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Howard Schott

revised by Laurence Libin

French family of piano makers. Jean-Louis Boisselot (1782–1847), scion of a family of instrument makers from Montpellier, began shortly after 1800 to sell sheet music and instruments, including pianos by various makers. In 1820 he opened a store in Marseilles and two years later moved to that city. About 1830, together with his son Louis-Constantin (1809–50), as Boisselot et fils he began to build square pianos, followed by English-influenced grands in 1824 and uprights in 1836. Louis-Constantin had apprenticed in Paris (1826–7) and Nîmes before going to England in 1834 to study industrial piano manufacture. By 1840 the flourishing firm was producing 150 pianos annually, growing to 400 in 1848. Their instruments were particularly popular in the south of France, Portugal, and Spain.

Among the innovatory piano-making firms of the period, in 1843 Boisselot patented a piano with two octave strings set next to the three unisons; the octave strings are engaged (in either bass or treble or both) when the keyboard and action are shifted laterally by means of a pedal. At the Paris Exposition of ...


Denzil Wraight

(fl Florence, Italy, 1626–41). Italian harpsichord and virginal maker. Son of Vincenzo, who was also an instrument maker, he came from Prato to Florence, where he worked in the via dei Servi. Two single-manual harpsichords and eight virginals are connected with his name, but the attribution of two of the virginals has not been confirmed. The 1627 harpsichord (GB.E.u) was crudely rebuilt by Franciolini with three manuals; the original compass was C/E–c″′ with F ♭, G ♭, d ♭, a ♭, d ♭′, a ♭′ as split sharps, and two unidentified naturals below C/E. The 1631 harpsichord (US.NH.y) was more conventional with a C/F–f″″ compass and two 8′ registers. Of the virginals, most were made in rectangular form, and have the common compass of C/E–f″′, but four were also provided with additional split sharps, similar to the 1627 harpsichord. Bolcioni is thus one of the significant sources for this type of keyboard in the early 17th century....


Gerhard Grenzing

revised by Andrés Cea Galán

[Jorge Bosch Bernat-Verí ]

(b Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Nov 8, 1739; d Madrid, Spain, Dec 2, 1800). Iberian organ builder. His father, Mateu Bosch, built the organ in the Convent de Sant Geròni, Palma de Mallorca (1746). Following Mateu’s death, Bosch became an apprentice to Leonardo Fernández Dávila in Granada. Bosch’s first independent work, in Binissalem (1762), was closely modelled on his teacher’s style, but the organ Bosch built for the Convent de Sant Domènec, Palma de Mallorca (1765; sold in 1837 to the Church of Santanyí, Majorca; extant) marks a significant departure in Iberian organ building. This three-manual organ has a ten-rank mounted Cornet, 25-rank Mixture (winded via conduits measuring some 2.8 metres long), and a nine-rank ‘Trompeteria’. To ensure adequate wind to the pipes, the windchests are fitted with double pallets.

Just before Fernández Dávila died, he asked Bosch to complete the organ for the Royal Palace of Madrid. A recent restoration disclosed that Bosch made significant changes to his master’s work before its installation. In the small space Bosch installed an organ of 42 stops, including two open 16′ ranks, a stopped 16′, and six open 8′ ranks. This organ is Bosch’s best-preserved work....



Umberto Pineschi

[Bossi-Urbani, Vegezzi-Bossi, Balbiani-Vegezzi-Bossi, Brondino-Vegezzi-Bossi]

Italian family of organ builders . The founder of the firm, Antonio Bossi, was born in Mendrisio, Switzerland, and began organ building around 1550. The family later moved to Como in Italy, and in 1635 Gabriele Bossi (b 1604) established his workshop in Bergamo and in the same year built an organ for S Salvatore, Venice. His son, Giovanni Antonio Bossi, was responsible for the organ of Bergamo Cathedral between 1729 and 1738. His son, Angelo Bossi (1707–76) built organs in Lombardy whose children, Giuseppe (1738–1803) and Francesco (1742–1816), started independent firms. Giuseppe built a quarter-tone enharmonic organ at the Malmaritate, Milan (1780), and the organ at S Maria Maggiore, Bergamo. His son Carlo (d 1836) moved to Lodi and built organs in Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna and Switzerland. Carlo's two sons also worked independently: Felice Bossi settled in Piedmont, building the organ for Turin Cathedral (...



Ole Olesen

Danish family of organ builders . Johan Petersen Botzen (c1641–1719) and his younger brother, Peter Petersen Botzen (c1661–1711), were sons of the organ builder Peter Karstensen Botz. They were also organists, the latter in the church of Our Lady, Copenhagen, where the brothers built a marvellous instrument during the years ...


