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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

Benjamin Vogel

[Bartholomaeus] [Kicher, Kecher]

(b Kraków, Poland, 1548; d Kraków, Jan 9, 1599). Polish organ builder, wind instrument maker, and musician. He was enrolled in the royal chapel in Kraków as a boy singer about 1558, and is recorded as a wind instrument player (fistulator) there from 6 January 1565 at least to 1572. He also ran a musical instrument workshop, probably taking over from his father. His posthumous inventory, known from a copy in the State Archives, Kraków, lists 120 (completed) instruments, 336 uncompleted, 10 old, 2 violins (bass and descant), 4 keyboard instruments and 1 old one (an octave spinet or clavichord by his father), 2 Nuremberg regals, and 16 trumpets. Kiejcher became a very wealthy owner of two houses. His son Krzysztof was an organ builder and organist.

B. Vogel: Słownik lutników działających na historycznych i obecnych ziemiach polskich oraz lutników polskich działających za granicą do 1950 roku...

Article

Melanie Piddocke

(b Kirchheim, Germany, Feb 21, 1746; d Vienna, Austria, June 25, 1792). German musician, composer, and woodwind instrument maker active in Pressburg and Vienna. Lotz is first documented as a clarinettist: on 17 Dec 1772 he performed a clarinet concerto in a Tonkünstlersocietät concert in Vienna, and in 1775 performed his own clarinet concerto in Pressburg. About this time Lotz became of a member of Cardinal Batthyány’s orchestra in Pressburg, where he served as first clarinettist, played viola when necessary, and directed rehearsals. Lotz remained a member of this orchestra until it disbanded in 1783. It has been suggested, without evidence, that Lotz was a member of the orchestras of Cardinal de Rohan (until 1774) and Prince (Johann?) Esterházy.

Lotz is remembered primarily as an innovative instrument maker. He made for Anton Stadler the basset clarinet for which Mozart wrote his concerto k622. C.F. Cramer (Magazin der Musik...

Article

Paula Conlon

[‘Doc’ Tate ]

(b Fletcher, OK, July 3, 1932; d Lawton, OK, March 5, 1996). Native American (Comanche) maker and player of juniper flutes. He attended the Fort Sill Indian School and Haskell Indian Institute. He learned flute making from the Kiowa maker Belo Cozad (1864–1950) and the Lakota maker Richard Fool Bull (1887–1976). He used the traditional method of splitting the wood, carving the channel, boring the holes, and inserting the plug, then gluing the flute back together with sap, binding it with leather thongs, and attaching the external block. His first album, Indian Flute Songs from Comanche Land (NAM 401C, n.d.), was the first commercial recording consisting entirely of music for solo Indian flute. He introduced new playing techniques, including cross-fingerings to extend the range, and extending the warbling sound on the lowest tone to all the available pitches, thus expanding the flute’s repertoire and contributing to its revival in the latter 20th century. Tate (the English name given to him) was recognized as a National Heritage Fellow in ...

Article

Patrizio Barbieri

(b Amatrice, Rieti, Italy, 17??; d Amatrice, Italy, 16–17 March 1804). Italian amateur flutist, composer, and developer of the flute. Orazi served as an army lieutenant in Naples and Spain and on retirement returned to Amatrice, on the northern border of the Kingdom of Naples. In 1797 he published a short treatise illustrating his invention and fabrication of a new type of transverse flute; printed separately at the same time were two ‘enharmonic’ trios he wrote especially for this instrument, incorporating themes by other composers. His aim was to make the flute more competitive with the violin by extending its range down to g; increasing the upper range and facilitating emission of high notes; and enabling it to perform quarter-tones so that portamento effects could enhance its expressive potential.

The instrument was essentially a normal concert flute in D (‘flauto corista’) equipped with four closed-standing keys (E♭, F, G#, B♭). To it was added an extension partly bent back on itself for more convenient positioning of the keys, allowing one to play chromatically from ...

Article

Timo Leisiö

[Feodor Safronoff ]

(b Soikkola, Russian West Ingria, Nov 7, 1886; d Helsinki, Finland, Jan 5, 1962). Ingrian musician and instrument maker who became a symbol of Finnish folk music. As a boy on the southeastern shore of the Gulf of Finland he worked as a shepherd during several summers and learned to make and play local flutes (soittu), trumpets (wooden torvi, truba), and the Baltic psaltery (kantele). Being an orphan he lacked social status, and therefore emigrated to Finland in 1913. During World War I he played the french horn in a Russian army band. After Finland gained independence, in 1917, he settled there, changed his name Feodor Safronoff to Teppo Repo, and worked as a policeman and later as a mechanic (chiefly employed by the Singer sewing machine company); instrument making was always a part-time occupation. After starting to play Ingrian music in Helsinki he was recruited as an entertainer by patriotic forces in the early 1930s, and soon performed across Finland and abroad; his improvised melodies represented to his public the folk music of all Finnic peoples (Estonians, Karelians, Finns, etc.) even though his style was based on the music of his childhood and not truly representative of other national traditions. His flutes, horns, and trumpets, of which he made and sold an unknown number, can be found in museums from Japan to the USA. Some represent 19th-century Ingrian traditions foreign to Finland; others are of widespread European types. His straight and curved ...