(b Grossfurra, Thuringia, Oct 25, 1643; d Gotha, Feb 20, 1676). German composer and writer. After initially going to school in his native town he was sent in 1656 to Eisenach for three years. There he attended the town school, the staff of which included Theodor Schuchardt, a highly respected teacher of music and Latin. From 1659 to 1662 Agricola studied for his school-leaving examination at the Gymnasium of Gotha; the headmaster there was Andreas Reyher, who was the co-author of the Gothaer Schulmethodus, an educational work which set an example for the teaching of music too. In 1662–3 Agricola studied philosophy at Leipzig University and from 1663 to 1668 theology and philosophy at Wittenberg, where he was awarded a master's degree by the faculty of philosophy. His four recorded scholarly essays dating from this period are lost. He had begun to learn the fundamentals of music during his school years, and he may also have been a pupil of the Kantor of the Thomaskirche, Leipzig, Sebastian Knüpfer. He continued his musical training at Wittenberg, completing the study of composition under the guidance of Italian musicians resident there. Returning to his native Thuringia he was able to turn his musical abilities to good use in the Kapelle of the Schwarzburg-Sondershausen court until in ...
revised by Peter Wollny
(b Bay Shore, NY, April 7, 1946). American composer, performer, instrument builder and ethnomusicologist. She received the BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and the MA and PhD from Wesleyan University, where she studied Indonesian and Indian music. She has performed with the ensembles of Philip Glass, Jon Gibson, Alvin Lucier, Philip Corner and Daniel Goode. In 1976 she co-founded, with Corner and Goode, the Gamelan Son of Lion, New York, a new music collective and repertory ensemble under her direction. In addition, she has built several Javanese-style iron gamelans, including the instruments used by the Gamelan Son of Lion and Gamelan Encantada, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Benary’s compositional output has been primarily in the areas of ensemble and chamber music, and music for the theatre. She has described herself as a ‘part-time minimalist who also likes to write melody’. Many of her works integrate world music forms, structures and instruments with traditional Western materials. Her works for gamelan ensemble, which number more than 30, have been performed internationally. ...
(b Chelsea, London, UK, Dec 20, 1957; d London, UK, Aug 18, 2007). English organ designer and organ historian. He attended Westminster School, Winchester College, and St Chad’s College, Durham University, before beginning work in 1979 for N.P. Mander Ltd. He collaborated with his architect brother Julian on the case for Mander’s organ at Magdalen College, Oxford, completed in 1986. In 1987 he was employed by J.W. Walker & Sons, designing instruments for Oriel College, Oxford (1988), Carlisle Cathedral (quire organ), and Kesgrave parish church near Ipswich. In 1989 he surveyed Buckingham Palace’s much-deteriorated ballroom organ. Returning to Mander as head designer in 1990, Bicknell undertook restoration of the chapel organ at St John’s College, Cambridge, designed a four-manual mechanical-action organ inspired by Cavaillé-Coll for St Ignatius Loyola in New York (1992) and two organs for Chelmsford Cathedral (completed 1994 and 1995), and directed construction of the organ in Gray’s Inn Chapel (...
(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 1868, Blaikley was appointed works manager. He became widely known as an authority on woodwind and brass, and in 1874 devised a system of compensating pistons (patented in 1878) which Boosey & Co. adopted (see Valve). The firm continued to use equipment designed by him until the late 1980s. Blaikley also devised other improvements for trumpets, horns and trombones. In 1875 he joined the (Royal) Musical Association and in 1878 read the first of many papers to that society. This highly technical discussion of resonance was followed by others on such subjects as quality of tone in wind instruments (...
(b Dayton, OH, March 1, 1937). American organ builder. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, he was apprenticed to Charles Fisk, Fritz Noack, and Rudolph von Beckerath before establishing his own business in Middletown, Ohio, in 1968. Unlike many small builders, he felt it important to maintain a complete operation in which pipes, keyboards, and other components were made in his own workshop rather than by subcontractors. After several small but distinguished instruments, he built his first sizable organ in 1970, for the First Lutheran Church of Lorain, Ohio. Brombaugh’s engineering skills are complemented by a scholarly interest in historic instruments, and he has been a pioneer in creating organs incorporating historic visual, tonal and mechanical principles, mainly derived from north European Renaissance and Baroque practices. One of the first of his organs to be built exclusively according to these principles is in the Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, Toledo, Ohio (...
Lyndesay G. Langwill
revised by Rosemary Williamson
(b Newcastle upon Tyne, May 19, 1878; d Great Missenden, Nov 2, 1958). English collector and historian of instruments and composer. He was educated in Hanover (1892) and as a Macfarren scholar at the Royal Academy of Music (1893–1902, ARAM 1902), where he studied composition with Corder. After serving as assistant music master at Winchester College (1909–22), he returned to the RAM in 1922 as professor of harmony and counterpoint, becoming a Fellow of the RAM in the same year; he held the professorship until 1940.
