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Article

Barbara Owen

American organ building firm. It was formed in 1931 when the firm of Ernest M(artin) Skinner & Co. acquired the organ department of the Aeolian Co., which had made its reputation building organs with self-playing mechanisms for private houses, changing its name to Aeolian-Skinner. In 1933 there was a reorganization in which G(eorge) Donald Harrison, who had joined Skinner in 1927, became technical director and Skinner’s activities were curtailed. In the same year Skinner, after increasing disagreement with Harrison over tonal matters, began a new company in Methuen, Massachusetts, with his son, Richmond, who had purchased the former Methuen Organ Co. factory and Serlo Hall the previous year.

During the 1930s the Aeolian-Skinner Co. continued to rise in popularity, and in 1940 Harrison became president, succeeding Arthur Hudson Marks (1874–1939), a wealthy businessman who had become its owner and president in 1919. Under Harrison the firm became a leader in the trend away from orchestral tonal practices and towards a more classical sound. It was Harrison who coined the term ‘American Classic’ to refer to this more eclectic type of tonal design. On his death, Joseph S. Whiteford (...

Article

(b Meadow, TN, Oct 24, 1867; d Birmingham, England, Oct 13, 1920). American revivalist and publisher. He attended Maryville College, Tennessee, and the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago; in 1893 he assisted Moody in his revival at the World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago. From 1908 he toured with J. Wilbur Champman through the USA, Great Britain, Australia and missionary areas of East Asia. He was noted for his skill in inspiring a congregation to sing enthusiastically and in conducting large choirs. He published a number of revival songbooks and owned the copyrights of several popular gospel hymns, such as Charles H. Gabriel’s ...

Article

Dorothy C. Pratt

(b Constantinople, 1881; d Chamonix, July 27, 1954). Armenian cellist. He studied with Grützmacher and while a student played chamber music with Brahms and Joachim. At the age of 17 he appeared as the soloist in Strauss's Don Quixote with the composer conducting and scored a triumph; he was then invited to play concertos with Nikisch and Mahler. In 1901 he settled in Paris, where Casals saw some of his fingerings and recognized that Alexanian shared his own, then revolutionary, ideas on technique and interpretation. Many years' collaboration followed, leading to the publication in 1922 of their joint treatise Traité théorique et pratique du violoncelle and in 1929 of Alexanian's analytical edition of the solo cello suites of Bach. Alexanian was professor of the Casals class at the Ecole Normale de Musique from 1921 to 1937, when he left for the USA. His classes in Paris, Baltimore and New York attracted artists and students from all over the world, and his influence extended far beyond his own pupils (among them Maurice Eisenberg and Antonio Janigro) to such cellists as Feuermann, Cassadó, Piatigorsky and Fournier. He was also a conductor of distinction....

Article

Dennis Libby

revised by Emanuele Senici

(b Rome, June 29, 1801; d Rome, June 12, 1863). Italian musicologist and composer. Ordained a Roman priest in 1823, his life was entirely directed towards the deliverance of liturgical music from what he saw as the debased theatrical style of contemporary composers and the neglect and incompetence of singers and organists in regard to Gregorian chant and Renaissance music. He contributed most importantly to this goal through his editions, particularly the Raccolta di musica sacra (Rome, 1841–6), the seven volumes of which provided the first large modern collection of Palestrina's music. Palestrina was Alfieri's ideal for new church music, which, according to his Ristabilimento, should be grave, succinct and suited in expression to the words, which were to be presented clearly and with few repetitions. His own compositions, many of them published at Rome, exemplified these principles.

Alfieri was also a pioneer in Italy in the historical study of Gregorian chant, which he sought to restore to its original purity, although along lines that now appear somewhat arbitrary and subjective. His early ...

