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Article

Philip Bate

revised by William Waterhouse

(d 1831). English woodwind instrument inventor, maker and player and music publisher. Having originally trained as a turner, he began his career playing oboe, flute and flageolet at two London theatres. As maker, his first patent was in 1803 for a new model of ‘English flageolet’, which, by changing the fingering of the tonic from six to three fingers, led in about 1805 to the development of his double flageolet model in collaboration with John Parry (ii) (1776–1851). Between 1808 and 1821 he was in partnership with John Wood as Bainbridge & Wood, writing and publishing tutors and music for his instruments. From cto 1835 the business was continued by Bainbridge’s widow Harriet, and thereafter until 1855 by his successor, Hastrick, whose mark usually included the words ‘late Bainbridge, inventor’.

The firm’s speciality was the ‘English flute’ or ‘English flageolet’ – not to be confused with the French or the ‘quadrille’ flageolet – in its single, double and occasionally triple form. In addition they made single and double concert flutes with flageolet-type heads to be held transversely. These instruments, designed for amateurs of both sexes, enjoued enormous popularity, the double flageolet being much plagiarised (in spite of two unsuccessful legal actions) by rival makers both at home and abroad. Bainbridge was perhaps the earliest wind-instrument maker with the all-round abilities required to launch such projects successfully, combining single-handedly as he did the diverse skills of inventor, performer, teacher, manufacturer, author and publisher....

Article

Margaret Cranmer

(b 1770; bur. London, Oct 7, 1833). English piano maker, music seller, publisher, printer and organ builder. He worked in Duke Street, Grosvenor Square, London, from 1787 until his death. Domenico Motta joined him briefly to form Motta & Ball about 1794; in 1818 the Post Office London Directory lists the firm as J. Ball and Son. The son must be the Edward Ball who is listed as a piano maker at Duke Street in an 1824 jury roll preserved at Westminster City Archives. James Ball is listed in the 1827 Post Office London Directory as ‘Grand cabinet & square Piano Forte maker to his Majesty’. Ball’s early five-octave square pianos with the English single action had two hand stops, one for raising the dampers and the other a ‘lute’ stop. He is best known for his square pianos, but also made cabinet pianos and grands, some of them for the Prince Regent. In ...

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith and Peter Ward Jones

(b London, c1750; d London, Dec 19, 1819). English music seller, instrument dealer and publisher. From his early imprints it appears that he had been apprenticed to Walsh’s successors, William Randall and his wife Elizabeth. In 1783 he was in business with T. Beardmore as Beardmore & Birchall (or Birchall & Beardmore). From 1783 to May 1789 he was in partnership with Hugh Andrews as Birchall & Andrews; he also issued publications under the name Birchall & Co., and established a circulating music library. He then continued alone in the firm until 1819, though John Bland appears to have had some association with Birchall after he sold his own firm in 1795, until about 1801.

Birchall managed the series of Ancient Concerts and most of the benefit concerts of the time. In 1783 he proposed a complete reissue of Handel’s works in 80 folio volumes, but the project never materialized, though Birchall subsequently published many Handel items. In addition to glees, country dance books and much Italian vocal music, his publications included the first English edition of J.S. Bach’s ...

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith and Peter Ward Jones

(b ?London, c1750; d ?London, c1840). English music seller, instrument dealer and publisher. By 1776 he was established in London, where he remained active until his comparatively early retirement in 1795. In 1789 he went to Vienna to induce Haydn to visit England and to seek compositions from him and other composers, including Hoffmeister and Kozeluch. Bland is said to have been the hero of the ‘Razor’ Quartet story, in which he supposedly received the manuscript of the quartet, op.55 no.2, as a reward for presenting the composer with his English-style razor; however, the op.55 quartets were published in England not by Bland, but by Longman & Broderip in 1790. Haydn did eventually send Bland three piano trios (hXV: 15–17) which he subsequently published, and when Haydn arrived in London in January 1791 he spent his first night as a guest of Bland at his house in Holborn. Bland published other works by Haydn, though his business relationship with him was by no means an exclusive one. He also appears to have commissioned the ...

Article

Miriam Miller

(fl 1672–95). English bookseller, music publisher and instrument seller. His shop at the Middle Temple Gate, London, was very near that of John Playford the elder, and they published several volumes in partnership between 1681 and 1684. One of these was Henry Purcell’s Sonnata’s of III Parts (1683), printed from plates engraved by Thomas Cross the younger. In spite of clear evidence of friendship as well as partnership between the Carr and Playford families, Carr began to publish independently in 1687. One volume, Vinculum societatis, printed that year, represents a typographical revolution, being printed from an entirely new fount of type. This fount had round note heads, and was designed to allow the printing of quavers, semiquavers etc. in groups as well as separately. It was not possible to achieve this effect with the older diamond-headed founts used by the Playford printers, and it is noticeable that although Carr continued to publish music for the next seven years, he never did so with Henry Playford, even though Carr had many business partners. One of these partners, Sam Scott, took over the Carr business in ...

