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Crumar  

Hugh Davies

revised by Anne Beetem Acker

Italian manufacturer of electronic keyboard instruments, founded in the early 1970s in Castelfidardo, near Ancona. The firm was named after its founder, Mario Crucianelli, and his partner F. Marchetti. The Crucianelli family already owned a large accordion firm that had designed the first electronic accordion, but disputes led Mario and his brother Vincenzo to leave and form Crumar. Mario’s son Sante worked as sales manager and as a marketing/engineering liaison. Crumar’s early range (produced from about 1974) included several types of electric piano (the Compac, Roady, Roadracer, Roadrunner, Baby Grand Piano, and others), electronic organ (including the Toccata), and string synthesizer (Multiman, Orchestrator, and Performer), and instruments incorporating a polyphonic synthesizer section (Composer, Stratus, and Trilogy). The Synthephone (1982), a small electronic keyboard instrument, features a breath control facility. Crumar’s analogue synthesizers were comparable to the Moog and other types, and the Crumar Spirit was designed by Robert Moog along with Jim Scott and Tom Rhea....

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Cwejman  

Anne Beetem Acker

[CW Elektronik]

Swedish producer of analogue synthesizers, founded and solely operated in Kungälv by the Polish engineer Wlodzimierz (Wowa) Cwejman (b 1949). Cwejman began building the analogue synthesizer ‘Synthra’ to custom order in the 1970s, but dropped out of the field to work in industrial electronics when digital synthesizers came on the market. In ...

Article

Brandon Smith

American manufacturer of synthesizer modules, based in Glendale, California. The company was founded in 2002 by Cynthia Webster, an electronic music artist and synthesizer module designer. While in high school in the 1970s, Webster bought an ARP 2600 synthesizer and soon thereafter went to study with Jim Michmerhuizen (author of the ARP 2600 user’s manual) at the Boston School of Electronic Music; she then studied electronic music at San Francisco State University and Mills College. In 1976, she founded Synapse (1976–9), a magazine dedicated to electronic music. After a hiatus from electronic music to work as a cinematographer, Webster acquired a modular synthesizer by Modcan and began producing her own diverse modules, along with other designers including Mark Barton and Herbert Kuhnert, under the name Cyndustries. Although Cyndustries modules were originally intended for use with Modcan systems, they are also available in other formats including the Behringer Eurorack, Dotcom (Synthesizer.com), PaiA’s FracRak, and MOTM by Synthesis Technologies....

Article

Daewoo  

Anne Beetem Acker

(Korean: ‘great Woo’)

South Korean manufacturer of acoustic and digital pianos. Founded in 1967 as Daewoo Industrial, the large conglomerate Daewoo International Corp. is named for its founder, Kim Woo-jung. In 1977 the Daewoo Precision Industries division purchased the Sojin musical instrument factory of Yeoju, Korea. Sojin had been making guitars; it added upright pianos in 1976. Between 1980 and 1991, Daewoo exported Sojin pianos as well as pianos under the names Royale, Daytron, Daewoo, Schafer & Sons, Sherman Clay (until 1987), and Cline, in addition to private labels. These pianos were of inconsistent and relatively low quality. Starting in 1989, Daewoo began to manufacture digital pianos. In 1990 they produced 13,452 uprights, 2,364 grands, and 2,120 digital pianos.

In 1991, Daewoo purchased a 33% share of the German piano maker Ibach, selling the Sojin equipment to a Chinese firm and replacing it with copies of Ibach’s machinery. Thereafter, instead of Sojin pianos, Daewoo produced Ibach brand instruments to a higher standard, using components such as Renner actions and Delignit wrestplanks. However, the parent Daewoo International Corp., stressed by the Asian financial crisis, went bankrupt in ...

Article

Kurt Lueders

French firm of organ builders. It was founded in Paris in 1831 by Abbé J.-L. Cabias to market a plainsong accompaniment device he had patented. André-Marie Daublaine and B.L.J. Girard, who were civil engineers by profession, took over (from 1834 and 1841 respectively), and Louis Callinet merged his activity with the firm’s in 1838; accordingly, the titles Daublaine & Cie, Maison Daublaine-Callinet or Girard et Cie were variously to be found on contracts. Callinet was dismissed in 1843 after destroying much of the St Sulpice organ under reconstruction, in a fit of spite after a personal disappointment. Charles Spackman Barker took charge of the workshop in 1841; at that time, a branch was set up in Lyons under Théodore Sauer. Félix Danjou became the principal commercial agent and aesthetic apologist from 1839 to 1845, when Pierre Alexandre Ducroquet, an appraiser-auctioneer, purchased the firm and appended his name to the instruments. The firm was taken over by Joseph Merklin in ...

