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Article

Gavin Borchert

(b Kane, PA, Feb 25, 1938; d Rhinebeck, NY, Oct 22, 2009). American composer, performer and multimedia artist. She studied composition with Rochberg at the University of Pennsylvania (BFA 1964) and with Stockhausen. A concern for physical space pervades her music, best exemplified by three ongoing multimedia installation projects. In City Links #1-22 (1967–), she transmits sounds picked up by microphones placed throughout a city to mixing facilities at a central location. The resulting sound collages are broadcast at ‘live’ performances or over the radio. Locations for this project have included Boston, Chicago, New York and, in the Netherlands, Groningen. In Music for Sound-Joined Rooms (1980–), careful loudspeaker placement within a multi-room space creates ‘structure-borne’ sound that travels through walls and floors rather than through air. As the listener walks through a site, he or she experiences multiple sonic viewpoints arranged by Amacher to produce dramatic or narrative effects. The result is electronic music theatre designed according to the architectural features of a particular building. In ...

Article

Carmen Helena Téllez

revised by Juan Orrego-Salas

(b Santiago, July 20, 1933). Chilean composer and electro-acoustic engineer. He studied at the National Conservatory in Santiago with Urrutia-Blondel (1947–56), at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik with Blacher (1959–60) and at the Badische Hochschule für Musik with Wildberger. Simultaneously he studied engineering at the Catholic University in Santiago (1953–9). As part of his dissertation, in 1959 he assembled the first electro-acoustic music laboratory in Latin America, and composed the region’s first electronic composition, Variaciones espectrales.

Asuar was the Chilean delegate to the 1960 ISCM Festival in Cologne. In 1962 he directed a seminar of electro-acoustic music in Salvador, Brazil. He was Professor of Acoustics and Contemporary Music at the National Conservatory in Santiago (1963–5). In 1964 he taught a seminar in electronic music at the di Tella Institute in Buenos Aires. From 1965 to 1968, at the invitation of the Instituto Nacional de Cultura y Bellas Artes of Venezuela, he established and directed the Instituto de Fonología, the country’s first electro-acoustic music centre....

Article

Murray Campbell

(Graham)

(b Portland, OR, April 29, 1911; d Los Angeles, Oct 28, 1988). American acoustician. After studying at Reed College, Portland (BA 1932), he undertook postgraduate study at the University of California in Berkeley (MA 1936, PhD 1940). His early research work was in nuclear physics, working under the supervision of Ernest Lawrence in the Radiation Laboratory at Berkeley. In 1945 he was appointed professor of physics at the University of Southern California, and he continued in that post until his retirement in 1980. An accomplished performer on the piano and the bassoon, Backus was awarded the degree of MMus in conducting by the University of Southern California in 1959. In the later stages of his research career he made major contributions to the study of the acoustics of woodwind instruments, brass instruments and organ pipes. In 1969 the first edition of The Acoustical Foundations of Music...

Article

Jon Newsom

(b Chambersburg, PA, March 31, 1897; d Homestead, PA, Jan 4, 1970). American acoustician, musicologist and composer. He taught himself the piano and the organ and studied at Dickinson College, Pennsylvania (1914–18); after graduating he worked as organist and mathematics teacher at the Haverford School in Pennsylvania (1919–21, 1922–6) while continuing his studies at Dickinson College (MA 1920) and Temple University (MusB 1924). He subsequently taught music theory as assistant professor at Wells College, New York (1926–9), leaving with a fellowship to the universities of Cologne and Berlin. After studies at Cornell University under Kinkeldey (1931–2) he gained the doctorate in 1932 with a dissertation on the history of equal temperament from Ramis de Pareia to Rameau. He taught at Ithaca College, New York (1932–9), while working for the MusD of the University of Toronto (...

Article

R.W.B. Stephens

revised by Clive Greated

(b Budapest, June 3, 1899; d Cambridge, MA, June 13, 1972). Hungarian acoustician. He studied at the universities of Berne and Budapest, where he took the PhD (1923). He taught at the University of Budapest until 1947, and was engaged in research with the Hungarian telephone service concerning the mechanical behaviour of the ear, work which led to a revision of the theory of hearing. He later worked on physiological acoustics at Harvard University, and is the only acoustician to have obtained a Nobel Prize. Békésy studied the acoustics of the ear, sometimes by direct microscopic observation through tiny holes bored into the bony wall of the cochlea. He made fundamental discoveries about the operation of the inner ear and the way in which it responds to complex sounds; these discoveries are described with great lucidity in his book Experiments in Hearing (New York, 1960)....

