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Leonard Burkat

revised by Pamela Fox

Before American independence almost all musical instruments used in Boston had been imported from England and later from the Continent; but by the mid-19th century Boston was exporting instruments to Europe and South America. Collections are owned by the Boston Public Library, the Boston SO, Boston University, Harvard University, the Museum of Fine Arts and the New England Conservatory.

The first organ in New England, probably the second in the Colonies, was installed in the home of Thomas Brattle by 1711, and the first locally built organ was left unfinished by Edward Bromfield. A contemporary report of the period 1810–15 said that only six Boston churches then had organs. Among early organ builders were William Goodrich, the firms of Hayts, Babcock & Appleton and Hook & Hastings, and John Rowe. In 1854 a successful organ business was begun by Henry L. Mason and Emmons Hamlin, with financial backing from Lowell Mason and Oliver Ditson. Its products became well known in Europe, and its profits helped to finance the manufacture of the fine Mason & Hamlin pianos, begun in ...

Article

Christian H. Hoyer

A town near Nuremberg, Germany, known as an important centre of musical instrument manufacture. The imperial city of Nuremberg held a strong position in instrument making from the Middle Ages until the 18th century. Production revived after World War II when instrument makers from Czechoslovakia were resettled in the area. The community council of Bubenreuth—then a village of fewer than 500 inhabitants—decided in October 1949 that about 2000 displaced luthiers, bow and part makers, string spinners, tonewood dealers, lacquer and rosin producers, and instrument manufacturers from Schoenbach would be allowed to resettle there in the following ten years. Schoenbach, along with Graslitz, Markneukirchen, and Klingenthal, was formerly part of the Saxon-Bohemian ‘musical corner’ (Musikwinkel).

Thus, Bubenreuth was transformed from a farming village into a centre of German string instrument making, especially of violins, lutes, mandolins, banjos, zithers, and guitars of all kinds (classical, Western, archtop, semi-acoustic, and electric). Among companies and luthiers active there have been Dörfler, Framus, Glassl, Hanika, Hannabach, Hirsch, Höfner, Hoyer, Klier, Mettal, Paesold, Placht, Pyramid, Roth, Sandner, Schuster, Teller, and Wilfer....

Article

Enrico Weller

German town famous for instrument production since the mid-17th century. It was named Neukirchen until 1858. Instrument making first developed there when Bohemian luthiers began settling in the area (Vogtland) as a consequence of the Counter-Reformation. A guild of violin makers was founded in 1677; a violin, a cittern, and a viola da gamba were at first required as masterpieces. Early violin making in the Vogtland was characterized by free-form construction (without use of an inside mould) and an integral neck and upper block. The various violin workshops (Ficker, Gläsel, Hamm, Heberlein, Reichel, Schönfelder, Voigt, etc.) had individual styles, but Italian stylistic influence became evident from about 1800 to 1840.

In the mid-19th century, specialized division of labour led to mass-production of violin bodies and parts by means of cottage industry. Inexpensive violins were manufactured (often more than 100,000 instruments per year) until the 1930s. Between 1906 and 1930 a joint-stock (cooperative) company for violin making existed....