21-33 of 33 results  for:

  • Instrument Maker x
Clear all

Article

Joyce Lindorff

[Sancho]

(b São Martinho do Vale, Barcelos, Nov 1, 1645; d Beijing, Dec 24, 1708). Portuguese organist, theorist and organ builder. He was a Jesuit missionary; his 36-year stay in China produced far-reaching cultural exchange. His accomplishment in music, mathematics and diplomacy led to his being invited to Beijing by Emperor Kangxi. He astounded the emperor with a demonstration of musical notation, repeating Chinese melodies flawlessly after one hearing. Kangxi's subsequent creation of an academy to study ancient Chinese music culminated in the four-volume Lulu Zhengyi (‘A True Doctrine of Music’). A fifth volume, on Western music theory, was begun by Pereira and completed by Teodorico Pedrini, his successor as court musician; the whole was published in Beijing in 1713.

Pereira built several organs in Beijing for the Catholic church and for the emperor, including one which played Chinese songs mechanically. He also wrote Chinese hymns, his only known compositions. At Kangxi's behest Pereira was instrumental in negotiating the ...

Article

Hans Klotz

[Rottenstein-Pock]

Dutch family of organ builders. Israel Rodensteen was apparently the first of the line; he built a new organ in St Pieter, Utrecht (1507–8). Raphael (d between 26 Oct 1552 and 4 Sept 1554) obtained the citizenship of Vollenhove (Overijssel) in 1527, and lived in Bolsward (Friesland) from about 1535 to at least 1552. He was probably the builder of the organ in St Maartenskerk at Bolsward (c1540; part of the casework survives). Raphael’s son Hermann (d Weimar, bur. 9 July 1583) worked in Denmark and Germany, and became a citizen of Zwickau in 1562. His new organs include those in Roskilde Cathedral (1553–5); the chapel of Copenhagen Castle (1556); St Jakobi, Chemnitz (1559); Bautzen Cathedral (c1560); St Katharinen, Zwickau (1560–62); the Schlosskirche, Dresden (1563); the Michaelerkirche, Vienna (...

Article

Roland  

Hugh Davies

Japanese company of electronic instrument manufacturers. It was founded in Osaka in 1972 by the electronics designer Ikutaro Kakehashi (who had co-founded Ace Electronic Industries in Osaka in 1955, marketing rhythm machines and Ace Tone electronic organs); it was named after the legendary medieval French hero. Expansion was rapid, and by the early 1980s the company employed over 500 people in Osaka alone. During the period 1988–90 Roland bought three foreign electronic keyboard manufacturers: Siel, Rodgers and Rhodes.

The range of Roland instruments has included monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers, synthesizer modules, remote keyboard controllers, electronic organs and pianos (many digital models), a digital harpsichord, home keyboards, guitar synthesizers, samplers, vocoders, sequencers and many electronic percussion devices and effects units, some under the names of Roland’s offshoots, Boss and Amdek. The company also manufactures a variety of sound equipment as well as a teaching system designed for use with Roland electronic keyboard instruments....

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

South Korean manufacturer of acoustic and digital instruments. The name Samick (‘three benefits’) refers to benefits to the company, its customers, and the national economy. Founded in 1958 by Hyo Ick Lee (d 1990) as a Baldwin piano distributor, the Samick Piano Co. began building uprights from imported parts under the name Horugel in 1960. In 1964 Samick became the first exporter of Korean pianos and in 1970 manufactured the first Korean grand. Guitar production began in 1965, eventually expanding to acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitars, banjos, and mandolins under the names Samick, Abilene, Silvertone, and the Greg Bennett Signature series. In 1973 the company was incorporated as Samick Musical Instruments Co., Ltd. In 1983 Samick engaged the German piano designer Klaus Fenner. Fenner introduced European-style scale designs and three-ply ‘surface tension’ soundboards, which are claimed not to crack or lose their crown and to suffer only a slight tonal disadvantage compared with solid spruce soundboards....

