(b 1623–8; d Bologna, 1699, before 28 Jan). Italian singer, composer and instrument maker. He was an Augustinian monk who was employed from about 1649 as a soprano castrato at the Este court at Modena. On 13 November 1660 he was appointed to the choir of S Petronio, Bologna, with a stipend of 50 lire a month; he was discharged on 24 April 1662 but rejoined on 25 July 1663. In October 1665 he returned to Modena, where he succeeded Marco Uccellini as choirmaster of the cathedral. He vacated this post in November 1673 and by early 1674 was again living at Bologna. Between 1677 and 1681 he served as a singer in the cappella of Duke Francesco II of Modena. In 1685 he was made a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, Bologna, and seems to have spent his last years in or near that city. He wrote to the Duke of Modena in ...
( 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 ...
Lyndesay G. Langwill
revised by James B. Kopp
(b Ronsdorf [now Wuppertal], Germany, Oct 3, 1786; d Biebrich, Germany, Sept 14, 1843). German bassoonist, inventor, and composer. Largely self-taught, he was a professional bassoonist in Cologne from 1808. After a period with the Frankfurt Nationaltheater (1812–14) he returned to Cologne as bandmaster of the 3rd Prussian Militia, then accepted a similar position in Mainz (1816), where he met the acoustician and theorist Gottfried Weber. His association with Weber influenced his subsequent career and led him to make fundamental improvements to the bassoon. In 1817 he experimented in the instrument factory of B. Schotts Söhne. He first published his findings in Traité sur le perfectionnement du basson avec deux tableaux (Mainz, c1823), describing his improved 15-key bassoon. In 1820, after Weber’s departure from Mainz, Almenräder returned to Cologne where he taught and performed and also made flutes and clarinets in his own workshop. He gave this up in ...
Roger J.V. Cotte
(b Fockenhof, Kurland, Feb 14, 1722; d Paris, March 24, 1791). French dilettante, amateur violinist and composer, patron of the arts and instrument collector. A magnificent and very wealthy nobleman, he both amused and astounded his contemporaries. M. Audinot in his comic opera La musicomanie (1779), and possibly E.T.A. Hoffmann in his tale Die Serapionsbrüder (1819), attempted to evoke his strange personality, emphasizing its ridiculous nature.
At the death of his father, a landed nobleman, in 1747, Bagge inherited a large fortune which enabled him to study the violin in Italy with Tartini. By 1750 he had settled in Paris; in the following year he was awarded the title chambellan du Roi de Prusse (then Frederick II) and married the daughter of the Swiss banker Jacob Maudry. With Maudry's death in 1762 the very large inheritance proved a source of contention to the ill-matched couple and they soon separated. Bagge later attempted to gain possession of the inheritance of Mme Maudry, who had died in ...
revised by Andrea Chegai
(b Urbino; fl 1591–6; d ?Venice, ?1607). Italian composer, poet and instrument inventor. A connection with Urbino is suggested by the dedications to the Della Rovere family of his two surviving publications; his book of madrigals further includes a preface addressed to ‘miei Signori & Patriotti’ of Urbino. He was maestro di cappella at Venice Cathedral (S Pietro di Castello) from 1591 until at least 1596. His whereabouts after 1596 are unknown; a notice in a necrology from S Maria Formosa, Venice, may refer to his death in 1607.
Balsamino is the author of a tragicomedy, La perla (Venice, 1596), which draws heavily on Tasso’s Aminta. He may have intended portions of the drama to be sung: one scene closes with a parody of the poem Ancor che col partir, famous for its setting by Rore. His only music publication, a book of six-part madrigals (Venice, 1594...
