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Nicholas Carolan

[Séamas Ó hAonghusa]

(b Jamestown, Co. Dublin, May 5, 1919; d Naul, Co. Dublin, Oct 5, 1982). Irish traditional musician, singer and collector. Having learnt uilleann piping from his civil-servant father and worked in publishing, Ennis became a music collector for the Irish Folklore Commission in 1942. He made important Irish-language collections on paper, aided by his gifts as a performer. In 1947 he transferred to Radió Éireann, Irish state radio, to work with its new mobile recording unit, and in 1951 to the BBC in London where he was a major contributor as a collector and performer to the highly successful radio series As I Roved out, and to the collecting projects of Brian George and Alan Lomax among others. From 1958 he was a freelance performer and broadcaster. Chiefly known as an outstanding uilleann piper with a distinctive personal style, he was also a whistle player and singer, storyteller and translator from Irish. As a piper and as a founder-member in ...

Article

John Cline

(Aloysius )

(b Takoma Park, MD, Feb 28, 1939; d Salem, OR, Feb 22, 2001). American guitarist, folklorist, and record producer. As a teenager, Fahey’s early interest in country music was expanded to include bluegrass and country-blues due to a friendship with richard Spottswood , later a noted folk and ethnic music scholar. With Spottswood and famed collector Joe Bussard, Fahey sought out pre-war 78 r.p.m. records. After taking up the guitar, Fahey’s made his first recordings for Bussard’s private Fonotone label on 78 r.p.m. shellac discs, some of which Fahey claimed to have slipped into boxes of more “authentic,” vintage records at flea markets. In 1959 Fahey founded Takoma Records to distribute his own recordings, beginning with the LP Blind Joe Death; his liner notes also frequently mock the language of then-contemporary blues scholars, the very people he had hoped to fool with the Fonotone 78s.

Despite his sense of humor Fahey was a serious student of American vernacular music. He travelled long distances to find Bukka White and Skip James in the Mississippi Delta in the early 1960s; he relates these events in the memoir, ...

Article

Malcolm Gillies and David Pear

(Aldridge)

(b Brighton, Victoria, July 8, 1882; d White Plains, NY, Feb 20, 1961). Australian-American composer, pianist and folksong collector. Best known for his settings of British folk music, he was also an innovative composer of original works and ‘free music’, and an accomplished performer.

Grainger spent the first 13 years of his life in Melbourne, where he was educated at home under the guidance of his mother, Rose. She instilled in him a love of the arts and an heroic outlook on life, reinforced by his study of Classical legends and Icelandic sagas. He also received occasional tutorials in languages, art, drama, elocution and the piano (with Louis Pabst, 1892–4). Following his Melbourne début as a pianist in 1894, funds were raised to support further musical training in Frankfurt, where he studied at the Hoch Conservatory (1895–1901) with James Kwast (piano), Iwan Knorr (composition, theory) and others. There he formed lifelong friendships with Cyril Scott, Henry Balfour Gardiner and Roger Quilter, who, with Norman O'Neill, became known as the Frankfurt Group. During these years he was strongly influenced by the writings of Rudyard Kipling (he would compose many Kipling settings, ...

Article

(b London, England, ?1883; d Chicago, IL, 12 or Dec 13, 1973). American pianist and music collector of English birth. Having immigrated to the United States with his parents when he was about four years of age, he spent the remainder of his life in Chicago as a ragtime and vaudeville pianist and an organist in churches and theaters. Around the turn of the century he began to amass one of the largest private music collections in the United States, laying particular emphasis on opera and on English and American song imprints. Few scholars were granted access to the collection during Harding’s lifetime, and on his death the entire collection was transferred to the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England. Harding’s American music holdings consisted largely of 60,000 to 70,000 items of sheet music, with particular strengths in the areas of ragtime, comic opera, minstrel-show music, war songs, and Chicago imprints....

Article

Edward H. Tarr

(b St Michaelis, Saxony, April 27, 1940). German organologist. He played the cornett with the Capella Lipsiensis and studied musicology, indology and ethnology at the University of Leipzig with Besseler, H.C. Wolff, Eva Lips and Johannes Mehlig, 1959–64; thereafter he was on the staff of the Musikinstrumenten-Museum of the university until 1973. After working as a freelance scholar, he moved to the USA and in 1992 was employed at the Streitwieser Foundation and the Shrine to Music Museum; from 1994 he took up a post at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Heyde’s work is distinguished by an exemplary thoroughness in a wide range of fields associated with organology. His catalogues of wind instruments in the Leipzig collection have set a new standard with their detailed analysis, photographs and line drawings, which have often helped solve questions of provenance of similar instruments elsewhere. In vols.3 and 5 of his ...

