked as an organ builder in St Pancras parish, London; he married in Soho in 1760. His workshop, established in 1768 on Compton Street, Soho (very near the premises of Frederick Neubauer, who advertised pianos for sale in ...