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Article

W.H. Husk

revised by Margaret Cranmer, Peter Ward Jones and Kenneth R. Snell

English firm of publishers, concert agents and piano manufacturers. The firm, active in London, was started on 3 December 1810 by the pianist and composer Johann Baptist Cramer, Francis Tatton Latour and Samuel Chappell (b ?London, c1782; d London, Dec 1834), who formed a partnership. Chappell was formerly employed by the music publisher Birchall. In addition to substantial publishing activities, including educational music, the firm sold pianos from 1812, undertook concert promotion, and played a leading part in the creation of the Philharmonic Society (1813). In 1819 Cramer retired from the business; in about 1826 Latour withdrew and carried on a separate business until about 1830, when he sold it to Chappell, who was also in partnership with the instrument makers George Longman and T.C. Bates from 1829.

After Samuel Chappell’s death, the business was continued by his widow Emily Chappell and her sons. The eldest, William (...

Article

Major American instrument manufacturer and distributor. The company was founded by a former Wurlitzer employee and US Navy bandsman, Maurice Henry Berlin (1895–1984), in 1920, initially as the Chicago branch of the Martin Band Instrument Co. of Elkhart, Indiana. Beginning as a distributor, CMI acquired numerous manufacturers and brands including Dallape and Scandalli (accordions), Gibson and National (guitars), William Lewis & Sons (bowed strings), Lowery (electric organs), Olds (trombones), Penzell-Mueller (clarinets), Story & Clark (pianos), Symmetricut (reeds), and others, and through its subsidiaries and contractors also produced amplifiers, effects boxes, phase shifters, etc. under the Maestro and other brands. M.H. Berlin was followed by his son, Arnold M., co-founder of Norlin Music Corp., successor in ...

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Arian Sheets

An electric sostenente piano developed by Melvin L. Severy (1863–1951), an inventor and author, in Boston, and produced by the Choralcelo Manufacturing Company, founded by Severy and his brother-in-law George B. Sinclair in 1901. The choralcelo employed direct current, in which regular pulses were created with a rheotome, to excite piano strings and other resonating bodies by means of electromagnets. The current was routed to the electromagnets through complicated switching mechanisms operated from a piano keyboard or organ console with rocker switches and pedals. The earliest versions of the instrument resembled large upright pianos. Later versions employed numerous additional groups of resonating bodies, including those made from ferrous bars, ferrous ribbons, wood and aluminum bars with ferrous weights, and additional strings. Electric pulses with a harmonic relationship to the fundamental pitch of a resonating body could be employed to obtain additional tone colors.

The Musical Age reported in ...

Article

Margaret Cranmer

English firm of piano makers. The firm was descended from the business established by James Longman in 1767, which changed partners over the years and became Longman & Broderip and later Clementi & Co.; the cumulative ink serial numbers in Collard & Collard square pianos continue Clementi’s serial numbers. It was Frederick William Collard (bap. Wiveliscombe, 21 June 1772; d London, 31 Jan 1860) who directed the business as senior partner after Clementi’s death in 1832. His brother William Frederick Collard (bap. Wiveliscombe, 25 Aug 1776; d Folkestone, 11 Oct 1866) – to whom Clementi had written from abroad: ‘Now, young Collard, you have a good pair of ears, see that the tone is pure and true’ – was a specialist in piano tone production. In 1821 he patented the ‘harmonic swell’ (see Clementi). When W.F. Collard retired in 1842, F.W. Collard, then sole proprietor, took into partnership his two nephews Frederick William Collard (bap. ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

(b Rennes, France, Jan 30, 1717; d Lyon, France, Jan 28, 1776). French harpsichord maker. The eighth child of the organist Jacques Collesse, Joseph was four when the family moved to Nantes, and 13 when his father died. By 1739 Collesse was in Lyon, where documents for his marriage in January 1740 identify him as a maker of harpsichords and a musician, though it seems he was primarily a harpsichord maker. Beginning in 1742 he is listed as ‘mâitre facteur du clavecins’ on birth records for his children; in July 1751 he is listed as ‘facteur d’instruments du musique’ for the first time, a designation that continues in the birth records of his last daughter, in 1753. His workshop, in the St Pierre neighbourhood, was near those of his fellow instrument makers. An advertisement of 1766 in Petities Affiches mentions a Collesse l’aîné (the elder) selling all sorts of instruments; the relationship of Collesse l’aîné to Joseph is unclear....

