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Elisabeth Bernard

Belgian family of musicians, active in France.

(b Hanzinne, Namur, April 17, 1797; d Paris, ?Oct 23, 1869). Conductor, composer and violinist. He studied the violin (with Kreutzer) and counterpoint and fugue (with Reicha) at the Paris Conservatoire. He played in the orchestra of the Théâtre Italien from 1820 to 1825, and then conducted the orchestra at the Tivoli gardens in Paris; he later organized court dances for Louis Philippe. He was a founder-member of the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, in which he played the viola. His dance compositions were in great demand; they included quadrilles, galops, polkas and waltzes, often based on popular operatic themes, and written for various instrumental combinations. He collaborated with Gilbert and Guiraud on an opéra comique, Charles V et Duguesclin, 1827, and with Edouard Deldevez on a ballet, Vert-Vert, performed at the Opéra in 1851. His elder brother, Isidore-Joseph Tolbecque (...


Margaret Cranmer

(d London, before Dec 23, 1853). English piano maker. He worked in Dean Street, London, from December 1798 to June 1851, and married Mary Dolling at St Anne's, Soho, on 28 June 1800. Although stamped with a serial number, his pianos were rarely dated. An early square piano with double action and 12 ‘additional notes’ striking up through a hole at the back of the soundboard has a round cartouche on the nameboard marked ‘Thos Tomkison Grand and Square PIANO FORTE Maker Dean Street, SOHO’. It has the number 1796 to the left of the keyboard. It rests on a trestle and has a pedal mechanism, the tuning-pins being on the right. As with later square pianos, this instrument has two fretwork panels in the nameboard, but no fretwork at the back right-hand corner inside.

By the time the serial numbers in his square pianos reached 2223, the instruments were marked ‘Thomas Tomkison Dean Street Soho MAKER to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent’. No.5401 is marked ‘Maker to His Majesty’, and may therefore be dated after ...



Charles Beare

Italian family of violin makers. Giovanni Tononi (d 1713) worked in Bologna at a time when there was a great demand for violins in north Italian cities. He took as his model the work of the Amati family and showed himself to be a careful, competent workman, in some respects foreshadowing the Venetians. His soundholes appear long and elegant, but his scrolls are meanly cut. The varnish is usually superb and glowing orange-red in colour, and the tonal qualities generally excellent.

His son, Carlo Tononi (d after 8 March 1730), was a more important maker. Carlo Tononi’s instruments or those made under his direction are closely related to his father's but show certain improvements. The scarcity of original dated labels makes it difficult to follow his progress, but at least two or three makers were involved in the instruments’ manufacture. There are many violins, an occasional cello and quite a number of violas, all apparently modelled on the unique Amati contralto viola of ...


Thomas F. Heck

(b La Cañada de San Urbano, nr Almería, June 13, 1817; d Almería, Nov 19, 1892). Spanish guitar maker. Around 1835 he became a carpenter in Vera. In 1845 he moved to Seville, where he started making guitars in earnest around 1850; his earliest surviving one is dated 1854. By 1858 one of his guitars had received a bronze medal in Seville. An instrument he built in 1859 was used by Miguel Llobet Soles for many years. Francisco Tárrega's first guitar is reported to have been a Torres of 1864, and Tárrega later owned two more. In the later 1860s Torres returned to Almería and opened a china shop, but by 1875 he was once again building fine, full-size guitars noted for their volume and resonance. From 1883 until his death he made about a dozen instruments a year, among them several 11-string guitars. Although Torres was credited for a time with the almost single-handed invention of the modern classical guitar, evidence now suggests that he merely incorporated extant refinements, in particular the fan-bracing of the table, into a larger and more resonant design. The use and promotion of his guitars by the leading Spanish virtuosos of his day assured his reputation at a moment when the modern instrument, with an attractive new Spanish repertory, was beginning to be noticed in Spain and beyond....


Paul Childs

French family of bowmakers and luthiers . It comprised Nicolas Pierre Tourte and his sons Nicolas Léonard and François Xavier and perhaps Charles Tourte, son of Nicolas Léonard. In addition, at least two channelled (canalé) bows dating from about 1750–60 exist bearing the brand-stamp A.TOURTE.

(d Paris, 1764 ). Described in legal documents as a luthier, he was probably the maker of a known violin bearing the label ‘Pierre Tourte, Paris 1747’. Oral tradition holds that Tourte père was a bowmaker whose shop was the training-ground for his sons.

(b Paris, Jan 20, 1746; d Paris, Sept 11, 1817 or Sept 11, 1807). Bowmaker , son of (1) Nicolas Pierre Tourte. He perhaps deserves at least equal credit with his illustrious younger brother for the development of the modern bow. From about 1770 he made Cramer-type bows (and perhaps others as well). Among the ‘Cramer’ bows a few are known which, in addition to his brand-stamp of TOURTE·L, bear the second brand-stamp AUX 15 VINGT, indicating that he had a ...


