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Hugh Davies and Susan McClary

(b Chicago, IL, June 5, 1947). American performance artist, composer, and instrument innovator. Although she played the violin from childhood, she received her formal training in the visual arts (Barnard College, BA 1969; Columbia University, MFA 1972). During the 1970s she became one of the most celebrated practitioners of performance art. Her work has incorporated graphics, lighting, sculpture, mime, slides, film, speech, music, and many electronic devices, some of her own design. By 1976 her performances were featured prominently in museums and concert venues across Europe and North America.

Anderson has achieved great visibility, in part because of her originality: coming to music from the visual arts, she was free to manipulate sounds as she liked. Her unexpected crossover into the popular domain brought her a degree of fame and influence usually unavailable to avant-garde artists.

Since the mid-1970s Anderson has developed several instruments for use in her performances and exhibitions. A typical programme for one of her live shows includes all or part of her large-scale music theatre work ...

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

(b Troy, NY, 1833; d New York, April 10, 1875). American minstrel performer and manager. He began as a performer in the late 1840s, and made his first New York appearance with Charley White’s Serenaders in 1851. From 1852 to 1854 he and his brother Jerry performed with Wood’s Minstrels in New York, and late in the 1854 season he formed Bryant and Mallory’s Minstrels with Ben Mallory. By this time he was being advertised as ‘the unapproachable Ethiopian comedian’. In February 1857 he formed Bryant’s Minstrels with his brothers Jerry and Neil. As a versatile and brilliant performer, Bryant quickly became a public idol; the troupe performed with great success in New York until Bryant’s death in 1875, and also toured in California and elsewhere in 1867–8. Bryant’s Minstrels excelled in the portrayal of black ‘plantation life’, marking a return to the classic type of minstrelsy of the 1840s; they were also innovators, placing a greater emphasis on burlesque skits. Bryant engaged Dan Emmett in ...

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

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

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

Robert B. Winans

(b 1808; d New Orleans, 1861). American minstrel performer. He was most famous for his entr’acte performances of Coal Black Rose, the first blackface comic lovesong, and Long Tailed Blue, the first song of the black dandy; both of these song types later became standard in the minstrel show, and both songs are in a simple musical style that was thought (mistakenly) to represent African American music. Dixon claimed authorship of these songs (and, less credibly, of Zip Coon), and is credited as the first to perform them; he presented Coal Black Rose as early as 1827 in Albany and in 1828 brought it to New York, where he became highly popular. Capitalizing on this success, in 1829 he expanded the song into two comic skits (an interlude and an afterpiece), The Lottery Ticket and Love in a Cloud; the latter has been cited as the first ‘negro play’. Dixon performed throughout the 1830s, but by the 1840s he had been eclipsed by other minstrel performers; he went on to gain notoriety as a filibuster in Yucatán and as the editor of a New York scandal sheet. ...

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

Gordon Rumson

(b Aurora, IL, March 9, 1871; d San Francisco, April 15, 1954). American composer, pianist and inventor. A precocious musician, he graduated with ‘unprecedented’ honours from the Königliche Musikschule, Munich (1889), having studied with Rheinberger and Thuille. He settled in San Francisco in 1896, touring widely with Anton Schott, Amalie Materna, David Bispham and Ernestine Schumann-Heink. In 1901 he married the singer Edith Cruzan. He moved back to Germany in 1911, where he established a vocal studio in Berlin and obtained a patent (1912) for a new keyboard design with 60 notes to the octave. After returning to the USA in 1914, he became head of the music department at the University of Virginia (from 1920). His retirement in 1941 coincided with an American patent for the polytone, an instrument using an extended keyboard and allowing for a purer intonation of 3rds and 5ths....