Article

Paul F. Wells

[Joseph C. ]

(b Lake Forest, IL, Oct 20, 1935). American Folklorist and folksinger. He was exposed to folk songs by his parents when he was a child and began to play the guitar as a teenager. His interest in folk music deepened during his undergraduate years at Oberlin College (BA 1957). Among other musical activities while in college he hosted a radio program and served as local agent for the Folkways, Stinson, and Elektra record labels. He pursued graduate studies in folklore (MA 1961) and ethnomusicology at Indiana University and began to hone his skills as a performer in parallel with his academic and archival work there. In 1963 he was hired as librarian at the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress (now the Archive of Folk Culture); this marked the beginning of a 35-year career at that institution. He was promoted to head of the archive in ...

Article

Nicholas Temperley

(bap. Aldersgate, London, Feb 26, 1724; d London, April 15, 1764). English amateur musician. ‘In his younger days he was a great beau’, said Hawkins, who is the chief source of information about Immyns. ‘He had been guilty of some indiscretions, which proved an effectual bar to success in his profession, and reduced him to the necessity of becoming a clerk to an attorney in the city’. He cultivated music assiduously, playing the flute, viola da gamba and harpsichord, and had a ‘cracked counter-tenor voice’. As a member of the Academy of Ancient Music, and as a student and copyist to Pepusch, he became familiar with much old music, which he preferred to that of his own day. In 1741 he founded the Madrigal Society, which began as a small group of mechanics and tradesmen experienced in psalmody, meeting at a tavern in Fleet Street. Immyns was ‘both their president and instructor’, and in preparation for the meetings he copied out some 200 madrigals and canons: his MS survives at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. The music was confined to madrigals and other old music, by such composers as Ruffo, Lassus, Marenzio, Vecchi and Gesualdo; the English madrigalists were also explored. Immyns copied seven Palestrina motets for the society's use. From these modest beginnings sprang what is now the oldest musical association in existence....

Article

Jeff Todd Titon

[Sandy ]

(b White Plains, NY, Sept 4, 1925; d Bangor, ME, Aug 1, 2009). American folklorist, folksinger, and song collector. Ives was educated in English (MA, Columbia) and folklore (PhD, Indiana University), and taught for more than 40 years at the University of Maine. His travels in Maine and the Maritime Provinces of Canada brought him into contact with the traditions of local song-making and storytelling, particularly among men working in the woods in lumber camps and as guides. Ives’ reflexive studies of New England song-makers from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries show a keen intelligence and generosity of spirit. His eight books concentrated on deceased working-class songsters and storytellers (Larry Gorman, Lawrence Doyle, Wilbur Day, George Magoon, and Joe Scott), and on creativity within traditional forms. He claimed that vernacular literature and song had social and aesthetic values that transcended its sentimentality. His teaching and writing inspired two generations of New England folklorists, and he was active as an educator and public speaker throughout the state of Maine, where he is remembered with affection. He founded the Northeast Archives of Folklore, which later became incorporated into the Maine Folklife Center at the University of Maine, and which houses thousands of recorded interviews, photographs, and artifacts related to traditional music and lifeways in Maine and the Maritimes....

Article

Matt Meacham

(b Jacksonville, FL, June 21, 1942). American folklorist and fiddler. An orchestral violinist early in life, he studied folklore and medieval literature at Duke University, earning the PhD in English in 1968. He documented the playing of Appalachian traditional fiddlers and drew upon their repertoire as a member of the Hollow Rock String Band, which contributed significantly to the 1960s folk revival. After teaching at UCLA (1968–9), Jabbour held influential positions with national cultural institutions. He was head of the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress (1969–74); founding director of the NEA’s Folk Arts Program (1974–6); and founding director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (1976–99).

As a scholar Jabbour has edited and annotated several significant collections of sound recordings. American Fiddle Tunes (Library of Congress, 1971; Rounder, 2000) consists of early field recordings drawn from the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress. ...

Article

William Drabkin

(b Neustadt an der Mettau [now Nové Město na Metové], May 17, 1819; d Vienna, Oct 23, 1886). Bohemian pianist, composer and collector of music manuscripts. He won considerable popularity as a composer of light piano pieces, among them nocturnes, idylls, impromptus and rhapsodies, of which about 200 were published. He is remembered chiefly as the owner of a number of Beethoven manuscripts, including the autographs of the piano sonatas opp.28 and 53 and various sketch miscellanies and leaves. The most important manuscript from his collection (the ‘Kafka’ Sketchbook), which contains sketches and autographs of many of Beethoven's earliest works, was acquired by the British Museum in 1875 (part of Add.29801). Another miscellany of sketches in the British Library (Add.29997) contains material for works written between 1799 and 1826; it was purchased from Kafka in 1876.

FétisBRiemannL12J.S. Shedlock: ‘Beethoven’s Sketch Books’, MT, 33 (1892), 331–4, 394–7, 461–5, 523–5, 589–92, 649–52, 717; xxxiv (1893), 14–16, 530–33; xxxv (1894), 13–16, 449–52, 596–600; l (1909), 712–4...