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Article

Anne Beetem Acker

English keyboard instrument manufacturer and dealer, located in Lewisham, London. In 1796 James Morley started a music lending library in Greenwich. His sons made and sold pianos and other instruments; one son, George Morley (1790–1852), registered his firm for making, tuning, and repairing harps in 1818 in London. George’s son, Joseph George Morley (1847–1921), was apprenticed to Erard and designed a 48-string pedal harp. In 1890 the family took over the Erard operation in London, making large concert harps until World War I, after which demand dropped and they concentrated on repairs and on making small Irish harps. John Sebastian Morley (1897–1988) was a founding member of the United Kingdom Harp Association.

James Morley’s grandson Robert ran a showroom in the City of London, where he sold Broadwood, Bechstein, Blüthner, and Steinway pianos; in 1881 he opened a factory for conventional upright pianos in Lewisham. Robert’s grandson Douglas designed new lines of grands and more elaborate uprights, which sold successfully in the 1930s. By the 1950s, interest in early keyboards led John Morley (...

Article

MOTM  

Brandon Smith and Anne Beetem Acker

[Mother of the Modulars]

Line of high-quality synthesizer modules designed by Paul Schreiber (b Beaumont, TX, 29 May 1956) for Synthesis Technology in Fort Worth. Schreiber, founder and current owner of the firm, studied electrical engineering at Texas A&M (BSEE 1979) and Southern Methodist University (MSEE 1992). He holds nine patents and has designed synthesizers part-time since 1979 while also working as a design engineer for such firms as Tandy/Radio Shack, Cirrus Logic, and Corning Fiber. He founded Synthesis Technology in 1988, first building digital speech processor systems for Texas Instruments.

The acronym MOTM also refers to the format used for synthesizer modules by Synthesis Technology and other companies such as Modcan and Encore. First shipped in April 1998, the MOTM modules are functionally similar to older modular synthesizer designs like those by Moog, Emu, and Polyfusion, and can be configured and patched in the same manner. Originally, MOTM modules came in either kit or assembled form, but supplier and distributor problems beginning in ...

Article

Neale  

Lasairíona Duignan

revised by Barra R. Boydell

Irish family of music publishers, instrument makers and concert promoters . John Neale (or Neal; d after 1739) was active in Dublin musical circles from about 1714. In 1721 he described himself as an instrument maker in Christ Church Yard and was selling violins and imported printed music. By 1723 he was organizing weekly concerts at ‘Mr Neal's Musick Room in Christ Church Yard’ and in the same year was elected president of a social and musical club which later moved to the Bull's Head Tavern in Fishamble Street near Christ Church, subsequently becoming the Charitable and Musical Society. His son William (d 1769) was also active in the Charitable and Musical Society which, in October 1741, while William was treasurer, opened the New Musick Hall in Fishamble Street where in 1741–2 Handel gave concerts including the first performance of Messiah (13 April 1742).

An advertisement in ...

Article

Neupert  

Howard Schott

revised by Martin Elste

German firm of piano and harpsichord makers . Founded by Johann Christoph Neupert (1848–1921) in 1868 as piano builders, it was among the first German makers to add harpsichords, clavichords and fortepianos to its production, in 1906. The company, which has been based in Bamberg since 1874, had begun to assemble a collection of historical stringed keyboard instruments even earlier, in 1895. Eventually this grew to number more than 250 specimens when it was donated to the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg in 1968 (a number of instruments from the collection considered to duplicate other examples had been transferred to the Händel-Haus Museum in Halle in 1939).

Hanns Neupert (1902–1980) joined the firm as technical director in 1928, after a three-year apprenticeship in piano building and studies in musicology and physics at the universities of Erlangen and Munich. He wrote a number of works dealing with historical stringed keyboard instruments and their revival in the 20th century. In ...

Article

Maria Calderisi

Canadian firm of music publishers, dealers and piano manufacturers . It was established by Abraham and Samuel Nordheimer, who, having emigrated from Germany to New York in 1839, opened a music shop in Kingston in 1842 and moved to Toronto in June 1844. By 1845 they had issued Joseph Labitzky’s The Dublin Waltzes, the earliest engraved sheet music in Canada. Despite provision for copyright protection under Canadian law, many of the firm’s early publications were engraved in New York and registered there by agents; Nordheimer did not choose to begin registering works in Canada until 1859. That year the firm became the only Canadian member of the Board of Music Trade of the USA, and nearly 300 of its publications were included in the Board’s catalogue (1870).

