You are looking at  1-20 of 69 articles  for:

  • 20th c. (1900-2000) x
  • Instrument Maker x
Clear All

Article

Henri Vanhulst

(Nicolas Joseph)

(b Bonsecours, Hainaut, Oct 23, 1893; d Uccle, Brussels, Feb 2, 1974). Belgian composer. He studied the organ, the piano and harmony with Alphonse Oeyen, organist of Bonsecours. He continued his studies at the Ecole St Grégoire, Tournai, where he gave his first organ recital in 1912. In 1913 he entered the Brussels Conservatory to study with Desmet (organ), Edouard Samuel (practical harmony) and (from 1915) Lunssens (written harmony). He took a first prize for organ and harmony in 1916 and, after a year’s further work with Paulin Marchand (counterpoint) and Léon Du Bois (fugue), another for counterpoint and fugue. Abandoning the idea of a career as an organist, he went to Gilson for composition lessons (1920–22). In 1921 his First Symphony won the Agniez Prize; in 1921 he took the second Belgian Prix de Rome with the cantata La guerre and was appointed director of the Etterbeek Music School. From ...

Article

Ferenc Bónis and Anna Dalos

(b Szigetszentmiklós, Dec 12, 1896; d Budapest, May 15, 1982). Hungarian composer, conductor and teacher. From 1911 until 1915 he received instruction in organ playing and theory at the Budapest teacher-training college. Then, as a prisoner of war (1916–20), he organized and conducted a men’s choir and an orchestra in Russia. He studied composition at the Budapest Academy of Music under Kodály (1921–25) and conducting in Weingartner’s masterclass in Basle (1933–5). He conducted the orchestra (1929–39) and the choir (1929–54) of the Budapest Academy where he also taught Hungarian folk music, choral conducting and methodology from 1939 to 1959, and where he directed the singing department from 1942 to 1957.

Ádám began his career as a conductor in Budapest in 1929 with a performance of Haydn’s The Seasons. From 1929 until 1933 he was deputy conductor of the Budapest Choral and Orchestral Society. With the male choir Budai Dalárda, which he directed from ...

Article

Edward Blakeman

(Gilford)

(b London, Jan 25, 1920). English flautist. He studied at the RCM with Robert Murchie, but was resistant to the English tradition of flute playing and has always considered himself largely self-taught. In 1938 he made his orchestral début in the St Matthew Passion under Vaughan Williams. He joined the LPO in 1941 and remained as principal flute until 1950, returning for a further nine years from 1960. He was a founder member of the Melos Ensemble and also played for many years with the English Chamber Orchestra, notably during the period of its close association with Benjamin Britten and the Aldeburgh Festival. Malcolm Arnold dedicated his Second Flute Concerto (1972) to him. Adeney originally played on a wooden flute, but in the latter part of his career changed to a metal instrument. In tone and style Adeney's playing had much affinity with the expressiveness and refinement of the French school (at the age of 14 he had been greatly impressed by a recording of Marcel Moyse). His own ...

Article

Harold Rosenthal

(b Cologne, June 29, 1896; d Garmisch-Partenkirchen, July 23, 1979). German baritone. He studied with Karl Niemann in Cologne and made his début at Mönchengladbach in 1929 as Wolfram. He sang at the Kroll Oper, Berlin (1930–31), at the Hamburg Staatsoper (1931–3 and 1946–61), and at the Dresden Staatsoper (...

Article

William Waterhouse

( b 1872; d Switzerland, Jan 1938). Italian flute maker, flautist and composer . He was a flautist at La Scala, Milan, from 1897. In 1910 he invented his ‘Albisiphon’, a vertically-held, Boehm-system bass flute in C, with a T-shaped head, which he described in his Albisiphon: flauto ottava bassa (Milan, 1910). It was used by, among others, Mascagni in Parisina (1913), and Zandonai in Melenis (1912) and Francesca da Rimini (1914). The Dayton Miller Collection (Library of Congress, Washington, DC) possesses two models of an ‘albisiphon baritono’ in C and a tenor in F. There is also an example of another invention which Miller termed ‘half flute in C’ (that part of a regular flute played by the left hand, with a wooden handle for right hand) for which Albisi composed a concerto. He also made flutes in collaboration with the Milanese maker Luigi Vanotti in about ...

