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Clive Brown

The normal German equivalent of the Italian verb staccare (‘to separate or detach; to play staccato’); the noun Stoss was used to mean staccato. Like its Italian counterpart it implies not only separation but also, in many cases, accent. Stoss means literally a blow or shove and the verb means to push, shove or jab. The prefix ...

Article

Erik Levi

Opera in one act, op.43, by Boris Blacher to a libretto by Werner Egk; Mannheim, Nationaltheater, 17 October 1953 (previously broadcast on Hessischer Rundfunk, 28 June 1953).

This 35-minute opera scored for soprano, tenor and baritone, mixed choir and instrumental ensemble is divided into seven self-contained scenes entitled Angst (Fear), Liebe I (Love 1), Schmerz (Pain), Verhandlung (Negotiation), Panik (Panic), Liebe II (Love 2) and Angst (Fear). There is no conventional plot as such; rather the opera, constructed in arch-form, offers an exploration of various states of mind. The vocal writing dispenses with comprehensible speech and relies on syllables and stage gestures to make its effect. In the opening scene the dialogue between the three soloists consists entirely of primeval wails based on the sound patterns of ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’. Following this is the first love scene which ends in hilarity when a dressmaker’s dummy is shot by the soprano. At the centre of the work lies the fourth scene, ‘Verhandlung’, in which an infantile and barely comprehensible discussion between a Russian (baritone) and American diplomat (tenor) breaks down through lack of communication. With the return to the ‘Angst’ scene at the end of the opera comes an overriding feeling of the futility of modern life....

Article

Peter Walls

In string playing Abstrich and Aufstrich denote ‘down-bow’ and ‘up-bow’, respectively. ‘Down-bow’ is indicated by the sign (a stylized representation of the frog of the bow) and ‘up-bow’ by (representing the point of the bow). These symbols were first described by Baillot (L'art du violon...

Article

Edward F. Kravitt

(b Eilenburg, Dec 22, 1819; d Wiesbaden, March 31, 1885). German composer. His father, a clergyman and an enthusiastic pianist, gave him his first instruction in music; he then went to Leipzig to study theology and music at the university and the Thomasschule. There he made friends with Lortzing, Mendelssohn and Schumann. On the death of his father (...

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Abu  

Large, complex horn of the Luo people of Kenya. It is formed from a round gourd to which is affixed an elongated gourd neck joined at the top to a cow or antelope horn. It is side-blown through a hole near the tip of the animal horn. The sections are joined with beeswax, and the instrument is dampened with water before use to seal any cracks. It is played at funerals and other functions. The player introduces a song, and after the chorus enters he plays the ...

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Clive Brown

Singspiel in one act, j106, by Carl Maria von Weber to a libretto by Franz Carl Hiemer after Antoine Galland’s story Le dormeur éveillé; Munich, Residenztheater, 4 June 1811.

Hiemer based his libretto on the second part of Galland’s version of the well-known tale of ‘Abu Hassan, or The Sleeper Awakened’ from the Arabian ...

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Owen Wright

(b Denia, Spain, 1067; d Mahdia, Tunisia, 1134). Arab scientist and philosopher. His works, mainly on scientific topics, are said to have included a now lost Risāla fī al-mūsīqī (‘Treatise on music’). It is presumably from this that a surviving anonymous Hebrew translation was made which suggests that it originally formed part of the mathematical section (quadrivium) of an encyclopedia. It deals with the standard topics of definitions, intervals, tetrachord species, instruments and rhythm, and is largely derived from ...

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Gordon D. Spearritt

Water drum of the Iatmul people, Papua New Guinea. It is made of hardwood, similar in shape to an hourglass drum, but lacks a membrane and has a projecting handle at the top, carved as the tail of a crocodile. When plunged into a water-filled pit, it produces sound as it breaks the surface, the sound representing the voice of an ancestor such as a crocodile. It is used mostly in or near ceremonial houses at initiation ceremonies. The term ‘...

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Abume  

Bullroarer of the Tiv people of Nigeria; it is used in the agbande rite for a pregnant woman, with the ivuur scraper and the imborivungu pipe.

See also Imborivungu ; Ivuur .

Article

K.A. Gourlay

Cylindro-conical or barrel-shaped open drum of the Akan people of Ghana. The single head is secured with cords to pegs driven diagonally into the body. The base opening is narrowed by inserting a flat circular board with a hole in the centre. The drum is beaten with two curved sticks, and is played in pairs (‘male’ and ‘female’) in the same manner as atumpan talking drums, the drummer varying the point at which his sticks strike the head in order to change the tone. The drum is used with others by warrior associations in state drumming. Its sounds are said to imitate the cry of the bird of the same name....