Carse’s early compositions include an orchestral prelude to Byron’s Manfred, a dramatic cantata, The Lay of the Brown Rosary and two symphonies; his later works, for student orchestras and beginners, are light, tuneful and individual, and ideally suited to their purpose as teaching material. His reputation, however, rests on his study of the history of instruments and the orchestra, and on his collection of some 350 old wind instruments, which he gave to the Horniman Museum, London, in ...
(b New York, Aug 2, 1932). American folk musician, folklorist, filmmaker, and photographer. He studied painting and photography at the Yale School of Fine Arts (BFA 1955, MFA 1957), where his teachers included Joseph Albers and Herbert Matter. In 1958 he formed the New Lost City Ramblers with Seeger family, §4 and Tom Paley (later succeeded by Tracy Schwarz). Focusing on string band music and songs from rural Appalachia, they were among the most important groups of the folk revival of the 1950s and 60s, and a principal inspiration for the ongoing string band revival known as Old-Time Music. They made over 25 recordings, and Cohen and Seeger also edited a highly influential songbook. Much of Cohen’s fieldwork has concentrated on the same area, and his films and recordings of Roscoe Holcomb, Dillard Chandler, the Carter Family and others have decisively shaped modern perceptions of Appalachian music. As a co-founder of the Friends of Old-Time Music in ...
John Chalmers and Brian McLaren
[O'Hara, Kenneth Vincent Gerard]
(b Portland, OR, May 5, 1917; d San Diego, CA, Feb 13, 1994). American composer, instrument inventor and theorist. He studied the cello, the piano and wind instruments at an early age. A composition student of Charles Wakefield Cadman, he began to compose using quarter-tones and just intonation during the 1930s. Although ill health prevented him from attending college, he taught himself electrical engineering and invented pioneering electro-acoustical instruments, including the microtonal keyboard oboe (1936), the amplifying clavichord (1940), the amplified cello (1941) and the electric keyboard drum (around 1945). During the 1960s he designed and built a 60-tone electronic organ with an ‘elastic tuning’ system that automatically justified traditional musical intervals.
In 1962 M. Joel Mandelbaum’s 19-tone compositions and Ervin Wilson’s microtonal instrument patents introduced Darreg to new tuning systems. He began an intensive programme of musical exploration and discovered that all equal temperaments have uniquely valuable musical properties (‘moods’). To hear these scales, he refretted guitars to 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 24 and 31 notes per octave and constructed metallophones with 5, 10, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24 and 53 notes per octave. During the 1970s he created justly-tuned Megalyra and Kosmolyra amplified steel-guitar-like instruments, the sound of which has been described as ‘tuned thunder’. His last compositions use retunable MIDI synthesizers....
Paul R. West
(b Jackson, MI, Oct 8, 1950). American composer, theorist, author, and instrument inventor. He began his career in composition and instrument design in 1970, having received little formal composition training. Interested in just intonation, he founded the performing ensemble Other Music in 1975 with classmates Dale Soules and Henry Rosenthal at the New College of California in San Francisco. The trio originally improvised and also performed from written scores. Inspired by studying intonation with lou Harrison , Doty began working with various metallophones, exploring their justly tuned capabilities. These investigations led to the creation of an American gamelan, which consisted of a set of metallophones, wooden marimbas, bells, and synthesizers that were built or adapted by Doty and four other group members. The instruments were tuned in seven-limit just intonation encompassing a 14-tone-to-the-octave scale developed by Doty and Soules. The Other Music ensemble began to perform on the American gamelan by ...
(b Dorchester, Dec 25, 1858; d Richmond, Surrey, Dec 30, 1945). English collector of musical instruments and scholar. He was educated at King's School, Sherborne, where James Robert Sterndale Bennett, son of the composer, encouraged his aptitude for music. From 1877 he studied classics at Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1882, MA 1885), where he played the clarinet under Stanford in the orchestra of the Cambridge University Musical Society. Ordained in 1883, he was curate of Redenhall with Harleston, Norfolk, for four years, then curate at St Giles-in-the-Fields (1887–91), vicar of Hatfield Broad Oak (formerly Hatfield Regis, 1891–1915), vicar of Witham (1915–21) and rector of Faulkbourn (1921–33). In 1917 he was made a canon of Chelmsford Cathedral. From his university years onwards, Galpin made an outstanding collection of musical instruments, which he made freely available for public exhibitions and lectures and described and illustrated in his book ...