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Durward R. Center

revised by Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume

[fair organ, showground organ, band organ; Dut. draaiorgel; Ger. Kermisorgel]

A mechanical organ used to provide music for merry-go-rounds and in amusement parks, circuses and skating rinks in Europe and the USA. The instrument originated in Europe as an outdoor version of the Orchestrion, voiced to sound above the hurly-burly of the fairground. Initially it was put near the entrance in order to attract attention. It was usually built in an elaborately carved and colourfully painted case which sometimes incorporated moving figures in its façade. All but the very largest instruments were designed to be portable. With the coming of bioscope (moving picture) theatres, the organ sometimes became the front of the show-tent, its façade incorporating entry and exit doors.

The earliest fairground organs, those of the late 1870s, were of the Barrel organ type. By about 1880 such instruments were being produced in sizes containing several hundred pipes and a variety of percussion effects; these large models were powered by steam or water engines and later by electric motors. Major builders of barrel-operated organs included Gavioli of Paris, Wilhelm Bruder of Waldkirch, Limonaire of Paris, and Eugene DeKleist of North Tonawanda, New York. In ...

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Bruce Haynes

[flaté, flatté, tremblement mineur] (Fr.; Ger. Bebung)

An ornament, not unlike a trill, used in woodwind playing, produced by a quick finger movement on the edge of or above a tone hole (usually the highest open hole). It was described in Dutch, English, French and German sources from 1654 to 1847, including Jacques Hotteterre's Principes de la flûte traversière (1707). One of the few collections where it was explicitly marked was P.D. Philidor's suites (1717–18). In English the ornament was described as a ‘sweetening’ or ‘softening’ of the note. Sometimes called a ‘finger vibrato’, the flattement was not intended to be perceived as a change of pitch. It was applied selectively, usually to long notes, and was often associated with swells. The sign for the flattement (rarely marked in music) was a horizontal wavy line. The flattement afforded considerable control of both speed and amplitude, and was better suited to the short and complex phrasing of the music of the 17th and 18th centuries than modern breath vibrato; the latter is not documented before the 1790s....

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Florid  

Owen Jander

revised by Greer Garden

A term used to describe melody that is ornamented, either written out by the composer, or improvised by the performer. It can apply to a single melodic line, or to polyphony. In the florid organum of Aquitaine in the early 12th century the upper part of the note-against-note counterpoint is embellished with melismas. The term is also used to describe the musica figurata of early Netherlandish composers such as Ockeghem, in which elaborate polyphony was created by combining a number of equally florid lines. Most often it refers to a profuse style of ornamentation running in rapid figures, passages or divisions, but it can also designate ornamentation in general. For example, P.F. Tosi’s treatise on improvised embellishment, Opinioni de’ cantori antichi e moderni, o sieno osservazioni sopra il canto figurato (1723), translated into English (1742) as Observations on the Florid Song, includes specific ornaments, such as trills and appoggiaturas, alongside various types of passage work....

Article

Edwin M. Ripin

A term sometimes used today for the piano of the 18th and early 19th centuries in order to distinguish it from the 20th-century instrument. German writers sometimes use the terms ‘Hammerklavier’ and ‘Hammerflügel’ for the same purpose. See Pianoforte §I 1., Pianoforte §I 6., Pianoforte §I 7., Pianoforte §I 8....

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Groppo  

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Barbara Owen

A name given to certain 16th- and 17th-century tower organs of central Germany and Austria. At first such outdoor organs could play only a few chords, and were used for signalling in the same manner as bells. Later they were enlarged and fitted with self-playing mechanisms of the pinned barrel type, enabling them to play melodies in the manner of a carillon. Two operable examples exist in Austria. One, dating from 1502, known as the ‘Salzburger Stier’, is in the tower of the bishop’s castle in Salzburg. Originally its 138 pipes played only a single loud chord, accounting for the name Stier (Ger.: ‘bull’). About 1640 a separate 25-note barrel organ was added, which played an unidentified hymn tune. In 1753 Johann Rochus Egedacher provided barrels with a different piece for each month, five composed by Johann Ernst Eberlin and six by Leopold Mozart; the old hymn tune was played during the twelfth month.Für den zwölften Monat sollte wieder der »Alte Choral« verwendet werden. During World War II the music was reprogrammed by the Nazis but in ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

[KTV]

Electronic music player that accompanies singers with pre-recorded music. The name comes from Japanese, kara (‘empty’) and oke (‘orchestra’). The basic karaoke machine includes some form of music player, a built-in audio mixer, microphone inputs, and audio outputs. The first karaoke systems included a microphone, eight-track tape player, amplifier, loudspeaker, and printed songbooks. Later machines display the lyrics on a video screen, and the more expensive versions can adjust the pitch level to suit the singer without changing tempo (some early systems allowed for changing the pitch but only by changing the tape speed, altering the tempo). Some early 21st-century versions include an Auto-Tune audio processor to correct intonation and software for making music videos. Karaoke systems for public spaces often are integrated into a pedestal that holds the controls, song storage, microphones, and video display, with separate loudspeakers. Portable systems resemble portable CD players, with or without a video screen. Wireless-microphone karaoke systems by companies such as Entertech use television or entertainment consoles for both audio and video. Video-game versions allow singers/players to receive scores or perform ‘with’ famous bands, sometimes as an animated character onscreen....

