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Anne Beetem Acker

(bap. London, England, Jan 1, 1685; d London, England, by 1735). English spinet and harpsichord maker. His father, also Thomas, was a butcher. He was apprenticed to Stephen Keene from 1 Aug 1699 for seven years and his initials (TB) appear in a Keene spinet of 1705. Barton became a freeman of the Joiners’ Company in Aug 1706 and moved to the neighbouring parish of St Martin Outwich in 1708, the same year in which he became the master of John Ladyman, and in which his first son, also Thomas, was born. With Cawton Aston he made a bentside spinet dated 1709, indicating at least a brief partnership. Barton spinets seem normally to have had a continuously curved tail instead of the common mitred tail. Styles of keyboards (ebony naturals with either solid ivory or skunktail accidentals) vary. Based on surviving examples (e.g. spinet of 1730, US.W.si), Barton was apparently one of the first spinet makers, along with Hitchcock, to expand the compass to five octaves (...

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Anne Beetem Acker

(fl c1780–90). French keyboard instrument maker. Little is known about him; possibly he was related to the harpsichord builder Jean Bas of Marseille. A grand piano (1781, US.V.n) by Louis Bas, the earliest known French grand (excepting Johann Heinrich Silbermann’s from Strasbourg), is inscribed ‘Villeneuve lès Avignon’ on its interior. Inscriptions on two spinets seem to indicate that he worked in Marseille in 1783 and Lyon in 1786. The 1781 grand is double strung throughout, has a compass of F″–g , a painted case (later stripped), and an ornately decorated soundboard like a contemporary French harpsichord’s. At one time the piano apparently had dampers (now missing) held in upper and lower guides like those of a harpsichord. Damper and una corda effects were controlled by knee levers or pedals (missing). Its inverted wrestplank and action resemble those by Cristofori, but with significant differences: the keys are guided by end pins that move in a slotted rack; the pearwood escapement jacks looks like harpsichord jacks but with the top shaped into a T, and they are mounted in holders attached to the key levers with threaded iron wire; the action lacks a check. The treble is scaled for iron strings similarly to Silbermann pianos but has a strike point much closer to the nut, producing a brighter tone. These features point to a Cristofori influence that might have arrived in France via Silbermann....

Article

Baschet  

Hugh Davies

revised by Laura Maes

French sound sculptors and instrument inventors. Bernard (b Paris, France, 24 Aug 1917) and his brother François (b Paris, France, 30 March 1920) developed a variety of sound sculptures and new instruments under the generic name Structures sonores. Bernard Baschet trained and originally worked as an engineer, and then (1962–5) directed a research team at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales of French Radio (ORTF), whose work resulted in Pierre Schaeffer’s Traité des objets musicaux (1966). François Baschet studied sculpture and worked as a furniture designer.

François Baschet began to concentrate on sound in 1952, when transportation problems urged him to rethink the concept of a guitar and to create an inflatable guitar using a plastic balloon as a sound box. (The first patent concerning string instruments that utilize as a resonance chamber a balloon, a bladder, or the like, inflated with air or any inert gas, was filed in France on ...

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David Lasocki, Denis Arnold and Fabio Ferraccioli

[Bassani, Piva]

Italian family of musicians, instrument makers and composers, active in England. The family originated in Bassano del Grappa, about 65 km north-west of Venice, where they were known as Piva. Jeronimo [Gieronymo, Hieronymus] (i) (d ?Venice, ?1546–50), the founder of the musical dynasty, is first recorded in a contract of his father's dated 24 March 1481; in February 1502 he and his eldest son Jacomo [Jacopo] (b ? Bassano, before 1488; d Venice, 1559–66) were engaged to tune the organs in the churches of Bassano. They seem to have made the move from Bassano to Venice shortly afterwards. Jeronimo was apparently the ‘Ser Jheronimo trombon’ who worked in the trombe e piffari of the Doge of Venice around 1506–12. Numerous documents call him ‘maestro’, probably indicating the leader of an ensemble or an instrument maker. Lorenzo Marucini (1577) describes him as ‘inventor of a new bass wind instrument’ and ‘most excellent ...