Article

Robert B. Winans

revised by Jonas Westover

(b Holyoke, MA, Jan 17, 1871; d Newfane, VT, Nov 18, 1948). American banjoist and banjo maker. He began his career playing with a medicine show and a Wild West show, then from 1890 to 1915 performed in a vaudeville act with his wife. He studied with ALFRED A. FARLAND in the mid- 1890s and about 1897 organized the Bacon Banjo Quintette. He toured with the Bacon Trio in 1905–6, and made another very successful tour in 1908 with “The Big Three,” consisting of himself, the guitarist William Foden, and the mandolinist Guiseppe Pettine. Bacon continued to play into the 1940s and his few recordings attest to his virtuoso performances; contemporary reviewers praised his tone, his great technique, and the expressiveness of his playing. He taught, published several method books, and wrote many arrangements and compositions for five-string banjo. Bacon also designed banjos, bringing out his first instrument in ...

Article

Warren Burt

(Rosalie Edith )

(b Geelong, Victoria, Aug 18, 1951). Australian composer, performer, installation and sound artist, instrument inventor, writer, educator, and researcher. Her early education consisted of high school in both Australia and Canada, followed by a BA (1971, Monash University), Dip Ed (1973, Monash), MA (1974, Monash), and PhD (1983, Monash). An interest in experimental music is apparent from her earliest compositions, many of which involve performance in specific places, improvisation, electronics, graphic notation, and the use of self-built and specially built instruments. These include Improvisations in Acoustic Chambers, 1981, and Soft and Fragile: Music in Glass and Clay, 1982. By 1977 an interest in sound installation and sound sculpture had become well established in her work (Winds and Circuits, Surfaces and Cavities), and is an area in which she has continued to the present day, having presented nearly 50 sound installations worldwide.

Bandt has also been involved in creating electro-acoustic works, often in collaboration with broadcasting organizations; work for or with radio forms a significant portion of her output. Many of these works, while using real-world elements, take a more narrative or illustrative approach to their material compared to the abstractionism of much electro-acoustic work. An electro-acoustic work such as ...

Article

Howard Schott and Kenneth Gilbert

(François)

(b Ottawa, Dec 28, 1933; d Brignoles, France, June 16, 1989). Canadian harpsichord maker and harpsichordist. After classical studies he entered the Conservatoire de Musique in Montreal (1956), where he studied organ with Bernard Lagacé and harpsichord with Kenneth Gilbert. In 1959–60 at the Vienna Music Academy he studied harpsichord with Eta Harich-Schneider and had private lessons with Isolde Ahlgrimm (1959–60); he also studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Gustav Leonhardt (1960–61). After resuming his career as organist in Montreal, he served as musician-in-residence at the Shakespeare Festival, Stratford, Ontario (1962–3), and then entered the workshop of Frank Hubbard in Waltham, Massachusetts, to learn the craft of instrument making. In 1968 he moved to Paris as chief restorer in the Conservatoire workshop then being established under Frank Hubbard's direction. At the same time Bédard set up his own workshop with a small staff where he undertook restorations for other collections and produced harpsichords modelled on historical prototypes....

Article

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

Edward H. Tarr

(b Winterset, IA, July 12, 1904; d Burbank, CA, Dec 12, 1960). American trumpeter and trumpet manufacturer. He studied cornet with William Eby, Vladimir Drucker, and Harold Mitchell, and trained as first trumpet in the Chicago Civic Orchestra. He was first trumpeter with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (1928–33) and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1933–9), then with the Chicago Philharmonic (1939–49) and also with the WGN (radio) staff orchestra (1939–53). Around 1934 Benge started to experiment in his basement with trumpet construction. He sold his first trumpet in 1935; in 1953 he moved to Burbank, California, to devote himself exclusively to manufacturing.

