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Article

James B. Kopp

(b London, UK, July 17, 1946). Conservator of musical instruments and maker of brasses, based in Ottawa, Canada. After studying fine arts and English at the University of Toronto, he joined the Canadian Conservation Institute, Ottawa, in 1975 as a conservator of furniture and wooden objects. He was trained in instrument conservation at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, and received a PhD from the Open University in 1999. He has undertaken wide-ranging projects in the conservation, display, and use of historical instruments in European and North American museums. He has received awards from the American Musical Instrument Society, the Galpin Society, and the Historic Brass Society for his numerous writings. He was named senior conservator at the Canadian Conservation Institute in 1991 and retired in 2007.

Barclay began in 1976 to make reproduction trumpets after models by Johann Carl Kodisch, Johann Leonhard Ehe (iii), and Hanns Hainlein. His book ...

Article

Allison A. Alcorn

(b Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey, UK, March 14, 1940). English dealer in musical instruments, rare music books, music iconography, and related ephemera. After leaving school at the age of 16, Bingham trained as a quantity surveyor and opened his own surveying business in 1961, about the same time he began dealing in general antiques. He had a partnership in a musical instrument business for one year until 1966, when he opened his first independent shop at 247 Kings Road, London. Through extensive travels Bingham obtains and sells both Western and non-Western instruments. He specializes in assembling collections of European woodwinds, illustrating their development also with patent documents, methods, and other materials. His shop at 11 Pond Street features collections of metronomes, oil paintings of musicians, trade cards, tuning forks, and trade catalogues in addition to instruments. Major museum clients include the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the National Music Museum (South Dakota), the Musée de la Musique (Paris), and the Musashino Academia Musicae (Tokyo), while private collectors have included Joe R. Utley, Nicholas Shackleton, and H. Iino. Bingham has also published several important works on musical instruments, such as William Waterhouse’s ...

Article

(b 1960; d Oct 24, 2000). American fretted-instrument collector, based in Toms River, New Jersey. During the 1990s he amassed more than 1000 vintage and 20th-century guitars, harp-guitars, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, and other types representing a broad spectrum of designs, many by outstanding American luthiers and some previously owned by famous performers. His collecting activity, concentrated in a few years, drove up prices for fine fretted instruments generally and brought attention to guitars as works of art. Chinery lent generously for exhibitions and to performers, and intended to build a museum to house his holdings. His ‘Blue Guitar’ collection was inspired by a D’Aquisto Centura Deluxe model with a blue finish; Chinery commissioned 22 contemporary makers to build archtop guitars of their own design but all with a blue finish like D’Aquisto’s. Chinery also collected Cuban cigars, watches, automobiles, and comic books, among other hobbies supported by a fortune made from marketing nutrition supplements and other physical fitness products through Cybergenics, a company he sold in ...

Article

Richard Will

(Harris )

(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 ...

Article

Sally K. Sommers Smith Wells

(b New York, NY, Dec 13, 1936). American Folklorist and musicologist. Trained as a physical chemist, he is one of the foremost scholars of American traditional-music history, practice, and recording. In addition to holding faculty positions in chemistry at two undergraduate institutions in Portland, Oregon, he has taught undergraduate courses in folk song, bluegrass, country, and Jewish music in Portland and at UCLA. Cohen is perhaps best known for his long association with the John Edwards Memorial Foundation (now John Edwards Memorial Forum; JEMF). He served as the editor or co-editor of the JEMF Quarterly from its inception (as the JEMF Newsletter) in 1965 through 1988. He has lectured and written extensively on American folk song and is particularly well known for his study of the railroad as a theme in American folk music, published as Long Steel Rail: the Railroad in American Folksong. He has also compiled a two-volume regional encyclopedia of American folk music as well as a collection of case studies in folk music research, ...

Article

(b Havana, Cuba, June 20, 1930). Cuban musicologist, historical essayist, recorded-sound collector, and lawyer; immigrated to Puerto Rico in 1960. Díaz Ayala studied journalism and law at the Universidad de La Habana, and began his musical career as a radio host on a jazz program in Havana. Although he is not a formally trained musicologist, his impressive archival work and research in the field of recorded folk music established him as an authority on Cuban musical culture.