Barbara Owen

revised by Michael D. Friesen

(b Pampa, TX, Nov 10, 1936). American organ builder and organist. Bozeman studied organ performance at North Texas State College (now University of North Texas), but left in 1959 before finishing a degree to apprentice in organ building with Otto Hofmann of Austin, Texas. In 1962 he began working with the architect and organ historian Joseph E. Blanton in Victoria, Texas, to develop organ designs. He also did freelance organ work, and in 1965 entered the employ of Sipe-Yarbrough of Dallas, working under Robert L. Sipe, ultimately becoming vice-president of the firm. In 1967 Bozeman received a Fulbright scholarship to study organ and harpsichord performance in Vienna with Anton Heiller and Isolde Ahlgrimm, and organ building with Joseph Mertin (1904–98). He also travelled extensively in Europe, visiting and documenting organs. Upon his return in 1968 he went to work for Fritz Noack.

In 1971 Bozeman established his own shop in Lowell, Massachusetts, and the following year entered into partnership with David V. Gibson (...


Darja Koter

[Josip, Jožef ]

(b Eisendorf, Germany, Aug 15, 1865; d Maribor, Slovenia, June 20, 1938). German organ, harmonium, and piano builder active in Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, and Hungary. From 1878 to 1882 he studied in Rosenheim, Bavaria, with the organ builder Jakob Müller, for whom he then worked for three years. Later he travelled and worked with Mathias Burkard in Heidelberg, Gebrüder Mayer in Feldkirch, and finally with Anton Bechmann (1850–1932) in Schwarzach. In 1893, after receiving his master’s qualification he worked briefly for Ludwig Edenhofer in Regen; then he moved to Maribor and established his own workshop with two assistants. Brandl’s repairs and renovations of older organs in Styria earned him a good reputation, and after a few years he became one of the most important organ builders in the region.

In 1895 Brandl provided a 20-stop organ for a church in Varaždin, Croatia. His largest instrument and his only one with three manuals is at the Basilica Lurške Matere Božje in Brestanica (Raichenburg) by Krško (...


Michael Sayer

English organ builder. He established a business in Sheffield in 1854. A follower of Edmund Schulze, he built solid instruments with powerful choruses using Vogler’s Simplification system. Pipes placed in chromatic order on the soundboards allowed for a simple and reliable key action and permitted similar stops to share the same bass; this kept both space and cost to a minimum. The Swell organ was often mounted above the Great as an Oberwerk in the German manner. Brindley went into partnership with Foster in 1884 and began to manufacture more complex pneumatic mechanisms for stop combinations; he also concentrated on the production of orchestral effects. The business was absorbed by Willis in 1939. An unspoilt example of Brindley’s work dating from 1863 survives in Christ Church, Market Drayton, Shropshire. A full discussion of the works of Charles Brindley is given in J.R. Knott: A Study of Brindley & Foster, Organbuilders of Sheffield, 1854–1939...


Laurence Libin

Family of harpsichord makers in Antwerp.

fl. mid-17th century; a cabinet maker, he joined the Guild of St Luke in 1613 as a pupil of Melsen Ykens.

a cabinet maker as late as 1649, joined the Guild in 1655–6, at the same time as the harpsichord builder Gommaar van Everbroeck. Joris (i) and (ii) might have learned harpsichord making as employees of the Ruckers workshop.

joined the Guild in 1658–9.

joined the Guild in 1717.

Several extant harpsichords and virginals of various sizes, not dissimilar to contemporary ones of the Ruckers family and dated between 1675 and 1686, are ascribed to members of the family; Joris (iii) is credited with one harpsichord and two octave virginals. The name Joris is Latinized as ‘Georgius’ in their inscriptions. The Britsens are said also to have made lutes although this might be a confusion with lute registers....


Howard Schott

revised by Michael Latcham

(b Eichswald, Prussia [now Germany], c1771; d Vienna, Austria, May 13, 1848). Austrian piano maker. He was probably in Vienna by the 1780s, and obtained citizenship in 1796. In 1812 he became vice-chairman of the 40-member piano makers’ association, and was chairman by 1814. He produced and improved the Querpianoforte, a piano in the shape of a bentside spinet. In 1825 he was granted a privilege (dissolved in 1832) for a three-ply soundboard, the grain of the middle layer running transversely.

Features of the two earliest known grands by Brodmann (no date, private ownership in Vienna; 1800/02, D.HA.h), and the earliest known square (A.W.t) strongly suggest that Brodmann was a journeyman with Ferdinand Hofmann. The action of the square has Hofmann’s escapement jacks and his curious back checks mounted on the keys. Other features (the shape of the bentside, the wide D keys, the action parts and string distribution) in some later instruments show the influence of Anton Walter. In ...