Anne Beetem Acker

(bc1604; d London, c1662). English virginal maker. He apprenticed with Thomas White, becoming a freeman of the Joiners’ Company in London in 1624/1625, and a master in 1657/1658. His apprentices included Stephen Keene and John Player. Townsend probably died by 1662 as Keene was admitted free of the Joiners’ Company through sponsorship by Player rather than their master Townsend. One instrument by Townsend survives (1641, B.B.mim), a typical English rectangular virginal with coffered lid, made for Elizabeth (Stuart) of Bohemia, daughter of James I and sister of King Charles I. It bears the Plantagenet arms under the initials ‘E.R.’ in the repeated pattern in the embossed gilded papers in the keywell and above the soundboard. As is typical of English virginals, it is plain on the outside and richly decorated inside. The interior lid painting depicts Orpheus (who bears a striking resemblance to Charles I) with his lyre, charming the beasts and trees. The keyboard cover painting shows ships at sea and a courtly group on an island....


Edmond T. Johnson

An instrument intended primarily for use by children, typically for the purpose of amusement or education. Toy instruments are generally designed as simplified versions of conventional instruments, and are often constructed to a smaller scale and of less expensive materials. While early toy instruments are sometimes homemade constructions designed and built by children themselves, they have been commercially produced since at least the 18th century.

The distinction between musical toys and musical instruments is sometimes ambiguous. For example, inexpensive instruments such as harmonicas and tin whistles may be accepted in either category, depending largely on the quality of their construction and the nature of their use. During the last quarter of the 19th century the classification of toy instruments became the subject of a contentious debate relating to the assessment of import tariffs. In 1876 the United States Treasury Department ruled that instruments possessing a range of at least one full octave and “capable of being used in the rendering of musical compositions” could be considered full-fledged musical instruments (and therefore taxed a lower duty than toys). In a subsequent ruling in ...


Hans Klotz

revised by Felix Friedrich


German family of organ builders . It consisted of Johann Paul (b Oberlauterbach, 16 Jan 1708; d Adorf, 7 Sept 1764), described as ‘kunsterfahrner Orgelbaumeister und Instrumentmacher’, his sons Johann Gottlob (b Adorf, 22 Nov 1742; d Adorf, 18 March 1812) and Christian Wilhelm (b Adorf, 16 March 1748; d Adorf, 26 Feb 1803), and the son of the last-named, Friedrich Wilhelm (b Adorf, 23 Feb 1790; d Adorf, 2 Nov 1832). The ‘i’ was added to the family’s surname by Johann Paul’s sons. It appears that about 1734 Johann Paul took over the workshop of Adam Heinrich Gruber, the distinguished organ builder and organist, at Adorf (the birthplace of J.C. Kerll); he built about 50 organs there. The most important member of the family was Johann Gottlob, an intimidating person of uneven temper. He and his brother built c100 organs, including those for the Nikolaikirche, Leipzig (...


Denzil Wraight

The name of two apparently unrelated 16th-century Italian harpsichord makers , active in Venice, who also worked on organs, Alessandro (b Bergamo, c1485; d c1545) and Vito [Guido, Giulio, Vido] (b Treviso, 1526; d after 1606). Although several spellings of the surname are known, original inscriptions give ‘Trasuntini’, or ‘Trasuntinis’. A ‘Gio. Francesco Trazentinus’ is recorded by a faked inscription on a virginal made by Bruneto Pontoni in 1532, and a ‘Bernardinus de Trasuntinis’ is known only from an inscription, probably not original, on a harpsichord. Vito's family name was Frassonio, but he used Alessandro's surname, probably on account of the reputation attached to it. Fioravanti recorded that ‘Guido Trasuntino’ was ‘in the art of making arpicordi, harpsichords, organs and regals a man of such learning and experience that everyone marvels on hearing his instruments, since the sound and harmony surpasses that of all others’....


(fl Mainz, c1440–44). German organ builder. He built three organs in Nuremberg between 1440 and 1443: the large organ for St Sebaldus (the modified case was destroyed in 1945) and two (medium and small) for the Frauenkirche. In 1444 he made an organ with Rückpositiv and ‘lödiges’ positive (probably with tin pipes) for St Peter, Salzburg. Traxdorf’s organs consist of one manual, Positive or Rückpositiv and Pedal. Traxdorf was one of the first to depart from the gothic Blockwerk organ by dividing the chests and separating the front stops into Flute (Principal) and Octave (Quoika termed this the ‘Nuremberg type’). The range of the manual was B to d″ and that of the Pedal A to b♭.

