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Article

Walter Everett

English pop group. George Harrison (b Liverpool, England, Feb 25, 1943; d Los Angeles, Nov 29, 2001), John Lennon (John Winston (Ono) Lennon; b Liverpool, Oct 9, 1940; d New York, Dec 8, 1980), Paul McCartney (James Paul McCartney; b Liverpool, June 18, 1942), and Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey; b July 7, 1940). They were the world’s most popular musical force from 1964 through their 1970 break-up, and their legacy has continued to be highly influential for subsequent artists, the entertainment industry, baby-boom culture and beyond. This article outlines the inspiration taken by the Beatles from American sources, and the group’s appearances and reception in America; for a general introduction to their career and extensive bibliography, see Grove7.

Whereas the Beatles’ early sound was partly based on British folk and popular forms—including skiffle and music-hall styles—American rock ’n’ roll was by far their dominant resource. The group began by covering, and then borrowing stylistic traits from American performers, principally Elvis Presley (particularly his expressive vocal embellishments), Chuck Berry (reciting-tone vocals with witty rhymes, extended guitar sonorities, rhythm chording, melodic blues riffs, and bass ostinati), Little Richard (vocal falsetto and bluesy pentatonicism), Bo Diddley (mixolydian chords, direct simplicity), Carl Perkins (rockabilly picking), Jerry Lee Lewis (keyboard pounding, raw energy), Buddy Holly (major-mode melody), and the Everly Brothers (descant vocal arrangements). In the few years surrounding the late-1962 launch of their recording career, the group drew variously from American male R&B figures (the Isley Brothers, the Coasters, the Drifters, Larry Williams, Arthur Alexander, Barrett Strong, the Miracles), female vocal groups (the Teddy Bears, the Shirelles, the Marvelettes, the Cookies) and pop singers (Del Shannon, Roy Orbison). Many traits taken from these sources remained at the musicians’ core even as they continued to borrow American ideas: the group used Caribbean models for their first two B-sides, and based their fourth single, “She Loves You”/“I’ll Get You,” (...

Article

Nicholas Temperley

The two halves of the choir (in an architectural sense) in an English cathedral or a large church or chapel: decani is the south side, cantoris the north. The names mean ‘dean’s [side]’, ‘cantor’s [side]’, and refer to the two highest officials of the chapter of a medieval cathedral. The Cantor, or precentor, ranked immediately after the dean in secular cathedral establishments. The dean’s stall was at the west end of the choir, facing east, just to the south of the central aisle; the cantor’s was opposite, north of the aisle. For certain duties the choir (in a musical sense) was also divided into two equal halves. The singers on the dean’s side – decani – took the leading part one week, those on the cantor’s side – cantoris – the next; during the seasons of the three great festivals the alternation was daily. Psalms, canticles and hymns were sung in alternation between the two halves. Together with much other Latin terminology, the names survived the Reformation, and have been used ever since in cathedral music to signify the two halves of the choir....

Article

Ian Mikyska

Czech string quartet, founded 1999. Its line-up has remained constant since its foundation: David Pokorný and Vladimír Klánský on violins, Vladimír Kroupa on viola, and Vít Petrášek on cello. Although classical repertoire remains central to their professional lives, the Epoque Quartet is remarkable for the breadth and professionalism of its ‘crossover’ work. The quartet has performed with the leading artists of Czech popular music, arranged world music from various traditions (most recently with the clarinettist Irvin Venyš for their CD Irvin_Epoque), and given the premières of over 80 pieces, the style of which ranges from rock- and jazz-influenced music to contemporary art music, mostly by Czech composers including Jan Kučera, Petr Wajsar, Jan Dušek, Gabriela Vermelho, and others.

Their open-mindedness and long-standing interest in various musical fields allows them to perform stylistically in a way classically-trained ensembles often find problematic, particularly in terms of rhythm, feeling, and energy when performing jazz- and rock-influenced repertoire....

