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Article

E. Bradley Strauchen-Scherer

[Jane Rogovin]

(b New York, NY, 17 March 1922; d London, England, 12 Sept 1990). American ethnomusicologist and curator. Although born and reared in the Bronx, Jenkins portrayed herself as having been brought up in rural Arkansas surrounded by Ozark folk music. As a teenager, she learnt an extensive repertoire of folksongs and became active in American folk music circles. Like many folksingers of the era, Jenkins espoused socialism. She studied anthropology and musicology in Missouri but her support of trade unions and civil rights attracted the scrutiny of the FBI.

Her move to London in 1950 placed Jenkins beyond the reach of McCarthyism. There she continued her studies and secured leave to remain in the UK by marrying Clive Jenkins, a prominent trade union leader. In 1960 she became the first Keeper of Musical Instruments of the Horniman Museum and commenced fieldwork. She traveled in the USSR, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and southern Europe to record and to build up a comparative collection of instruments for the Horniman. Jenkins organized exhibitions and published as curatorial duties permitted, but recording was her enduring legacy to ethnomusicology. She considered her banjo to be her most important piece of fieldwork equipment and she played to other musicians to encourage them to participate in recordings. Keen to capture music she perceived to be vanishing, she recorded more than 700 field tapes. Her frequent BBC broadcasts and commercially issued recordings introduced music from Asia and Africa to UK audiences and paved the way for the explosion of interest in ‘world music’. Jenkins’s original recordings and an archive of fieldwork photographs are held by the National Museums of Scotland....

Article

Peter Bavington

(b London, England, May 27, 1922; d Malta, March 17, 1964). English organologist and collector of keyboard instruments. He was a Fellow of Trinity College London and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Born into a wealthy and artistic family (the owners of Mottisfont Abbey), he acquired his first keyboard instrument in 1939, and over the following 25 years built up a substantial collection of 17th- and 18th-century harpsichords and clavichords. Through detailed study of these and other antique instruments, he became an acknowledged expert, and was asked to compile catalogues of the Victoria and Albert Museum and Benton Fletcher collections. Although not himself a craftsman, he took a keen interest in the present-day manufacture of early keyboard instruments, being among the first to criticize modern developments and advocate a return to a more historical style. His book The Harpsichord and Clavichord outshone its predecessors for the accuracy and detail of its descriptions and the penetration of its analysis; it helped to inspire a change of direction in harpsichord making in favour of careful copies of antique instruments. Frank Hubbard was among those influenced by it. In ...

Article

Allison A. Alcorn

(b Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey, UK, March 14, 1940). English dealer in musical instruments, rare music books, music iconography, and related ephemera. After leaving school at the age of 16, Bingham trained as a quantity surveyor and opened his own surveying business in 1961, about the same time he began dealing in general antiques. He had a partnership in a musical instrument business for one year until 1966, when he opened his first independent shop at 247 Kings Road, London. Through extensive travels Bingham obtains and sells both Western and non-Western instruments. He specializes in assembling collections of European woodwinds, illustrating their development also with patent documents, methods, and other materials. His shop at 11 Pond Street features collections of metronomes, oil paintings of musicians, trade cards, tuning forks, and trade catalogues in addition to instruments. Major museum clients include the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the National Music Museum (South Dakota), the Musée de la Musique (Paris), and the Musashino Academia Musicae (Tokyo), while private collectors have included Joe R. Utley, Nicholas Shackleton, and H. Iino. Bingham has also published several important works on musical instruments, such as William Waterhouse’s ...

Article

Lodewijk Muns

(b Nijmegen, Netherlands, Aug 4, 1812; d Delft, Netherlands, Nov 1, 1896). Dutch musician, music historian, and instrument collector. The son of a musician and instrument seller, he studied flute and violin at the conservatory of The Hague. After positions as an orchestra musician in the Court Chapel and the French Opera of The Hague, with the Casino Paganini in Paris, and as a conductor at the opera of Metz, he returned in 1841 to his native city, where he conducted several choral societies. In 1853 he was appointed city music director in Delft.

Boers was a pioneer of the study of early music in the Netherlands. He started collecting musical instruments about 1870, with an emphasis on the work of Dutch builders. Most of his research on organology has remained sketchy and is unpublished. In 1899 the major part of his collection of some 130 instruments (including a Couchet harpsichord of ...

Article

Nicoletta Demetriou

(b Lefkonoiko, May 5, 1904; d Nicosia, May 10, 2004). Cypriot church cantor, Byzantine music scholar, and folk song collector and singer. He studied Byzantine music with Stylianos Hourmouzios in Nicosia (1921–4). He continued his studies in Byzantine music with Ioannis Sakellarides and Spyros Kapsaskis at the National Conservatoire of Athens, where he also studied Western music (1933–4). In 1935 he was appointed chief cantor (protopsaltis) at Agios Ioannis, the archiepiscopal cathedral in Nicosia, where he remained until the end of his life. In 1934 he became the first person to make commercial recordings of Cypriot folk songs. The ten songs he recorded were issued by HMV in Athens. In 1951 he published Kypriaki Laïki Mousa (Cypriot Popular Muse), the largest collection of Cypriot folk songs up to that time, which contained 83 transcriptions in both Byzantine and staff notation.

