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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 ...

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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 ...

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[Joan, Joannes, Johannes]

(b Jegenye [now Leghea, nr Cluj-Napoca], March 8, 1629; d Szárhegy [now Lǎzarea, nr Gheorgheni], April 25, 1687). Transylvanian compiler of music anthologies, organist, organ builder, teacher and administrator. He studied music at the Jesuit school at Mănăştur, near Cluj-Napoca, which he left in 1641. In 1648 he was converted to Catholicism from the Orthodox faith into which he was born, and he entered the Franciscan school of the monastery at Csíksomlyó (now Şumuleu, near Miercurea-Ciuc), where on 17 November 1650 he was appointed organist and teacher. He continued his philosophical and theological studies at the Franciscan college at Trnava, near Bratislava, and he was ordained priest there on 5 September 1655. He then took up several appointments at Csíksomlyó. He had studied the organ from an early age, and worked as an organ builder and restorer in Transylvania and Moldavia. He was abbot of the monasteries at Mikháza (now Călugăreni) from ...

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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

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

Niall O’Loughlin

(Adam )

(b ?Ritzfeld bei Weinsberg, Germany, c1772/3; d London, England, March 27, 1850). Maker of wind instruments, music seller, and publisher. He was in London by 1795 and was naturalized by Act of Parliament in 1804; that same year he was granted the freedom of the Musicians’ Company. He worked at 76 Bishopsgate from about 1804 to 1822. Through a partnership with the successors to George Astor the firm became known as Gerock, Astor & Co. (1822–6), operating at 79 Cornhill. Robert Wolf, described as an employee in 1828, married Gerock’s daughter Sabrina Susannah in 1831. The firm was known as Gerock & Wolf during 1831–2, but reverted to the name C. Gerock & Co. from 1832 to 1837, when Gerock retired. The firm of Robert Wolf & Co. operated at 79 Cornhill after 1837, principally selling pianos.

In a trial for theft of flutes by his employee Samuel Porter in ...

Article

John H. Baron

(b Hohenhofen, Germany, 1827; d New Orleans, LA, March 1, 1915).

American music publisher, instrument maker, and impresario. He immigrated to the United States in 1852 and settled in New Orleans, where he became organist at three local churches. In 1858 he opened a music store and sold instruments and sheet music. From 1874 he also managed the Grunewald Opera House, a major concert hall; this was destroyed by fire in 1893, and he built the Grunewald Hotel (now the Roosevelt) on the same site. Before and after the Civil War he was one of the important benefactors of concerts in the city. The Grunewald firm, with which other members of the family became involved, manufactured musical instruments in the late 19th century and published a large quantity of music from 1870 to 1920, when G. Schirmer purchased the publishing concern. The music store remained open until 1972...

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Cynthia Adams Hoover

(b Framingham, MA, 1820; d Watertown, MA, July 6, 1895). American music publisher and music and instrument dealer. According to several accounts he was a farmhand and fiddler. He compiled a large collection of fiddle tunes popular at local dances and persuaded the Boston publishers Wright & Kidder to publish it as The Musician’s Companion. As a result of his success in selling this collection from door to door, he opened a music shop in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1842, and set up a similar business in Boston in 1843. His books of arrangements and instrument instruction were popular: the Complete Preceptor for the Accordeon (1843) sold over 100,000 copies, and his violin self-mastery volumes sold over 500,000 copies. In 1850 he sold his catalogue to the Boston publisher Oliver Ditson and agreed not to publish music for ten years. During that period he lived on his newly acquired estate in South Framingham, managed the South Reading Ice Company and compiled editions of dance music and dance instruction books....

Article

Frank Kidson

(d ?London, 1683). English instrument maker, music dealer and publisher. He worked in London ‘at the Sign of the Lute’ in St Paul's Churchyard, where his customers included the diarist Samuel Pepys. References to Hunt are found in Pepys's diary between October 1661, when he converted Pepys's lute to a theorbo with double strings, and ...