Article

Friedrich W. Riedel

Benedictine abbey near Krems, Lower Austria. It was founded in 1083 by Bishop Altmann of Passau as a monastery for prebendaries. In 1094 it was taken over by Benedictines from St Blasien in the Black Forest, and rapidly became an important centre of religious and intellectual life. After a period of decline during the Reformation, Göttweig flourished in the Baroque era, particularly under the abbot Gottfried Bessel (1714–49), who, after a fire in 1718, instigated the rebuilding of the monastery in Baroque style. Despite the misfortunes which befell the monastery during the Enlightenment and the Napoleonic Wars, and the disruption caused by World War II, Göttweig remained an important religious and cultural centre. It has a long musical tradition; choral singing was fostered from the abbey’s foundation, and its choir school dates from the Middle Ages. By the 15th century an organist had been appointed, and polyphony was sung in the 16th century. An inventory of ...

Article

Sandra Jean Graham

Minstrel troupe starring tenor, interlocutor, actor Edwin Kelly (b Dublin, Ireland, 1835; d Adelaide, Australia, 24 Dec 1898) and female impersonator, singer, and dancer Patrick Francis “Leon” Glassey (b New York, NY, 21 Nov c1840; d unknown). Kelly immigrated to the United States after completing medical studies in London. Leon sang as a child in the St. Stephen’s Church choir, New York, and graduated from the Jesuit College Fordham. Both entered minstrelsy in the 1850s, Kelly with Ordway’s Aeolians and Leon with Wood’s Minstrels. They seem to have met as members of George Christy’s Minstrels in 1860. They established their own troupe in Chicago c1863 and in 1866 moved to New York, where they played for three years.

Leon’s sensitive female impersonations contrasted with the farcical wench roles that had dominated minstrelsy until then. Eschewing “costumes,” he wore women’s clothing onstage and kept a wardrobe of some 300 dresses. His voice (a soprano that remained with him throughout adulthood), balletic dancing, and delicate mannerisms furthered the impression that he was a real woman. Leon and Kelly’s lavish, full-length opera burlesques blurred the line between legitimate performance and parody. They specialized in Offenbach, offering ...

Article

Ian Mikyska

(b Olomouc, 3 May 1967). Czech violinist. Raised in a musical family, she studied at the People’s School of Art in Opava with Marcela Kuvíková, then at the Ostrava Conservatory with Vítězslav Kuzník and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (AMU) with the professors Jiří Vlach, Jiří Novák, and Ivan Štraus. She also took part in master classes with Josef Gingold in Greensboro, NC and with Wolfgang Marschner in Weimar. In 1990 she received a scholarship to the International Menuhin Music Academy in Gstaad, Switzerland, where she studied with Alberto Lysy.

In 1997, she became a laureate of the Prague Spring International Violin Competition. She has also received the Gideon Klein Prize, the Bärenreiter Prize, the Supraphon Prize, the Prize of the City of Prague, and the Prague Spring Foundation Prize. In 2005 she represented the Czech Republic at the World Exhibition in Aichi, Japan, together with the Prague Philharmonic....

Article

Laibach  

Gregor Tomc

Slovenian music group formed in 1980 in the mining town of Trbovlje in what was at the time multinational communist Yugoslavia. The band was strongly influenced by the persecution of punks by the police in the country. Their provocative political attitudes (their use of the German word, associated with the Nazi occupation of Ljubljana, as the name for their group; their use of quasi-military uniforms as part of their image; their use of totalitarian discourse in communication with the media; etc.) can be understood as a critique of the authoritarian regime. The dislike was mutual, as Laibach were banned from performing in Slovenia until they changed their name. Musically, Laibach started as an industrial group (influenced by groups like Throbbing Gristle). They became more eclectic with time. Influences were diverse – from electronic music groups like Kraftwerk, to new wave groups like Joy Division, with elements of avant garde classical music and disco. Laibach is a postmodern group, best known for recycling already existing musical works of other artists. They have made cover versions of songs by Opus, Europe, Queen, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Status Quo, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, Richard Wagner, among others. After more than three decades they still perform, though their line-up has changed often over the years....