Article

Jeremy Montagu

End-blown conical flute of the Mombutu people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is made of antelope horn and has two fingerholes. Such flutes, with a curved or straight blowing edge and two or three fingerholes, are common all over this area of the DRC under various names....

Article

Roger Bowers

(b c1420; d 1497). English church musician. He was noted as a fine singer and skilful organist. After service in the household of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (until 1447), and as a lay clerk of Eton College (1447–51), where he was one of the four clerks specially responsible for singing polyphony in the college chapel, he became a clerk of the Chapel Royal in ...

Article

Ābzem  

Jeremy Montagu

Double-headed hourglass drum of the Reddi people of Andhra Pradesh, southeastern India. It is 75 to 90 cm long. Each head, less than 30 cm in diameter, is tensioned separately with cords and wedges through a rope ring around the nearer end of the long cylindrical waist. It is suspended across the body by a neck-strap and beaten with the hands, one hand on each head....

Article

James Tyler

A tuning indication (im Abzug) found in 16th-century German lute tablatures. It directs the player to lower the pitch of the lute’s sixth course by one whole tone from its normal tuning. (See Cordes avallées and Scordatura, §4.)

Article

Howard Mayer Brown

According to C.P.E. Bach, Marpurg and Quantz in the 18th century, an Abzug is a decrescendo into the principal note from a long appoggiatura. Georg Simon Löhlein (Clavier-Schule, 1765 and later) said ‘Abzug’ is synonymous with ‘Schneller’, that is, a trill with one repercussion starting and ending with the main note, the ornament called ‘inverted mordent’ by some writers. For these meanings of the term see F. Neumann: ...

Article

Howard Mayer Brown

A term occasionally used by organ builders to refer to a rank of pipes forming part of a mixture or other compound stop that can be detached and used as an independent stop.

Article

AC/DC  

Robert Walser

Australian heavy metal band. Formed in Sydney in 1973 by the brothers Angus Young (b Glasgow, Scotland, 31 March 1955; guitar) and Malcolm Young (b Glasgow, Scotland, 6 Jan 1953; d Elizabeth Bay, Australia, 18 Nov 2017; guitar), its best-known line-up stabilized in 1975 with Mark Evans (b Melbourne, 2 March 1956; bass), Phil Rudd (b Melbourne, 19 May 1954; drums), and Bon Scott (Ron Belford Scott; b Kirriemuir, Scotland, 9 July 1946; d East Dulwich, London, 19 Feb 1980; vocals). Cliff Williams (b 14 Dec 1949) replaced Evans in 1977, and upon Scott’s death, he was replaced by Brian Johnson (b 5 Oct 1947). By 1976, they were Australia’s leading rock band and decided to move to London in the hope of broader success, which they achieved in the UK and the USA by the end of the decade. They are known for crude, rowdy, and sometimes juvenile lyrics that celebrate excess, transgression, and communal bonding, delivered through very hoarse, sometimes screaming, vocals. Their music is blues-based, displaying few of the Baroque influences that strongly affected most heavy metal bands. It is usually built around riffs that are primarily chordal and rhythmic rather than melodic. Their ensemble work is both forceful and precise, featuring effective use of the two guitars for complementary rhythm parts. Their most popular and critically respected album is ...

Article

(b Honolulu, HI, August 13, 1958). American recording artist and performer of Filipino descent. A Filipino American artist, she grew up in National City, CA, and excelled at piano, violin, and percussion during her childhood. While an undergraduate at the University of Southern California, she played keyboards in various Los Angeles jazz clubs and attracted the attention of Quincy Jones. Having been introduced to traditional Philippine music by Bayani de Leon, she studied ...

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French institution. Created as the Petite Académie in 1623, the organization that was to become the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres was initially dedicated to the glory of the king and to the history of his reign. Its scope was enlarged in 1703 by Gros de Boze, who called for the study of all aspects of civilization, from its origins to the 18th century. Discussions of music seem to have taken place from the end of the 17th century under the aegis of Charles Perrault, although documentation of such discussions dates only from ...

Article

Parisian institution, founded in 1672 for the performance of opera, and identical with the Paris Opéra. See Paris, §III, 3; Paris, §IV, 3; Paris, §VI, 3.