Article

David J. Hough

[Geddes, Norman ]

(b Adrian, MI, April 27, 1893; d New York, May 8, 1958). American stage designer. He studied briefly at the Cleveland School of Art, but had no formal education after the age of 16. His first wife, Helen Belle Sneider, became his collaborator, and ‘Norman-Bel-Geddes’ was their nom de plume for articles on art and the theatre, until their divorce in 1932. Notable designs for Montemezzi’s La nave for Chicago Opera (1919) and Henry Hadley’s Cleopatra’s Night for the Metropolitan (1920) attracted Broadway attention, and his innovative approach was soon recognized. At an early stage of his career he discarded the proscenium arch and planned open-stage projects. For a commission in 1924 to design Vollmöller’s morality play The Miracle with Humperdinck’s music for Max Reinhardt, he converted the theatre into a Gothic cathedral. His work for Broadway included Kurt Weill’s The Eternal Road (...

Article

Murray Campbell

(Henry)

(b Chicago, Jan 2, 1925; d Cleveland, Aug 4, 1987). American acoustician. His parents being missionaries, he spent much of his childhood in Lahore. After returning to the USA to study at Washington University, St Louis (AB 1948, PhD 1952), Benade was appointed in 1952 to the physics faculty at Case Institute of Technology, Cleveland, which later became Case Western Reserve University. Promoted to a full professorship in 1969, he continued in that post until shortly before his death. A skilled woodwind player, he had an exceptional ability to relate the results of acoustical research to the practical requirements of musicians and musical instrument makers. Benade established a research programme which made many fundamental contributions to the understanding of the operation of wind instruments. Also active in string instrument research, he was a founding member of the Catgut Acoustical Society and its president between 1969 and 1972...

Article

Murray Campbell

(Leroy)

(b Solon, IA, Sept 15, 1914). American acoustician. He gained his BS after studying at Cornell College, Iowa, and subsequently gained his doctorate under the supervision of F.V. Hunt. During the Second World War Beranek worked in the Cruft Acoustics Laboratory at Harvard University and later at the MIT. In 1948 he founded a company of acoustics consultants (Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc.) which quickly established an international reputation. Before writing his seminal book, Music, Acoustics and Architecture (1962), he travelled through 20 countries, listening and making measurements in many halls and consulting many acousticians. This preparation preceded the final designing of the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, for which he and his firm held the acoustic consultancy. Beranek has been responsible for the acoustical design of many major concert halls, and through his writings has contributed greatly to the dissemination of good practice in the design and construction of buildings intended for musical use. He was president of the Acoustical Society of America (...

Article

Malcolm Turner

(b Bautzen, June 18, 1870; d Bautzen, Jan 4, 1941). German acoustician. After studying at the Dresden Conservatory he became Stadtkantor at Bautzen from 1898 to 1914 (from 1908 with the title of director of church music), where he organized music festivals in 1905, 1907 and 1912. He then went on to study acoustics, especially the acoustics of bells, in which field he was a pioneer, at the Technische Hochschule, Dresden. From 1916 he taught acoustics at the Technische Hochschule, Berlin, becoming professor in 1922. Meanwhile in 1918 he took up a lectureship in church music at the University of Berlin, and in 1920 became adviser on church bells and organs to the Prussian Ministry of Culture. In 1927 he set up the Institut Biehle, under the auspices of the University and the Technische Hochschule, Berlin, for the study of church buildings, organs, bells and acoustics. Further information is given in E.M. Müller, ed.: ...

Article

Hugh Davies

(Emerich Walter)

(b Hamburg, Germany, Oct 19, 1909; d ?North Tonawanda, NY, Jan 15, 1987). American designer of electronic instruments and equipment, of German birth. He studied at the University of Hamburg and the Heinrich-Hertz Institut of the Technische Hochschule in Berlin. He pioneered techniques that are now common in synthesizers and other electronic instruments, both to imitate existing instruments and to generate new sounds. He is credited with developing the first modular synthesizer/processor.

While in Germany, he designed the Warbo Formant-Orgel (1937), in which he introduced the “assignment” of notes on a partially polyphonic keyboard. Further developments were made in the Melodium (1938) and the monophonic Melochord (1947–53). He built a series of electronic organs beginning with the Polychord (1950) and the Bode organ (1951); the latter was the basis for the Polychord III (1951) and for electronic organs made in the United States by the Estey Organ Company from ...