Article

Laurence Libin

(b Nottingham, England, Sept 1, 1927; d Nottingham, Aug 4, 2004). English violin maker. He was a joiner’s apprentice when, at age 16, he began playing the violin and made himself one, guided by E. Heron-Allen’s Violin Making as it Was (London, 1884). Self-taught but talented, he turned to making violins and violas full-time at age 21 and soon gained support from prominent players, notably the violists Lionel Tertis and Peter Schidlof. Saunders developed Arthur Richardson’s design of a viola for Tertis, first producing very large instruments that proved difficult to hold. From this he developed his own large model, with short corners, low arching, and Guarneri-style scroll and f-holes, a pattern he then maintained throughout his career. Eventually he made 164 violas, 52 violins, and five cellos, all of them named and many of them used by professional orchestral players. Saunders did not slavishly copy old models or ‘antique’ his instruments, preferring a new appearance. One of his violas received a silver medal in ...

Article

Cheng Liu and Stewart Carter

Largest Chinese manufacturer of traditional instruments. Located in the Minhang district of Shanghai, the corporation was founded in 1958 through the consolidation of 86 small workshops. Huifang Ren led the company from its inception through 1962; Guozhen Wang has served as its director since 1998. The firm produces more than 60,000 erhus (including about 100 of top professional quality) and 40,000 guzhengs annually, and also makes pipas, ruans, yangqins, Chinese flutes, and a few non-Chinese instruments, notably marimbas. Proprietary subsidiaries of the corporation include Dunhuang Musical Instruments Company, Shanghai Guibao Musical Instruments Company, and Lankao Shanghai Musical Instruments Company in Lankao. The firm has manufactured instruments under the Dunhuang brand since 1962. In 1999 the firm signed a cooperative agreement with the Central Chinese Orchestra in Beijing, under which instruments in that orchestra have gradually been replaced with Dunhuang instruments. The firm also maintains a close relationship with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra. Many instruments bearing the Dunhuang brand are exported, particularly through Eason Music in Singapore....

Article

Cheng Liu and Stewart Carter

Manufacturer of Chinese instruments, located in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. Founded in 1954 the firm nowadays produces approximately 60,000 erhus and 10,000 pipas annually. It also produces ruans, guzhengs, qins, yangqins, suonas, dizis, xiaos, paixiaos, shengs, bianqings, bianzhongs, yunluos, and several types of traditional percussion instruments, as well as some Western-style instruments, such as timpani and harps. The firm also manufactures a few specialty instruments that are essentially enlargements of traditional instruments, intended primarily for use in Chinese traditional orchestras. Among these are the laruan, which resembles a large ruan, but bowed like a cello rather than plucked; and various forms of sheng with metal pipes rather than bamboo, including a bass sheng and a large sheng with a keyboard. The firm’s main factory in Suzhou produces mostly semi-finished instruments, which are sent to a subsidiary factory, also in Suzhou, for painting and other finish work. In 2012 Tian Yongyi was the company’s director and legal representative....

Article

Suzuki  

Japanese firm of instrument makers. It was founded by Masakichi Suzuki (b Nagoya, 1859; d Nagoya, 1944), who at age 14 was working in a lacquerware shop and later studied elementary music education. He is said to have made shamisen, as had his father, but turned to violin making while still a student. By 1888, as demand grew he employed several assistants, and in 1889 he opened a retail store in Tokyo. A year later he began construction of a violin manufactory, in which he introduced division of labour and machinery of his own design. Production was largely mechanized by 1900, when Suzuki began making smaller-sized instruments for children. A second factory opened in 1916 and a third in 1918, altogether reportedly employing more than 1000 workers who mass-produced up to 500 instruments (including Italianate mandolins) and 1000 bows daily, mostly for export. In 1930 Suzuki Violin Seizō became a publicly traded company, while Masakichi himself went on making instruments by hand. His son Shin’ichi (...

Article

Hugh Davies

(b Pyong-Yang, Feb 24, 1941). Japanese instrument inventor and performer. Working in Tokyo, he has built a number of instruments, including some appealing to children, and sound sculptures, beginning in 1972 with the first analapos, in one version of which the vibratory mechanism is a coiled spring at least 8 metres long. Other instruments include the Kikkokikiriki, a rectangular brass plate with up to five round depressions of different diameters (resembling the saucer-shaped indentations in a steel drum) that produce sustained bell-like chimes when rubbed with a stick; a glass harmonica, in which five hollow glass tubes, identical in length but with different diameters, mounted in a frame, are rubbed with wetted fingers; and the Lateral Thinking Instrument, a panel covered with fragments of pre-recorded ¼″ magnetic tape, glued together to form a large rectangle over which two pencil-type tape-recorder playback heads are moved manually. Suzuki exhibits his instruments and gives solo performances on them, occasionally also using small found objects and a sea-sculpted stone flute that has been in his family (who are Shintō priests) for centuries. He has also performed with composer-violinist Takehisa Kosugi and with numerous other musicians, dancers, and actors....