A prolific writer with publications spanning thirty years, Díaz Ayala has made an extremely significant contribution through his compilation and examination of early to mid twentieth-century Cuban musical recordings. Monumental in scope, this project represents the most exhaustive reference work for scholars of Cuban and Latin American music. Aspiring at discographical completeness, the work documents nearly every musical recording produced in Cuba or involving any genre of Cuban music. In 2001...

Article

John Cline

(Aloysius )

(b Takoma Park, MD, Feb 28, 1939; d Salem, OR, Feb 22, 2001). American guitarist, folklorist, and record producer. As a teenager, Fahey’s early interest in country music was expanded to include bluegrass and country-blues due to a friendship with richard Spottswood , later a noted folk and ethnic music scholar. With Spottswood and famed collector Joe Bussard, Fahey sought out pre-war 78 r.p.m. records. After taking up the guitar, Fahey’s made his first recordings for Bussard’s private Fonotone label on 78 r.p.m. shellac discs, some of which Fahey claimed to have slipped into boxes of more “authentic,” vintage records at flea markets. In 1959 Fahey founded Takoma Records to distribute his own recordings, beginning with the LP Blind Joe Death; his liner notes also frequently mock the language of then-contemporary blues scholars, the very people he had hoped to fool with the Fonotone 78s.

Despite his sense of humor Fahey was a serious student of American vernacular music. He travelled long distances to find Bukka White and Skip James in the Mississippi Delta in the early 1960s; he relates these events in the memoir, ...

Article

Paula Morgan

(b New York, Feb 16, 1916; d New York, Jan 29, 2008). American collector and writer on music. He received the BA from Harvard College in 1937 and graduated from the Harvard Law School in 1940 and practised law in New York. His interest in first editions led him to an investigation of the various techniques for dating printed music and identifying first editions and he built up a private collection of over 1700 first editions of classical, popular and folk music, which includes Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli (1567), Bach’s Goldberg Variations (1742), Handel’s Messiah (1767) and Gluck’s Orfeo (1764), as well as operas by Gilbert and Sullivan, a large collection of Americana (with works by Gershwin, Berlin and Kern) and popular tunes such as Three Blind Mice (1609). He also collected orginal librettos, programmes, posters and playbills of historical interest and autographs of most major composers after ...

Article

Paul F. Wells

[Joseph C. ]

(b Lake Forest, IL, Oct 20, 1935). American Folklorist and folksinger. He was exposed to folk songs by his parents when he was a child and began to play the guitar as a teenager. His interest in folk music deepened during his undergraduate years at Oberlin College (BA 1957). Among other musical activities while in college he hosted a radio program and served as local agent for the Folkways, Stinson, and Elektra record labels. He pursued graduate studies in folklore (MA 1961) and ethnomusicology at Indiana University and began to hone his skills as a performer in parallel with his academic and archival work there. In 1963 he was hired as librarian at the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress (now the Archive of Folk Culture); this marked the beginning of a 35-year career at that institution. He was promoted to head of the archive in ...

Article

Matt Meacham

(b Jacksonville, FL, June 21, 1942). American folklorist and fiddler. An orchestral violinist early in life, he studied folklore and medieval literature at Duke University, earning the PhD in English in 1968. He documented the playing of Appalachian traditional fiddlers and drew upon their repertoire as a member of the Hollow Rock String Band, which contributed significantly to the 1960s folk revival. After teaching at UCLA (1968–9), Jabbour held influential positions with national cultural institutions. He was head of the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress (1969–74); founding director of the NEA’s Folk Arts Program (1974–6); and founding director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (1976–99).

As a scholar Jabbour has edited and annotated several significant collections of sound recordings. American Fiddle Tunes (Library of Congress, 1971; Rounder, 2000) consists of early field recordings drawn from the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress. ...

Article

(b Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland, 1910; d New York, Aug 27, 2010). American musician, instrument collector, bow maker, and jeweller. Kaston studied the violin with his father and grandfather before taking lessons with Enescu in Paris from 1937. After World War II he came with his wife to New York; their son was born during the passage. He played briefly with the Cleveland Orchestra before joining the Metropolitan Opera orchestra in 1943. In the 1960s he worked part-time for Wurlitzer as a bow maker and repairer, honing his skills as a copyist especially of Tourte bows, which he imitated so successfully that some have passed in the market as authentic. His knowledge of Tourte’s work was summarized in the book François-Xavier Tourte: Bow Maker (New York, 2001). Along with fine bows, Kaston created jewellery, including pieces commissioned by Salvador Dalí. Some of his bows incorporated jewels in their fittings. Kaston also invented a rubber mute, marketed as the ‘Heifetz’ mute....