Article

Edmond T. Johnson

(b Memphis, TN, 17 June 1957). American artist, composer, performer, and instrument inventor best known for inventing the Long String Instrument. Originally interested in visual and performance art, Fullman attended the Kansas City Art Institute where she began to incorporate sound into her works, at first through the manipulation of magnetic tape. Her first major work was the Metal Skirt Sound Sculpture (1980), an assemblage consisting of amplified guitar strings stretched between the artist’s shoes and a pleated metal skirt. Indirectly influenced by Alvin Lucier’s Music on a Long Thin Wire (1977), Fullman began experimenting with extended lengths of wire in 1980 and gave the first public performance on a prototype of the Long String Instrument at the Walker Art Gallery in Minneapolis in November 1981.The design of the Long String Instrument has varied significantly over time and in different installations. It generally consists of several dozen stainless steel, phosphor bronze, or brass wires that are arranged in groups stretched horizontally at about waist height. Depending on the specific installation, the wires span from about 15 to 90 metres. At one end the strings are affixed perpendicularly to the soundboards of securely anchored wooden box resonators (designed in cooperation with the instrument maker Stephen Wise). The strings extend to blocks where they are fastened to tuning pins and tensioned just below their breaking point in order to maximize resonance. A brass capo of unique design (originally a C-clamp) on each string determines its vibrating length. Because the sound arises from longitudinal rather than transverse vibrations, string material (density) and length alone determine pitch, not tension (about 18 kg per string) or thickness. Consequently, the strings sound at a much higher pitch than might be expected from their length. Once tensioned, the strings are tuned by means of the capos in a flexible system of just intonation and typically encompass a range of three octaves down from ...

Article

J. Bryan Burton

[Goyaałé, Goyathlay, Goyahkla ]

(b New Mexico, 1829; d Fort Sill, OK, Feb 17, 1909). Native American instrument maker, singer, medicine man, prophet, and military leader. He is better known in Western history for his military leadership of Western Apache resistance to reservation life during the 1880s. Goyaałé (“One who yawns”) was given the name Geronimo after an attack on a Mexican village on St. Jerome’s day when terrified Mexican soldiers cried out “Jeronimo” appealing for help from St. Jerome. After his surrender he was held as a prisoner of war, first in St. Augustine, Florida, then in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, until his death. His celebrity was such that he often made public appearances, including at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, rode in Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade in 1904, and wrote an autobiography with S.M. Barrett, the Oklahoma superintendent of education.

As a medicine man (Apache: diyan), Goyaałé performed Apache sacred ceremonies and rituals that required the knowledge of a vast repertoire of traditional songs sung during the ceremonies. A number of the songs he created were collected for Natalie Curtis’s ...

Article

Kathryn Bridwell Briner

(David )

(b Chicago, IL, Jan 27, 1950). American horn player, historical horn maker, music educator, and composer. He studied horn with Ernani Angelucci, John Barrows, Helen Kotas, Ethel Merker, Frank Brouk, and Dale Clevenger. He was appointed assistant principal horn for the Detroit Symphony in 1972, and has also performed as principal horn with the Mexico City Philharmonic (1978–80), the Cincinnati Symphony (1984–6), the Toledo Symphony (1990–7), and as guest principal horn with the Antwerp Philharmonic/Royal Flemish Orchestra. He has taught the horn at Interlochen Arts Academy, Wheaton College, Oakland University, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Michigan, the School of Perfection in Mexico City, and the Carl Nielsen Academy in Odense, Denmark. Greer has written solo pieces for both the modern and natural (valveless) horn, as well as a mass for hunting horns and organ.

Noted for his flexible tone and facile technique, Greer has toured widely as a soloist and has made notable recordings, particularly on the natural horn; those recordings include Beethoven’s Sonata for horn, Brahms’ Trio for horn, violin, and piano, and the horn concertos of Mozart....