Article

Claire Levy

(b Plovdiv, 19 Dec 1937). Bulgarian composer, pianist, conductor, arranger, and bandleader. He was internationally acknowledged for his innovative ideas, cross-cultural experiments, and contribution to the concept of fusion and free improvisation. Classically trained at the Bulgarian State Conservatory (1955–60) under Pancho Vladigerov (composition) and Andrey Stoyanov (piano), he is the author of numerous compositions in styles and genres including jazz, pop, symphony, chamber, film, and theatrical music. He conducted the Radio and Television Big Band in Sofia (1962–6) and led his own avant-garde quartet, Jazz Focus’65 (1965–8), which won the Critic’s Prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1967. In 1970 he left Bulgaria for political reasons and moved to the USA where he joined the Don Ellis Orchestra (1971–8), and later collaborated with the classical/jazz quartet Free Flight. He also played with outstanding jazz musicians including Art Pepper, Billy Cobham, and Dave Holland, among many others....

Article

Karen Ahlquist

A chorus of male singers in the German tradition, or a work, usually on a German text, composed for such an ensemble. The Männerchor achieved prominence through student chorus performances at nationalistic events such as the Wartburg Festival in 1817. By the Revolutions of 1848–9, Germany had built an extensive network of choruses linked together into Bunden (federations), which facilitated festival planning and political communication forbidden by the authorities (see Sängerfest).

The first American Männerchor was founded in Philadelphia in 1835; as German immigration increased, others quickly followed. Many Männerchöre were embedded within fraternal organizations, while others grew into all-encompassing Musikvereine (music societies), whose directors had musical training and professional status. Except at a Sängerfest, Männerchor audiences consisted largely of nonsinging, or “passive,” members, who shared in the numerous social activities associated with the chorus’s musical life.

Männerchor music in Germany consisted of a cappella part-songs on social, amorous, musical, natural, and patriotic themes, along with works with orchestra, including oratorios for male voices. American Männerchöre continued to look to Germany for repertoire, and favorite composers were well known internationally. Mendelssohn, Weber, and later Brahms composed Männerchöre, and Silcher arranged songs by Schubert for this medium. Opera choruses-even full productions-were performed, as were mixed-chorus works, for which ...

Article

Melk  

Robert N. Freeman

Town in Lower Austria. The strategic location of the fortress Medelica (Melk) on a slope overlooking the Danube led the Babenbergs, Austria's medieval rulers, to establish their court there in 976. Monks from the Benedictine abbey of Lambach were invited to join the court in 1089; shortly after 1110, when the Babenbergs moved to Klosterneuburg, the Benedictines became the owners of Melk and a large area of land. This link with the Austrian monarchal line made the wealthy abbey one of the Empire's most powerful institutions.

Soon after their arrival the Benedictines founded a boys' choir; pueri are mentioned as early as 1140 and a cloister school, training boys for singing in processions and daily church services, is described in a manuscript dating from 1160. The scriptorium was most productive in the first half of the 13th century. A great fire (1297) destroyed most of the manuscripts recording this formative musical period. 133 codices survived intact, about half of which originated at Melk, including the ...

Article

Adolf Layer

revised by Johannes Hoyer

Benedictine monastery in Bavaria, Germany, founded in 764. There is evidence of music making in the monastery from the 12th century. In the first half of the 16th century Ottobeuren was receptive to humanist ideas; it had its own printing press and in 1543 founded its own Benedictine university, although this lasted only a few years. Abbot Caspar Kindelmann (1547–86) encouraged polyphony and instigated the construction of a large organ by Georg Ebert von Ravensburg in the new abbey chapel; he also appears to have been a composer. Kindelmann employed the organist Vitalis Brelle and the choirmaster Christian Frantz, whose manuscript of mainly four-part sacred music (1577) survives. In the 17th century the Catholic revival aroused new interest in choral music, and in the following century the monastery's music reached a peak of splendour, primarily in the field of sacred music, although musical dramas were presented in the abbey school. In ...