On his death the business passed to his son Donald (1933–2007), who in 1970 sold it to Leisure Time Industries of Los Angeles. After that, the company changed hands rapidly: in 1972 to the H.N. White Co. (King), who moved it to Anaheim, also expanding the number of models, then to Eastlake, Ohio, in ...

Article

Barbara Owen

revised by Michael D. Friesen

(b Pampa, TX, Nov 10, 1936). American organ builder and organist. Bozeman studied organ performance at North Texas State College (now University of North Texas), but left in 1959 before finishing a degree to apprentice in organ building with Otto Hofmann of Austin, Texas. In 1962 he began working with the architect and organ historian Joseph E. Blanton in Victoria, Texas, to develop organ designs. He also did freelance organ work, and in 1965 entered the employ of Sipe-Yarbrough of Dallas, working under Robert L. Sipe, ultimately becoming vice-president of the firm. In 1967 Bozeman received a Fulbright scholarship to study organ and harpsichord performance in Vienna with Anton Heiller and Isolde Ahlgrimm, and organ building with Joseph Mertin (1904–98). He also travelled extensively in Europe, visiting and documenting organs. Upon his return in 1968 he went to work for Fritz Noack.

In 1971 Bozeman established his own shop in Lowell, Massachusetts, and the following year entered into partnership with David V. Gibson (...

Article

Edward L. Kottick

(b New York, April 11, 1945). American harpsichord maker and performer. His father was a film composer, songwriter, and conductor. He began piano lessons at age 11, and studied music at the University of Michigan (1962–3) before transferring to the Mannes College of Music (1963–9), where he won a Harpsichord Music Society scholarship for study with Sylvia Marlowe. While at Mannes, he worked as a contract tuner and salesman for Wolfgang Joachim Zuckermann, and during the summers of 1965–9, he worked at the Eric Herz shop, primarily on harpsichord actions. In 1965, he served as Marlowe’s harpsichord technician during her South American tour. In 1969–70, he built his first harpsichord, an Italian virginal. From 1970 to 1972 he apprenticed with Frank Hubbard and served as shop foreman. From 1972 to 1979 he maintained his own workshop, first in Lebanon, New Hampshire, later in Norwich, Vermont, where he completed 18 harpsichords, including five French double-manual instruments after Michel Richard, two Flemish singles after Andreas Ruckers, two French doubles after Ruckers/Blanchet, an Italian single after Giusti, and a Flemish double after Dulcken....

Article

Laurence Libin

(b Bethesda, MD, Aug 3, 1948). American artist and musician based in Brooklyn. His hybrid musical instruments, performances, and installations explore the interaction and transformation of common and uncommon objects, altered images, sounds, and silence. Butler studied viola as a child and maintained an interest in music while studying visual arts in France, at Colorado College (BA, 1970), and Portland State University (MFA in painting, 1977). He has made more than 400 amplified string and percussion instruments since 1978, mainly from urban detritus arranged in visually and aurally arresting ways. Some, such as a ‘T-Square Quartet’ made for Dave Soldier, have been commissioned by musicians; others have been made primarily as sculpture. Many have been featured in exhibitions and performances throughout North America and Europe. Butler has received numerous grants and awards for his work, which is represented in collections and museums including US.NY.mma. He aims to ‘express a poetic spirit of re-invention and hyper-utility, as hidden meanings and associations momentarily create a striking and re-animated cultural identity’ for these ‘anxious objects’, most of which have been created for his own use. Butler has performed with John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Butch Morris, the Soldier String Quartet, Matt Darriau’s Paradox Trio, The Tonight Show Band, and the Master Gnawa musicians of Morocco....