(b Memel, Prussia, May 12, 1714; d Trondheim, Nov 4, 1787). Norwegian organist, composer, inventor and writer of German birth. He studied the organ with his father Heinrich Berlin, and in 1730 went to Copenhagen, where he became the pupil of the city musician Andreas Berg. In 1737 Berlin was appointed city musician in Trondheim, a post he held until 1767. From 1740 to his death he was organist at Trondheim Cathedral and from 1752 to 1761 at the Vår Frue Kirke. Berlin was probably the most exceptional and versatile figure in 18th-century Trondheim: he not only conscientiously carried out his duties as city musician, but published books and papers on a variety of subjects (including music theory, meteorology and astronomy); he arranged concerts, composed, and built instruments; he was for many years the head of the city fire-service and inspector of the city waterworks; he was a map designer and architect; and he owned one of the largest collections of music literature and instruments in Norway. His ...
(b Reggio nell’Emilia, before 1675; d ?Ferrara, after 1694). Italian writer on wind instruments, cornettist and composer. A few biographical details are in his correspondence with the princes of Este, preserved in the Modena state archive. He was educated in Reggio nell’Emilia at the Servite convent and joined the Servite order; after studying away from home (possibly in Bologna, according to Cavicchi) he returned to Reggio nell’Emilia, then went to Ferrara in 1675 and lived in the Servite convent there. He was a musician at Ferrara Cathedral and a cornett virtuoso at the Accademia dello Spirito Santo. His Compendio musicale, its foreword dating from 1677, survives as a manuscript ( I-REm ). Dedicated to his patron, Abbot Ferrante Bentivoglio, it was probably intended for publication; a postscript of 1694 implies that it was not printed because of his patron’s death. It is mostly rather conservative; its significance lies in the detailed instructions on playing the recorder, the flageolet and especially the cornett, as practically no other wind instrument tutor is known from Italy or France for the period between ...
revised by Ludwig Böhm
(b Munich, April 9, 1794; d Munich, Nov 25, 1881). German flute maker, flautist, composer and inventor. He worked out the proportions and devised the mechanism which are the bases of the modern flute. Boehm was the son of a goldsmith, in whose craft he became fully skilled at an early age. In childhood he taught himself the flageolet and one-keyed flute; by the age of 16 he had already grown dissatisfied with the latter, and in 1810 made himself a copy of a four-keyed instrument by Grenser of Dresden. Around the same time he also made a nine-keyed flute with a movable golden mouth-hole, based on the ideas of Johann Nepomuk Kapeller (1776–1825), flautist in the royal court orchestra in Munich. In 1810 Boehm began flute lessons with Kapeller, who gave him formal instruction until 1812, admitting then that he had no more to teach him....
( b Paris, June 13, 1799; d Paris, 5/April 6, 1839). French oboist, wind instrument maker and composer . He studied at the Paris Conservatoire from 1812 under Gustave Vogt, who shared Brod’s Protestant Alsatian background. Having received the premier prix in 1818, the following year Brod was appointed second oboist in the Opéra orchestra alongside his teacher. During Vogt’s absences in 1826 and 1828 Brod filled Vogt’s place as first oboist. The abilities of the two players were often compared; Fétis found Brod’s tone sweeter than that of his teacher. A statuette by Dantan jeune (Paris, Musée Carnavalet) caricatures Brod playing a musette. He died just 3 months before he would have been eligible for a pension to support his wife and young son. His widow petitioned repeatedly for support from the administration of both the Conservatoire and Opéra.
Oboes by Brod, some made in collaboration with his brother Jean-Godefroy (...
Lyndesay G. Langwill
revised by Rosemary Williamson
(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 ...
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.
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 ...
revised by Robert Bigio
(b Dublin, Ireland, 1809; d London, England, May 7, 1864). Irish flutist, composer, flute designer, and manufacturer. He became professor of flute at the Royal Academy of Music in the 1840s, and was an enthusiastic player of Boehm’s 1832 conical flute as made by Rudall & Rose from 1843. He published the first English-language tutor for the instrument, followed by further editions. However, Clinton appears to have fallen out with Boehm after failing to persuade him to allow Clinton to produce Boehm’s newly invented (1847) cylindrical flute in London (Boehm sold the rights to Rudall & Rose instead). Clinton then denounced Boehm’s work, declaring his opposition to Boehm’s open-standing (fully vented) key system (the virtues of which he had previously extolled) as well as to Boehm’s cylindrical bore and his use of metal for the body.