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Andrew Hughes

(d 1286). ?French poet and priest. He was a canon and priest of the collegiate church of St Pierre in Lille, near Arras. About 1280, he wrote a metrical and rhymed paraphrase of the famous poem, Anticlaudianus, by the 12th-century theologian, philosopher and poet Alain de Lille. Its plot concerns Nature’s formation of a perfect man to be imbued with the Arts and Virtues, and an ascent to heaven, on which journey the music of the spheres is heard, to request a soul from God. Adam named his new work Ludus super Anticlaudianum. It survives today in one manuscript ( F-Lm 316), thought to be partly autograph. Adam’s work retains the plot, the moral and the didactic character of the original, but the forbidding allegory and encyclopedic tone is modified in favour of a simpler style and language so that the work, although in Latin, is almost like a ...

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Neal Zaslaw

[l'aîné]

(b late 17th century; d Versailles, ?1728). French luthier and player on the musette and hurdy-gurdy. As early as 1672 Borjon de Scellery remarked upon the popularity of the musette among the French noblemen and the hurdy-gurdy among noble ladies. Bâton l'aîné took advantage of the continuing fashion for rustic instruments, and worked at transforming the musette and hurdy-gurdy from folk instruments into art ones. His younger contemporary Terrasson wrote:

Mr Bâton, luthier at Versailles, was the first who worked at perfecting the hurdy-gurdy [vielle]: he had in his place several old guitars which had not been used for a long time. In 1716 the idea struck him to turn them into hurdy-gurdies, and he carried off this invention with such a great success that people wished to have only hurdy-gurdies mounted on the bodies of guitars; and these sorts of hurdy-gurdies effectively have a stronger and at the same time sweeter sound than that of the old hurdy-gurdies. Mr Bâton also added to that instrument’s keyboard the low ...

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(b Moscow province, 1767; d St Petersburg, 18/June 30, 1841). Russian violin maker. He was sometimes called the ‘Russian Stradivari’. He is said to have studied keyboard instrument making in St Petersrom 1803 to 1805. He was a serf of Count N.P. Sheremetev, in whose residence he maintained a workshop for making and restoring bowed and plucked instruments. Batov cared for the violin collection of Alexander I and presented the czar with a violin he made in 1814; Alexander is said also to have paid 2000 rubles for a violin of Batov’s. Count Sheremetev granted freedom to Batov and his family in 1822 as a reward for an outstanding cello Batov had made. In 1829 he received a silver medal for a violin and cello he exhibited in St Petersburg as part of the first public exhibition of products manufactured in Russia. The first Russian luthier to achieve recognition across Europe, Batov made instruments known for their delicate and unique timbre. His designs were indebted to Stradivari, but his technique was more aligned with the French masters. Batov made instruments for prominent concert artists including the German cellist Bernhard Romberg. A festival of Russian instrument makers is named for Batov. (I. Yampolsky: ...

Article

Bätz  

Barbara Owen and Adri de Groot

[Baetz, Baitz, Beets, Beetz, Betz]

Firm of organ builders of German origin, active in the Netherlands. The first organ builder of the family was Johann Heinrich Hartmann Bätz (b Frankenroda, nr Eisenach, 1 January, 1709; d Utrecht, 13 December 1770). Having learned cabinet making, Johann Heinrich was apprenticed to the organ builder J.C. Thielemann in Gotha for four years starting in 1729. In 1733 he joined the organ workshop of Christiaan Müller in the Dutch Republic and helped to build the organ in the Bavokerk of Haarlem. In 1739 he settled in Utrecht as an independent organ builder. His work shows many similarities with the work of Müller in its cases, pipes and mechanisms. He built at least 16 new organs, many of them quite large, with two to three manuals. The most significant instruments are: Grote Kerk, Gorinchem (1760; rebuilt by Witte), Evangelische Lutherse Kerk, The Hague (1761–2), Hoorn, Oosterkerk, (...

Article

Niall O’Loughlin

revised by Denis Watel

(fl Paris, France, c1791–1827). French woodwind instrument maker. In 1803–4 he worked at 282 rue St Honoré, Paris, and from 1809 to 1827 at 23 rue de la Bibliothèque. Surviving instruments include flageolets, flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and a bass horn. Baumann reportedly advertised contrabassoons and bass serpents in 1825, and his keyed serpent was praised in 1835 in Hermenges’s serpent tutor. He is particularly notable for his varied range of clarinets (in E♭, C, B♭, A, and high F), with five to 12 square keys. Pillar-mounted, the sixth key was a closed key for c′/g′′, as required by the player Jean Xavier Lefèvre in his clarinet tutor. Sets of six-key clarinets in B♭ and C with corps de rechange for A and B♮, and two early Muller-system clarinets survive in private collections. Jean Jacques Baumann is often confused with the horn player Joseph Baumann....