Article

Lada Brashovanova

(b Ruse, Sept 23, 1925). Bulgarian folklorist and composer. He graduated in 1952 in both theory and performance at the State Academy of Music in Sofia and worked at the Music Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, as junior research fellow (1953–66) and senior research fellow (1966–89). He received the doctorate at the institute in 1973 with a dissertation on Bulgarian polyphonic folksong; in 1979 he was appointed professor of ethnomusicology at the State Academy of Music and in 1989, senior research fellow at the Institute for Folklore of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. His areas of research include various aspects of Bulgarian and Jewish folk music and he has been a member of the Union of Bulgarian Composers' executive committee since 1965. Much of his work in the 1960s on the folksong from particular regions in Bulgaria was published in Izvestiya na Instituta z muzika...

Article

Sarah Adams Hoover

(b Deadwood, SD, Nov 9, 1955). American curator and organologist. He studied cabinet making at Western Dakota Vocational-Technical Institute (1978) and harpsichord (BM 1982) and the history of musical instruments (MM 1986) at the University of South Dakota. While an undergraduate, he served as research assistant at the National Music Museum. Since 1986 he has worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as assistant curator (1986–1995) and subsequently curator of musical instruments (from 1995); in 2010 he was named the first Pappalardo Curator of Music Instruments. His tenure has included the exhibitions “Dangerous Curves: Art of the Guitar” (2000), and “Sounds of the Silk Road: Musical Instruments of Asia” (2005). Kuronen’s research on the history of musical instrument manufacturing in the United States has focused particularly on pianos, violins, guitars, and free reeds. He has also created an inventory of musical instruments in museums and historical societies throughout New England. His article “The Musical Instruments of Benjamin Crehore” was awarded the Frances Densmore Prize in ...

Article

(b Antwerp, Belgium, 13 Feb 1928). Belgian organologist and museum curator. She studied at the University of Ghent from 1948 to 1952 and received the PhD (1957) with a dissertation on music at the Burgundian-Habsburg court in the Netherlands. She started her career in 1953 at the Vlees-huis museum (Antwerp), where she cared for a small collection of historical instruments including Ruckers harpsichords in intact condition. Specialist visitors to the museum, including Raymond Russell and Frank Hubbard, encouraged Lambrechts-Douillez to undertake archival research on the Ruckers family, resulting in seminal publications. For guidance in the preservation of historical harpsichords she sought advice from John Henry van der Meer and members of the Galpin Society, with whom she built strong connections that helped bring the Vleeshuis collection to international attention, especially among instrument builders and early-music performers.

Lambrechts-Douillez was a founding member in 1960 of the International Committee of Musical Instrument Museums and Collections (CIMCIM), serving as its president from ...

Article

Sarah Adams Hoover

(b Little Fork, MN, Nov 10, 1942). American organologist and curator. He received a BFA in music education (1964) and MM in music literature (1968) from the University of South Dakota and a PhD in musicology from West Virginia University (1974). In 1973 he returned to South Dakota to become the first director of the Shrine to Music Museum (renamed the National Music Museum in 2002) at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. During his tenure (1973–2011) he established a major international collection of instruments (augmenting a private collection owned by his father, Arne B. Larson) and created a significant resource for exhibiting, studying, and conserving historical instruments. He taught music history at USD and established and oversaw the university’s masters program in the history of musical instruments. A recipient of the American Musical Instrument Society’s Curt Sachs Award for lifetime contributions to the field of organology, he served as its president from ...

Article

(b Seattle, March 21, 1939). American folklorist and music historian. He studied history at Oberlin College (BA 1961) and history and folklore at Indiana University (MA 1964, PhD 1970). From 1968 until his retirement in 2004, he taught in the Department of Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland. A specialist in North American folk and country music, he has published widely on folk revivalism, folklore methodology, and bluegrass music. His Bluegrass: a History remains the definitive account, and he has also collaborated on a pictorial history of the genre and a discography of bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe. His work as a compiler, annotator, and contributor to recording anthologies has been equally influential and includes several volumes on Bear Family Records chronicling Monroe’s career. He received a Grammy Award (1997) for his essay in the Smithsonian/Folkways reissue of the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music...

