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Gavin Borchert

(b Kane, PA, Feb 25, 1938; d Rhinebeck, NY, Oct 22, 2009).American composer, performer and multimedia artist. She studied composition with Rochberg at the University of Pennsylvania (BFA 1964) and with Stockhausen. A concern for physical space pervades her music, best exemplified by three ongoing multimedia installation projects. In ...

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Mark Hoffman

(b Hanau, June 20, 1839; d Hanau, Jan 13, 1900). German acoustician, son of Georg Appunn. At the Leipzig Conservatory he continued the acoustical experiments of his father, especially the determination of vibration ratios of very high tones by optical means, and constructed fine acoustic apparatus. He devised a new shape for the glockenspiel, with right-angled metal rods in a circular arrangement and a metal half-sphere above as a resonator....

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(b Hanau, Sept 1, 1816; d Hanau, Jan 14, 1888). German musical theorist and acoustician. He studied theory with Anton André and Schnyder von Wartensee, the piano with Suppus and Alois Schmitt, the organ with Rinck and the cello with Mangold. He became a well-rounded musician who could play almost every instrument. Until ...

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Carmen Helena Téllez and Juan Orrego-Salas

(b Santiago, July 20, 1933). Chilean composer and electro-acoustic engineer. He studied at the National Conservatory in Santiago with Urrutia-Blondel (1947–56), at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik with Blacher (1959–60) and at the Badische Hochschule für Musik with Wildberger. Simultaneously he studied engineering at the Catholic University in Santiago (...

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Murray Campbell

(b Portland, OR, April 29, 1911; d Los Angeles, Oct 28, 1988). American acoustician. After studying at Reed College, Portland (BA 1932), he undertook postgraduate study at the University of California in Berkeley (MA 1936, PhD 1940). His early research work was in nuclear physics, working under the supervision of Ernest Lawrence in the Radiation Laboratory at Berkeley. In ...

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Jon Newsom

(b Chambersburg, PA, March 31, 1897; d Homestead, PA, Jan 4, 1970). American acoustician, musicologist and composer. He taught himself the piano and the organ and studied at Dickinson College, Pennsylvania (1914–18); after graduating he worked as organist and mathematics teacher at the Haverford School in Pennsylvania (...

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R.W.B. Stephens and Clive Greated

(b Budapest, June 3, 1899; d Cambridge, MA, June 13, 1972). Hungarian acoustician. He studied at the universities of Berne and Budapest, where he took the PhD (1923). He taught at the University of Budapest until 1947, and was engaged in research with the Hungarian telephone service concerning the mechanical behaviour of the ear, work which led to a revision of the theory of hearing. He later worked on physiological acoustics at Harvard University, and is the only acoustician to have obtained a Nobel Prize. Békésy studied the acoustics of the ear, sometimes by direct microscopic observation through tiny holes bored into the bony wall of the cochlea. He made fundamental discoveries about the operation of the inner ear and the way in which it responds to complex sounds; these discoveries are described with great lucidity in his book ...

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David J. Hough

(b Adrian, MI, April 27, 1893; d New York, May 8, 1958). American stage designer. He studied briefly at the Cleveland School of Art, but had no formal education after the age of 16. His first wife, Helen Belle Sneider, became his collaborator, and ‘Norman-Bel-Geddes’ was their ...

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Murray Campbell

(b Chicago, Jan 2, 1925; d Cleveland, Aug 4, 1987). American acoustician. His parents being missionaries, he spent much of his childhood in Lahore. After returning to the USA to study at Washington University, St Louis (AB 1948, PhD 1952), Benade was appointed in ...

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Murray Campbell

(b Solon, IA, Sept 15, 1914). American acoustician. He gained his BS after studying at Cornell College, Iowa, and subsequently gained his doctorate under the supervision of F.V. Hunt. During the Second World War Beranek worked in the Cruft Acoustics Laboratory at Harvard University and later at the MIT. In ...

