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(Jap.: Hoshino Musical Instruments)

Japanese manufacturer of musical instruments. Matsujiro Hoshino founded the company in 1908 as a book and sheet music store (Hoshino Shoten) that from 1929, as Hoshino Gakki Ten, also sold guitars by Salvador Ibáñez imported from Spain. Under direction of Hoshino’s son Yoshitaro Hoshino, the company began manufacturing Ibanez-brand guitars in 1935, after Ibáñez’s workshop had been destroyed in the Spanish Civil War and the brand sold to Hoshino. In turn, the Japanese factory was destroyed in 1945, and in 1955 the Hoshino company moved to Nagoya. From that time most of their products were exported, including, from 1957, a line of newly-designed Ibanez guitars. Under Yoshitaro’s son, Junpei Hoshino, the company opened the Tama Seisakusho factory in 1962 to produce amplifiers and electric and acoustic guitars, including copies of classic American guitars that eventually led to lawsuits. Star-brand drums were added to the Tama product line in 1965, and from ...


British firm based in Surbiton, Surrey, founded in 1995 by Martin Phelps and Alan Kempster to introduce ‘electronic hymnals’ to the UK market. The firm distributes British-made portable devices that can store and play back 3000 or more hymn accompaniments and simultaneously display hymn verses on large screens. The electronic hymnal, known as ‘Hymnal Plus’, has a broader repertory than most organists and can supplement or replace the use of an organ, especially in the increasing number of churches that lack an organist. It is also useful for worship services in schools, retirement homes, prisons, hospitals, ships, and outdoor venues where no organ is available. Additional music can be imported from iPods, MP3 players, and the like. The MIDI-equipped HT-300 model, introduced in 2005, can be pre-programmed for each service and is controlled by the worship leader from a wireless, LCD touch-screen handset. Tempo, pitch, loudness, musical style, choice of verses, and other features are variable; preset musical styles range from traditional, digitally sampled pipe organ accompaniment to ‘happy clappy’ instrumentals. An interactive psalm accompaniment feature is available for Anglican chant. Loudspeakers are built into the unit, which can also be connected to an external sound system. Devices have been sold in Africa, America (with revised repertory list), and Australia, as well as throughout the UK....



Margaret Cranmer

German firm of piano and organ makers. In 1794 Johannes Adolph Ibach (b Klausen bei Lüttringhausen, nr Barmen, 1766; d 1848) founded the firm in Beyenburg and built his first square piano. At about the same time he restored the organ of the monastery at Beyenburg.

In the Westphälischen Anzeiger of 14 October 1800 Ibach advertised ‘all kinds of fortepianos, including grand pianos of the highest quality and in the finest taste, as well as large and small pipe-organs’. The firm grew and by 1816 he had a workshop in the Alleestrasse, Unterbarmen, producing 40 to 50 instruments annually. Ibach's sons, Carl Rudolph Ibach (1804–63) and Richard Ibach (1813–89), joined the firm in 1834 and 1839 respectively; it subsequently became known as ‘Adolph Ibach Söhne, Orgelbauanstalt und Pianofortefabrik’. Richard took over the organ building part of the firm in 1869, and Carl's son P.A. Rudolf Ibach (...


Arian Sheets

American manufacturer of bowed and fretted string instruments based in Columbus, OH. It is significant as one of the first factory-based producers of bowed string instruments to use machine carving for the fabrication of such components as the front, back, and scroll. An announcement was made in Music Trade Review (30 December 1916) that the Guldan Violin Company was established at 171 West Main St., the first known information about the company. Beginning in 1920 advertisements for Jackson-Guldan Violin Company appeared in The Violinist, some of which offered the production of violins for stencil, or secondary company, branding. Some such Jackson-Guldan instruments survive, notably with the decaled logos of music schools on the back, such as the First National Institute of Allied Arts, South Bend, IN, or with the paper label of Slingerland’s Correspondence School of Music, Chicago, the predecessor to the Slingerland Drum Company, inside the body. The establishment of this line of work was related to the end of the dominant supplies of mass-produced violins from Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, and Japan due to World War I. By the time that these foreign suppliers resumed exports to the United States, Jackson-Guldan was sufficiently established to compete with these larger-volume producers. Nevertheless, in the 1930s the company also produced toys in addition to musical instruments. Jackson-Guldan instruments were offered in various grades ranging from machine-carved and spray-finished student instruments to hand-finished examples which, unlike most foreign violins, were still handmade, although often of poor quality....


Hugh Davies

An electronic organ developed by the Dutch designer and organist Johannus Versteegt and manufactured by Johannus Orgelbouw in Ede, near Amhem, since 1967. Versteegt had previously designed the original models of the electronic home organ manufactured by Eminent, Riha, and Viscount. Intended primarily for church use, the Johannus organ combines elements of 18th-century and modern tone qualities; the range of two- and three-manual models includes a couple of two-manual ‘positive’ organs. Some home organ models are also produced, as well as a few four-manual instruments.

From the early 1970s the Johannus organ used between one and seven master oscillators (c2 MHz) to generate sounds; each oscillator, using two stages of frequency division, successively produces the 12 semitones of the highest octave and all the lower octaves. Other features introduced in the 1970s and 80s included digital reverberation and electronic simulation of the ‘chiff’ transient attack found in flute stops on some pipe organs. The multiple loudspeaker systems have different frequency characteristics, and are mounted in cabinets whose appearance is modelled on a rank of organ pipes....