PraetoriusSM, ii G. Pietzsch: ‘Orgelbauer, Organisten und Orgelspiel in Deutschland bis zum Ende des 16. Jahrhunderts’, Mf , 12 (1959), 25–35, 152–61, 294–8, 415–21 K. Bormann: Die gotische Orgel zu Halberstadt...


Godelieve Spiessens

[Traizegniers, Trasenier, Trazgny, Thresoriers, Tresoniers etc.]

Flemish family of musicians. They were active in Antwerp and elsewhere during the 17th to 19th centuries. A relationship with the Wallonian aristocratic house of the same name in the Hainaut region near Charleroi is uncertain.

(b ?Lessines, before 1658; d Antwerp, Oct 1, 1739). Organist, teacher and dealer in keyboard instruments. In 1685 he was organist at St Pierre in Lessines, and then moved to Grammont and to Antwerp, where in 1702 he became organist at the ‘Beggaarden’ church and in 1703 organist and singing master at the St Elisabeth’s, Gasthuis. He was probably the ‘Tresoniers’ who played double bass in 1720 and organ in 1722 at St Walburgis. He also taught the harpsichord and was active as a dealer, repairer and tuner of keyboard instruments.

(bap. Grammont, Jan 5, 1691; d Antwerp, Sept 22, 1757). Organist, teacher...


Ulrich Dähnert

(b Frankenhausen, Germany, Aug 10, 1678; d Weimar, Germany, bur. Aug 18, 1748). German organ builder. The son of a carpenter, he learnt his trade from Christian Rothe in Salzungen about 1698 and went to Weimar in 1709, perhaps at J.S. Bach’s request; he became court organ builder there in 1712. When his eldest son, Johann Gottfried, was baptized on 26 November 1713, the godfathers were Bach and the composer and lexicographer J.G. Walther. Trebs built organs for Taubach, near Mellingen (1710; one manual with eight stops, pedal with three; specification by Bach); the Schlosskirche, Weimar (1714, during Bach’s tenure; two manuals, 24 stops, a rebuild; repaired and rebuilt again 1719–20 and 1726); and the Jacobikirche, Weimar (1721; two manuals, 18 stops). He built a large organ for Bad Berka, near Weimar, between 1742 and 1743, also in collaboration with Bach and with the help of his son Christian Wilhelm Trebs and Johann Christian Immanuel Schweinefleisch; it had 13 stops in the ...


Hans Klotz

revised by Hermann Fischer

(b Lichtenstadt [now Horžnětín], Bohemia, March 23, 1626; d Kulmbach, Upper Franconia, April 9, 1686). German organ builder . He was the son of Paul Tretzscher (d 1633) and Susanne Schott, who in 1636 married the organ builder Jakob Schedlich of Joachimsthal. In 1641 Matthias Tretzscher was apprenticed to his step-brother, Andreas Schedlich; subsequently he worked in Nuremberg for 21 months with David Schedlich, a relative of Hans Leo Hassler. He returned to Joachimsthal in 1644, to work under Jakob Schedlich (his step-father), who made him a journeyman in 1647. On Maundy Thursday 1650 Tretzscher had to leave Joachimsthal because of his religious beliefs, and between 1651 and 1652 was organist in Marienberg, in the Ore mountains. In 1653 he built an organ in Bayreuth (Stadtkirche). In the same year he moved to Kulmbach where he became organ builder at the court of the Margrave of Brandenburg; in ...


Philip Bate

revised by Geoffrey Burgess

French family of woodwind instrument makers. Their work may be said to have established the definitive characteristics of the French-style oboe.

In addition to their various individual improvements in the French oboe, the Triéberts carried out work to the requirements of a number of celebrated players, notably A.M.-R. Barret (who is known to have consulted them closely). In 1855 they produced a version of the Boehm system oboe and made improvements to the French bassoon. (2) Charles-Louis Triébert also compiled fingering charts for oboes with 10 and 15 keys (this being the système 4, which he personally favoured), while (3) Frédéric Triébert compiled others for Boehm-system instruments.

Besides instruments, the Triébert showrooms offered perhaps the most extensive stock of oboe music available on the Continent during the 19th century; the 1866 catalogue shows that it catered specifically for French taste, offering many works available nowhere else, and included chamber works for oboe by Charles-Louis and Frédéric. These works were available in print for about fifty years from the 1840s onwards. Many of the works by Frédéric have been falsely attributed in secondary sources to his more famous brother....