A. & S. Nordheimer, as the company was first known, issued the usual reprints of popular European songs and piano pieces, as well as new works by such Canadian residents as J.P. Clarke, Crozier, Hecht, Lazare, Schallehn and Strathy. Publications registered between ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

British analogue synthesizer design and repair firm, established by Tony Allgood (b London, 1967) in 1996. Allgood started a synthesizer and sound equipment repair business, Sound Systems, in 1984, while he was still studying electrical engineering. He worked for Marconi and then Soundcraft for a time, then returned to university to train as a teacher, meanwhile continuing to design and repair synthesizers. He taught physics for five years before forming Oakley Sound Systems, based in his home in Cumbria. From 1999 to 2005 the business sold synthesizer modules and printed circuit boards (PCBs) of Allgood’s designs. In 2007, he handed merchandizing to a partner firm, Krisp1, run by Paul Darlow. Krisp1 supplies ready-made Oakley-designed modules in various formats including MOTM, Frac, and Euro. Oakley began to sell PCBs again in September 2010, allowing Darlow to concentrate on the ready-made modules. Allgood sells bare circuit boards to customers, supplying project designs on special web pages. He offers designs and boards for a wide range of oscillators, filters, amplifiers, effects, utility modules, envelope generators, and power suppliers, as well as two larger stand-alone projects, the TM3030 (a MIDI-controlled bassline unit) and the Filtrex II (an analogue filter rack). Allgood also composes and records synthesizer music under the name Takla Makan....

Article

Odell  

Barbara Owen

American firm of organ builders . It was founded (as J.H. & C.S. Odell) in 1859 by John Henry Odell (1830–99) and Caleb Sherwood Odell (1827–93) in New York. Before starting their own company, the Odell brothers had worked for Richard Ferris, and for William Robjohn, whom they succeeded. Although the firm's output was never great and was largely confined to the New York area, the Odells are credited with several important inventions, mostly patented during the 1860s and 1870s, including a reversible coupler action, an early combination action and a crescendo pedal. They were also early experimenters with tubular-pneumatic action, for which they obtained patents in 1872 and 1898. Among their more notable instruments were those built for the Fort Street Presbyterian Church, Detroit (1876), and Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York (1893). After the deaths of the founders, the firm was operated for a time by John Henry's son, George Washington Odell, under the name of J.H. & C.S. Odell & Co., and the scope of the company's work gradually narrowed to small organs, rebuilding and maintenance. William Henry Odell, son of Caleb, later operated the company with his sons Caleb H. (...

Article

Odyssey  

Article

Hugh Davies

Electronic instrument manufactured by Suzuki in Hamamatsu, Japan, from 1981. It resembles a zither or autoharp, both visually and in playing technique. The instrument offers 27 chords, selected by pushbuttons that are ‘strummed’ in arpeggiated form on a touch-plate. It also incorporates ‘walking bass’ and electronic percussion units. In 1983...

Article

John Spitzer and Neal Zaslaw

(It.; Fr. orchestre; Ger. Orchester)

‘Orchestra’ has been used in a generic sense to mean any large grouping of instrumentalists. Thus one reads of an Indonesian gamelan orchestra, a Japanese gagaku orchestra, a Chinese drum and gong orchestra, the ‘orchestra’ of a Renaissance intermedio, or even the ‘orchestras’ of the Old Testament. In this article, ‘orchestra’ is treated in a specific and historical sense, as a characteristically European institution that arose in the 17th and 18th centuries and subsequently spread to other parts of the world as part of Western cultural influence. Related information will be found in other articles, for example Concert, Conducting and Instrumentation and orchestration; see also Band .