Article

Murray Campbell

(Pierre Maxime)

(b Paris, Nov 16, 1866; d Toulouse, Nov 15, 1953). French physicist and acoustician. He studied physics at the Sorbonne (1883) and at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (1885–8). After teaching at the Collège de France and the Lycée at Agen, in 1892 Bouasse joined the staff of the University of Toulouse and obtained his doctorate in mathematics. In 1897 he gained the degree of doctorate in physical sciences and was appointed to the physics chair at Toulouse, where he remained for the rest of his academic career. Retiring in 1937, he continued to work in his laboratory until two years before his death. His research interests ranged widely and he made many discoveries of great importance to musical acoustics. In particular, his studies of woodwind and brass instruments provided the essential foundation for the modern understanding of how sound is generated in these instruments. Bouasse's work has been unjustly neglected outside France, partly because he published little in conventional journals. Instead, he wove his own theories and experiments into a 45-volume library of textbooks on classical physics, the ...

Article

Murray Campbell

(Michael)

(b London, August 26, 1933). English physicist and acoustician. He obtained a BSc in physics from Imperial College, London, later gaining the doctorate there with research into high-amplitude stress waves. After holding a research fellowship at the electronic music laboratory of the Canadian National Research Council in Ottawa, he worked for five years in the acoustics section of the UK National Physical Laboratory, where he carried out research on the psycho-acoustic perception of short duration and very low frequency sounds. In 1966 he was appointed to a lectureship in acoustics at the University of Surrey, where, in collaboration with colleagues in the US, Europe, Israel and Australia, he established a group which became noted for its research into the acoustics of wind instruments and their subjective assessment. He played a major part in the establishment there of the Tonmeister course in music and applied physics. An accomplished trombonist, his most notable research has been in the acoustics of brass instruments, where he supplemented and elucidated physical measurements by applying psychological testing procedures to the assessment of brass instrument tone quality. He developed a non-invasive technique which allows the bore of an instrument to be reconstructed by injecting acoustic pulses into one end and recording the reflections....

Article

Ana R. Alonso-Minutti

(b San Antonio, TX, Dec 19, 1951). American composer and multimedia artist. He holds degrees from the University of Houston (BA 1977) and Ohio State University (MM 1987), and received a National Endowments for the Arts Fellowship in 1981. In his early years he was influenced by the music of Harry Partch and John Cage. In 1974 he co-founded the experimental performance ensemble Urban 15, which evolved into a non-profit organization and cultural center based in San Antonio. From 1978 to 1999 he organized the Third Coast New Music Project, a festival of new music. Cisneros has collaborated closely with his wife Catherine in the realization of projects involving sculpture, photography, music, dance, and media. Together they established the Carnaval de San Anto in 1988, a drum and dance company that has performed throughout the country and abroad. Cisneros’s commitment to his community is reflected in the creation of Nos Unimos, a virtual museum created for families who have lived or are living in San Antonio. Some of his large interactive works include ...

Article

Clive Greated

(b Cleveland, July 19, 1915). American physicist and acoustician. After studying physics at the Case School of Applied Science (BS 1937) he obtained the PhD from the University of Illinois. From 1941 to 1980 he held various research and management positions at the Westinghouse Corp. His research into the acoustics of the flute, carried out in a small laboratory at his home, has contributed significantly to what is known today about the behaviour of flutes and organ pipes. Several of his papers are recognised as standard reference material. His theory of feedback and how this relates to the means by which the flautist produces the desired frequencies and loudness is particularly relevant to performance. He also studied the significance of mouth resonance and the effect of mode stretching on harmonic generation. His work on the intonation of both antique and modern flutes and his critical assessment of Theobald Boehm's methods have helped in shaping current views on the historical development of the instrument....

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(Clark, Jr. )

(b Buffalo, Dec 18, 1920; d Alexandria, VA, May 17, 1996). American disc jockey. He began his broadcasting career as a freshman in college, then won an amateur announcing contest in Washington, DC (1939), and worked in that area until 1942, when he was drafted. While stationed in the Washington area he worked part-time at WWDC until his discharge in February 1946 and full-time thereafter. He broadcast his first show, “Music USA,” for Voice of America (VOA) in January 1955, a program he continued until his death. Conover worked as an independent contractor, not as a government employee, and his contract stipulated that the music on his program be of his own choosing. “Music USA” presented mainly jazz and reached into the Eastern-bloc nations, where it had a profound and at times revolutionary musical impact; VOA estimates that at the height of the Cold War his audiences comprised over 100 million listeners. An irony behind his position as a VOA announcer, and unquestionably the world’s most famous jazz disc jockey, is that VOA broadcasts are not allowed to be heard in the USA; one wonders what impact he would have had on American audiences. He first visited Warsaw in ...