Article

G. Kaleschke

(b Germany, 1714; d Germany, 1794). German organ builder. Initially a carpenter, he began work as an organ builder about 1749 and was probably apprenticed to the Stumm brothers in Rhaunen-Sulzbach. His work was restricted to the Zweibrücken area, where he was respected as a capable organ builder and surveyor. His 12 or so surviving single-manual organs have colourful specifications with characteristic stops (Streicherstimmen, Cornett, Trompete Diskant); the most important is at Bad Bergzabern (formerly in the Schlosskirche). Of his children, only Konrad Isaac (b 1750; d 1787) and Matthias Christian (b Annweiler, Germany, April 29, 1740; d Zweibrücken, Germany, Jan 19, 1816) are noteworthy. The latter trained with his father and worked on the organ of the Karlskirche in Zweibrücken in 1758 and 1764. He was a citizen of Zweibrücken in 1766 and became organ builder to the duchy. Despite his extensive sphere of activity, only three organs can be attributed to him. He was also active as a piano maker; six of his square pianos survive, all with divided damper mechanisms. One of them (...

Article

Heike Fricke

(bc1708; d Vienna, Austria, July 17, 1775). Austrian woodwind maker. Variant spellings such as R. Paur, Rockobauer, Rockopauer, Ruckebauer, and Rochebaur presumably refer to the same person. In the parish books of St Michael’s Church in Vienna he is listed as a civic wind player (1741) and an oboist and violinist (1742–51), as well as an instrument maker (from 1753). After 1758 the family moved to Schoennbrunn am Neubau.

In 1762 Graf Philipp Karl zu Oettingen-Wallerstein instructed his Viennese court agent von Seeger to order from Baur four pairs of clarinets with cases and corps de rechange ‘as you sent to Mannheim’. Baur responded that the clarinets could be delivered with silver keys and ebony rings like the Mannheim clarinets, or with brass keys and horn rings, priced 25% less. The clarinets were delivered in January 1763, and the Graf ordered more wind instruments from him in ...

Article

(b Naumburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, Jan 1, 1805; d Leipzig, Germany, May 26, 1871). German bow maker. He studied violin making with J.B. Fritsche in Dresden and set up his own shop there in the 1820s. About 1830 he moved to Dessau where he remained until 1839, when he moved to Leipzig. There he ran a successful shop, but in 1861 he moved to Wiesbaden, where he was instrument maker to the court. In 1863 he returned to Leipzig. Bausch’s early bows show an influence from François Tourte; his later work shows a more elegant rounded head. His frogs loosely follow French models but have one-piece heelplates, pearl eyes closely encircled by metal rings, and often metal strips along the edges of the pearl slides. The buttons are generally divided, and the metal bands are much wider in his later works. His brand, ‘L. BAUSCH, LEIPZIG’, is found on the lower facet of the stick beneath the frog. On his death, he was succeeded by his son Ludwig (...

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Christopher Nobbs

(b Ely, England, June 2, 1941). English clavichord and harpsichord maker. Educated in London and Exeter, he worked for many years as a civil servant in London. After building his first instrument, based on an Italian polygonal spinet, he studied early keyboard instrument making at the London College of Furniture under Lewis Jones from 1981 to 1984. After two years working with the harpsichord builder John Rawson, he started his own workshop and produced instruments based on a Goermans–Taskin harpsichord (now in GB.E.u). Since 1996 he has concentrated on restoring, researching and making clavichords. Bavington has produced instruments based on those of C.G. Hoffman, J.H. Silbermann, J.J. Bodechtel, and anonymous German, Portuguese, and Latin American examples, as well as a travelling clavichord more freely based on historical models. He has also made a hypothetical reconstruction of the clavichord described and depicted by Marin Mersenne (Harmonie universelle...

Article

Bazin  

Philip J. Kass

Family of French bow makers. François Bazin (b Mirecourt, France, 10 May 1824; d Mirecourt, 1 Aug 1865) worked primarily for the trade in a style much influenced by Peccatte and Maire. His son Charles Nicolas (b Mirecourt, 24 April 1847; d Mirecourt, 6 Dec 1915), the finest maker in the family, worked on a modified Voirin pattern. His large workshop of fine Mirecourt craftsmen produced many bows of excellent quality. Much of this work was for the trade, although elegant bows branded ‘C. BAZIN’ (in various sizes) appear over his career.