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

Dimi  

Hugh Davies

A digital synthesizer developed by the Finnish composer and electronic designer Erkki Kurenniemi (b Hämeenlinna, 1941), with Jukka Ruohomäki (b 1947), and manufactured by Digelius Electronics in Helsinki between 1971 and the late 1970s. An early example of the digital synthesizer, the Dimi resembles neither more recent digital instruments nor the analogue synthesizers of its own period. On a small tablet (40 × 40 cm) a printed circuit is laid out in a fan shape, with 46 terminations; a stylus is used to make all interconnections and operate all controls through the tablet (though the tablet and stylus may be replaced by an alphanumeric keyboard). The system also includes a television screen, which can receive input from a television camera; the graphic images shown on the screen can then be converted into sound, in a manner analogous to the techniques of graphic sound. The Dimi contains a range of modules similar to those on a small modular synthesizer, as well as a memory, which can be used as a rhythm generator. A recording ‘DIMI 1’, featuring Ruohomäki as performer in works by Bach, Kurenniemi, and Ruohomäki, was released in ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Line of MIDI-based reproducing player pianos introduced by Yamaha Corporation in 1982 (1986 in North America). The Disklavier system combines an acoustic piano with an electromechanical player-piano system. As in other such systems, fibre-optic sensors register the movement of keys, hammers, and pedals during performance, while the digital controller operates a bank of solenoids installed under the piano’s key bed; one solenoid is positioned under the tail of each key, with additional solenoids connected to the pedal rods. Performance information is stored digitally on CD-ROM, floppy discs (still used for many accompaniments for instructional piano material), or a hard drive. Disklavier systems can be connected to sequencers, tone modules, and computers via MIDI and Ethernet. A built-in speaker system attached to the case under the soundboard is used to play back optional digital piano sound and especially for playback of accompanying orchestral or vocal tracks.

Unlike other electronic player systems, the Disklavier is only installed in new Yamaha pianos and only at the factory. It cannot be installed in older Yamahas or other brands of pianos. Compared with other systems, the Disklavier’s recording capability is generally regarded to be of the highest quality and sophistication. Of the Disklavier models available in ...

Article

Hugh Davies

A polyphonic digital synthesizer developed by Dean Wallraff in the late 1970s and manufactured by his company Digital Music Systems of Boston, MA (originally Brooklyn, NY) beginning in 1980. The DMX-1000 was designed to be controlled by a master computer, such as the PDP 11 made by the Digital Equipment Corporation (which also forms part of the DMX-1010 package). The complete system includes a visual display unit, two disc drives, an alphanumeric keyboard and a real time control panel. The first commercially-produced digital synthesizer offering microprogramming, the DMX-1000 has a ‘transparent’ capability, permitting any combination of synthesizer modules to be programmed using the Music 1000 digital signal processing language (which was developed for the DMX-1000). It allows signal processing of synthesized, live, and pre-recorded sounds, and was used for speech synthesis. Faced with competition from Yamaha, Wallraff left the synthesizer business in the mid-1980s and turned first to composing, then to Internet distribution of educational software, and finally to practising law. (D. Wallraff: ‘The DMX-...

Article

Laurence Libin

American firm of piano makers, active in New York from 1791 to 1793. The brief partnership of Thomas Dodds (b England; d ?New York, c1799) and Christian Claus (b ?Stuttgart, Germany; d New York, after 1799) was among the first to establish the piano industry in New York.

Dodds arrived in New York from London in 1785. In an advertisement in the Independent Journal of 13 August 1785, he offered to sell, repair, and tune string, wind, and keyboard instruments at his house on Queen Street, and cited his experience as an organ, harpsichord, and piano maker for “upwards of twenty years.” He was granted American citizenship in 1788. In 1789 he sold a piano to George Washington for his stepdaughter’s lessons. He was also active as a mahogany merchant from 1789 to 1793. In 1783 Claus had received a patent in London for a key mechanism applied to the English guitar. In New York he continued to build English guitars and repair violins; he is listed in city directories from ...