Article

Jocelyne Aubé

(b Barcelona, March 27, 1862; d Barcelona, March 31, 1908). Spanish composer, folklorist and music critic. He studied composition with Antonio Nicolau and Anselmo Barba and piano with C.G. Vidiella in Barcelona and was music critic for various journals there, including La renaixensa, L'avenç and, from 1905 to 1908, El poble català. He published his Collecció de 6 melodies per a cant i piano and five Cansons per cant i piano (both Barcelona, 1887), which are settings of poems by Angel Guimerá, Francisco Matheu y Fornells, Apeles Mestres and Jacinto Verdaguer. He illustrated the latter volume himself, and some of his work was displayed at an exhibition of the Sociedad de Acuarelistas in Barcelona. A distinguished folklorist as well as a sensitive composer and skilful melodist, he collected Catalan folksongs and published arrangements of 23 of these in Cansons populars catalanas (Barcelona, 1891). He used native rhythms and melodies in his songs and piano pieces (among them ...

Article

(b Paris, Nov 30, 1813; d Paris, March 29, 1888). French pianist and composer. His real name was Morhange. He was one of the leading piano virtuosos of the 19th century and one of its most unusual composers, remarkable in both technique and imagination, yet largely ignored by his own and succeeding generations.

Of Jewish parentage, Alkan was the eldest of five brothers, all of whom, with an elder sister as well, became musicians under the assumed name Alkan; Napoléon Alkan, the third brother (1826–1910), taught solfège at the Paris Conservatoire for over 50 years. Valentin Alkan’s career at the Conservatoire started brilliantly with a premier prix for solfège at the age of seven. When Alkan was nine Cherubini observed that he was ‘astonishing for his age’ and described his ability on the piano as ‘extraordinary’. He won a premier prix for piano in 1824, for harmony in ...

Article

Article

Elizabeth A. Clendinning

An amusement park is a commercially-operated, outdoor venue that offers games, rides, and other types of entertainment, including music. The amusement park concept originated in the pleasure gardens of 17th-century Europe, which were originally large landscaped outdoor spaces primary devoted to games with a few refreshment stands. Dances and social and instrumental concerts became commonly integrated into these pleasure gardens in the 18th century. (See Pleasure garden.) Another important part of early amusement park soundscapes was the mechanical organ, which was used by street performers as early as the 18th century and was frequently built into carousel rides by the end of the 19th century. Over the course of the 19th century, the popularity of amusement parks skyrocketed, especially in the United States, where large tracts of land were available for development. Bandstands and pavilions devoted explicitly to musical performances were common in the 19th century, in part influenced by the popular World’s Fairs, which were industrial and cultural expositions that featured specific stages devoted to performers from around the world. A change came with the ...

Article

The achievements of Augsburg’s music scribes, engravers, printers and publishers are among the finest in southern Germany. Outstanding music calligraphers, including Leonhard Wagner, wrote splendid manuscripts at the abbey of St Ulrich and St Afra during the 15th and 16th centuries, and at approximately the same time early German music printing culminated in the magnificent choral incunabula of Ratdolt. Music printing with movable type was introduced to Germany by Oeglin, who printed the earliest odes of the German Humanists; Johann Miller, Sigmund Grimm and Marx Wirsung similarly served the Humanist movement. In the mid-16th century Melchior Kriesstein and Philipp Ulhart printed anthologies edited by Salminger. The first large retail stock of printed music in southern Germany was established in Augsburg (with affiliated branches in Vienna and Tübingen) by Georg Willer, who published his first catalogue for the Frankfurt Fair of 1564. The printing houses established by Valentin Schönig and Johannes Praetorius were continued after the Thirty Years War by Andreas Erfurt, J.J. Schönig, J.C. Wagner, Jakob Koppmayer and Andreas Maschenbauer. The booksellers Goebel, Kroniger, Schlüter and Happach and printers Simon Utzschneider, J.M. Labhart, August Sturm and J.K. Bencard further contributed to Augsburg’s active trade in music selling. In the 18th century the Lotter firm assumed a leading role in music publishing as did the music engravers J.F. and J.C. Leopold and the publishers Matthäus Rieger and J.K. Gombart. In ...