Article

Hans Klotz

German family of organ builders (possibly a branch of the Low Countries family of Kompen or ten Compe), active 1546–1671. Timotheus Compenius lived at various times in Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) and Staffelstein (both in Upper Franconia) and worked in the diocese of Würzburg. In 1596–7 he added a pedal-board to the organ (built 1572–3 by Rodensteen) in the Stadtkirche, Bayreuth, and wrote a guide to the instrument’s registration, Ordentliche Specification und Verzeichnung zur Zusammenziehung der unterschiedlichen Register (included in Hofner). In 1602 he built an organ for St Michael, Hof, with two manuals and 20 stops.

Timotheus’s brother, Heinrich the elder (d Nordhausen, 2 May 1611), is mentioned as organist of St Andreas, Eisleben, in 1546 and 1572, but by 1579 he had moved to Nordhausen, which remained his base while he built organs for such places as the Predigerkirche in Erfurt (1579), the Stadtkirche in Cönnern (...

Article

Guy Oldham

English firm of organ builders. Established in 1854 at Huddersfield by Peter Conacher, by 1906 it had built or enlarged more than 400 organs (many with tubular pneumatic action) and by 1921 more than 1600 organs in all parts of the world. Peter Conacher (b Scotland, 1823) is said to have served an apprenticeship in Leipzig, and worked for Hill & Sons and Walker & Sons before entering a brief partnership in 1854 with a Mr Brown. Financing from a new partner, Joseph H. Hebblethwaite, enabled Conacher to build a workshop equipped with a steam-driven circular saw. After Hebblethwaite’s death, Conacher was joined by his brother; their first organ won a medal at the Yorkshire Exhibition of 1866. Peter’s son, Joseph H. Conacher, joined his father’s firm after training in France.

At its opening, in 1873, Conacher’s Springwood Organ Works was claimed to be the largest and best-equipped organ factory in England; its 80 employees built about 30 organs annually before the works burned in ...

Article

Charles H. Purday

revised by William C. Smith and Peter Ward Jones

English firm of music publishers and, formerly,piano manufacturers active in London. The firm was founded as Cramer, Addison & Beale in 1824 when the pianist and composer J.B. Cramer (see Cramer family, §2) joined the partnership of Robert Addison (d London, 17 Jan 1868) and Thomas Frederick Beale (b ?1804 or 1805; d Chislehurst, 26 June 1863). With the addition of Cramer’s name the publication of piano music became the firm’s chief interest, and in 1830 it bought many of the plates of the Royal Harmonic Institution, which gave it works by Beethoven, Clementi, Dussek, Haydn, Hummel, Mozart, Steibelt and others. Italian songs and duets and English operas by composers such as Balfe and Benedict were soon added to the catalogue.

In 1844 Addison retired and was succeeded by William Chappell (seeChappell), and the firm then became known as Cramer, Beale & Chappell, or Cramer, Beale & Co. In ...

Article

Jenny Nex

(b Penzance, England, bap. April 24, 1747; bur. Bishop’s Waltham, England, Feb 5, 1821). English harpsichord and piano maker. He married Mary Goldsworth in London in 1770; she might have been related to the harpsichord maker John Goldsworth, with whom Culliford was in partnership during the 1780s. Culliford’s training is unknown, but his signature inside two instruments ascribed to John Hitchcock implies that he studied under or worked for Hitchcock before setting up on his own in the 1770s. The earliest surviving instrument signed externally by Culliford is a bentside spinet dated 1774 (the year of Hitchcock’s death), which is signed also by one Wallcutt of London. Culliford became a freeman of the Glovers’ Company sometime before 1784.

From at least 1779 Culliford lived and worked at 16 Fountain Court, behind Longman & Broderip’s premises at 26 Cheapside and, although his role with Longman & Broderip is unclear, his name appears internally on their instruments from ...