Article

Brandon Smith

German manufacturer of electronic music products, particularly MIDI controllers and modular synthesizers. The company was founded in Munich by Dieter Doepfer in 1977. The first products were modules for other companies’ systems, such as Formant and PMS (Polyphonic Modular System). In the late 1980s and early 90s the focus shifted mainly to MIDI controllers and MIDI-to-CV converters (devices that create analogue voltages from a MIDI input). In 1992 Florian Schneider of Kraftwerk consulted with Doepfer to help create the MAQ16/3, an analogue step sequencer with MIDI capabilities. In the same year the company moved to Gräfelfing and became a limited liability corporation, with a staff of six. Doepfer was one of the small companies during the 1990s that offered genuine analogue synthesizers, such as the MS-404, a MIDI-controlled monophonic synthesizer designed to emulate the Roland TB-303. In 1996 Doepfer released the extensive A-100 modular synthesizer series; these feature all the traditional synthesizer modules (oscillators, filters, envelope generators etc.) as well as innovative modules such as the A-178 theremin control voltage source and a series of modules inspired by the Trautonium, invented in Germany by Oskar Sala in ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Chinese piano manufacturer. An outgrowth of the government-owned Shanghai Piano Factory, founded in the 1920s, the Dongbei Piano Factory was established in 1952 in Yingkou City in Liaoning province of northeastern China (dongbei means ‘northeast’) to take advantage of the high quality of local wood. For many years, the firm made only upright pianos. In 1988, after the Swedish firm Nordiska went out of business, Dongbei purchased the designs and equipment for the Nordiska Model 116, an upright superior to Dongbei’s. Dongbei formed an agreement in 1991 with the Korean firm Daewoo whereby Daewoo helped Dongbei produce uprights. This arrangement was extended in 1996 to include grand piano production and ended with Dongbei buying most of Daewoo’s equipment and designs after the latter ceased piano manufacture in 1997; some of Daewoo’s designers and technicians then went to work for Dongbei. In 1994 Dongbei began to export their Sagenhaft uprights to the USA....

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Duo-Art  

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Duo-Art  

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A system of Aliquot scaling introduced by Steinway to provide sympathetic resonance to enrich the treble register of the piano. In the ‘octave duplex’ piano by Hoerr of Toronto, each note had four strings, of which two, three or four might be struck by the hammer depending on one of four pedals being depressed (see ‘The Octave Duplex Piano’, ...

Article

Dyegele  

Konin Aka

Term for a xylophone or ensemble of xylophones and kettledrums of the Senufo people in the Korhogo region of the Ivory Coast. The ensemble normally comprises three or four frame xylophones, each with 12 bars slung on cords attached to the frame at each end. Under each bar is a gourd resonator with spider’s web mirliton. All the xylophones have the same pentatonic tuning; they are accompanied by three wooden kettledrums. The players wear iron jingles on their wrists. The ...

Article

British firm of Synthesizer and electronic instrument manufacturers. It was founded in Putney, London, by Peter Zinovieff in 1969, and subsequently owned by Datanomics of Wareham, Dorset (from 1979), the composer Edward Williams (from 1982), and Robin Wood (from 1995). Since the 1980s it has been based near Truro, Cornwall. The company’s best-known product is the Putney or VCS-3. ...

Article

Hugh Davies

An 88-note upright Electric piano designed by Maurice Krakauer Bretzfelder (1905–66) and manufactured by Krakauer Bros. of New York from about 1937. Based on the patent for Benjamin F. Miessner’s Electronic Piano, it had no soundboard, the vibrations of its strings being converted into voltage variations by three separately controllable sets of electrostatic pickups placed at different positions to produce different timbres. In addition to the two normal pedals, it had a swell pedal. In 1940 it was advertised as incorporating a radio and a phonograph, the latter installed in the bench.

Bretzfelder was the great-grandson of Simon Krakauer, founder of the piano firm, and was in charge of manufacturing from 1929; he was elected president of the firm in 1951. At Columbia University in the 1950s he assisted in developing a device for measuring galvanic skin resistance in children. The Bretzfelder family, from New Haven, Connecticut, were related to the prominent instrument collector Morris Steinert. (M.K. Bretzfelder: ‘Latest Tone-controlled Electronic Piano’, ...

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Hugh Davies

A range of small, quasi-modular synthesizers developed by Jeff Murray, Dale Blake, Fred Locke, Norm Milliard, and others, and manufactured by Electronic Music Laboratories (EML), a small company in Talcottville (later Vernon), Connecticut, from about 1972 to 1976. The range consisted of small studio and performance synthesizers and synth modules. The first model, EML-100, was designed for schools taking part in the Pilot Electronic Project in Music Education in Connecticut. The EML-101 portable patch synthesizer has four oscillators (two of which could operate in the sub-sonic range) with multiple waveforms that could be selected by sweeping with rotary knobs, and could sound two notes simultaneously; its use extended beyond educational applications to commercial music, as did later models. The Synkey, one of EML’s last products, can be preprogrammed by means of punched plastic cards that are inserted into a reader.

After ElectroComp manufacture ended in 1976, EML (founded in 1968...