Suzanne Beal

(b Istein, now part of Efringen-Kirchen, Germany, Nov 26, 1951). German instrument inventor, kinetic sculptor, sound artist, and composer, known as Trimpin. His father was a brass and woodwind player, and Trimpin played with old instruments as a child but developed an allergy to metals that precluded performing on brass instruments. Instead he experimented with making new devices using old radios and parts of discarded instruments. He studied music and art at the University of Berlin from 1975 to 1979. From 1976 to 1979 he was a musician for the Theater Zentrifuge in Berlin, and designed sets for the San Quentin Drama Workshop under the direction of Rick Cluchey and Samuel Beckett. In 1979 he left Berlin for Seattle and began independent research in sound sculpture design, combining music composition and kinetics with computer technology. From 1985 to 1987 he taught at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, and in ...


Philip Bate

A woodwind instrument with some of the characteristics of the musette group, designed by the maker Wilhelm Heckel in an attempt to produce the particular timbre imagined by Wagner for the shepherd's rustic pipe in Act 3 of Tristan und Isolde. The sound which Wagner had in mind has in all probability been most nearly realized with the ...


Ardal Powell

(b Reinsdorf, nr Artern, Nov 8, 1725; d Leipzig, Feb 4, 1805). German flautist, teacher and flute maker. In 1750 he received the degree of Imperial Public Notary at Leipzig University. At about this time he began to make flutes. In 1754 he became principal flautist of the Grosses Conzert, a forerunner of the Gewandhaus orchestra. His career, interrupted by the disbanding of the orchestra during the Seven Years War, included solo tours as far afield as St Petersburg. J.F. Reichardt's accounts of his own travels (published 1774–6) took note of Tromlitz and only three other Leipzig virtuosos. Tromlitz left the orchestra in 1776 and devoted himself to teaching, writing, composition and flute making. He recorded his ideas and teaching methods in several texts which shed much light on late 18th-century flute playing and performing practice. His Kurze Abhandlung vom Flötenspielen (1786) announced his rejection of merely average standards of performing and instrument making; this was to become a constant theme of his. He introduced the elements at the core of his ideal: clarity of articulation and expression; perfect intonation in a system having both large (5-comma) and small (4-comma) semitones, for which the E♭ and D♯ keys invented by J.J. Quantz in ...



Umberto Pineschi

Italian family of organ builders. Antonio [Anton Maria] Tronci (b19 June 1704; d16 April 1791) and his brother Filippo (i) (b18 March 1717; d22 March 1788) opened a workshop in Pistoia about 1750, having worked as apprentices and then associates of Giovan Francesco detto Domenico Cacioli in Lucca. The organ of S Maria delle Grazie, Pistoia (1755), is one of their masterpieces. They were succeeded by Antonio’s sons, Luigi (i) (b ?1755; d23 Oct 1803) and Benedetto (b24 Dec 1756; d4 March 1821), whose most important work is the spectacular organ at S Pietro Maggiore, Pistoia (c1815). A small organ of their’s, built in 1793, originally in the Villa Rucellai, Campi Bisenzio near Florence, and which had been preserved completely intact, has been restored and placed in Pistoia Cathedral (...


(b c1679–81; d Altenburg, bur. Aug 15, 1759). German organ builder. He was a pupil of his father, the organ builder Johann Tobias Gottfried Trost (1651–1721), himself a pupil of Christian Förner. In 1704 T.H.G. Trost married in Tonna (Gräfentonna), where he then had his workshop. In 1705 he completed his first independent instrument. In 1718 he moved to Mockern, and in 1722 to Altenburg, where in 1723 after protracted rivalry with the elder J.J. Donati he was awarded the exclusive position of organ builder to the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, on the strength of a testimonial from Gottfried Silbermann. He held this post until his death. His two main works are the organs in Waltershausen (1722–c1740) and Altenburg (1735–9). The Altenburg instrument was appraised by Silbermann (1737), J.S. Bach and J.A. Scheibe (1739) and found excellent. It was this instrument that J.L. Krebs used as court organist from ...



Edward H. Tarr

A lip-vibrated brass wind instrument of mainly cylindrical bore, which in the last quarter of its length widens into a moderate-sized bell. Although most of the significant inventions and improvements concerning trumpets originated in Europe, a number of inventive Americans were active in trumpet design. Americans brought innovations to various valve systems; some anticipated coming developments.

For example, in 1835, Joseph Riedl (Vienna) and Josef Kail (Prague) patented the rotary valve. Before them, however, c1824–5, New Englander nathan Adams (1783–1864) had already built a trumpet with three valves that can be considered rotary valves. Five years later he built a “permutation trumpet” displaying three movable tongues or flaps within the windway. Unfortunately, Adams stood aside the main development and exerted little influence on instrument construction.

Heinrich Stölzel’s tubular valve 1814, patented by him and Friedrich Blühmel in 1818, was soon copied in St. Petersburg (1825), Paris (...