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James Blades

revised by James Holland and James A. Strain

Cymbal makers, comprising the Avedis Zildjian Co. of Norwell, Massachusetts, and Sabian, Ltd, of Meductic, New Brunswick, Canada. The family traces its lineage back to Avedis Zildjian I, an alchemist in Constantinople (now Istanbul) who in 1623 discovered a process for treating alloys. He applied this process to the making of cymbals, an already flourishing craft in Turkey. The details of his secret were closely guarded and have been passed down through the family. From 1623 until 1975 (with the exception of a short period of political exile for Aram Zildjian) Zildjian cymbals were manufactured in Turkey, ending when the American company, being established in 1929 and having acquired all international trademarks in 1973, gradually moved all manufacturing to the United States and Canada with all distribution rights assumed in1983.

In 1928 Aram (b c1863; d c1930), living again in Constantinople, contemplated retirement and (being childless) passed the family secret to his nephew Avedis Zildjian III (...



(b Morgenroethe, Saxony, Germany, Sept 4, 1817; d Philadelphia, PA, Oct 20, 1898). Instrument maker of German birth. He immigrated to the United States in 1864 and settled in Philadelphia. His work with and improvements to the accordion led him to devise a complex “tone numbering” system of musical notation that used numbers in place of notes; he wrote articles describing this as early as 1871. After years of revising the system he decided to invent a musical instrument that would require its use; he tried at first to adapt the accordion for this purpose but soon turned his attention to the autoharp, a zither with attached chord bars. He first alluded to his plans to manufacture the instrument around 1878 in his book Zimmermann’s Directory of Music in General; he applied for a patent in 1881 (issued the following year) and began production in 1885. Within three years he had sold 50,000 instruments. His models ranged from one with 21 strings and three bars that could produce only three chords to a concert instrument with 49 strings, six bars, slides, and levers that could produce 72 chords. In ...


Edward Garden

(b Sternberg, Sept 22, 1851; d Berlin, April 25, 1922). German music publisher and woodwind and brass instrument manufacturer . He had factories in St Petersburg (1876), Moscow (1882) and Riga (1903). The headquarters of the publishing firm was established in Leipzig in 1886, with the actual printing being carried out by Breitkopf & Härtel. Zimmermann became friendly with Balakirev in 1899 and thereafter published all the works of that composer. It may be that it was Zimmermann’s exhortations that encouraged the prolificness of the final decade of Balakirev’s life. He also published the majority of the compositions of Balakirev’s protégé Sergey Lyapunov. Other composers’ music published by him include Medtner, Josef Hofmann, Tausig, A.S. Taneyev and Reinecke. He suffered financial hardship during World War I, but, although he resumed the publication of music by Russian composers in 1919, he was unable to reopen his former Russian factories and shops. In ...


John Baily


Single-headed goblet drum of Afghanistan. It is usually made of pottery, and occasionally from a block of mulberry wood, carved or turned in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The single goatskin head, usually slightly narrower than the widest part of the body (which curves in at the top), is glued on and can be tuned by heating or wetting it. Sometimes the head bears a patch of black tuning paste. Some modern instruments have the head lapped on a ring with metal tuning rods. The drummer sits cross-legged on the floor with the drum resting on its side on the ground, or in the player’s lap. Drummers use a large variety of rhythmic patterns and special techniques such as the riz, a fast roll executed with the fingers of the right hand. The zirbaghali is regarded in Afghanistan as a folk instrument and is especially important in the north of the country. It is similar to the Iranian ...



Mark Lindley, Andreas Michel and Alan R. Thrasher

A term having two main senses in modern organology. The first denotes (in both English and German) a large category of string instruments also known as ‘simple chordophone’ (defined in §1 below); the second, more limited and perhaps more familiar sense refers to a small group of Alpine folk and popular instruments. From the late 15th century the term ‘zither’ was used exclusively to denote chordophones with necks, of the cittern type. It was only from the early 19th century that the name began to be used for descendants of the north European Scheitholt type of instrument (see §§2 and 3 below), which had no neck and frets placed directly on the box. From the Scheitholt evolved the modern Alpine instrument still known as the zither (Fr. cithare; Ger. Zither; It. cetra da tavola); other types of fretted zither are found elsewhere in Europe.

Mark Lindley

According to the classification system of Hornbostel and Sachs (...


Gregg Miner

Musical instrument. Generic term for an American or European zither that has only nonfretted (open) strings, as opposed to a concert or “Alpine” zither, which utilizes a fretted fingerboard. (See also Zither, fretted .) Fretless zithers were commercially developed and widely distributed in many forms beginning in the late 19th century, especially in the United States. The earliest such invention is the Autoharp , patented in the United States in 1882 by the German immigrant Charles F. Zimmermann, but built upon the better mechanical design of a different Volkszither patent by Karl August Gütter of Markneukirchen, Germany in 1883 or 1884. Its strings are strummed by one hand while the other hand operates a series of damper bars, which mute notes not of the desired chords. It was followed by the guitar-zither patented in the United States in 1894 by Friederich Menzenhauer (1858–1937). Its 15 diatonic melody strings are accompanied by four groups of four open strings, each group sounding a chord (tonic, 3rd, 5th, sometimes dominant 7th or octave). Variant types were produced in great numbers by several dozen manufacturers, from the late 1890s onward. Some of these (e.g. the marxophone) include mechanical attachments that strike or pluck the strings. The ukelin and related types have bowed melody strings. Others have only melody strings or strings configured into chord groups, sometimes with a melody playable from the chords. The most prominent American manufacturers were Menzenhauer (later Menzenhauer & Schmidt and Oscar Schmidt, Jersey City, New Jersey), The Phonoharp Co. (Boston), and H.C. Marx/Marxochime Colony (New Troy, Michigan). Inexpensive fretless zithers were mass-produced and intended for amateurs or nonmusicians. Often, a decal with staff notation or names of the strings was affixed to the soundboard, beneath the strings. Paper song sheets, with notation or diagrams of notes to be played, could be placed under the strings as a guide. Thousands of pieces were published for these “numerical instruments” from their first appearance to about ...


