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Article

Ann-Marie Nilsson

[A&O]

Swedish brass instrument manufacturer, active in Stockholm from 1850 to 1959. The firm was established by Olof Ahlberg (b Landskrona, 13 Nov 1825; d Stockholm, 29 Sept 1854) and Lars Ohlsson (b Landskrona, 7 Nov 1825; d Stockholm, 1893), journeymen who trained from about 1840 to 1850 with Jacob Valentin WAHL in Landskrona. A&O had 20 employees in 1866. Within a few decades the firm drove minor makers and dealers from the Swedish market or bought them up (e.g. the Stockholm dealer Bengt Dahlgren, acquired in 1894). After the death of Lars Ohlsson, the firm was run by his son Alexis Ohlsson (1859–1932). From 1932 Harry Ohlsson, the son of Alexis, was a member of the board. The firm operated from 1904 as a limited company (aktiebolag, or AB). A&O exhibited in London (1851), Moscow (1863, 1872), Stockholm (...

Article

Hugh Davies

Electronic organ, several models of which were developed by Heinz Ahlborn (formerly a designer (1951–4) with Apparatewerk Bayern), and (from the mid-1960s) by Otto Riegg; it has been manufactured by Ahlborn-Orgel GmbH in Heimerdingen, near Stuttgart, from 1955. Like companies in several other countries, Ahlborn fought a long legal battle for the right to use the word ‘organ’ in the name of its instruments (‘Elektronenorgel’); after ten years the suit was resolved in the company’s favour in 1969. Klaus Beisbarth, one of the principals of Ahlborg GmbH, was experimenting with electronic tone generation already about 1949. From 1974 the firm concentrated on making electronic organs that mimic the sounds of organ pipes. Ahlborn collaborated with Bradford University in England from 1977 in developing the BAC (Bradford Ahlborn Computer organ) in an effort to produce more realistic simulation; note attack characteristics were improved and analogue technology was eventually replaced by digital processing of recordings of pipe organs. A range of products was designed, from three- and four-manual instruments with traditional consoles to relatively inexpensive portable keyboards. Some installations combine electronic components with real pipes; one example was Ahlborn’s collaboration in ...

Article

Ahnalya  

Steve Elster

Rattle of the Mohave Indians of Southern California and Arizona. The narrow, tapered end of a dried gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) approximately 13 to 18 cm in diameter is cut off and the shell is emptied. Soundholes about 5 mm in diameter are drilled around the base, and seeds from the native palm tree are placed inside. A 15-cm-long handle is affixed with pitch or glue in the hole at the tapered end. The rattle accompanies all-night song cycle performances, during which 200–300 songs may be sung, each singer shaking an ahnalya in one hand. Some singers decorate their gourds with painted patterns. The art of playing it is called ‘throwing gourd’. Skilled performers can generate complex rhythms, essential in the music where the words, dance steps, and rhythmic patterns of the gourd are all tightly interwoven.

P. Munro and others: A Mojave Dictionary. UCLA Occasional Papers in Linguistics...

Article

Ahpareo  

J. Richard Haefer

[aapaleo]

Diatonic harp with 28 strings of the Yoeme Yaqui Indians of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico, and the Mayo and Guarijio Indians of Northern Mexico. The names derive from the Spanish arpa. Made from cedar or other local woods, the harp is about 160 cm tall, with a straight forepillar made from a local cactus pole, an inverted arch neck with wooden tuning pegs, and a resonator of three or usually five sides and a flat soundtable with three circular sound holes. Traditionally the lower strings are made of wound goat gut which the harpist receives as part of his payment for playing the fiesta. Nowadays the strings are made from monofilament nylon of various sizes with the lower ones wound to a larger diameter. The harp is retuned as the performance proceeds through the night with various segments using different scales. The harp is played together with the lave’leo violin to accompany the dancing of the ...

Article

Hermann Fischer

(b Göttingen, April 28, 1930). German organ builder. Ahrend studied in Göttingen with Paul Ott from 1946 until 1954, before opening a workshop in Leer, East Friesland, with his partner Gerhard Brunzema. After intensive study of surviving historical organs, Ahrend and Brunzema developed a special interest in the north German mechanical-action tradition and adopted its methods. From the beginning they divided their activities between the careful restoration of historical instruments and the construction of exemplary new organs. They often collaborated with leading performers of early music, and their groundbreaking work gained an international reputation. 67 organs were built and restored between 1954 and 1971, largely in northern Europe. In 1962 both partners received the State Prize for craftsmanship in Lower Saxony. In January 1972 Brunzema left the firm to pursue his own career in Canada; Ahrend continued his work in Germany.