Article

Jean R. Freedman

[Margaret ]

(b New York, NY, June 17, 1935). American folksinger, songwriter, and folksong collector, daughter of musicologist charles Seeger and composer, educator, and folksong anthologist Ruth Crawford Seeger. Peggy learned piano, guitar, music theory, and transcription from her parents. With her brother mike Seeger , she learned banjo from a book written by their half-brother pete r. Seeger . She later became proficient on autoharp, Appalachian dulcimer, and English concertina. She made her first recording, Folk Songs of Courting and Complaint, while a student at Radcliffe College (1953–5). During the autumn of 1955, she studied at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. From 1956 to 1959 she traveled throughout Europe, the United States, Russia, and China before settling in England with folksinger, songwriter, and playwright Ewan MacColl [James Henry Miller] (1915–89), who became her musical partner, husband, and father of her children, Neill, Calum, and Kitty. With MacColl, she made more than 100 recordings of traditional Anglo-American ballads, political songs, love songs, work songs, and songs from literature. They frequently performed in folk clubs and concert halls, at festivals, on television, and in films. Seeger and MacColl felt that traditional music was a solid foundation on which the modern songwriter could build. They brought to their songwriting a political dimension, believing that folksongs represent the struggles of ordinary people whose lives are often ignored and whose creations are frequently slighted....

Article

Elizabeth Kinder

(b Enfield, May 5, 1949). English composer, musician, writer and curator. He studied at Hornsey College of Art (1967–8) and, following a brief period at Watford College of Art and Design, returned to Hornsey to study painting, where he met Max Eastley. Due to lack of funding Toop secured a job at the Roundhouse, where he met the percussionist Paul Burwell. Together, Burwell and Toop, along with Steve Beresford and sound artist Peter Cusack, set up the London Musicians Collective in 1975. With Burwell, Toop established the band Rain in the Face, in which he played guitar and flute. Eager to explore mixed media, they collaborated with various musicians, dancers and the sound poet Bob Cobbing. Toop later worked with Brian Eno, John Zorn, Prince Far I, Jon Hassell, Derek Bailey, Talvin Singh, Evan Parker, Scanner, Ivor Cutler, Akio Suzuki, Haco and Jin Hi Kim, Steven Berkoff, Mitsutaka Ishii and John Latham amongst others....

Article

Matt Meacham

[Joseph T. ]

(b Sutherland, Ashe County, NC, March 16, 1938). American Folklorist and folk music presenter. Raised in northeastern Tennessee, Wilson developed interests in the humanities and in Upland Southern musical traditions early in life. He went to Nashville in 1960 and worked in various capacities in the country music industry. Disenchanted with the commercialism of the music business he moved to Birmingham in 1962, where he worked as a journalist covering the Civil Rights Movement. Beginning in 1966 he held positions with philanthropic and public relations firms, eventually becoming vice-president of Oram International in New York. While there he facilitated recording and performance opportunities for Southern vernacular musicians.

In 1976 Wilson became executive director of the nonprofit National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA). During his tenure, NCTA produced the annual National Folk Festival and other major festivals, numerous recordings, and influential national and international performance tours featuring a wide variety of artistic traditions. Since ...

Article

Richard Will

(b Sedalia, MO, Aug 14, 1943; d Murfreesboro, KY, Feb 9, 2006). American music historian and folklorist. He studied English at Southwest Missouri University (BA 1965) and the University of Kansas (MA 1967, PhD 1970), and taught at Middle Tennessee State University from 1970 until his retirement in 2005. Beginning with books on country music in Tennessee and Kentucky, he became one of the most prolific and influential historians of Southern American music. Though his particular focus was country music of the 1920s and 30s, his interests ranged from the Civil War through the 20th century and across genres including gospel music, blues, ballads, old-time fiddling traditions, and bluegrass. In addition to authoring and co-authoring many books, he also edited and co-edited several collections of essays and the Country Music Annual (2000–02). He wrote the script for the television documentary series American Roots Music...