Edward L. Kottick

(b New York, April 11, 1945). American harpsichord maker and performer. His father was a film composer, songwriter, and conductor. He began piano lessons at age 11, and studied music at the University of Michigan (1962–3) before transferring to the Mannes College of Music (1963–9), where he won a Harpsichord Music Society scholarship for study with Sylvia Marlowe. While at Mannes, he worked as a contract tuner and salesman for Wolfgang Joachim Zuckermann, and during the summers of 1965–9, he worked at the Eric Herz shop, primarily on harpsichord actions. In 1965, he served as Marlowe’s harpsichord technician during her South American tour. In 1969–70, he built his first harpsichord, an Italian virginal. From 1970 to 1972 he apprenticed with Frank Hubbard and served as shop foreman. From 1972 to 1979 he maintained his own workshop, first in Lebanon, New Hampshire, later in Norwich, Vermont, where he completed 18 harpsichords, including five French double-manual instruments after Michel Richard, two Flemish singles after Andreas Ruckers, two French doubles after Ruckers/Blanchet, an Italian single after Giusti, and a Flemish double after Dulcken....


Eva Helenius

(b ?1717; d Stockholm, Sweden, 1772). Swedish maker of clavichords and harpsichords, active in Stockholm. Broman was the first builder to put into practice the novel harpsichord and clavichord construction ideas of the Royal Academy of Science, which were an important starting point for the development of the eventual distinctive Swedish school of clavichord design. In 1756, the Academy applied for instrument-making privileges on Broman’s behalf, stating that he had been the first to implement these ideas. At that time, Broman had recently completed a harpsichord built according to the theories of Academy Fellow and mathematician Jacob Faggot (1699–1777). Broman next made a clavichord following the same principles. The Academy’s goal was to provide the domestic market with superior instruments that stayed in tune throughout seasonal humidity and temperature changes, surpassing those by foreign makers as well as by Swedish makers whom the Academy considered to be ‘mere copyists’ (of mainly North German instruments). Broman utilized Faggot’s Pythagorean scaling designs, which maximized use of iron strings of the same diameter. For harpsichord construction, the very long bass strings’ amplitude of vibration proved too great to be practicable. With the clavichord, however, the string lengths could be nearly doubled quite far down to the bass; brass overspun strings were used to compensate for foreshortening in the extreme bass....



Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume

German family of organ builders which specialized in mechanical instruments. Ignaz Blasius Bruder (1780–1845) was the founder of the organ-building industry in Waldkirch. He had five sons, those of greatest significance being Wilhelm (1819–82) and Ignaz (1825–91). Each of these in turn produced three sons who ultimately formed three partnerships – Wilhelm Bruder Söhne, Gebrüder Bruder and Ignaz Bruder Söhne. The precise output of each partnership is hard to identify but they all produced work of outstanding quality starting with organ-playing clocks, progressing through portable street organs and ending with showground and dance organs. The Bruders kept to the forefront of technical and musical development and were among the first to apply music programmes in the form of perforated paper rolls to the fairground organ, using a keyless pneumatic system. They also fitted Swell shutters to these instruments. Bruder enjoyed a worldwide reputation and until the outbreak of World War I they supplied organs to the Wurlitzer company in America....


Michael Sayer

English firm of organ builders. In 1868 the Bryceson brothers acquired the sole rights to use Charles Spackman Barker’s practical electric organ mechanisms in England, and the same year the firm, based in London, built organs with electric key action at Drury Lane Theatre, Christ Church, Camberwell, St Michael Cornhill and St George’s, Tufnell Park. The Camberwell instrument was first used at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester Cathedral, where the organ was placed in the south aisle and its console in the orchestra. The firm also supplied an instrument for the Three Choirs Festival in 1869 in Worcester Cathedral, where it was placed on the chorus platform in front of the west window, with the console next to the conductor. Bryceson Brothers was taken over by Alfred Kirkland some time after 1874, and the combined business was later absorbed by Hill, Norman & Beard. A contemporary account is given in ‘Electric Organ’, ...