Article

Mareia Quintero Rivera

(b San Juan, PR, July 10, 1910; d Carolina, PR, July 21, 1996). American Puerto Rican composer, singer, percussionist, dancer, and drum-maker. A master of traditional bomba and plena, he was one the most prominent figures of Afro-Puerto Rican musical folklore in the 20th century. He is also known for his commitment to passing down these traditions to subsequent generations. Together with his wife, Caridad Brenes, a gifted dancer, he raised a family of skilled practitioners and maintained a lifelong practice of teaching in the community of Villa Palmeras, Santurce, the working-class area where they lived.

Cepeda was a key figure in gaining national and international recognition for Afro-Puerto Rican musical genres. In the 1940s he created an ensemble for radio performances, and he later developed a stage version of bomba, which he presented in San Juan’s major hotels. Several of his compositions were popularized by Ismael Rivera and Rafael Cortijo. Cepeda also developed ties with the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, founded in ...

Article

Laurence Libin

(b Napier, New Zealand, May 14, 1946). Intermedia artist whose transdisciplinary practice includes video/sound work and installations, experimental instruments, graphic scores, and improvisation. He studied at Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland (DipFA Hons, 1971) and the University of West Sydney, Nepean (MA Hons, 2000). Since the early 1970s his sound-based artworks have involved newly invented instruments. A member of the original Scratch Orchestra in London (1968–9), Dadson founded Scratch Orchestra (NZ) in 1970 and later From Scratch (1974–2004). A key part of From Scratch’s development was instrument invention, from using found objects to making unique, custom-designed devices. Tunings evolved from randomly pitched sounds to 12-note and microtonal tunings, and just intonation. Central to this development were tuned percussion stations composed of rack-supported, four-tiered assemblies of PVC pipes, tuned-tongue bamboos and bells (in which parallel slots cut in the materials produce a vibrating tongue matching the resonant frequency of the open or closed tubes), and roto-tom drums, combined with special methods of playing. These percussion stations, along with other novel struck and spun acoustic instruments, produced the characteristic From Scratch sound. More recent instruments include the Zitherum (long-stringed instruments that are drummed and bowed), the metal-pronged Nundrum, the stroked RodBaschet, the gong tree, Foley-trays, the Water Cooler Drumkit, water bells, the Gloop-spring-string-drum family, the Sprong family, and other fanciful types....

Article

Janet K. Page

(b Minneapolis, MN, Aug 4, 1952).

American oboist and maker of historical oboes. He trained as an artist and oboist at the California Institute of the Arts, receiving a BFA in 1975. He began playing baroque oboe the same year, and has become one of the leading players of historical oboes in North America. He taught at the New England Conservatory and the Longy School of Music from 1985 to 1989. Dalton began to make oboes in 1976, one of several American makers then beginning to focus on that instrument.

As an oboe maker, Dalton is primarily self-taught, although he was influenced by the flute maker Rod Cameron and the recorder maker David Ohannessian. He began with drawings (of Michel Piguet’s Rottenburgh oboe) obtained from Friedrich von Huene, and from 1977 he studied instruments in museum collections. Dalton tries to revive an instrument’s intrinsic playing qualities, as revealed by its materials, proportions, and music, and he has experimented with construction techniques, finishes, key-making, and staple and reed design. He has devoted special attention to tuning and pitch and was one of the first Americans to make oboes at a′ = 392. His baroque oboe production includes several instruments by J.H. Eichentopf (oboe d’amore, oboe, taille de hautbois); he also makes models after N. Hotteterre, the “Galpin” oboe, J.C. Denner (taille de hautbois), and Anciuti. He is especially noted for his classical-period instruments, after Grundmann and Floth. Except for the period from ...

Article

Jeff Todd Titon

(b nr Mt. Pisgah, KY, Oct 21, 1921). American old-time fiddler, banjo player, and violin maker. Born and raised on a small farm in Wayne County on the Cumberland Plateau in south central Kentucky, he absorbed a local and regional repertoire of tunes (some dating from the early 1800s) and performance styles from neighbors and family. Starting in his mid-teens, he played for square dances in the Mt. Pisgah region. After infantry service in World War II he moved to Indiana to work in an automobile factory and played the fiddle daily on a 15-minute country-music radio show in Muncie, but decided against a musical career and stopped playing music for 15 years. In 1950 he married Lorene Gregory and in 1957 they returned to Wayne County and bought a farm, where they grew corn and tobacco and raised cattle. Later they moved to the county seat, Monticello, and in ...