Important restorations include instruments at Rysum (...

Article

Ahuli  

Victoria Lindsay Levine

Water drum of the Cherokee people of the southern USA. The body is normally made of wood (preferably red cedar) about 28 cm tall and 20 cm in diameter, with walls 3 or 4 cm thick, but an earthenware crock can also be used. It is filled with about 5 cm of water before the head is stretched across the opening. The head is made of woodchuck skin, tanned deerskin, or a rubber tire inner-tube, and is attached by a wooden or metal hoop. The drum is played with a single stick made of hickory wood about 30 cm long with a carved knob on the end. The drummer alters the sound by shaking the drum or turning it upside down, thereby moistening the head. Male song leaders play water drums to accompany certain communal dances performed at ceremonial grounds. Water drums also accompany ceremonial dances of the Delaware, Muscogee (Creek), Shawnee, and Yuchi (Euchee), and were used in the past by the Chickasaw and Choctaw. Each tribe has its own name for the water drum, for example Creek, ...

Article

Article

Alfred Reichling

(b Gasteig, nr Sterzing, March 15, 1809; d Marling, nr Meran [Merano], Jan 2, 1887). Tyrolean organ builder. His earliest known work was the organ for Navis (1837; lost). Among his numerous other organs are those at Absam (1841; in an organ case by Johann Anton Fuchs, cl780), the Franciscan church, Schwaz (1843), Sautens im Ötztal (1846), Reutte (1847/48), Zirl (1851–2), Brixen [Bressanone] parish church (1858; in a case by Rochus Egedacher, 1740–41), the Benedictine abbey, Marienberg (1865–6; three manuals, 32 stops, his largest instrument), Meran parish church (1867; lost), St Georgenberg Benedictine abbey, Fiecht (1871; two manuals, 31 stops, his second-largest organ, restored in 2000 by Mathis Orgelbau), Burgeis (1873–4; in a case by Carlo Prati, 1678), Lana parish church (1875) and St Leonhard in Passeier (...

Article

Aip  

Brian Diettrich

An hourglass-shaped, single-headed drum from the island of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. The body was made from breadfruit tree wood (Artocarpus altilis) or from the local tree topwuk (Premna gaudichaudii), and the head from shark or ray skin, or ray, or possibly a fish bladder. Drums were formerly of great cultural significance on the island; they were given proper names, associated with paramount chiefs, and played and cared for by men assigned the honorary title kiroun aip (keeper-of-the-drum). Men beat the drums by hand or using a stick fashioned from hibiscus, during feasts, contexts of warfare, and occasions involving paramount chiefs. The last detailed documentation of the aip on the island dates from 1910. A few historical examples exist in museums. Pohnpeians reconstructed one drum in 1976 that had been the only example on the island, but in 2011 the islanders undertook a new reconstruction project. During the early 20th century, drums similar to the ...

Article

Philip Bate

revised by Murray Campbell

The body of air inside a tubular wind instrument. When a note is sounded the air column is in a state of longitudinal vibration, i.e. subject to a cyclic succession of local compressions and rarefactions (see Acoustics §IV 2.). The frequency of these disturbances determines the pitch of the sound heard; it is governed mainly by the form and dimensions of the air column (see Bore), but also to an extent by the way in which the disturbances are engendered. Frequency is affected by such factors as the temperature and moisture content of the air, frictional effects at the surface of the confining tube or vessel and the transfer of viscous energy among its particles. When the column is in vibration the periodic disturbances do not terminate abruptly at the ends of the confining tube but extend a short distance into the surrounding air. Thus it is necessary to apply a correction factor when determining its effective or ...

Article

Hugh Davies

[formerly Melodica]

A keyboard harmonica manufactured in soprano and alto versions by Hohner in Trossingen from 1958 and rebranded in 2016 as the Airboard; the name Melodica is nowadays still used generically. The instrument, which has 19th-century counterparts such as the harmonicor, is rectangular and has a mouthpiece at the upper end. The diatonic keys are played by the right hand and the chromatic ones by the left; it can produce many chords and clusters that are impossible on the harmonica, but whereas in the latter some reeds sound when sucked and others when blown, the Airboard reeds sound only when they are blown. Because it is made of plastic (apart from the reeds, which are metal), the Airboard can be mass-produced at low cost; this and the ease with which learners can master the keyboard and mouthpiece (a straight or bent tube that opens out into the reed chamber) have made it very popular in schools, especially in Asia, as an alternative to the recorder or other woodwind instruments. It has also been called for by composers such as Steve Reich (...