Louis Bazin (b Mirecourt, 21 Sept 1881; d Mirecourt, 11 Nov 1953) was the son and successor of Charles Nicolas Bazin. He apprenticed to his father at the age of 12 and took over the shop in 1907. He produced many bows, primarily for the trade; they reflect the sturdier and more masculine character of post-Sartory bow making. Like his father’s, his shop employed many fine craftsmen. He used the brand ‘L. BAZIN’....

Article

Darcy Kuronen

(b Boston, MA, March 29, 1798; d Canton, MA, Jan 5, 1883). American inventor, designer, and maker of free-reed instruments. He was a son of French Huguenot parents who came to Boston in 1788; his father, trained as a watchmaker, made and sold hardware, and no doubt Bazin gained from his father an interest in mechanics. His instruments had limited influence on later manufacturers, but are among the earliest of their type made in the USA. About 1821, Bazin developed an adjustable pitch pipe (US.B.mfa) with a sliding bar that presses against the reed to create multiple pitches; he sold these through Boston music stores. Soon afterwards he began to create various mouth-blown instruments with multiple reeds. The most elaborate, made in 1824, is a ‘reed trumpet’ with a chromatic range of three octaves, the reeds radiating from the centre of a disc and rotating past a stationary tubular mouthpiece; the sound emerges through a flared copper bell opposite the mouthpiece. He developed a diatonic harmonica by about ...

Article

Niall O’Loughlin

(fl London, 1643–80). English trumpet maker and court trumpeter. A medallion, dated by Byrne to 1643, shows ‘SIMON BEAL AET SVAE 28A’ holding a trumpet with a distinctive three-lobed ball on the bell pipe, possibly the earliest evidence of this English feature. Beale is known from two references in Pepys’s diary and other contemporary documents. He was said to work in Suffolk Street, London. In 1655 he supplied trumpets for a state occasion. His name appears in court records from the time of his appointment in June 1660 as a King’s Guard until February 1680, when his name appeared in a petition against one Joseph Wheeler, another trumpeter. His activities before 1660 are not clear, but Pepys stated that Beale had been one of Oliver Cromwell’s guards. He is reported to have made the tuba stentorphonica (‘speaking trumpet’), invented in 1670 by Sir Samuel Morland. In September 1675...

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Laurence Libin

(Delmetia )

(b Coleman County, TX, March 18, 1899; d at sea nr Los Angeles, CA, March 30, 1941). American inventor of musical instruments. He was co-founder of the National Stringed Instrument Corporation and the Rickenbacker guitar company. He played the violin and the lap steel (‘Hawaiian’) guitar in vaudeville before settling in Los Angeles, where he worked with John and Rudy Dopyera to develop an acoustically amplified guitar, probably inspired by Stroh models. An early model with a Victrola horn failed, but trials using conical aluminium resonators within a metal guitar body (a prototype of the three-cone Dobro guitar) proved successful and attracted investors. Production of metal-body guitars under the name National soon involved Adolph Rickenbacker’s nearby tool and die shop.

From the mid-1920s Beauchamp also experimented with electrical amplification of guitars (including lap steel and bass guitars) and violins of unconventional shape, without normal resonators but using simple phonograph pickups. After his collaboration with the Dopyeras ended, in ...

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Margaret Cranmer

(fl 1756–98). German piano maker, active in London. He left Germany for England sometime after 1756, and the rate books of St James’s, Westminster, show that he settled at a house in Broad Street, London, from midsummer 1771 until the end of 1798. During the early 1780s the street numbers were changed, giving the false impression that Beck changed addresses. He appears also to have had operations in Paris, at 364 rue Saint-Denis; in 1777 Pascal Taskin owed him 660 livres.

Beck is known only to have made square pianos. Several were confiscated in France during the Revolution. Up to 1780 at least, Beck‘s pianos were not numbered, a typical early nameboard reading ‘Fredericus Beck Londini fecit 1775/No.4 Broad Street Golden Square’, then ‘Fredericus Beck Londini fecit 1780/No.4 Broad Street Soho’, then ‘No.1941 Fredericus Beck Londini fecit 1788/No.10 Broad Street Soho’, the number 1941...