Article

Robert E. Eliason

(b Danzig, Prussia, Oct 20, 1799; d Brooklyn, NY, Oct 29, 1884).

American maker of flutes and other instruments, musical instrument dealer, and music publisher of Prussian birth. Christman was principally a flute maker, though he or his workmen also made other woodwinds and some brass instruments. His only known patent concerned improvements to the flute.

Christman came to the United States in his early twenties, and was first listed in the New York City Directory of 1823. The earliest indications of his success are the exhibits of his flutes and flageolets by George Willig at the 1828, 1830, and 1831 Franklin Institute fairs in Philadelphia. The awards he won for instruments exhibited in the American Institute of the City of New York mechanic fairs illustrate his contributions to flute development of the time. For a 10-key flute in 1837, silver medal; for a 16-key flute in 1846...

Article

Alan Tyson and Leon Plantinga

[Clementi, Mutius Philippus Vincentius Franciscus Xaverius]

(b Rome, Jan 23, 1752; d Evesham, Worcs., March 10, 1832). English composer, keyboard player and teacher, music publisher and piano manufacturer of Italian birth.

Leon Plantinga

The oldest of seven children of Nicolo Clementi (1720–89), a silversmith, and Magdalena, née Kaiser, Clementi began studies in music in Rome at a very early age; his teachers were Antonio Boroni (1738–92), an organist named Cordicelli, Giuseppi Santarelli (1710–90) and possibly Gaetano Carpani. In January 1766, at the age of 13, he secured the post of organist at his home church, S Lorenzo in Damaso. In that year, however, his playing attracted the attention of an English traveller, Peter Beckford (1740–1811), cousin of the novelist William Beckford (1760–1844) and nephew of William Beckford (1709–70), twice Lord Mayor of London. According to Peter Beckford’s own forthright explanation, he ‘bought Clementi of his father for seven years’, and in late ...

Article

Philip J. Kass

(b New York, NY, May 29, 1877; d Chicago, IL, May 9, 1955). American writer, publisher, and expert on violins. He studied violin and viola as a boy, and from 1893 to 1926 he worked for John Friedrich & Brother in New York as secretary, treasurer, purchaser, writer of catalogs, and publicity manager. From 1926 to 1937 he was with the Rudolph Wurlitzer Co., working first as assistant to the violin expert J.C. Freeman in New York and later as manager of the violin department in the Chicago store. He prepared catalogs for the company, including a famous one of 1931 that listed an enormous collection of violins and had a separate section devoted entirely to bows. In 1937 he opened his own shop in Evanston, Illinois, and began publishing a magazine, Violins. In 1941 his business was bought by the Chicago firm William Lewis & Son, with whom he worked as a salesman and magazine editor until his death....

Article

Forsyth  

Margaret Cranmer

English firm of publishers and music and instrument dealers. The brothers Henry Forsyth (d July 1885) and James Forsyth (b 1833; d Manchester, Jan 2, 1907) were the third generation of Forsyths to work for Broadwood; they started their own business in Manchester in 1857, selling, hiring, tuning and repairing pianos. They published music from 1858, but this activity became important only in 1873, when they produced the first numbers of Charles Hallé’s Practical Pianoforte School and opened a London publishing house at Oxford Circus. Their list grew to include works by Stephen Heller (a friend of Hallé), Berlioz, Stanford and Delius. The firm also shared significantly in the management of leading concerts in Manchester, in particular the Hallé concerts. In 1901 the firm became a limited company; it now sells pianos, orchestral and school instruments, sheet music by all publishers and records. James’s son Algernon Forsyth (...

Article

Howard Mayer Brown

revised by Lynda Sayce

(b Nuremberg, c1500; d Nuremberg, 1570). German instrumentalist, lute maker and compiler and arranger of several volumes of instrumental music. He was probably the son of Conrad Gerle (d 1521), a well-known lute maker in Nuremberg. He may be presumed to have spent his life in his native city. He may have been related to Georg Gerle who worked as an instrument maker in Innsbruck during the second half of the 16th century.

Hieronymus Formschneider of Nuremberg published three volumes of music by Hans Gerle: Musica teusch, auf die Instrument der grossen unnd kleinen Geygen, auch Lautten (1532), Tabulatur auff die Laudten (1533) and Eyn newes sehr künstlichs Lautenbuch (1552). On the title-page of the last volume the author called himself ‘Hans Gerle den Eltern’ (the elder), implying the existence of a younger relative with the same forename.

The first volume, ...