Article

Benjamin Vogel

(b Danzig [Gdańsk], Polish- Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1721 [bap. 28 Dec]; d Danzig, Feb 1804 [bur. 1 March]). Organ builder and piano maker in Danzig. He was a pupil and co-worker of Andreas Hildebrandt. In 1750 he built his masterpiece, the organ in Güttland (Koźliny) in Danziger Werder (gdańskie Żuławy). He took over Hildebrandt’s workshop in 1755 and obtained citizenship on 23 August 1759. About 20 organs that he built or rebuilt survive in Danzig, Elbing (Elbląg), Thorn (Toruń), and elsewhere. Dalitz also made pianos, mostly squares, often with a flute stop (Flötenwerk), and he added flute registers to clavichords and harpsichords built by Werner Woge. As early as 1765 he constructed a large organized clavichord with many stops that very possibly was a prototype for Johann Gottlob Wagner’s Clavecin royal of about 1774. Dalitz also manufactured small tower chimes, and flute mechanisms for musical clocks.

B. Vogel...

Article

Guy Oldham

revised by Kurt Lueders

French family of organ builders. Charles (b Buire-le-Sec, 23 Jan 1702; d Amiens, 10 Jan 1779) built the organs at Corbie Abbey (1733) and Auchin Abbey (later moved to St Pierre, Douai) and restored the organ in Clairmarais Abbey, now at Aire-sur-la-Lys, Pas-de-Calais. Pierre (b Buire-le-Sec, 6 June 1735; d Paris, 3 Oct 1812), nephew and pupil of Charles, worked with his uncle and from 1767 to about 1778 was in partnership with François-Henri Clicquot, with whom he built the organs at St Nicolas-des-Champs, the Ste Chapelle and St Merry (all in Paris). He also built organs at the convent of St Lazare, Paris, La Madeleine, Arras, and Ste Suzanne in the Ile-de-France. Pierre-François (b Paris, 23 July 1764; d Paris, 3 Oct 1833), son of Pierre, was a godson and pupil of Clicquot, and worked with his father from 1801 to 1807...

Article

Kurt Lueders

French firm of organ builders. It was founded in Paris in 1831 by Abbé J.-L. Cabias to market a plainsong accompaniment device he had patented. André-Marie Daublaine and B.L.J. Girard, who were civil engineers by profession, took over (from 1834 and 1841 respectively), and Louis Callinet merged his activity with the firm’s in 1838; accordingly, the titles Daublaine & Cie, Maison Daublaine-Callinet or Girard et Cie were variously to be found on contracts. Callinet was dismissed in 1843 after destroying much of the St Sulpice organ under reconstruction, in a fit of spite after a personal disappointment. Charles Spackman Barker took charge of the workshop in 1841; at that time, a branch was set up in Lyons under Théodore Sauer. Félix Danjou became the principal commercial agent and aesthetic apologist from 1839 to 1845, when Pierre Alexandre Ducroquet, an appraiser-auctioneer, purchased the firm and appended his name to the instruments. The firm was taken over by Joseph Merklin in ...

Article

Hermann Fischer

German family of organ builders. It seems likely that Johann Eberhard (b Hoheneiche, c1670; bur. Hoheneiche, 20 April 1731) was trained by a Thuringian master, probably Johann Friedrich Wender in Mühlhausen, where he was living in about 1707. On moving to Iba, near Bebra, in 1715 Johann Eberhard began to build numerous instruments for the village churches of the Eschwege region, an area whose churches had lacked organs hitherto. Without exception, Johann Eberhard built organs with a single manual and pedals and a five-section façade consisting of two pointed towers on either side and a round tower in the middle. He built instruments at Iba (1715), Ronshausen (1716), Reichenbach (1722), Malsfeld (1724), Mitterode (1728) and Hoheneiche (1731).

His younger brother Johann Christian Dauphin (i) (b Gummersbach, 22 Feb 1682; d Kleinheubach, 14 May 1730...

