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David Johnson

(b Edinburgh, Nov 30, 1822; d Glasgow, March 26, 1906). Scottish musical biographer. He was inspired by the first publication of Grove’s Dictionary (1879) to write a series of musical biographical dictionaries, in order to document glee composers and Scottish composers whom he feared Grove would neglect. Although he was prone to inaccuracy and erratic judgment, his biographies contain much valuable material. A reviewer in the Scottish Musical Monthly corrected many errors in Musical Scotland Past and Present (1894), nowadays his most used work and in effect the first comprehensive history of Scottish music. Baptie also compiled from 1846 a manuscript catalogue of partsongs, composed glees, and is said to have edited several hymnbooks. His son Charles Robertson Baptie (b Glasgow, 29 May 1870) was a successful minor composer whose works include music-hall songs and an operetta for children.

A Handbook of Musical Biography...


John Edwin Henken

(b Madrid, Aug 3, 1823; d Madrid, Feb 17, 1894). Spanish composer, musicologist, conductor and critic. Barbieri’s father died in 1823 and the composer used his matronym throughout his life although, in the heated polemic wars of the period, that was sometimes held against him as an Italianate pretence.

Barbieri received his early music training from his maternal grandfather and entered the fledgling Royal Conservatory in 1837, studying the clarinet with Ramón Broca, the piano with Albéniz y Basanta, singing with Saldoni and composition with Carnicer. In 1841 his family moved to Lucena, but Barbieri remained in Madrid, eking out a living as a clarinettist, pianist, teacher and copyist. His earliest compositions were songs and dances, and a paso doble for a militia band in which he played. He also sang baritone roles in Italian operas at the Conservatory and the Teatro del Circo. He wrote the libretto for a one-act zarzuela but did not complete the music in time for its scheduled première in ...



Bernarr Rainbow

(b Exeter, Jan 28, 1834; d Lewtrenchard, Devon, Jan 2, 1924). English clergyman, folksong collector, novelist and writer. He was educated at Cambridge (MA, 1856), ordained in 1864, and on his father’s death in 1872 he inherited the family estates at Lewtrenchard, where he became rector in 1881 and served as a Justice of the Peace. He travelled extensively and wrote voluminously on theological and general topics; he was also a pioneer in the collection of English folksong. Between 1888 and 1891 he published 110 examples, transcribed from performances by singers in Devon and Cornwall, as Songs and Ballads of the West. The collection was made jointly with the Rev. H.F. Sheppard, sub-dean of the Savoy Chapel, with whom Baring-Gould also collaborated to produce A Garland of Country Song (1895) and English Minstrelsie (1895–6). Their first joint publications in the field preceded by several years the folksong collections of W.A. Barrett, Frank Kidson, John Stokoe and J.A. Fuller Maitland, and were themselves preceded only by John and Lucy Broadwood’s ...


James Porter

(b Boston, 1880; d Framingham, MA, 1937). American ballad scholar. He studied folklore, theology and classical and medieval literature at Harvard, and was probably self-taught in music. He founded the Folk-Song Society of the North-East and edited its Bulletin from 1930 until his death. His academic training combined with his later fieldwork allowed him to develop a broad yet penetrating view of ballad creation, and he was the first North American scholar to investigate folksong in terms of text, tune, performance and transmission. His idea of ‘individual invention plus communal re-creation’, which was similar to Cecil Sharp’s theory, proposed that a folksong was creatively re-made within the community each time it was sung; this view replaced prevailing theories of a communal origin of the folksong by means of group improvisation. He collected mainly in New England and collaborated with scholars in Vermont and Maine. Through his efforts, research methods used in ballad studies changed from scholarship based on library sources, as in the work of Child and Kittredge, to the study of traditional performers and a more complete analysis of folksong as a genre. His essay ‘The Part of the Folksinger’ (...


