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Viorel Cosma

(b Iaşi, Oct 3, 1839; d Iaşi, Feb 17, 1923). Romanian writer on music, folklorist and violinist. He studied music in Iaşi (1855–60) and at the Paris Conservatoire with Reber, Clapisson and Alard (1861–5). At the Iaşi Conservatory he held posts as professor of violin (1860–61) and of music theory (1893–1903). He undertook concert tours in Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Turkey, Croatia, Italy, Asia Minor and elsewhere, and collected folklore material of various peoples, particularly of the Romanians in Moldavia, Dobruja and Transylvania. The published results concerned wedding and burial customs (including remarkable studies on dirges), and Romanian folk music instruments. He was a founder of Romanian musicology, and published research on music education, the musical theatre, military songs and church choirs. He was also the founder of Romanian music lexicography: he edited the first Romanian dictionary of music (Dicţionar muzical...

Article

John Cline

(Aloysius )

(b Takoma Park, MD, Feb 28, 1939; d Salem, OR, Feb 22, 2001). American guitarist, folklorist, and record producer. As a teenager, Fahey’s early interest in country music was expanded to include bluegrass and country-blues due to a friendship with richard Spottswood , later a noted folk and ethnic music scholar. With Spottswood and famed collector Joe Bussard, Fahey sought out pre-war 78 r.p.m. records. After taking up the guitar, Fahey’s made his first recordings for Bussard’s private Fonotone label on 78 r.p.m. shellac discs, some of which Fahey claimed to have slipped into boxes of more “authentic,” vintage records at flea markets. In 1959 Fahey founded Takoma Records to distribute his own recordings, beginning with the LP Blind Joe Death; his liner notes also frequently mock the language of then-contemporary blues scholars, the very people he had hoped to fool with the Fonotone 78s.

Despite his sense of humor Fahey was a serious student of American vernacular music. He travelled long distances to find Bukka White and Skip James in the Mississippi Delta in the early 1960s; he relates these events in the memoir, ...

Article

Edward H. Tarr

(b St Michaelis, Saxony, April 27, 1940). German organologist. He played the cornett with the Capella Lipsiensis and studied musicology, indology and ethnology at the University of Leipzig with Besseler, H.C. Wolff, Eva Lips and Johannes Mehlig, 1959–64; thereafter he was on the staff of the Musikinstrumenten-Museum of the university until 1973. After working as a freelance scholar, he moved to the USA and in 1992 was employed at the Streitwieser Foundation and the Shrine to Music Museum; from 1994 he took up a post at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Heyde’s work is distinguished by an exemplary thoroughness in a wide range of fields associated with organology. His catalogues of wind instruments in the Leipzig collection have set a new standard with their detailed analysis, photographs and line drawings, which have often helped solve questions of provenance of similar instruments elsewhere. In vols.3 and 5 of his ...

Article

Matt Meacham

(b Jacksonville, FL, June 21, 1942). American folklorist and fiddler. An orchestral violinist early in life, he studied folklore and medieval literature at Duke University, earning the PhD in English in 1968. He documented the playing of Appalachian traditional fiddlers and drew upon their repertoire as a member of the Hollow Rock String Band, which contributed significantly to the 1960s folk revival. After teaching at UCLA (1968–9), Jabbour held influential positions with national cultural institutions. He was head of the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress (1969–74); founding director of the NEA’s Folk Arts Program (1974–6); and founding director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (1976–99).

As a scholar Jabbour has edited and annotated several significant collections of sound recordings. American Fiddle Tunes (Library of Congress, 1971; Rounder, 2000) consists of early field recordings drawn from the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress. ...

Article

Laura Otilia Vasiliu

[ Karol ]

( b Chernivtsi, [now in Ukraine], Oct 20, 1819; d Lviv, Ukraine, May 21, 1897). Armenian-Polish-Romanian pianist, composer, folklorist, and teacher .

He studied the piano in Paris with Frédéric Chopin and composition with Anton Reicha (1844–7). He toured as a concert pianist in Austria, France, Italy, and Russia. He was a professor at and head of the Lviv Conservatory from 1858 to 1888. He then founded his own school. Among his students were the Romanians Ciprian Porumbescu, Paul Ciuntu, and Constantin Gros, but also the musician pianists of Lviv that would be his disciples—Raoul Koczalski, Moriz Rosenthal, and Aleksander Michałowski. He collected, notated, and processed Romanian and Polish folk songs (1848–54). He published a 17-volume critical edition of Chopin’s work (Leipzig, 1879). He used several verified sources, most of which were written or corrected by Chopin himself. His editions of Chopin’s works were first published in America in ...