Article

John M. Schechter

revised by J. Richard Haefer

(Sp.: mocha, ‘to cut’)

An ensemble of gourd (puro) trumpets of various sizes, used in the Chota river valley of Imbabura and Carchi provinces of Ecuador. Formed in the late 19th century by Afro-Ecuadorians without access to Western military band instruments, the ensemble includes several puros (calabazas) and pencos (cabuyos) along with other instruments. Puros, about 30 to 60 cm long, are made by cutting a rectangular blowhole near the stem end of a dried gourd and opening the distal end to form a sort of bell. Various sizes provide lead, alto, and tenor ranges. Pencos are made of hollow agave stems about 30 cm long and 7 cm in diameter, with a blowhole cut near one end on a side. The similar chile frito, an ensemble of central Guerrero, Mexico, consists of imitation band instruments made of assembled sections of gourds.

C.A. Coba Andrade: ‘Instrumentos musicales ecuatorianos’, ...

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 1884 he moved to Sydney to set up Beale & Co. Ltd, importing pianos labelled ‘Hapsburg Beale’. In 1893, in Sydney, he established the first piano factory in Australia. In 1902 he opened a new factory at 47 Trafalgar St, Annandale, which became the largest piano factory in the southern hemisphere, employing more than 300 skilled workmen by 1907. The firm also made sewing machines and exported veneers.

Beale & Co. emphasised that their pianos were built to withstand hostile climates and kept quality high and costs low through the use of local skilled labour, Australian timbre, and making most components on site. They promoted the tuning stability and longevity of pianos with their ‘all-iron tuning system’, also known as the Beale–Vader tuning system, patented in ...

Article

Laurence Libin

(Delmetia )

(b Coleman County, TX, March 18, 1899; d at sea nr Los Angeles, CA, March 30, 1941). American inventor of musical instruments. He was co-founder of the National Stringed Instrument Corporation and the Rickenbacker guitar company. He played the violin and the lap steel (‘Hawaiian’) guitar in vaudeville before settling in Los Angeles, where he worked with John and Rudy Dopyera to develop an acoustically amplified guitar, probably inspired by Stroh models. An early model with a Victrola horn failed, but trials using conical aluminium resonators within a metal guitar body (a prototype of the three-cone Dobro guitar) proved successful and attracted investors. Production of metal-body guitars under the name National soon involved Adolph Rickenbacker’s nearby tool and die shop.

From the mid-1920s Beauchamp also experimented with electrical amplification of guitars (including lap steel and bass guitars) and violins of unconventional shape, without normal resonators but using simple phonograph pickups. After his collaboration with the Dopyeras ended, in ...

Article

John H. Baron

(b Bennington, VT, 1826; d New Orleans, Oct 28, 1888). American music publisher. He worked as a music teacher in Huntsville, Alabama (1845–52), and Jackson, Louisiana (1852–5). In 1858 he joined E.D. Patton’s music shop in Vicksburg, Mississippi, which he bought out the following year with his younger brother Henry (1831–1909). They moved to New Orleans in 1860, where they operated publishing firms and music shops jointly, separately and often with others. From 1861 to 1866 Henry also ran a shop in Augusta, Georgia. Armand was imprisoned briefly in 1862 by the Union Army for his espousal of the Southern cause; he issued more Confederate music than any other publisher in New Orleans, including one of the earliest editions of Dixie (1861), and The Bonnie Blue Flag (1861) and Maryland! My Maryland! (1862). He frequently arranged or composed music under the pseudonym A. Noir. Blackmar was in San Francisco between ...