Article

Murray Campbell

(Winfried)

(b Munich, Aug 16, 1905; d Miesbach, Oct 16, 1990). German acoustician. He studied mechanical and electrical engineering at the Technical University of Berlin, gaining his doctorate in 1932 for a thesis on sound absorption by porous surfaces. Cremer subsequently engaged in acoustical research at the Technical University and the Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin. In 1945 he obtained a teaching post at the University of Munich, and in 1946 established an acoustical consultancy firm in Munich. He was appointed director of the Institut für Technische Akustik at the Technical University in 1954 and of the acoustics division of the Heinrich Hertz Institute in 1955. Retiring in 1973, he remained active in teaching and research until his death. Cremer made many important contributions to the solution of practical problems in noise control and building acoustics. He was acoustics consultant for a number of major halls including the Berlin Philharmonie, the Sydney Opera House and the Madrid Concert Hall. A skilled amateur pianist and violinist, in the 1930s he was an enthusiastic exponent of the trautonium, an early electronic instrument. Cremer later became interested in violin acoustics and was one of the leading figures in the Catgut Acoustical Society. His book ...

Article

Eliot Gattegno

(b Morristown, NJ, Sept 10, 1975). American composer and computer musician. He has participated widely in the American electronic and experimental music scene as a performer, conceptual and new media artist, programmer, record producer, and teacher. He began his career as an electronic musician by restoring and performing on analog synthesizers, later switching to computers. As a student at Columbia University (BA 1997, MA 1999, DMA 2003), he studied with fred Lerdahl and jonathan d. Kramer . While serving on staff at Columbia’s Computer Music Center, he started experimenting with the use of algorithmic methodologies such as L-systems, contributed to Real-Time Cmix, and worked for Cycling ’74 on Max/MSP, especially the video component Jitter.

His composed works often reinterpret and comment on a select corpus of information, sometimes drawing on elements of American popular culture. For example, Academy, Billboard, and Play were inspired by the Academy Awards, the ...

Article

Eliot Gattegno

(b Milwaukee, WI, June 27, 1960). American computer musician, sound engineer, and educator. Erbe has played an important role in American experimental and electronic music since the late 1980s. He wrote the pioneering and widely used program SoundHack, has taught computer music at key institutions, and has become one of the most highly respected sound engineers for contemporary music. Erbe studied computer science and music at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and got his start as an audio engineer by volunteering at WEFT, WPGU, and Faithful Sound Studios.

He was the technical director of the Center for Contemporary Music (CCM) at Mills College (1987–93). There he worked as a computer musician and recording engineer with composers Robert Ashley (Improvement, 1992), Larry Polansky (The Theory of Impossible Melody, 1993), James Tenney (Selected Works, 1993), and Alvin Curran (Schtyx, 1994). During this period he also developed a four-channel spatial audio processor for the NASA Ames Research Center. His research at CCM included the development of SoundHack (...

Article

Sue Carole DeVale

(b Newton, MA, Nov 14, 1850; d Forest Glen, MD, May 31, 1930). American ethnologist. He studied biology at Harvard (AB 1875, PhD 1877), and later studied at Leipzig and the University of Arizona. He was field director of the Hemenway Southwestern Archaeological Expedition (1889–94), and, commissioned by Mary Hemenway, tested the value of the phonograph for fieldwork in March 1890 by recording songs of the Passamaquoddy Indians in Maine. These were soon followed by his Zuni (1890) and Hopi Pueblo (1891) recordings which were then analysed by Benjamin Ives Gilman. He was responsible for the Hemenway Exhibition at the Madrid exhibition of 1892 commemorating Columbus's discovery of America, and consequently received many honours. As a result of his work in Madrid, Hemenway later commissioned recordings by Gilman. From 1895 to 1918 Fewkes worked as an ethnologist at the Bureau of American Ethnology in Washington, DC, becoming chief in ...

Article

Sue Carole DeVale

(b Cuba, March 15, 1838; d Washington DC, April 6, 1923). American ethnologist. She devoted herself to the study of the Great Plains Indians, so completely winning their confidence that she was privileged to gather data and record ceremonials and rituals not usually witnessed by non-Indians. While living on the Omaha reservation in 1881, she became interested in the education of the 24-year-old son, Francis, of Chief Joseph La Flesche. She took him to Washington where he lived with her, as her ‘son by adoption’, until 1910; with him, Fletcher wrote an important monograph on the Omaha tribe (1911).

Fletcher, who was an assistant at the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology from 1882, began collecting ethnological and musical data in 1883 among the Omaha and Dakota Indians. She also wrote about other tribes and kinship groups and transcribed hundreds of songs including the first complete record of the Pawnees’ Hako ceremony. Initially she notated melodies by ear, having her informants repeat each song until she was satisfied that she had an accurate transcription. Soon after the pioneer field use of the Edison phonograph by Jesse Walter Fewkes in ...