Analysis of orchestras from the 18th century to the present reveals a series of interrelated defining traits (Zaslaw, 1988, 1993). (a) Orchestras are based on string instruments of the violin family plus double basses. (b) This core group of bowed strings is organized into sections within which the players usually perform the same notes in unison. This practice of doubling string instruments is carried out unequally: there will almost always be more violins than lower strings. (...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Swedish piano and harmonium maker. The firm was founded in 1888 in Arvika by Anders Nilsson Östlind (b Gunnarskog, Sweden, 30 May 1857; d Stockholm, Sweden, 14 Sept 1915). Östlind produced 19 harmoniums in 1888 and 59 in 1889. Anton Almquist (1864–1949), a music dealer, became a partner in 1890 in charge of the Gothenburg branch office, then was managing director from 1909 to 1928. In 1890 the company produced 128 harmoniums. The firm received a gold medal at the Brussels Exhibition in 1897. In 1918 a consortium was formed with six other piano and harmonium factories under the name AB Förenade Piano- och Orgelfabriker (Associated Piano and Reed Organ Factories), although the individual companies still existed. Almquist was the consortium director from 1918 to 1920. In 1928 Östlind & Almquist produced about 37,000 pianos and harmoniums, output rising to 47,200 in 1936. The company became part of the J.G. Malmsjö piano factory in ...

Article

Peter Ward Jones

Scottish music dealers, publishers and instrument makers . The firm was started in Edinburgh about 1819 by Robert Paterson (d 1859) and others as Robert Paterson, Mortimer & Co. In 1826 Peter Walker Roy (d Edinburgh, 7 Dec 1851) joined the firm, which became Paterson & Roy and later opened a London branch. After Roy's death the business traded as Paterson & Sons. Paterson was succeeded at his death by his son Robert Roy Paterson, under whose direction the firm expanded to become one of the most important of its kind in Scotland, with branches in Glasgow (1857, directed by Paterson's elder brother John Walker Paterson), Perth (1864), Ayr (1868), Dundee (1882), Dumfries (1886), Paisley (1887), Kilmarnock (1892), and later Aberdeen and Oban. Its 19th-century publications included Scottish music of all kinds, with many reprints of standard editions of Scottish songs. During the 20th century its publishing activities were gradually taken over by the London branch, which, as Paterson's Publications Ltd, concentrated largely on choral and piano music for school and amateur use. The Scottish branch of the business ceased in ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Chinese instrument manufacturer, based in Guangzhou. The government-owned firm was formed in 1956 from several piano-making facilities. In the 1950s they were producing four upright pianos per month for the Chinese market. In the mid-1980s the firm was granted import and export rights. By the 1990s, liberalized economic policies coupled with relatively inexpensive raw materials and very low labour costs allowed for rapid expansion.

Under the leadership of Tong Zhi Cheng beginning in 1992, the firm pursued a goal of becoming a world leader in piano sales. They invested in a climate-controlled, 93,000 m2 factory and CNC (computer numerically controlled) machinery from Germany. Foreign industry executives were hired as consultants. By the 2000s, the factory had expanded to 260,000 m2. With its own foundries, lumberyards, and sawmills, Pearl River produces nearly every part of each piano, using Chinese wood exclusively, including veneers. By 2010 the firm employed more than 4000 workers with a capacity of making 100,000 pianos per year....

Article

Lloyd P. Farrar

(b Philadelphia, 1853; d Philadelphia, July 28, 1919). American music publisher and band instrument maker . He worked as an engraver in his father's printing business, gave music lessons and in 1876 founded a publishing house at 9th and Filbert streets in Philadelphia. From copper plates and a manually operated press he issued instrumental tutors, quicksteps and from 1877 to 1912 a monthly periodical entitled J.W. Pepper's Musical Times and Band Journal (later the Musical Times). Around 1887 he acquired a structure at 8th and Locust streets which came to be known as the J.W. Pepper Building, accommodating a large salesroom, an instrument factory and a printing plant, equipped with steam-powered presses to produce sheet music on a large scale. During the next four decades the firm published nearly 200 new titles a year; except for a small group of sacred songs issued by Pepper Publishing Co. in ...

Article

Carolyn Bryant

[PAS]

International organization established in 1961 to promote percussion education, research, performance, and appreciation. In 2011 it had more than 8500 members, with 49 chapters in the United States and around 30 in other countries. Since 1976 it has held the annual Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) with performances, workshops, exhibits, lectures, and panel discussions, and competitions in composition and in solo and ensemble playing. As part of its educational function, the society sponsored a revision and standardization of drum rudiments, resulting in the PAS International Drum Rudiments, adopted in 1984 and subsequently used by many percussion educators.