Laurence Libin

[Kong Hsue Sheh]

Manufacturer and distributor of musical instruments, headquartered in Taiwan. The company, part of a conglomerate that also includes K. H. S. Investing Co., Ltd, K. H. S. Trading Co., K. H. S. Audio Co., Ltd, Aeolus Music Corp., and Musix Co., Ltd, was founded in 1930 by Chien-Chung Hsieh and his brothers in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The company, originally named Wan-Wu (‘everything available’), was renamed Kong Hsue Sheh (‘contribute to schools and society’) after World War II; it was registered in Taipei in 1950. K. H. S. has operations in Taiwan, Japan, China, the Netherlands, and the USA (Mt Juliet, Tennessee), and a worldwide distribution network for products ranging from motorcycles to wind and string instruments and drums, mostly of student grade. In 2010 the parent company of K. H. S. had about 4200 employees and declared corporate revenue of about US$590 million, some US$295 million from instrument production and sales. Among its brands is M. Hohner, of which K. H. S. bought a majority share in ...


Sabine K. Klaus

Firm of brass instrument makers in Cincinnati, Ohio. Franz Gotthold Kaiser (b Schöneck, Germany, 30 Aug 1825; d Cincinnati, 25 May 1890) trained with Carl Heinrich Beuthner, the brother-in-law of Carl August Zoebisch, in Neukirchen (today Markneukirchen); he emigrated to the USA in 1852 or 1853 and is first listed as musical instrument maker in Cincinnati in 1855. William Kohler (b Saxony, c1823, d Cincinnati, 13 Jan 1894) is first listed there in 1858. The partnership apparently began in 1859 and the company name Kaiser & Kohler appears from 1860 to 1890.

Kaiser initially made brass instruments in the European style. By 1860 Kaiser & Kohler had adopted rotary valves with string linkage, employing a special system with arched push rod that is otherwise not recorded. During the American Civil War the firm switched to producing standard string-rotary-valve instruments in over-the-shoulder, bell front, and turning bell configurations. It is likely that Kaiser & Kohler mainly supplied unmarked instruments to the trade, notably to the Wurlitzer firm. Rudolph Wurlitzer (...



Barbara Owen

Canadian firm of reed organ, piano and organ manufacturers. Dennis W. Karn (b North Oxford Co., Canada West, 6 Feb 1843; d Toronto, 19 Sept 1916), an amateur musician, joined the reed organ firm of John M. Miller around 1867, buying out his employer in 1870 and continuing under the name of Karn & Miller in Woodstock, Ontario. The firm was also known at various times as the Woodstock Organ Factory and the Woodstock Church Organ Co. In the late 1880s the firm began making pianos, and after a merger in 1896 with the firm of Warren continued the latter's pipe organ business in Toronto under the name of Karn & Warren. The first Karn player piano was made in 1901, and by the first decade of the 20th century the firm had branches in several major Canadian cities as well as London and Hamburg. Karn retired in ...



Anne Beetem Acker

English piano manufacturing firm. It was founded in 1911 by Michael Kemble (1884–1962) in partnership with the Jacobs family in Stoke Newington. In the 1950s Michael Kemble’s eldest son, Robert (1919–2003), assumed co-directorship with Denzil Jacobs (19212013), while Stanley Kemble (b 1922) was responsible for running the factory. Shortly thereafter, to increase production the firm moved to a larger factory near Milton Keynes. The firm’s bestseller in the 1940s was the 90-cm-tall drop-action ‘Minx’ upright. In 1964, Kemble bought the Brinsmead and Cramer piano lines from J.B. Cramer & Co., and from 1970 to 2000 they took over production of Chappell pianos, but few of these brands were actually made. Other brands made by Kemble have included Kirkman, Collard & Collard, B. Squire, Squire & Longson, Rogers Eungblut, Moore & Moore, Renn, and Schmidt-Flohr.

In 1968, Kemble and Yamaha acted as partners to sell Yamaha electronic organs in the UK. In ...



Hans Klotz

German firm of organ builders and string keyboard instrument makers. Adolf Kemper (1811–80) became a citizen of Lübeck in 1839. His son Emanuel (1844–1933) took over the workshop of Theodor Voigt in 1868 and founded the present firm, which has remained under the control of the original family, from Kempringen, Westphalia. Emanuel’s son Karl Reinhold (1880–1957), well known for his collaboration with H.H. Jahnn, took over the firm in 1910. Karl’s son Emanuel Magnus (b Apenrade, 30 Sept 1906; d Lübeck, 17 March 1978) entered the firm in 1944, and greatly broadened its interests to include clavichords, spinets and harpsichords. On 1 January 1974 Emanuel Reinhold (b Lübeck, 8 Jan 1947), son of Emanuel Magnus, became head of the firm. It is uncertain whether Peter Kemper (b Menden, bap. 18 April 1734; d Bonn, 24 Oct 1820) was a member of this family. He was an organ builder in the tradition of Balthasar König, and his work included the organs in Bonn Minster and Aachen Cathedral....