In 1848 Clinton registered the first of his four patents for flutes, to which he gave the name Equisonant. These use a fingering system similar to that of the eight-keyed flute, on a conical bore but with a mechanism that allows the tone holes to be better placed. After ...
(b Exmouth, April 23, 1943; d London, Jan 1, 2005). English composer, instrument inventor, performer and writer on music. After reading music at Oxford University (1961–4) he worked with Stockhausen between 1964 and 1966; in the following year he became director of the electronic music studio at Goldsmiths College, London, later becoming its research consultant (1986–91). He was the first Secretary of the International Confederation for Electroacoustic Music (1982–6) and an external consultant for electronic musical instruments at the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (1986–93). From 1999 he was a part-time researcher in sonic art at the Centre for Electronic Arts, Middlesex University.
Starting in 1968 he was active in a number of groups specializing in improvisation and the realization of indeterminate scores. From 1967 he devised and constructed over 120 instruments, sound sculptures, sound installations and musical toys, many of which incorporate found objects and cast-off materials. About half, primarily the concert instruments, are electro-acoustic, using mainly contact and magnetic microphones; they include different types of ‘shozyg’ (Davies’s generic name for the instruments he has built using a selection of commonplace sound-producing objects mounted inside everyday containers) and a family of a dozen ‘springboards’ (amplified springs stretched over blockboard). He composed for conventional forces, tape, live electronics and his own instruments, including several music theatre works, and devised environmental music projects and documented unusual sound environments....
revised by Thomas Hiebert
(b Würzburg, March 13, 1767; d Paris, June 19, 1844). German horn player, composer and teacher, active in France. Son of the Hungarian-born principal horn at the Würzburg court, Friedrich Domnich (b Ofen, 9 June 1729; d Würzburg, 22 April 1790), he was the most famous of three horn-playing brothers; the others were Jacob (b Würzburg, 1758; d Philadelphia, after 1806), who in about 1790 emigrated to Philadelphia and taught and played extensively there, and Arnold (b Würzburg, 29 Sept 1771; d Meiningen, 14 July 1834), who was employed at the Saxe-Meiningen court from 1786 until 1834, becoming principal horn in 1803. At an early age Heinrich entered the band of Count von Elz at Mainz, but when subjected to livery service he left in 1783 for Paris, where he studied with Punto for two years. In 1785 he earned praise for the neatness and facility of his playing as second to Jean Lebrun in a double concerto at the Concert Spirituel; this was the first of at least eight appearances there by Domnich between ...
(b Karlsruhe, Feb 26, 1954). German composer, instrument builder and performer. He studied saxophone with Ariel Kalma in Paris, Indian classical music with Kamalesh Maitra in Berlin and India and the ney with Ali Reza Asgharia. Durand began constructing wind instruments, mostly built from PVC and plexiglass, in the early 1980s and performs his own music on these, as well as saxophone and ney. He is also active in collaborating with and organizing international music festivals and artist exchanges in the fields of both traditional and avant-garde music in Berlin and elsewhere. Recent collaborations include The Beatless Sax Oldrones, a saxophone quartet specializing in just intonation, and The Armchair Traveller, a group with Sebastian Hilken (cello and percussion), Hella von Plotz (glass harp) and Silvia Ocougne (acoustic guitars). He founded the group The Thirteenth Tribe, and continues to contribute music to theatre, dance, film and radio productions. In ...
