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Lyapunov [Liapunov], Sergey Mikhaylovich  

Edward Garden

revised by Sergei Saratovsky

(b Yaroslavl’, Nov 18/30, 1859; d Paris, Nov 8, 1924). Russian composer, pianist, conductor, ethnomusicologist, editor, and pedagogue. His father, a mathematician and astronomer, was head of the observatory near Yaroslavl′, but died when Sergey was about eight. In 1870 he and his mother moved to Balakirev’s home town, Nizhniy Novgorod, where he attended the gimnaziya (grammar school) and, from its foundation in 1873, the classes of the local branch of the Russian Musical Society, whose first director was V.Yu. Villoing (nephew of A.I. Villoing, who had taught the Rubinstein brothers). Lyapunov’s mother was an excellent pianist, and his early piano lessons from her were of far more use to him than those with Vasily Villoing, who (unlike his uncle) was primarily a violinist and allowed Lyapunov to develop bad technical habits that had to be eradicated when, on the advice of Nikolay Rubinstein, he enrolled in the Moscow Conservatory in ...

Article

McGill, Josephine  

Barbara L. Tischler

(b Louisville, KY, Oct 20, 1877; d Louisville, KY, Feb 24, 1919). American composer and folksong collector. She had no formal training as a composer. At the suggestion of May Stone of the Hindman Settlement School in Knott County (Kentucky), she spent the summer of 1914 in Knott and Letcher counties transcribing folksongs and tracing their origins to English and Scottish ballads. By her own description the people of the area called her “the strange woman huntin’ song-ballets.” She published Folk-songs of the Kentucky Mountains (1917, repr. 1922, 1926, 1937), in which 13 of the 20 songs are traced to precursors in Child’s English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1882–98). At a time when many American composers turned to folk music as the source of a distinctive voice, McGill’s activities contributed to the search for an American national music. Among her own compositions are the songs “Duna, when I was a little lad” (...

Article

Robb, John Donald  

(b Minneapolis, MN, June 12, 1892; d Albuquerque, NM, Jan 6, 1989). American composer, educator, ethnomusicologist, and attorney. He studied English at Yale University (BA 1915) and at Harvard, and practiced law until 1941, when he moved from New York to Albuquerque as professor and head of the music department at the University of New Mexico. He was soon appointed dean of the College of Fine Arts, serving until his retirement in 1957. He studied composition throughout his life, training with horatio Parker , Nadia Boulanger, Roy Harris, paul Hindemith , and at Mills College with Darius Milhaud (1947–50). A prolific composer, he wrote two operas (including Little Jo, 1947–9), a musical comedy ( Joy Comes to Deadhorse), four symphonies, other orchestral and chamber music, numerous songs and choral works, and dozens of electronic works. He collected thousands of field recordings of traditional music, which comprise the John Donald Robb Archive of Southwestern Music at the University of New Mexico, and published ...

Article

Robinson, Gertrude Rivers  

Daniele Buccio

(b Camden, SC, June 30, 1927; d March 12, 1995). American ethnomusicologist, composer, and gamelan performer. She obtained her BA degree in composition and performance from Cornell University and her MA degree in composition from UCLA, where she was among Mantle Hood’s first students to research Indonesian music. In 1953 she collaborated with Lester Horton on the realization of the ballet Yerma based on Federico García Lorca’s subject. She taught at Cornell University and from the 1970s until her death at Loyola Marymount University, where served as Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music. She conducted field research in Bali, where she studied with the famous Balinese master of music Cokorde Agung Mas and also in India, Trinidad, and Ghana. Her ethnomusicological knowledge, particularly the Balinese gamelan, influenced her own compositions, including Bayang Bayangan (Shadows) for Western Septet, Balinese Octet, Dancers and Visuals (...

Article

Seeger, Charles  

Ann M. Pescatello

(Louis)

Member of Seeger family

(b Mexico City, Dec 14, 1886; d Bridgewater, CT, Feb 7, 1979). American musicologist, composer, conductor, critic and musical philosopher. His initial interest was in composition and conducting, and he joined numerous young American composers in Europe in the years immediately following his graduation from Harvard (1908). He spent a season (1910–11) as a conductor at the Cologne Opera before returning to the USA as a composer and chairman of the department of music at the University of California, Berkeley (1912–19), where he gave the first American courses in musicology in 1916. Several of his compositions were destroyed in the Berkeley fire (1923). Subsequently he was a lecturer and instructor at the Institute of Musical Art, New York (1921–33), the forerunner of the Juilliard School, and lecturer at the New School for Social Research (...

Article

Seeger, Peggy  

Ann M. Pescatello

[Margaret]

Member of Seeger family

(b New York, June 17, 1935). American folksinger, song collector and songwriter, daughter of Charles (Louis) Seeger and Ruth Crawford. As a child she had formal training in both classical and folk music, and at Radcliffe College she studied music and began performing folksongs publicly. After studies and travels throughout Europe (1955–6) and China, she moved to Britain in 1956, becoming a British subject in 1959. As a solo performer and with her husband, Ewan MacColl [James Henry Miller] (b Auchterarder, Perthshire, 25 Jan 1915), she has helped lead the British folk music revival, extending traditional styles to modern media. Both separately and together they have performed in concerts, festivals and folk clubs, made many records and written music (for radio, films and television) and books.

ed., with E. MacColl: Travellers’ Songs from England and Scotland (London and Knoxville, TN, 1977)...

Article

Seeger, Pete(r R.)  

Dave Laing

Member of Seeger family

(b New York, May 3, 1919; d New York, Jan 27, 2014). American folksinger, banjo player and songwriter, son of Charles (Louis) Seeger. As a teenager he assisted the folksong collector J.A. Lomax, then joined the Alamanac Singers, so meeting Woody Guthrie, Lee Hays and others. During the early 1950s he recorded such hit records as Kisses Sweeter than Wine, Wimoweh and So long, it’s been good to know you with the vocal quartet the Weavers. Following his appearance before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, he was blacklisted by concert halls and broadcasters. In the 1960s Seeger further established his pivotal role in the American folk revival, promoting its ideals and, through concerts and recordings, encouraging others to sing and play. He founded the Newport Folk Festival, published tutors for the banjo and 12-string guitar and contributed regularly to the magazine Sing Out!...

Article

Sokoli, Ramadan  

Nicola Scaldaferri

(b Shkodër, Albania, 14 June 1920; d Tirana, 12 March 2008). Albanian ethnomusicologist, musician, composer, and writer. He began his musical studies as a boy in Shkodër. In the years between 1940 and 1944 he studied the flute and composition at the Conservatory of Florence, Italy. Back in Albania in the early years of the Hoxha regime, Sokoli was imprisoned, as were other scholars who had studied abroad, and he spent five years in incarceration.

In 1952 he moved to Tirana, where he taught the flute and folklore in the high school. Although he was not qualified to teach at the higher academic level, he played a key role in musical research in Albania. He collaborated on ethnomusicological expeditions carried out in 1957 with East German scholars and in 1958 with Romanian scholars.

He was the author of numerous pioneering books and articles on Albanian musical folklore, employing both descriptive and analytical approaches, as well as surveying important figures of the musical, and wider cultural, Albanian tradition. His writings and ideas shaped the discipline and educated two generations of Albanians ethnomusicologists, including scholars in Kosovo. His many publications include the books ...