David J. Kyger

Musical string instrument. The fretted zither is a resonating body with strings extending across the width of the instrument. A modern zither has five fretboard strings and up to 37 open strings. It is placed on a flat surface with the player seated behind the instrument. Frets are set into the fretboard, indicating where the fingers of the left hand need to stop the strings in order to play melodies. A ring with a projecting thorn is placed on the tip of the right-hand thumb to strike the fretboard strings, while the remaining fingers act upon the open strings for the accompaniment.

The zither was widely introduced to the American public by Joseph Hauser of the Hauser Family, a group of Tyrolean singers, in the late 1840s. Numerous songs performed by the family were published by Oliver Ditson in Boston. Sheet music selections published by the company feature a lithograph of the performers, with Joseph Hauser holding a zither....


Laurence Libin

Imitation or representation of animal forms in instrument design. Included under this heading is anthropomorphism, referring to human body forms. Zoomorphism appears in all areas of material culture, but sound adds an important dimension to the practice. Musical instruments of many kinds can be made to resemble animals or humans, or parts of them. These forms serve decorative, symbolic, magical, acoustical, structural, and other purposes. Worldwide since prehistory, many instruments, especially those used in rituals, have been constructed of animal parts or whole animals, or made in the shapes of animals, deities, or monsters whose ‘voices’ and powers the instruments evoke. Animal components such as hollowed horns, bones, and shells lend themselves readily to instrument fabrication, so it is not surprising that recognizable cattle and goat horns (the latter for the shofar), sea-shells (in the sankh), armadillo bodies (in the charango), turtle and tortoise carapaces (in Iroquois rattles, some North African lutes, and the ancient ...



Howard Schott

revised by Edward L. Kottick

[Wallace ]

(b Berlin, Oct 11, 1922). Harpsichord maker and developer of the kit harpsichord, of German birth. He came to the United States in 1938, studied psychology at Queens College, New York (BA 1949), and continued with postgraduate work. But his musical interests led him to study piano technology. He was never apprenticed to a harpsichord builder, but, having to deal with harpsichords in the course of his work as a piano technician, he determined in 1954 to build one for his own use in amateur chamber music playing. It was a somewhat simplified one-manual model with little claim to historical authenticity. He continued to produce similar harpsichords, which found a ready market. In 1960 he introduced a kit version in response to the evident demand for a basic inexpensive harpsichord. The kit was designed for production on a small industrial scale, and by the end of 1969...



J.A. Fuller Maitland

revised by Anthony C. Baines and Mary Térey-Smith

[chiufolo, ciufolo] (It.)

In Italy a name for any small duct flute or whistle. It was first described in the 14th century (Marcuse, 1964) as having two front finger-holes and a rear thumb-hole (it thus falls into the normal pattern for three-hole pipes; see Pipe and tabor). It was traditionally carved from boxwood and had a conical bore. The narrow compass obtainable from the three finger-holes could be extended to over two octaves by stopping and half-stopping the bell with the palm of the hand, and by overblowing. In Sicily the term applies to a larger duct flute with a wide-beak mouthpiece and six finger-holes.

A larger, much improved zuffolo (lowest note c′′) appeared during the early 17th century. According to Van der Meer this ‘was also called flautino and flauto piccolo in works by Monteverdi, Praetorius, Schütz, Schein and Telemann; Keiser alone maintains the original name’. The Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, houses a few three-hole duct flutes, some with ...




Margaret Cranmer

[Johann Christoph ]

(b Fürth, nr Nuremburg, June 14, 1726; bur. London, Dec 5, 1790). English harpsichord and piano maker of German origin. He may have worked for the Silbermanns and was the most famous of the German keyboard instrument makers known as the ‘12 Apostles’, who emigrated to London about the time of the Seven Years War. Zumpe worked briefly for Burkat Shudi, and married Elizabeth Beeston on 3 December, 1760 before setting up his own shop ‘at the sign of the Golden Guittar’ in Princes Street, Hanover Square, in 1761. There he probably made a few harpsichords, before commencing his successful square piano business. Fétis (1851) wrote that his first lessons were on a Zumpe piano dated 1762. J.C. Bach probably acted as an agent for Zumpe pianos, which in 1771 cost 18 guineas each.

An early Zumpe square, dated 1766, is preserved in the Württembergisches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart. It has a compass ...




Alan R. Thrasher

(‘sitting chime’) [qing]

Bowl-shaped resting bell of the Han Chinese. The bell is hammered out of bronze and constructed in various sizes, medium-sized instruments ranging from 10 to 15 cm in diameter. The zuoqing rests on a cushion and is struck at the rim with a padded beater. A 9th-century Buddhist bell (24 cm in diameter, 19 cm deep) found in a Tang dynasty site is one of earliest of this type reported. The scholar Chen Yang, in his treatise Yueshu (c1100), called this type a bronze bowl (tongbo) but the name zuoqing (or qing) is now most common. Used in Buddhist temples, the bell is usually paired with a muyu (‘wooden fish’) of a similar size, and struck to punctuate the chanting of monks and nuns.

Liu Dongsheng and others, eds.: Zhongguo yueqi tujian [Pictorial Guide to Chinese Instruments] (Ji’nan, 1992), 85 only.

See also...



Ferdinand J. de Hen