Article

Laurence Libin

(b St Joseph, MO, July 11, 1939; d Petaluma, CA, July 9, 2005). American musician, composer, and experimental instrument maker. He was a jazz pianist in Kansas City before turning in the 1960s to playing keyboard with San Francisco rock groups. Disillusioned by commercial work, he began composing ‘fusion’ music and making instruments (often inspired by non-Western models) with which to play it. He described himself as an itinerant flute-maker and sold his popular bamboo flutes and other creations at Bay Area fairs and concerts. Inventions of his include the Wind Wand (a long dowel with a handle and an adjustable cross-piece intersecting a large rubber band stretched over the ends of the dowel; swung in a circle or back and forth, it produces four pitches); Spirit Catcher (a smaller Wind Wand with two rubber bands, producing eight tones); Butu (a section of bamboo with fingerholes, played by striking the bottom on a hard surface and fingering the holes to change the pitch); Groove Stick (a long bamboo scraper), as well as the Tank, the Circular Violin, and a bamboo xylophone. He shared his music and instruments with public school classes, where he was known as ‘Mr. Sound Magic’. In later years DeVore explored improvisation together with like-minded musicians and experimental instrument makers including Bart Hopkin, Tom Nunn, and Richard Waters. After DeVore’s death many of his instruments were donated to local schools....

Article

Laurence Libin

(b Jirapa, Ghana, June 22, 1958). Ghanaian xylophone maker, player, and teacher. Born into a family of gyilli makers and players in northwest Ghana, Doozie began playing at six years of age. When he was 12 his father taught him to make his first gyilli and he was a practised maker by age 15. After secondary school Doozie moved to Accra to become a xylophonist with the Ghana Dance Ensemble. He was also an instructor at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon. Among other appointments, he has performed with the National SO Ghana and has been associated with the Institute of African Studies and the music and performing arts departments of the University of Ghana. In 1990 he established a workshop to produce xylophones; he made the xylophones used in the Broadway production of The Lion King. He has also restored instruments in museum collections. He continues to teach and perform and is managing director of Dagarti Arts and Music in Accra and a member of the Arts Council of Ghana. He is also involved in promoting fair trade practices. Doozie’s xylophone bars—from eight to 18 for each instrument—are made of aged, fire-dried planks of wood from male shea trees. Gourd resonators are affixed under the bars, which are tied to the curved frame. The tips of the wooden beaters are padded with rubber recycled from tyres....

Article

Charles Corey

(b Los Angeles, CA, Jan 22, 1949; d Princeton, NJ, April 13, 2013).

American composer, conductor, performer, and instrument inventor. Drummond attended the University of Southern California and the California Institute of the Arts, and studied composition with Leonard Stein. He also worked as an assistant for harry Partch in the 1960s and 70s, and in 1990 became the Director of the Harry Partch Instrumentarium. Drummond’s music is microtonal, exploring the unique possibilities of expandable just intonation through the use of standard Western instruments, voice, electronics, Harry Partch’s instruments, and two just-intoned instruments of Drummond’s own invention—the zoomoozophone and the juststrokerods. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1995, and is co-director of Newband, a new music ensemble for which he frequently serves as a performer or conductor.

Drummond’s zoomoozophone, built in 1978, is a metallophone which employs 31 just-intoned pitches per octave. The instrument is based on a g′ of 392 Hz, and has a total range of just over four octaves. Made of aluminum bars, it has a full, resonant sound with a long sustain, and can be played by anywhere from one to four percussionists at a time. The juststrokerods have an even longer sustain; spanning one octave, this instrument contains 13 notes that form a just-intoned version of the equal-tempered chromatic scale. One or both of these instruments are employed in a large number of Drummond’s works as well as those by other composers such as Elizabeth Brown and John Cage....