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Jody Diamond

(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. ...

Article

Laurence Libin

(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 (...

Article

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 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 (...

Article

Barbara Owen

(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 (...

Article

Lyndesay G. Langwill

revised by Rosemary Williamson

(von Ahn)

(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 ...

Article

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....

Article

Rosemary Williamson

(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 ...

Article

Friedemann Hellwig

(b Berlin, Nov 21, 1903; d Lübeck, Nov 11, 1985). German instrument maker, restorer, and scholar. Hellwig, the son of a senior executive with Siemens, first studied mechanical engineering. In 1923 he spent several months in Riga maintaining the automobiles of a wealthy owner, but finding himself untalented at this, he decided make music the centre of his profession. Supported by a friend, he attended the violin-making school at Mittenwald in 1925–6. After working briefly with violin makers in Lucerne and Hamburg (Julius Hempel), in 1928 he was invited to the Dolmetsch workshop in Haslemere, where he was introduced to the music, dances, and instruments of the 16th to 18th centuries. Arnold Dolmetsch and his wife Mabel became his teachers, and Hellwig played music together with other members of the family, notably Arnold’s daughter Nathalie. He concentrated on the making of viols and their history. Following an invitation of the organist Walter Kraft, he moved in ...

Article

D. Quincy Whitney

(b Springfield, MA, May 24, 1911; d Wolfeboro, NH, Aug 7, 2009). American violinmaker, acoustician, and writer. A trumpeter and biology graduate of Cornell University (AB 1933) and New York University (MA 1942), she left both disciplines to embrace string instruments and acoustical physics. While teaching science and woodworking at the Brearley School, chamber music colleagues convinced her to take up viola. A woodcarver since childhood, Hutchins, at age 35, decided to make a viola. Hutchins then studied luthiery with Karl A. Berger (1949–59) and Stradivari expert Fernando Sacconi. While she and Harvard physicist Frederick A. Saunders performed more than 100 acoustical experiments (1949–63), Hutchins taught herself acoustical physics by making string instruments. In 1963 Hutchins and colleagues Robert Fryxell and John Schelleng founded the Catgut Acoustical Society. She published the CAS journal for more than 30 years, helping bridge the gap between violin makers and acoustical physicists. Hutchins made more than 500 instruments, authored more than 100 technical papers on violin acoustics, and edited ...

Article

William Waterhouse

(b Brussels, March 10, 1841; d St Jean-Cap Ferrat, June 17, 1924). Belgian organologist, acoustician and wind instrument maker. He was the son of the maker C.B. Mahillon , with whom he collaborated from 1865. In 1877 he accepted the curatorship of the newly created Musée Instrumental du Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Brussels. Over the next half-century he systematically built up the collection to become the largest and most important of its kind in the world with over 3300 items. These he proceeded to catalogue meticulously, publishing five volumes that set new standards of scholarship for his time. He prefaced the first volume (1880) with an ‘Essai de classification méthodique de tous les instruments anciens et modernes’, the first attempt to formulate a systematic classification of musical instruments. Though this scheme has since been slightly revised, notably by Hornbostel and Sachs in 1914, it remains essentially valid today. For these achievements, he has been hailed as ‘truly the Father of Organology’ (Baines). The author of several authoritative texts on acoustics and practical aspects of wind instruments, his interests also covered many other fields: for the authentic performance of early music he built pioneering prototypes of oboe d’amore, basset-horn and high trumpet. He reproduced rare models of historic woodwind instruments (many obsolete) for his own and for other collections. He took out various patents (some in collaboration with other family members) for improvements to woodwinds and brass and also officiated at a number of international trade exhibitions. In ...