(b Cheshire, Jan 11, 1801; d London, Jan 3, 1873). English composer. He was born John Lodge, son of Adam Lodge of Liverpool, but in 1838 adopted his paternal grandmother’s maiden name, Ellerton. He was educated at Rugby and at Brasenose College, Oxford (BA 1821, MA 1828). Encouraged by the success of some early compositions, he embarked on a career as a composer. He studied counterpoint under Pietro Terziani at Rome for two years, where he wrote seven Italian operas. He also toured Germany with the Earl of Scarbrough, whose sister, Lady Harriet Lumley (1796–1864), he married in 1837. From 1847 to 1871 he was a member of John Ella’s Musical Union. He also held string quartet meetings at his London house, with distinguished artists taking part.
Many of Ellerton’s compositions, more remarkable for quantity than quality, were published at his own expense. He tried his hand at almost every existing genre, including opera, oratorio, glees, church music, and the programme symphony (his ...
(b c1575; bur. Greenwich, July 24, 1651). English composer, string player and instrument maker. He may have been the son of Richard Farrant, Master of the Choristers at St George’s Chapel, Windsor and Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal. A birthdate of about 1575 would make Daniel Farrant a contemporary of John Coprario and Alfonso Ferrabosco II, who John Playford mentioned with Farrant in 1661 as ‘The First Authors of Inventing and Setting Lessons’ for lyra viol. On 23 November 1607 Farrant was given a place in the royal violin band at the court of James I. He is listed as a player of the viol in several documents of 1624 and 1625.
Farrant was an instrument maker as well as a player. On 27 February 1626 he was paid £109 for six ‘Artificiall Instruments’ ‘made and finished’ for royal service. Playford wrote that he was ‘a person of such ingenuity for his several rare inventions of instruments, as the Poliphant and the Stump, which were strung with wire’ and ‘a lyra viol, to be strung with lute strings and wire strings, the one above the other’. This cannot be taken at face value since Farrant would have been too young to have invented the poliphant or poliphon, which (Playford claimed elsewhere) Queen Elizabeth played, and at least three other individuals are connected with the invention of the lyra viol with sympathetic metal strings – the ancestor of the baryton. Nevertheless, it is likely that Farrant was involved in some way with the development of novel types of stringed instruments in Jacobean England....
Nona Pyron and Angela Lepore
(b Parma, Oct 16, 1649; d ?Parma, 1697). Italian composer, cellist, instrument maker, sculptor and painter. All that is known of his life is that he worked at the Este court at Modena. His only known music is Trattenimento musicale sopra il violoncello a’ solo (Modena, 1691), a set of 12 sonatas for solo cello (like his contemporaries at the Este court, G.B. Vitali and Giuseppe Colombi, he was himself a cellist). Precedents for his sonatas can be found in various works for solo cello by Colombi. Others by the two Bolognese composers G.B. Degli Antoni and Domenico Gabrielli probably influenced him still more: Degli Antoni’s set of 12 Ricercate appeared in 1687, and Gabrielli published a similar set of seven Ricercary in January 1689, shortly after spending a year at the Este court. The appearance of Galli’s sonatas in 1691 seems more than just coincidental: they could well have been inspired by his close contact with Gabrielli. Their style is remarkably close to that of Gabrielli’s ...
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, ...
Alice Lawson Aber-Count
(b Berlin, 17 Feb ?1821; d Berlin, May 23, 1882). German harpist, teacher and composer, son of Karl Grimm. He studied the harp with Josef Hasselmans at the Strasbourg Conservatory and perfected his skill in Leipzig with Elias Parish Alvars. From 1837 he performed with great success and was much in demand, particularly by Liszt and Bülow. In 1844 he was the principal harpist at the royal chapel in Berlin and 25 years later received the title königliche Concertmeister.
Grimm was the founder of the modern German school of harp playing. Among his pupils were Albert Zabel, Wilhelm Posse, Franz Poenitz, Rosalia Spohr (wife of Louis Spohr) and Ferdinand B. Hummel. His compositions for the harp are unpublished.B. Bagatti: Arpa e arpisti (Piacenza, 1932), 52 M.G. Scimeca: L’arpa nella storia (Bari, 1938), 145–6 W. Henley: Universal Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers, 2 (Brighton, 1960) A.N. Schirinzi...