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Bryan S. Wright

(b Hanover, Germany, May 20, 1851; d Washington, DC, Aug 3, 1929). Inventor of German birth. He graduated from the Samsonschule in Wolfenbüttel at age 14 and immigrated at 18 to the United States, working odd jobs in Washington, DC, Milwaukee, and New York City. Despite limited formal scientific education, Berliner pursued his interest in electricity and acoustics and in ...

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Malcolm Turner

(b Bautzen, June 18, 1870; d Bautzen, Jan 4, 1941). German acoustician. After studying at the Dresden Conservatory he became Stadtkantor at Bautzen from 1898 to 1914 (from 1908 with the title of director of church music), where he organized music festivals in ...

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E.D. Mackerness

(b London, July 13, 1846; d London, Dec 29, 1936). English acoustician. He was principally noted for his design and manufacture of wind instruments. He had a long career with the firm of Boosey & Hawkes and when Boosey’s took over the business of Henry Distin in ...

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Hugh Davies

(b Hamburg, Germany, Oct 19, 1909; d ?North Tonawanda, NY, Jan 15, 1987). American designer of electronic instruments and equipment, of German birth. He studied at the University of Hamburg and the Heinrich-Hertz Institut of the Technische Hochschule in Berlin. He pioneered techniques that are now common in synthesizers and other electronic instruments, both to imitate existing instruments and to generate new sounds. He is credited with developing the first modular synthesizer/processor....

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Murray Campbell

(b Paris, Nov 16, 1866; d Toulouse, Nov 15, 1953). French physicist and acoustician. He studied physics at the Sorbonne (1883) and at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (1885–8). After teaching at the Collège de France and the Lycée at Agen, in ...

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Murray Campbell

(b London, August 26, 1933). English physicist and acoustician. He obtained a BSc in physics from Imperial College, London, later gaining the doctorate there with research into high-amplitude stress waves. After holding a research fellowship at the electronic music laboratory of the Canadian National Research Council in Ottawa, he worked for five years in the acoustics section of the UK National Physical Laboratory, where he carried out research on the psycho-acoustic perception of short duration and very low frequency sounds. In ...

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Manfred Boetzkes

(b Florence, c1531; d Florence, June 6, 1608). Italian architect, stage designer, engineer and painter. He studied with Vasari and in 1574 succeeded him as director of all the elaborate productions staged at the Florentine court; the theatre that he built in ...

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Manfred Boetzkes

(b ?Cesena, c1605; d Vienna, July 21, 1655). Italian stage designer and architect. His first known works as an artist were the tournament theatre and stage designs for Marazzoli’s Le pretensioni del Tebro e del Po (1642, Ferrara). These show the influence of Alfonso Rivarola (‘il Chenda’), whose pupil he may have been and whom he may have succeeded as stage designer and engineer at the Teatro SS Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, about ...

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(b Mount Zion, IA, 1867; d New York, NY, April 12, 1934). American inventor of the Telharmonium , an electromechanical keyboard instrument.

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C. Truesdell and Clive Greated

(b Wittenberg, Nov 30, 1756; d Breslau [now Wrocław], April 3, 1827). German acoustician. He studied law at Leipzig University before turning to scientific studies. He invented two instruments, the ‘euphon’ and the ‘klavizylinder’, both of which were variants of the glass harmonica. However, he owes his fame to his celebrated experiments on the nodal patterns and corresponding frequencies of vibration plates. He showed that the vibration patterns, often called Chladni figures, could be made visible by sprinkling sand on the plate. The sand is thrown up on vibrating areas and collects around nodal lines. Chladni travelled through Europe playing on his instruments and demonstrating his experiments before many persons and institutions; he encountered Goethe, Lichtenberg, Olbers, Laplace, Napoleon and other notable men of the period. Chladni's experiments stimulated much early work on the vibration of plates and bars and indeed so impressed the Académie des Sciences, Paris, that it offered a prize for a successful explanation of his sand figures and the motion of elastic surfaces in general. His work helped to form the foundation of modern theories, capable of predicting precise vibration patterns for violin and guitar top plates and the soundboards of keyboard instruments....