Article

Aiva  

Article

Aiyam  

J. Richard Haefer

[ayam]

Vessel rattle of the Yoeme Yaqui maso (deer dancer) of Arizona and Northern Mexico and their Mayo neighbours. One is held in each hand. They are made from gourds about 15 cm in diameter but of slightly different sizes and shapes to give different sounds to the various movements of the deer. The inside of the gourd is scraped clean and small pebbles are placed inside. A cottonwood handle about 15 cm long is inserted into the base of the gourd, which is neither painted nor decorated....

Article

Àjà  

Amanda Villepastour

A generic term for metal clapper bells of the Yorùbá people of Nigeria and Benin. The bells, which can be of iron or brass and of variable sizes, have an integral handle. Their most common use is in òrìṣà cults where the àjà punctuates prayers and incantations arhythmically and is believed to invoke the deities...

Article

Ajaeng  

Robert C. Provine

Bowed long zither of Korea. Two main versions are in current use: the ajaeng, which has been a member of court music ensembles for many centuries, and the smaller sanjo ajaeng, invented in the 1940s and used for folk music and accompaniments.

The older version is about 160 cm long and 24 cm wide, has seven strings of twisted silk and is bowed with a long (65 cm) resined stick of forsythia wood. The instrument itself is made of paulownia wood and is played propped up at the bowing end (performer’s right) on a small four-legged stand. The strings run from a gently curved bridge on the right across seven small movable wooden bridges (‘wild-goose feet’) to another curved bridge on the left; the sounding length, from the right bridge to the movable bridge, is different for each string and readily adjustable for tuning purposes. The ajaeng has the narrowest range of the Korean string instruments: in court music it normally operates within a 9th or 10th, a typical tuning being ...

Article

Aje  

Barbara B. Smith

revised by Jessica A. Schwartz

[adja, adscha, āži]

Single-headed Hourglass drum of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia. Most descriptions indicate that it was introduced from Melanesia, possibly through Pohnpei, where the Aip resembles it in structure. The long-waisted body (about 65 cm tall, diameter at the ends 20 cm) is crafted from breadfruit wood. The head, made from the inner lining of the stomach or bladder of a shark, is tied over one end by a cord of fibrous plant material. The drum is held on the lap or under the left arm. Finger and hand strokes, and playing positions (centre or rim), are differentiated. One, two, or three aje were played, almost exclusively by women, to accompany chanting or singing, sometimes with dance or pantomime. The aje was also beaten by women as a signal, to encourage men during battle, and to keep canoes together during nighttime voyages. Christian missionary intervention threatened the aje with extinction after the early 20th century, when no extant examples were known in the Marshalls....

Article

Amanda Villepastour

The largest gourd rattle in the Sẹ̀kẹ̀rẹ̀ family of instruments of the Yorùbá people of Nigeria and Benin. The gourd resonator is encased in a net to which cowrie-shell and sometimes glass bead strikers are attached. The rattle was once associated with the worship of Ajé, the Yorùbá òrìṣà (deity) of prosperity, symbolized by cowrie shells. Traditionally, this instrument was used only in the palace (...

Article

Ajigo  

K.A. Gourlay

Kettledrum of the Idoma people of Nigeria. It is approximately 60 cm tall and 35 cm in diameter, and has a head affixed by wedge bracing (i.e. tension is obtained by inserting wooden wedges between the securing ring and the body). The ajigo is played with the hands. Believed to be sacred, it is used solely by members of the ...

Article

Peter Cooke

Large pentatonic log xylophone formerly played in the royal compound of the kabaka (King) of Buganda, central Uganda. Like other xylophones in Uganda the bars were preferably carved from logs of the lusambya tree (markhamia platycalyx). Their number varies between 17 and 22 and they are laid across freshly felled banana trunks and held in place by tall sticks pushed into the trunks between the bars. The bars are sounded at both ends with heavy beaters but are held longitudinally in place by a pair of shoulders carved out of the underside of each bar which trap the bars between the trunks yet allow free vibration.

Wachsmann reported that in 1950 only three instruments existed, one at the palace, one in the Uganda museum, and a third at Kidinda village, Butambala county, where the instrument was made and practised by members of the elephant clan formerly charged with the duty of providing musicians. Though he also remarked that ‘in old times’ the instrument had 22 bars (spanning four octaves) the instrument at the palace then had 17 bars, and a 17-bar instrument was in use at the palace until ...

Article

Idiochord single-string stick zither made by Ganda children in Uganda. It consists of a piece of papyrus stem about 55 cm long with a thin strip raised and supported on bits of papyrus that serve as bridges. It is plucked either with a finger of the right hand or with a small stick....