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith and Peter Ward Jones

(fl 1740–62). English music publisher, printer, music seller and possibly violin maker. He began his business in London by 1740, and probably acquired part of those of Daniel Wright and Benjamin Cooke, some of whose publications he reissued from the original plates. Around the mid-18th century the predominance of the Walsh engraving and publishing business began to wane, and Johnson was responsible for publishing some of the best music of the day, including works by Arne, Felton, Geminiani, Nares, Domenico Scarlatti and Stanley, as well as annual volumes and large collections of country dances. Unusually, many of Johnson's editions bore dates; their technical quality was high, some being engraved by John Phillips. A number of fair-quality violins bear the Johnson label, most probably made for rather than actually by him.

Johnson appears to have died about 1762, and from that time to 1777 most of the imprints bear the name of ‘Mrs. Johnson’ or ‘R. Johnson’, presumably his widow. The old imprint ‘John Johnson’ occasionally appears in these years, and may refer to her late husband or to another relative. Johnson's sign from ...

Article

Brian Boydell

( b ?Dublin; d Dublin, 1763). Irish music publisher, music seller, instrument dealer and violinist . He worked from about 1738 in the business established by his brother Bartholemew (d July 1758) about a year previously at Corelli’s Head, opposite Anglesea Street in College Green, Dublin. In April 1740 he advertised a proposal for printing Geminiani’s Guida armonica by subscription; it was finally issued in about 1752. Notable publications by him include collections of songs from Arne’s Comus, Dubourg’s variations on the Irish melody ‘Ellen a Roon’ and in December 1752 ‘six Trios for 2 Fiddles and thorough Bass composed by Sieur Van Maldere’. From 1741 a number of publications were issued in conjunction with William Neale, including the Monthly Musical Masque consisting of a collection of contemporary popular songs; the first issue was advertised in January 1744. Manwaring also imported Peter Wamsley’s best violins, Roman fiddle strings and ‘all the newest music published in London’. In addition to his business he took a prominent part in Dublin musical life during the 1740s as a violinist, often appearing with his brother who was also a violinist. He acted as treasurer of various charitable musical societies. After his death his wife carried on the business until ...

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith, Peter Ward Jones and David Hunter

(b ?1665 or 1666; d London, March 13, 1736). Music seller, engraver, printer, publisher and instrument seller, probably of Irish extraction. He was established in London by about 1690. On 24 June 1692 he was appointed musical instrument-maker-in-ordinary to William III in succession to John Shaw, whose trade sign of ‘The Golden Harp and Hoboy’ he also adopted; in the same year he married Mary Allen, by whom he had 15 children, of whom only three survived infancy.

In 1695, when he began publishing, Walsh had few rivals in the trade. John Playford was dead, and his son Henry evidently lacked the initiative to maintain the family firm as a flourishing concern. Thomas Cross, while popular for his introduction of the engraved single-sheet song, was concerned more with engraving than publishing. Walsh was quick to take advantage of the situation, and engraved music appeared from his premises on a scale previously unknown in England. In addition to works by English composers he printed much popular continental music (including Corelli’s sonatas) which he often copied from Dutch editions. From about ...

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith, Peter Ward Jones and David Hunter

(b London, Dec 23, 1709; d London, Jan 15, 1766). English music seller, printer, publisher and instrument maker . He probably assumed control of the business of his father, John Walsh (i), in about 1730, when the relationship with the Hare family apparently ceased and the numbering of the firm’s publications started. On 8 May 1731 Walsh succeeded to the appointment of instrument maker to the king. Although John Johnson and other rivals arose, the business continued to prosper and maintained its excellent engraving and paper. Burney characterized Walsh (ii) as ‘purveyor general’. Walsh fully developed the firm's relationship with Handel, publishing almost all his later works and in 1739 being granted a monopoly of his music for 14 years. About half of Walsh's output was of Handel compositions. The firm also sold other publishers' works, and bought up the stock of smaller firms when they ceased trading. Many of Walsh's apprentice engravers later set up on their own, including John Caulfield, Thomas Straight and Thomas Skillern. Walsh, who never married, was elected a governor of the Foundling Hospital in ...