Article

Robert E. Eliason

(b Lyme, NH, May 16, 1822; d Boston, Feb 11, 1900). American bandleader, bugle player and brass instrument manufacturer. He was an accomplished keyed bugle player and led several bands, first in Hartford, Connecticut (1844–5), then in New Haven (1845–6). Shortly after he became director and E♭ bugle soloist with the Lowell, Massachusetts, brass band. He was presented with an extremely fine E♭ keyed bugle of solid gold on 15 April 1850 by the members of the Lowell band. In 1856 Hall succeeded Patrick S. Gilmore as leader of the Boston Brass Band, a position he retained for many years.

In 1862, after a year of partnership with J. Lathrop Allen, a leading Boston instrument maker, Hall began his own brass instrument manufactory and importing business. He was joined by Benjamin F. Quinby, and from 1866 to 1875 Hall & Quinby were leading producers and importers of brass instruments in Boston. Their instruments were made in circular and over-shoulder forms as well as in the shapes common today, and they were usually equipped with Allen valves. Although most of Hall & Quinby’s instruments were pitched alternately in E♭ and B♭ like saxhorns, they also made brass instruments pitched a 3rd apart, like those in the ...

Article

Chris Goertzen

(b Rugby, Grayson County, VA, 13March 1943). American Guitar maker and player. He is a noted luthier and player of fingerstyle steel-string guitar (in the manner of his relative Estil Ball) and a 1995 NEA National Heritage Fellow. Both his family and his immediate neighborhood were rich in players of traditional Appalachian music. He built his first guitar because he could not afford the instrument he wanted. After a few initial attempts that he has recalled with rueful humor, he has made and sold several hundred finely crafted guitars. The models he makes and the qualities he seeks recall the best of steel-string guitars made by C.F. Martin and Company before World War II. His principal teacher in the art of lutherie was Albert Hash, who is better known as a seminal figure in the White Top (Virginia) style of old-time Appalachian fiddling. Henderson now makes about 20 guitars per year—entirely by hand—plus a handful of mandolins. His craftsmanship has inspired many American luthiers, and his mandolin is played by Doc Watson. He spearheads the annual Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition, through which he raises funds to support students of Appalachian traditional music. He has toured Asia under the auspices of the United States Information Agency....

Article

Ron Emoff

[Christian ]

(b Wanda, MN, Dec 25, 1922; d New Ulm, MN, Dec 11, 2007). American maker and player of concertinas. Of Bohemian ancestry, he grew up listening to his mother, Anna Schroeder Hengel, sing German folk songs and popular tunes while accompanying herself on the organ. He was greatly influenced and inspired by concertina player “Whoopee” John Wilfahrt, also of Bohemian ancestry, whose recordings he heard as a child. At the age of 14 Hengel acquired his first button accordion, a mail-order Hohner factory-built instrument. He later switched to the Chemnitzer-style concertina (a bisonoric button instrument that sounds different pitches on the pushing in or pulling out of thee bellows). He never learned to read music instead playing entirely by ear. He performed with the Jolly Brewers Band and the Six Fat Dutchmen during the 1950s; he also played with Wilfahrt’s band. In 1953 Hengel acquired the entire contents of the Chicago factory of Otto Schlicht (maker of concertinas under the brand names Patek and Pearl), and in ...

Article

Hugh Davies

(b Ann Arbor, April 21, 1948). American sculptor. He received his BFA from the University of Michigan in 1970. Strongly influenced by a Native American world-view, he has used sound elements in several outdoor installations constructed in Berkeley, California, and elsewhere in public sites since the mid-1970s. These include large aeolian harps, and (from 1980) a series of ‘singing bridges’ in which wind and water are involved. In Waterwalker (1981), for example, a jetty 30 metres long, floating on large empty oil drums, is built out into a lake; it functions as a resonator for a wind harp constructed from some 60 polypropylene strings which are anchored in the water on each side and cross a metal pipe, supported on five upright poles 6 metres tall, so as to form a roof-shaped triangular structure above the jetty. A Sound Garden (1983), commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle, Washington, uses wind-activated organ pipes mounted on movable vanes. Recent work that reflects Hollis’s interest in ecological design includes Wind Ensemble (...