Ferenc Bónis

(b Bálványos-Váralja, Nov 23, 1821; d Budapest, Feb 9, 1899). Hungarian musicologist, teacher and composer. He studied theology and law, and the piano, horn, and music theory at the conservatory in Kolozsvar, starting his musical career in 1846 as a piano teacher in provincial towns. In 1851 he settled in Pest as a teacher and concert pianist, and began to work as a musicologist and journalist (late 1850s); with Kornél Ábrányi and Mihály Mosonyi he was co-editor (1860–63) of the first Hungarian musical weekly, Zenészeti lapok. Subsequently he made two study trips to monasteries in Upper Austria and compiled a catalogue of their manuscripts and prints which related to Hungary. In 1869 he was appointed professor of music at the Pest teacher-training college. A member of the Kisfaludy Society of Literature and Science (1867) and a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (...


J.R. Milne

revised by Bruce Carr

(b Elberfeld, Oct 25, 1842; d Rurich, nr Erkelenz, March 3, 1905). German music historian. After studying philosophy and theology at the University of Bonn, he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest. His chief work is Das katholische deutsche Kirchenlied, still the basic study of its topic. The second volume of the work (1883) was originally the completion of a work of the same title begun by K.S. Meister, of which only the first volume had been published (1862); in 1886 Bäumker published an edition of Meister's volume so revised and enlarged with fresh material as to make it quite a new work. In addition to discussing both tunes and texts of the hymns, the study includes a full bibliography of the various collections in which they are found. A third, supplementary volume (1891) brings the subject through the 18th century, and a final volume, edited from Bäumker's papers after his death by Joseph Gotzer, extends the coverage as far as ...


Alec Hyatt King

revised by Peter Krause

(b Leipzig, July 17, 1804; d Leipzig, Oct 26, 1877). German organist, musicologist, music collector and bibliographer. He was educated at the Thomasschule under Johann Gottfried Schicht, and also studied with the organists Friedrich Schneider and Johann Andreas Dröbs. He played the violin in the Gewandhaus Orchestra (1820–33) and in the theatre orchestra (1821–4). He was organist at the Peterskirche (1825–37) and later at the Nikolaikirche (1837–54). When the Leipzig Conservatory was founded in 1843, Mendelssohn invited Becker to become its first organ professor; among his pupils was William Rockstro. He also gave organ recitals in Leipzig and other German cities.

In his twenties Becker began to collect early printed music and manuscripts as well as musical literature. Based on his important library he published bibliographies, editions of older music and many articles in such periodicals as the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung...


G.V. Kopïtova

(Yakovlevich) [Aron-Moysha]

(b Termakhovka, Kiev Province, Dec 28, 1892; d Kiev, Aug 12, 1961). Ukrainian ethnomusicologist. From 1915 to 1920 he studied composition at the Kiev Conservatory with Yavorsky; he also led choirs and taught music in Jewish schools. He continued his composition studies at the Petrograd Conservatory with Steinberg (1922–4) and from 1927 he concentrated on the methodology of folklore studies with Kvitka at the musical ethnography department of the Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences in Kiev. From 1929 to 1949 he headed the department for musical folklore at the Institute of Jewish Proletarian Culture of the academy (in 1936 the Institute was reduced to the Cabinet of the study of the Jewish language, literature and folklore; in 1949 it was liquidated). He undertook numerous expeditions to transcribe Jewish musical folklore (1200 recorded cylinders, 4000 transcriptions), and he collected and transcribed Ukrainian, and later Bashkir folklore material. He also taught at the Kiev Conservatory (...


Sigurd Berg

(b Copenhagen, March 2, 1801; d Copenhagen, Nov 8, 1880). Danish folklorist, teacher and composer. He began composing and playing the flute while still in school. After his matriculation he studied law for a time, but influenced by the composer C.E.F. Weyse he soon dedicated himself to music and attracted attention in 1823 with a cantata for the 200th anniversary of Regensen, the students' college in Copenhagen. Over the next few years he composed several more cantatas as well as incidental music for the Royal Theatre. From 1838 he was organist at the Trinitatis Kirke, and from 1843 singing master at the metropolitan school. He held both posts until his death; they led him to an intensive occupation with church and school singing. He composed a notable set of hymn melodies, many of which are still used in the Danish Church, and edited many collections of partsongs for schools, containing several of his own compositions. He also made an important collection of Danish and foreign folksongs and melodies. In ...


