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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

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

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

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

Sarah Adams Hoover

(b Flint, MI, March 28, 1933). American organologist, curator, and tuba player. He studied tuba with Roy Benson and William Graves at Graceland University (1951–53), performed under william donald Revelli at the University of Michigan (BM 1955), and worked with William Bell at Manhattan School of Music (MM 1959). He also studied musicology with Paul Revitt at the University of Missouri, Kansas City (DMA 1969), where his dissertation focused on the D.S. Pillsbury collection of American-made brass instruments in Dearborn, Michigan. From 1961 to 1969 he was principal tuba player with the Kansas City Philharmonic and has since performed regularly on tuba as well as historical instruments including the serpent, the ophicleide, the saxhorn, and musical glasses. He served as curator of musical instruments at the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn (1971–85), producing pioneering research and curating exhibitions of early 19th-century American woodwind and brass instruments, instrument makers, and performers. From ...

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

Clive Greated

(Maley)

(b Springfield, MA, May 24, 1911; d Wolfeboro, NH, Aug 7, 2009). American violin maker and acoustician. After studying biology at Cornell University (AB 1933) and taking an MA in education, she went on to study violin making with Karl A. Berger (1954–9) and Simone Sacconi (1960–63), and violin acoustics with Frederick A. Saunders of Harvard University (1949–63). Her work on violin design and construction techniques was funded mostly from the sale of her own instruments. She was co-founder of the Catgut Acoustical Society, an organization that co-ordinates and disseminates information on violin acoustics. Hutchins was known internationally for her revolutionary work on the design and construction of the New violin family (or violin octet), a musically successful acoustically-matched consort of eight new instruments of the violin family. She developed two electronic testing methods for violin makers, namely ‘free plate tuning’ for violins before assembling and ‘mode tuning’ for finished instruments, which provide measurable parameters to augment and quantify traditional violin-making techniques. As well as receiving a number of honorary doctorates, 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

Edmond T. Johnson

(b Gloversville, NY, June 4, 1950). American organologist and conservator. He was educated at Harvard College and studied harpsichord building under hugh Gough . Since 1991 Koster has been on the faculty of the University of South Dakota and the National Music Museum, where he holds the title of Conservator and Professor of Music. He is a leading authority on the history and development of early keyboard instruments, a topic on which he has extensively published. Between 1975 and 1991, Koster served as a technician and conservator to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 1994 he published a monumental catalog of that museum’s collection of keyboard instruments, Keyboard Musical Instruments in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, 1994), which was awarded the American Musical Instrument Society’s Bessaraboff Prize in 1997. In addition to his work in the area of historic keyboard instruments, Koster has undertaken research on the choralcelo, an early electronic instrument developed during the first years of the 20th century....

Article

Igor′ Bėlza

(b Poltava, 17/May 29, 1894; d Moscow, Aug 15, 1967). Soviet music historian, theorist, pianist and instrument maker . In 1912 he went to Moscow University to read physics and mathematics, but he changed to law and graduated in 1917. At the same time he studied at the Moscow People’s Conservatory under Boleslav Yavorsky (composition) and Yevgeny Bogoslovsky and Aleksandr Goedicke (piano). Between 1912 and 1916 he appeared as a concert pianist and performed his own sonatas (all five of which have remained in manuscript) and other works, stylistically influenced by the Taneyev school. In 1915 he started teaching at the conservatory. He edited the literary journal Gyulistan, and from 1923 to 1933 held a number of posts in different publishing houses; from 1937 to 1941 he was editor of the publishing house of the USSR Academy of Architecture. For several years he played an active part in the Union of Soviet Composers; he was chairman of the Moscow branch (...

Article

Richard Kassel

(b Oakland, CA, June 24, 1901; d San Diego, Sept 3, 1974). American composer, theorist, instrument maker and performer. He dedicated most of his life to implementing an alternative to equal temperament, which he found incapable of the true consonance his ear and essentially tonal aesthetic demanded. He invented an approach to just intonation he called ‘monophony’; realizing that traditional instruments and performers would be inimical to his system, he designed and constructed new and adapted instruments, developed notational systems, and trained performing groups wherever he was living and working. By the 1940s he had transformed a profound antipathy to the European concert tradition into the idea of ‘corporeality’, emphasizing a physical and communal quality in his music.

Growing up in the American Southwest, Partch had piano lessons and played well enough to accompany silent films in Albuquerque. By 1920 he had returned to California, where he spent the next 13 years as a proofreader, piano teacher and violist. During this period he began to research intonation, sparked by his discovery of Helmholtz's ...

Article

Alexey Kossykh and Ilya Tëmkin

(b Soldatsko-Stepnoye, Feb 26, 1943; d Veliky Novgorod, Oct 10, 2010). Russian musical archaeologist, restorer, luthier, musician, and artist. Povetkin attended the School of Visual Arts in Kursk and then transferred to and graduated from the School of Visual Arts in Leningrad. After service in the navy, he settled in 1969 in Veliky Novgorod where he worked as a designer for the State Novgorod Museum. Unable to pursue a career as a sculptor because of Soviet censorship, he joined the Novgorod archaeological survey of Moscow State University in 1975 as a restorer and gained recognition for his work on medieval birch-bark documents and the 11th-century Novgorod Codex.

Povetkin made the first working replicas of the medieval gusli and gudok, pioneered non-destructive methods of restoring wooden archaeological artefacts using reversible chemical reactions, and developed an original approach for exhibiting reconstructed instruments using colours to distinguish between preserved and inferred parts. In ...

Article

Peter Bavington

(b London, England, May 27, 1922; d Malta, March 17, 1964). English organologist and collector of keyboard instruments. He was a Fellow of Trinity College London and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Born into a wealthy and artistic family (the owners of Mottisfont Abbey), he acquired his first keyboard instrument in 1939, and over the following 25 years built up a substantial collection of 17th- and 18th-century harpsichords and clavichords. Through detailed study of these and other antique instruments, he became an acknowledged expert, and was asked to compile catalogues of the Victoria and Albert Museum and Benton Fletcher collections. Although not himself a craftsman, he took a keen interest in the present-day manufacture of early keyboard instruments, being among the first to criticize modern developments and advocate a return to a more historical style. His book The Harpsichord and Clavichord outshone its predecessors for the accuracy and detail of its descriptions and the penetration of its analysis; it helped to inspire a change of direction in harpsichord making in favour of careful copies of antique instruments. Frank Hubbard was among those influenced by it. In ...

Article

Laurence Libin

(b Haarlem, Netherlands, Feb 24, 1942). Dutch clavichord builder and researcher active in Aerdenhout. He was educated at the choristers’ school of St Bavo Cathedral in Haarlem and at the Amsterdam Conservatory, where he studied music education and the recorder (1962–69). He built his first clavichord as a hobby in 1960 and assembled three from kits. He began building clavichords from technical drawings in 1976 while teaching school music at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam (1970–95) and directing a chamber choir that he founded in 1972. Between 1978 and 2011 (the first four years working with Jan Oudshoorn, then alone) Vermeij produced 56 clavichords, three of them after the 1763 Hass (GB.E.u) but mainly after designs of Christian Gottlob Hubert. In 1985 he began research on all extant Hubert instruments, resulting in The Hubert Clavichord Data Book, and in 1999 he restored the ...