Article

Gerhard Kubik

Term coined by Gerhard Kubik in 1965 for a type of acoustic guitar music that had developed in the late 1940s and early 1950s along the Copperbelt mining area in Katanga (southern Belgian Congo) and Northern Rhodesia. Its main exponents include the guitar music composers Mwenda Jean Bosco, Losta Abelo, Edouard Masengo and others (Low, 1982). Hugh Tracey's comprehensive coverage of this style cluster (see Guitar 1 and 2, Decca 1170 and 1171) exerted considerable influence on the rise of popular music in Central and East Africa.

The Katanga guitar style embraces a stylistic conglomerate characteristic of a distinctive time period within which the most diverse individual forms and innovations became possible. Between 1946 and 1962 developments and mutations occurred prolifically, and this kind of music reached its peak of popularity. It was performed in a variety of township languages, including Ciluba (Luba), Lunda, Icibemba (e.g. Aushi) and, most important, Kingwana (‘Congo Kiswahili’). The social environment of its exponents was that of mine workers and persons working for the Belgian colonial administration. Beginning in ...

Article

Claus Bockmaier

(Ger., from Lat. colorare: ‘to ornament’)

To introduce Coloration. A term used in German-speaking lands during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance to describe the use of commonplace melodic figures to generate musical textures. During the 15th century, standardized coloration formulae were the starting point for many compositions, especially those which elaborated upon a cantus firmus (see Tactus, (2)); during the 16th century, the term ‘kolorieren’ was applied especially to the art of ornamenting intabulations at the organ. Practitioners (‘Koloristen’) included Bernhard Schmid the elder, E.N. Ammerbach and Jakob Paix.

During the first decades of the 20th century, German musicologists controversially applied the term Kolorierung to several late-medieval vocal repertories, including early 15th-century mass settings and the repertory of English Ordinary tropes, in the belief that such works had been composed from a storehouse of pre-existing melodic formulae.

A. Schering: ‘Das kolorierte Orgelmadrigal des Trecento’, SIMG, 13 (1911–12), 172–204 R. Ficker: ‘Die Kolorierungstechnik der Trienter Messen’, ...

Article

William C. Holmes

(It.: ‘licence’)

(1) In the 17th and 18th centuries a passage or cadenza inserted into a piece by a performer.

(2) In the same period, an epilogue inserted into a stage work (opera or play) in honour of a patron’s birthday or wedding, or for some other festive occasion. This usually consisted of recitatives and arias but choruses were sometimes included. The ...

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Leon Botstein

A term used in music to denote a multi-faceted but distinct and continuous tradition within 20th-century composition. It may also refer to 20th-century trends in aesthetic theory, scholarship and performing practice. Modernism is a consequence of the fundamental conviction among successive generations of composers since 1900 that the means of musical expression in the 20th century must be adequate to the unique and radical character of the age. The appropriateness of the term to describe a coherent and discrete movement has been underscored by the currency of the word ‘postmodern’, which refers to the music, art and ideas that emerged during the last quarter of the century as a reaction to Modernism (see Postmodernism). The word ‘Modernism’ has functioned throughout the century both polemically and analytically; although it is applied loosely to disparate musical styles, what links its many strands is a common debt to the historical context from which it emerged....

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Mordent  

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David Fuller

(Fr.: ‘unequal notes’)

A rhythmic convention according to which certain divisions of the beat move in alternately long and short values, even if they are written equal.

As it existed in France from the mid-16th century to the late 18th the convention of notes inégales was first of all a way of gracing or enlivening passage-work or diminutions in vocal or instrumental music. As styles changed and the figurations born of diminution entered the essential melodic vocabulary, inequality permeated the musical language. Its application was regulated by metre and note values; it always operated within the beat, never distorting the beat itself. (An anomalous instance of alteration of the beat appears in Gigault; see §2.) The degree of inequality (i.e. the ratio between the lengths of the long and short notes of each pair) could vary from the barely perceptible to the equivalent of double dotting, according to the character of the piece and the taste of the performer. Inequality was considered one of the chief resources of expression, and it varied according to expressive needs within the same piece or even within the same passage; where it was felt to be inappropriate it could be abandoned altogether unless explicitly demanded....

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David Fuller

(It.: ‘necessary’)

An adjective or noun referring to an essential instrumental part. The term is often used for a part ranking in importance just below the principal melody and not to be omitted. Obbligato is the opposite of Ad libitum when the latter qualifies the mention of a part in a title. On the title-page of Corelli's Concerti Grossi op.6, for example, the concertino parts are designated ‘obligato’ while the ripieno parts are described as ‘ad arbitrio, che si potranno radoppiare’ (as you wish, when you are able to double the parts). Used in connection with a keyboard part in the 18th century, obbligato designated a fully written-out part instead of a figured bass. Sometimes obbligato means simply independent, as in C.P.E. Bach's Orchester Sinfonien mit zwölf obligaten Stimmen (1780).

In music for voice with instruments, ‘obbligato’ refers to a prominent instrumental part in an aria or other number. The archetype of the obbligato part is the instrumental solo which, with a basso continuo, constitutes the accompaniment of vast numbers of late Baroque arias. The direct antecedents of the late Baroque phenomenon are to be found in the ...

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