PAS has issued two alternating bi-monthly publications, Percussive Notes (begun in 1967 as a newsletter, later expanded to a journal) and Percussion News (a newsletter begun in the mid-1980s). Earlier publications were Percussionist (1963–80), renamed Percussive Notes Research Edition (1981–6).

In 2009 PAS consolidated its operations in Indianapolis, Indiana, allowing it to have its offices, annual convention, museum, and library in the same city. The museum, which houses instruments donated over a period of years, opened in ...

Article

Howard Schott

revised by Anne Beetem Acker

German family of piano makers. Joseph Anton Pfeiffer (1828–81) established the firm in Stuttgart in 1861; it became Carl A. Pfeiffer & Co. after Joseph’s son, Carl Anton Pfeiffer (1861–1927), became head of the firm in 1888. The latter studied piano building in Berlin, London, and New York in the factories of Steinway & Sons and other leading firms. Learned and inventive, he developed pedal pianos for attachment to upright and grand pianos for organ practice, improved keyboard transposition mechanisms, built upright and grand pianos with the Jankó keyboard, and devised special tools for piano construction. As a donor and technical consultant he helped build the instrument collections of the Stuttgart Landesgewerbemuseum and the Deutsches Museum in Munich. He made a copy of the spurious ‘Bach harpsichord’ in Berlin, then still accepted as authentic, and also participated in the early stages of the harpsichord revival in Germany (...

Article

John T. Shepard

revised by Anita Sullivan

An international nonprofit organization of piano tuners and technicians that monitors and maintains standards in the craft, in the absence of government licensing. Formed in 1958 by the merger of the National Association of Piano Tuners (founded 1908) and the American Society of Piano Technicians (founded 1940), the PTG is organized into regions throughout the United States and worldwide, offering to its members opportunities for accreditation, continuing education and professional development. Members may progress through an apprentice-like program of classes and examinations to improve their skills to the level of Registered Piano Technician (RPT). Additionally, the Guild serves as a public resource for piano technology and actively supports music education. In 2010, the Guild was headquartered in Kansas City and had over 4000 members worldwide. The organization publishes the monthly Piano Technicians Journal and a wide variety of technical manuals and bulletins, and offers a technician referral service on its website (...

Article

Pilcher  

Barbara Owen

American firm of organ builders . It was founded by Henry Pilcher (1798–1880), a native of Dover who emigrated to the USA about 1832. He set up a business in Newark, New Jersey, in 1833, moving to New Haven, Connecticut, in 1839 and back to Newark in 1844. In 1856 he was joined by his sons Henry jr (1828–90) and William Pilcher (b 1830), the firm becoming known as Henry Pilcher & Sons; it moved to St Louis about 1858. There some notable organs were built, including a large instrument for St Paul’s Church (1859). In 1863 the firm moved to Chicago, where it remained until 1871 when its factory was destroyed in the great fire. The following year Henry Pilcher senior retired, and the firm, under the directorship of Henry jr and his sons R.E., William E., Paul B. and J.V. Pilcher opened a new factory in Louisville, where it grew and prospered. In ...

Article

Terry E. Miller

[bin bādy]

In Cambodia, the primary classical ensemble played at court ceremonies, some Buddhist festivals, to accompany the large shadow theatre, masked drama, and dance drama. Both the ensemble and its name are closely related to similar ensembles in Thailand (piphat) and Laos (sep nyai/piphat). Ensembles vary in size from minimal (five instruments) to large. A basic ensemble consists of ...

Article

Margaret Cranmer

French firm of piano makers . It was founded in 1807 at Paris by the composer Ignace Pleyel ( see Pleyel family ). The firm quickly adopted and improved the best features of English piano making; Pape, Jean Henri helped Pleyel from 1811 to 1815 with the building of cottage pianos or ‘pianinos’, small vertically strung uprights invented by the English maker Robert Wornum (ii) which were new to France. In 1815 Ignace’s son Camille Pleyel joined the firm; 14 years later the pianist Frédéric Kalkbrenner joined too and did much to publicize Pleyel pianos. Chopin became closely associated with the firm; he made his début in Paris (26 February 1832) at the Salle Pleyel and later owned a Pleyel grand of 1839 (no.7267) with a single escapement and a light touch. Chopin said ‘when I feel in good form and strong enough to find my own individual sound, then I need a Pleyel piano’. The soundboard introduced by Pleyel in ...