Malcolm Turner

(Jean Etienne Charles Marie)

(b Ghent, Jan 23, 1868; d Ghent, Nov 14, 1935). Belgian musicologist and librarian. As a university student at Ghent, Bergmans attended piano and violin classes at Ghent Conservatory and had private lessons in music theory from Hendrik Waelput. In 1885, while still at university, he began to write music criticism for Flandre libérale and continued to do so until his death. In 1892 he took a post as assistant librarian at Ghent University, where he remained for the rest of his professional life. He became principal librarian there in 1919 and in the same year accepted the chair of musicology at Ghent, the first to be established at a Belgian university. In the following year he became a member of the Académie Royale de Belgique. Bergmans was interested in all branches of history, not merely that of music, and with his training as a historian and librarian, had an exact and painstaking cast of mind. Throughout most of his life he played an important part in the commission for the ...


Gustave Chouquet

revised by Cormac Newark

(b Vaugirard, nr Paris, Dec 24, 1834; d Paris, Feb 9, 1880). French writer on music. After a classical education – he later became a member of the Société d’Encouragement des Etudes Grecques – at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Bertrand went on to the Ecole des Chartes in Paris, where he devoted himself to the study of ancient music and history of the organ. His thesis, ‘L’histoire de l’orgue dans l’antiquité et au moyen âge’, was partially published in the journal La maîtrise. He contributed to Didot’s Complément de l’Encyclopédie moderne and to the supplement to Fétis’s Biographie universelle, and published many articles on music in the Journal des débats, the Revue moderne and Le ménestrel. As a member of the Commission des Travaux Historiques, Bertrand paid a long visit to Russia: some of his conclusions, based more on personal impression than scholarly study, appeared in Les nationalités musicales, as well as in the form of reports for the ...


Harry White


(b Letmathe, Westphalia, Dec 7, 1862; d Maynooth, Dec 2, 1923). German church music scholar, active in Ireland. He studied at Würzburg University (1881–5) and the Bayerisches Staatskonservatorium der Musik and was ordained priest in 1885; he then took a diploma at the Kirchenmusikschule in Regensburg. After one year as Kantor at Cologne Cathedral, he was appointed to a newly created chair in chant and organ at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, in 1888. During this period (1891–3) he was also editor of Lyra ecclesiastica, the journal of the Irish Society of St Cecilia, whose aims he propagated. In 1914 he became the first professor of music at University College, Dublin; however, that same year war broke out while he was on holiday in Cologne and he was barred from re-entering Ireland. The post was declared vacant due to his alleged failure of duty and passed on to C.H. Kitson in ...


Harold S. Powers

(b Bombay, Aug 10, 1860; d Bombay, Sept 19, 1936). Indian musicologist. He was educated as a lawyer and from about 1875 also studied music; from 1884 he was an active member of the Gayana Uttejak Mandali, a newly formed Bombay music society, where he learnt hundreds of traditional raga compositions. Concurrently he studied well-known Sanskrit works on music. In 1900 he collected between two and three hundred khayals from the son of a senior musician at the court of Jaipur (Rajasthan), subsequently persuading the father, Muhammad Ali Khan, to accept him as a disciple, thus legitimizing his musical standing by becoming associated with a recognized professional lineage (gharana). In south India (1904) he encountered the other flourishing canonical system of Indian art music – Carnatic music – and from a study of the 17th-century treatise Caturdaṇḍi prakāśikā evolved his system of classifying Hindustani ragas primarily according to ten ...


Renate Federhofer-Königs

(b Schwedt an der Oder, Feb 27, 1813; d Berlin, Sept 12, 1885). German musicologist. His name has sometimes been incorrectly given as Heinrich. After studying at the universities of Berlin and Bonn he entered the Prussian civil service in which he held several important posts until 1882. In spite of his many professional duties, Bitter gave much of his spare time to the study of music history. He discovered important documents concerning the life and works of J.S. Bach, though he often quoted his sources imprecisely or not at all, a practice which brought criticism from Spitta and Chrysander. Of equal importance are his contributions to the catalogue of Bach’s works, especially those on questions of authenticity and the problem of parody. He also studied Bach’s sons, in particular C.P.E. Bach, whose work Bitter judged and classified with unusual objectivity for his day. In spite of all his errors in printing and transcribing and his imprecision in quotation, he laid the foundation for Bach research with a historical-philological orientation. It was only eight years after the appearance of his ...