Article

Svaram  

Instrument-making centre and research institute in Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India. Auroville, an idealistic and holistic international community devoted to education and fostering spiritual awareness, was founded in 1968 through the efforts of Mirra Alfassa, a French-born devotee of Sri Aurobindo. The Svaram workshop was initiated there in 2003 by Aurelio, an Austrian instrument maker who arrived in Auroville in 1985 and began a cooperative vocational training programme for unemployed youth from the region. With grant support, they formed the nucleus of the increasingly independent Svaram enterprise, which nowadays produces for commercial distribution a wide range of instruments based on traditional and new designs. The instruments are generally simple types used in elementary education and music therapy, such as box zithers, flutes, panpipes, drums, rattles, scrapers, xylophones, metallophones, and wind chimes, meant to appeal to all ages, especially children. A particular speciality are Klangsteine (‘singing stones’), sculptural lithophones developed by the Salzburg-based musician Klaus Fessman, that exploit a type of granite found around Auroville. The polished granite rocks, weighing from 20 to 200 kg, are shaped and sawn vertically part way through in parallel cuts to form connected slabs that vibrate when rubbed by moistened fingers. Production of these at Svaram is overseen by Fessman’s son Hannes Fessman....

Article

Barbara Owen

(b Aichi-ken, Dec 10, 1933; d Shirakawa, December 22, 2005). Japanese organ builder and organist. He graduated in 1958 from the Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku (Tokyo Music School), where he had become interested in the workings of the school’s organ. He served an apprenticeship with the Schlicker Organ Co. of Buffalo, New York, from 1960 to 1963, and with Flentrop Orgelbouw, Zaandam, Netherlands, from 1963 to 1964. He then returned to Japan to open his own workshop in a Tokyo suburb, and later moved to a larger shop in Shirakawa, Kurokawa. In 1971 he began a study of the historic organs of Europe, and built several organs based on north European and Italian models, all of which have mechanical action and classical voicing. He was the first Japanese maker to have undertaken the building of pipe organs. Important instruments include those in the Protestant Church, Yashima (1974), Tokai University (...

Article

Cheng Liu and Stewart Carter

(b Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China, Sept 15, 1935). Erhu maker in Shanghai. He began making erhus in 1951 under the tutelage of Tang Yinpu. Since 1958 he has worked on the premises of Shanghai No. 1 National Musical Instruments Factory, where he maintains his own workshop. He makes approximately 100 professional-quality instruments per year (but does not make bows) and also serves as design consultant for the firm’s mass-produced erhus, production of which exceeds 60,000 units annually. Wang uses steel strings, the lower overwound, and prefers rosewood for the construction of the erhu’s neck and python skin for the head of the octagonal wooden resonator; the Shanghai factory has obtained special permission from the Chinese government to use the skin of this protected snake. Wang is among a very small number of erhu makers to hold the title of National Senior Technician, an honour bestowed on him by the Chinese Ministry of Labor in ...

Article

Edwin M. Good

South Korean firm of instrument makers. Founded in 1956 to assemble upright pianos from imported components, the company began its own manufacture in 1968 and profited from the country’s booming economy. Though pianos imported to the USA in early years were reported as having insufficiently seasoned lumber, improved methods have overcome these difficulties. Manufacturing and shipping systems are sophisticated and automated, and in 1996 the company opened a huge factory in Tianjin, China. The quality of recent instruments is high. The concert grand has attracted favourable notice, and the uprights are sturdy and sonorous. The company has subsidiaries in Canada, the USA and Europe. In 1985 Young Chang purchased the Weber name at the dissolution of the Aeolian Corporation and in 1990 bought Kurzweil Musical Systems, which produces very sophisticated electronic pianos and MIDI controllers. Production in the mid-1990s was about 120,000 annually, with the opening of the Tianjin factory expected to raise the figure substantially....