As a Byzantine music scholar he published 13 books, which covered different aspects of liturgical chanting. He was also the founder of a Byzantine music school in Nicosia (...

Article

Sally K. Sommers Smith Wells

(b New York, NY, Dec 13, 1936). American Folklorist and musicologist. Trained as a physical chemist, he is one of the foremost scholars of American traditional-music history, practice, and recording. In addition to holding faculty positions in chemistry at two undergraduate institutions in Portland, Oregon, he has taught undergraduate courses in folk song, bluegrass, country, and Jewish music in Portland and at UCLA. Cohen is perhaps best known for his long association with the John Edwards Memorial Foundation (now John Edwards Memorial Forum; JEMF). He served as the editor or co-editor of the JEMF Quarterly from its inception (as the JEMF Newsletter) in 1965 through 1988. He has lectured and written extensively on American folk song and is particularly well known for his study of the railroad as a theme in American folk music, published as Long Steel Rail: the Railroad in American Folksong. He has also compiled a two-volume regional encyclopedia of American folk music as well as a collection of case studies in folk music research, ...

Article

Charles Haywood

revised by Anne Dhu McLucas

(b New York, NY, April 26, 1875; d Paris, France, Oct 23, 1921). American Musician, transcriber, folksong collector, and folklorist. She studied music at the National Conservatory and the Paris Conservatoire. After visiting the Chicago World’s Fair and other expositions, she became intrigued with Native American music and abandoned plans for a career as a concert pianist in order to work among American Indians. She began in 1903 by recording Hopi songs on Edison wax cylinders and spent extensive time with other Southwestern tribes, as well as with the Plains Indians. Her transcriptions of the songs of 18 tribes resulted in the publication of The Indians’ Book (1907, 2/1923/R), a collection of 200 songs transcribed mainly from live performances. She included notes on the tribes and some contextual information on singers, as well as free translations of the texts. Most innovative was her approach to formatting the songs to reflect their formal structure. This book led to further opportunities for research, publications, and speaking engagements. Curtis inserted aspects of native cultures into the Arts and Crafts movement and worked for reform of Indian affairs....

Article

Paul F. Wells

[Joseph C. ]

(b Lake Forest, IL, Oct 20, 1935). American Folklorist and folksinger. He was exposed to folk songs by his parents when he was a child and began to play the guitar as a teenager. His interest in folk music deepened during his undergraduate years at Oberlin College (BA 1957). Among other musical activities while in college he hosted a radio program and served as local agent for the Folkways, Stinson, and Elektra record labels. He pursued graduate studies in folklore (MA 1961) and ethnomusicology at Indiana University and began to hone his skills as a performer in parallel with his academic and archival work there. In 1963 he was hired as librarian at the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress (now the Archive of Folk Culture); this marked the beginning of a 35-year career at that institution. He was promoted to head of the archive in ...

Article

Jeff Place

(b Passaic, NJ, July 20, 1934; d Washington, DC, July 2, 1994). American Musician, promoter, record producer, author, folklorist, and museum administrator. He grew up in Passaic, New Jersey, and it was at Swarthmore College that he was first exposed to folk music. He became one of the most important individuals behind the scenes during the folksong revival of the late 1950s. Rinzler performed on many instruments but was mainly associated with the mandolin. He was a onetime member of the urban bluegrass group the Greenbriar Boys.

Rinzler decided he would rather spend his time promoting the music of others than performing himself. He studied with Alan Lomax in England. Rinzler was appointed the chief talent scout for the Newport Folk Festival and was the person responsible for bringing traditional musicians such as Clarence Ashley, John Hurt, Maybelle Carter, and others to the festival. His fieldwork for the festival led to the rediscovery of Ashley and, in turn, the discovery of guitarist Doc Watson. He later managed Watson and Bill Monroe, organizing shows nationwide....

Article

Matt Meacham

[Joseph T. ]

(b Sutherland, Ashe County, NC, March 16, 1938). American Folklorist and folk music presenter. Raised in northeastern Tennessee, Wilson developed interests in the humanities and in Upland Southern musical traditions early in life. He went to Nashville in 1960 and worked in various capacities in the country music industry. Disenchanted with the commercialism of the music business he moved to Birmingham in 1962, where he worked as a journalist covering the Civil Rights Movement. Beginning in 1966 he held positions with philanthropic and public relations firms, eventually becoming vice-president of Oram International in New York. While there he facilitated recording and performance opportunities for Southern vernacular musicians.

In 1976 Wilson became executive director of the nonprofit National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA). During his tenure, NCTA produced the annual National Folk Festival and other major festivals, numerous recordings, and influential national and international performance tours featuring a wide variety of artistic traditions. Since ...