E.D. Mackerness

(b London, July 13, 1846; d London, Dec 29, 1936). English acoustician. He was principally noted for his design and manufacture of wind instruments. He had a long career with the firm of Boosey & Hawkes and when Boosey’s took over the business of Henry Distin in 1868, Blaikley was appointed works manager. He became widely known as an authority on woodwind and brass, and in 1874 devised a system of compensating pistons (patented in 1878) which Boosey & Co. adopted (see Valve). The firm continued to use equipment designed by him until the late 1980s. Blaikley also devised other improvements for trumpets, horns and trombones. In 1875 he joined the (Royal) Musical Association and in 1878 read the first of many papers to that society. This highly technical discussion of resonance was followed by others on such subjects as quality of tone in wind instruments (...


Sue Carole DeVale

(b Minden, July 9, 1858; d New York, Dec 21, 1942). American anthropologist and ethnomusicologist of German birth. He was trained at Heidelberg, Berlin and Kiel as a physicist and geographer (1877–81), and, having gone to Baffinland, North America, to do a survey of Cumberland Sound, he went on to compare Inuit perceptions of space with his own technical mapping. It was during his stay among the Inuits in 1883–4, that he formulated the anthropological perspectives and field methodology that was to shape the character of early 20th-century American anthropology. On his return to Berlin, he became interested in the methods used by Carl Stumpf, Hornbostel and Herzog in the study of music in other cultures. In 1886 Boas returned to North America to work among the Bella Coola Indians of the Pacific Northwest coast; in 1888 he took a post teaching anthropology at Clark University and settled in the USA, having decided to make Amerindians the centre of his anthropological work....


R.P. Winnington-Ingram

(b Karlsruhe, Nov 24, 1785; d Berlin, Aug 3, 1867). German scholar. He inaugurated the modern critical study of ancient Greek music almost incidentally, as part of an early work, De metris Pindari (Leipzig, 1811), being convinced that in Greek choral poetry words, music and dance formed an integrated whole. Among many gifts he had a strong mathematical bent and may have been led to the study of Greek music by an interest in the Pythagoreans. It was, however, appropriate that ancient Greek music should owe its modern study to the scholar who, above all others in the first half of the 19th century, directed scholarship towards the study of classical civilization as a whole, its history and antiquities as well as its literature. Böckh held chairs at Heidelberg (1807–11) and Berlin (1811–67).

J.E. Sandys: A History of Classical Scholarship, 3 (Cambridge, 1908/...


Lodewijk Muns

(b Nijmegen, Netherlands, Aug 4, 1812; d Delft, Netherlands, Nov 1, 1896). Dutch musician, music historian, and instrument collector. The son of a musician and instrument seller, he studied flute and violin at the conservatory of The Hague. After positions as an orchestra musician in the Court Chapel and the French Opera of The Hague, with the Casino Paganini in Paris, and as a conductor at the opera of Metz, he returned in 1841 to his native city, where he conducted several choral societies. In 1853 he was appointed city music director in Delft.

Boers was a pioneer of the study of early music in the Netherlands. He started collecting musical instruments about 1870, with an emphasis on the work of Dutch builders. Most of his research on organology has remained sketchy and is unpublished. In 1899 the major part of his collection of some 130 instruments (including a Couchet harpsichord of ...


Fritz Feldmann

revised by Rudolf Walter

(b Bielau, nr Neisse [now Nysa], Jan 14, 1839; d Breslau [now Wrocław], July 5, 1909). German musicologist, conductor and organist. At the University of Breslau he studied classical and oriental philology (1858–62). From 1862 to 1868 he studied music at the Akademisches Institut für Kirchenmusik. He was taught singing and choral direction by Julius Schäffer, and organ by Expedit Baumgart. While still a student Bohn directed the Breslau Akademischer Musikverein, and in 1868 became organist at the city's church of the Heilige Kreuz. He belonged to the generation of Eitner, the first to dedicate itself to investigating, classifying and ordering the musical heritage of the past, and which at the same time endeavoured to combine musical scholarship with performing practice. The Bohnsche Gesangverein, founded by Bohn in 1882, furthered these aims in its ‘historical concerts’, which numbered 100 by 1905, and another 16 by 1909...