Benjamin Vogel

(b Olsztynek [Hohenstein, East Prussia], May 16, 1792; d Warsaw, Poland, May 15, 1837). Polishpiano manufacturer. About 1815 he established a piano factory in Warsaw, and about 1817–19 formed the Organ Makers Assembly together with W. Bauer and W. Jansen. Buchholtzgained recognition for manufacturing giraffe pianos with bassoon and Janissary stops; he presented such instruments at the 1823 Warsaw Exhibition (silvermedal) and again in 1825, when he also showed a melodichordion, made together with its inventor, Fidelis Brunner (Chopin played an improved version called eolimelodicon). Buchholtz served as elder of the piano makers’ guild in 1825–6. From 1827 he made English-type grands patterned after the Broadwood grand brought from London by Maria Szymanowska; in these he introduced metal framing and a case with open bottom, reinforced with additional metal rods. After 1825 he limited his manufacture to grand pianos with Viennese action and custom-made grands with English action. His instruments gained wide recognition among performers including Johann Promberger and Lady Robena Ann Laidlaw. Chopin was a frequent guest at his house and store. Among his employees were Jerzy Männling, Jan Kerntopf, and Szymon Laboradzki. After his death the firm was run by his widow with help from Sz. Laboradzki, and from about ...


Uwe Pape

German family of organ builders.

(b Schlossvippach, Germany, Sept 27, 1758; d Berlin, Germany, Feb 24, 1825). He was a pupil of Adam Heinrich Rietz in Magdeburg, Johann Wilhelm Grüneberg in Stettin [now Szczecin], and Ernst Marx (a pupil of Joachim Wagner’s) in Berlin. His work is concentrated in Pomerania and in the Berlin area, including reconstructions and repairs to the organs in the Marienkirche, Bernau (1789–90); Nikolaikirche, Berlin (1790); and Marienkirche, Berlin (1821). His own organs, more than 30 in all, dating from 1807 onwards, include those at Neu Hardenberg (1817; two manuals, 20 stops), Berlin Cathedral (1817), and the Marienkirche, Barth (1821; two manuals up to g′′′, 42 registers, restored 2003). He retained characteristics of Classical 18th-century organ building while adopting an early Romantic sound. His instruments of the early 1820s were built with his son....



Alfred Reichling

[Putz, Buz]

German family of organ builders. They were active mainly in Tyrol, Bavaria, Carinthia and Upper Austria. Andreas Butz (b Rosswangen, Württemburg; d Passau, 25 Feb 1657) was living in Salzburg in 1612 but in 1613 he was given the freedom of Passau where he established his workshop, initially with Matthias Aigner who was already a citizen of Passau. On 29 January 1621 the prince-bishop of Brixen (now Bressanone) bestowed on him a coat of arms with three white organ pipes on blue ground. He is known to have built organs in the following places: Franciscan Church, Schwaz (1613; with Matthias Aigner); Benedictine abbey, Tegernsee (1614); Maria Saal (1617); Franciscan Church, Bozen (Bolzano) (1618; with Matthias Aigner); St Andreas, Lienz (1618); parish church, Villach (1619); Clarissan church, Brixen (1620); parish church, Brixen (1621); Benedictine abbey, Kremsmünster (...




Margaret Cranmer

English firm of piano makers. Thomas Butcher (fl 1804–47) started making pianos at 41 Great Titchfield Street, London, in 1804. William Challen (d London, 1861) was associated with Butcher from 1816, and by 1839 the firm had become Challen and Hollis. William’s son Charles went into partnership with (?Charles) Hodgson but when C.H. Challen joined, the firm became Challen and Son. They won a reputation for good-quality pianos at moderate prices. In World War I part of the firm’s woodworking machinery was commandeered and it was allowed to produce only four pianos a week. This led it to continue making relatively few models, thereby economizing in the range of machinery and raw materials required. Since the 1930s over 180 Challen pianos, from large concert grand pianos to small studio uprights have been used in BBC studios. Challen specialized in small grand pianos, and made the smallest on the market (122 cm long). The firm was acquired in ...


Kyle Devine

American manufacturer of electronic keyboards and drum machines. The company was founded in Upland, California, by Harry Chamberlin in the late 1940s. Instead of the electronic circuits and digital processors used to generate sound in most synthesizers, Chamberlins replay the sounds of existing instruments and effects recorded to electromagnetic tape. In using prerecorded sound, Chamberlins are considered forerunners of digital sampling techniques and technologies.

Harry Chamberlin’s first device, the Rhythmate (considered one of the first drum machines) used a series of dials and switches to play back fourteen looped drum patterns. Later designs, such as the Model 200 (1950s) and the M1 (1970s), used a conventional keyboard to activate the tape mechanism. Instead of tape loops, these keyboard models used tape strips that played for several seconds before automatically rewinding. Using tape strips allowed the initial attack of the instrument to be heard.

Sales were sizeable but never enormous: several hundred Chamberlins were produced during the company’s lifespan (...