Article

Donald W. Krummel

(b England, 1775; d Philadelphia, Feb 20, 1871). American music engraver and publisher. He emigrated to the USA before 1793 and in 1794 began teaching the flute and clarinet. In 1802 he acquired the piano manufactory of John I. Hawkins in Philadelphia, and soon after began to publish and to operate a circulating music library. His production included many American compositions (c1808) and political songs (c1813); an early piracy of Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies (1808–c1825); a serial, Musical Miscellany (from 1815); and the first American edition of Messiah (c1830), along with other major vocal works by Handel. Most numerous among his output, however, were songs of the Philadelphia theatre, based on London publications. Blake also issued typeset opera librettos and engraved tunebooks. He remained active throughout the 1830s, in later years issuing minstrel music and excerpts from Italian opera. At the height of his career (...

Article

Dena J. Epstein

Trade organization founded in New York in 1855 by 27 leading music publishers in reaction to steps taken by the New York firm William Hall & Sons to halve the list prices of noncopyrighted music. The member publishers of the group, which included Oliver Ditson in Boston, S. Brainard & Sons in Cleveland, and Horace Waters in New York, were able to reach a compromise whereby the prices for this music would be reduced by only 20%. The board issued a Complete Catalogue of Sheet Music and Musical Works (1870/R), a comprehensive list of all the works published by its members and the closest the industry had come to producing a list of music in print. After a slow decline, the board held its last meeting in 1895; it was succeeded in the same year by the Music publishers association of the united states . Any allusions to the Music Publishers’ Association of the Music Publishers’ Board of Trade in historical materials published before ...

Article

Enrico Weller

German brass instrument manufacturer in Graslitz (Kraslice), Czech Republic. Births and deaths (below) occurred in Graslitz unless otherwise indicated. The company was founded on 28 July 1870 by Gustav Bohland (b 13 Feb 1825; d 19 March 1886), who was an independent brass instrument maker from 1850, and the merchant Martin Fuchs (b Hirschenstand, 17 March 1830; d 13 March 1893). In 1886 Martin Fuchs became sole owner of the company, followed by his sons Johann (b 26 Nov 1852; d Meran, 29 April 1905) and Hermann (b 8 Sept 1856; d 1921), and later by his grandchildren Karl (b 25 Feb 1884; d Waiblingen, 29 May 1964) and Adolf (b 7 July 1889; d Waiblingen, 12 April 1969). In 1945 the factory was expropriated and in 1948 became part of the Czechoslovak state enterprise ‘Amati’. Attempts to rebuild the company in West Germany (Neustadt/Aisch) failed in ...

Article

Article

Leonard Burkat

revised by Pamela Fox

The earliest choral singing in Boston was the first settlers’ congregational psalm singing, which continued through later times of controversy over the relative virtues of the old style and the cultivated new style promoted in the singing schools. Church and community choirs were formed throughout New England from the 1750s. The work of George K. Jackson, who in 1812 organized a concert of Handel’s music, was instrumental in broadening the musical repertory of Boston’s churches.

The Handel and Haydn Society was formed for the purpose of ‘cultivating and improving a correct taste in the performance of sacred music, and also to introduce into more general practice the works of Handel, Haydn, and other eminent composers’. It gave its first concert on 25 December 1815 and served as the prototype for similar organizations in other cities. At Christmas 1818 the society gave its first performance of the complete Messiah; on 16 February 1819...

Article

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

Leonard Burkat

revised by Pamela Fox

The first music known to have been printed and published in North America appeared in the ninth edition of the Bay Psalm Book (Boston, 1698), in which 13 tunes are printed from woodblocks. The next appeared in two instruction books, one by John Tufts (1721 or earlier), the other by Thomas Walter (also 1721), which was probably the first North American music printed from engraved metal plates. Two collections by Josiah Flagg (1764 and 1766) and at least part of William Billings’s The New-England Psalm-Singer (1770) were engraved by Paul Revere. The first American set of type for printing music was cast in Boston by William (or possibly John) Norman, first used in the Boston Magazine in 1783.

Between 1798 and 1804 P.A. von Hagen (father and son) issued about 100 publications. Graupner was Boston’s principal music publisher for about 25 years, beginning in ...