Article

Erik Kjellberg

Swedish band. Formed in 1926 by the violinist Folke “Göken” Andersson (1902–76), it had from six to nine members at various times. Among those who were members of the band were the trumpeters Gösta “Smyget” Redlig, Gösta “Chicken” Törnblad, and Ragge Läth; the saxophonists Sam Jacobsson, Tony Mason, and Olle Henricson; the pianists Nils Lind and Nils Soderman; the banjoists Curt Ljunggren and Jean Paban; and the drummer Anders Soldén. The Paramountorkestern was the first important jazz band in Sweden; it gave many performances on radio and made about 100 recordings (including ...

Article

John A. Emerson

revised by Christopher E. Mehrens

[Pasmore, Harriet Horn ]

(b San Francisco, CA, May 12, 1892; d Sonoma, CA, Jan 25, 1986). American Contralto, teacher, and music therapist. After attending the University of California, Berkeley (BA, French, 1914), she taught piano and then voice at Pomona College in Claremont, California (1914–20). After study and concert performances in Europe (1920–25) she returned to the United States and performed and taught privately in New York (1925–35) and Hollywood, California (1936–40). During the 1930s Pazmor was noted for her performances of contemporary American art songs. Her programs regularly included works by Charles Ives, Henry Cowell, Carl Ruggles, John Cage, Ernst Bacon, Ruth Crawford, Roger Sessions, Lou Harrison, Aaron Copland, and William Grant Still. She gave recitals for organizations such as the League of Composers and the Pan American Association of Composers, and at academic institutions including the New School for Social Research, Columbia University, Princeton University, and Harvard University. She studied music therapy at Boston University (MM ...

Article

Karen Ahlquist

A male chorus festival (“singers’ festival”) in the German tradition. German Sängerfeste originated in the 1820s and by the 1840s featured choruses of 2000 or more, allowing Germans to cross boundaries of region, social class, and religion, develop a standardized male chorus repertory, communicate politically, and foster hopes for a unified state.

The Sängerfest in North America took off in the wake of increased immigration following the failed 1848–9 Revolutions. As in Europe, a Sängerfest was organized by a Sängerbund (federation of male choruses), the first of which, the Nord-amerikanische, was founded in Cincinnati in 1849. Others included the Northeastern (1850), German-Texan (1855), and Northwestern (1856).

A Sängerfest brought male choruses from a multi-state region to a host city for three to five days in the spring. It offered concerts, choral competitions, parties (including Kommers, or drinking parties), balls, picnics, tourist excursions, parades, and time for socializing by chorus members, host city residents, and festival attendees. Dozens of committees organized the event, sometimes even building a Sängerhalle to accommodate an audience of thousands. In some cities, public buildings were decorated and businesses and schools shut down for the opening parade, allowing an entire population to participate. Unlike pre-Revolutionary Sängerfeste in Germany, however, an American Sängerfest lacked covert political activity because of German immigrants’ loyalty to the US system of government....

Article

Seises  

Robert Stevenson

(Sp. ‘sixes’)

From the 16th century to the 19th, the choirboys who sang polyphony in the cathedrals of Seville, Toledo, Avila, Segovia, Mexico City, Lima and elsewhere in the Spanish-speaking world were called seises – six being their traditional number at Seville and Toledo cathedrals. The earliest papal bulls designating the income from a prebend for a master of the choirboys in Seville Cathedral were Eugene IV’s Ad exequendum (24 September 1439) and Nicolas V’s Votis illis (27 June 1454). Throughout the next three centuries Seville Cathedral (which set the pattern for the Spanish Indies) had both a master of the altar boys who sang only plainchant, and a master of the seises, generally the maestro de capilla or his deputy. The master of the seises boarded and taught them. When their voices changed, and upon receiving a certificate of good behaviour, they were entitled to a few years’ free tuition and other benefits in the Colegio de S Miguel or in the Colegio de S Isidoro maintained by the Sevillian Chapter. Similar ...