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Article

Laurence Libin

American firm of piano makers, active in New York from 1791 to 1793. The brief partnership of Thomas Dodds (b England; d ?New York, c1799) and Christian Claus (b ?Stuttgart, Germany; d New York, after 1799) was among the first to establish the piano industry in New York.

Dodds arrived in New York from London in 1785. In an advertisement in the Independent Journal of 13 August 1785, he offered to sell, repair, and tune string, wind, and keyboard instruments at his house on Queen Street, and cited his experience as an organ, harpsichord, and piano maker for “upwards of twenty years.” He was granted American citizenship in 1788. In 1789 he sold a piano to George Washington for his stepdaughter’s lessons. He was also active as a mahogany merchant from 1789 to 1793. In 1783 Claus had received a patent in London for a key mechanism applied to the English guitar. In New York he continued to build English guitars and repair violins; he is listed in city directories from ...

Article

Michael Latcham

(b Dugy, Moravia (now part of the Czech Republic), 1759; d Vienna, Dec 30, 1829). Piano maker, active in Vienna. He qualified as a master in 1793 and became a citizen of Vienna in 1797; in 1806 his accomplishments were acknowledged by an attestation from the city magistrates. In 1818 his workshop passed to his son Joseph Jr (b Vienna, Austria, 1 Jan 1793; d Vienna 1865), who is thought to have been a pupil of Joseph Brodmann. Joseph Dohnal Jr received citizenship in 1819. The Dohnal workshop made orphicas, portable pianos carried with a strap around the neck or played on the lap, for their inventor, Carl Röllig. A few grand pianos, typically Viennese, by Dohnal are known: from about 1810 (F′–c″″, US.ASH.frederick); from about 1815 (F′–f  ″″’, A.W.km); from about 1820 (F′–f  ″″, a pyramid piano, U. of Göttingen); and ...

Article

William E. Hettrick

Small stringed keyboard instrument with tiny keys and a simple down-striking hammer action. It was originally marketed for amateur players and made in Toledo, Ohio, first by the Symphony Manufacturing Co. (1903–5), and then by its successor, the Toledo Symphony Co., until this firm’s bankruptcy and liquidation in 1908–9.

The instrument (measuring 23 1/2 in. long, 17 3/4 in. wide, and 7 3/8 in. high, not counting the feet) consists of a zither-like body with an added upper housing at the front that contains the keys and the action. The 25 white and black keys (and as many strings) for the player’s right hand control a two-octave chromatic scale from c’ to c’’’. The 21 keys for the left hand are arranged in seven groups, each devoted to a single chord with a black key for the root, a white key for another low tone, and a wide white key for three higher tones (35 strings in all). The chords are related to the home key of E♭ major, representing the tonic, dominant, subdominant, dominant-seventh of the dominant, submediant, supertonic, and dominant of the submediant....

Article

W.D. Jordan

Portuguese family of organ builders, probably originating from Paço, Lumiar, near Lisbon. Several generations of this family have operated from Mangualde, beginning with Luís António dos Santos, who is remembered for his instrument no.8, dated 1808 and later installed in the nave of Viseu Cathedral (later moved to the Seminário, Viseu), and for his diverse mechanical and engineering skills. This organ is an example of the Portuguese Baroque at its height, despite the fact that most Portuguese builders by this time favoured neo-classical designs. It is not known how Luís António became an organ builder, but his great-grandson Artur Alexandre dos Santos believed that he once worked at Mafra. If this was so, then he could have been a labourer or apprentice for António Machado e Cerveira and Peres Fontanes during the construction of the new organs there between 1792 and 1807. Luís António built organs for the Franciscan church, Viseu (...

Article

Walter Hüttel

[Dressler, Drechsler]

German family of organ builders. Tobias Dressel (bap. Falkenstein, Vogtland, 25 April 1635; d Buchholz [now Annaberg-Buchholz], 29 May 1717) left home at an early age after the death (1646) of his father, a baker and freeman of Falkenstein, and became a journeyman. In Kulmbach, Bavaria, he was assistant to the distinguished master organ builder Matthias Tretzscher, with whom he built the organ in the Petrikirche (1657). He also worked in Forchheim, Lanzendorf (near Bayreuth), Schweinfurt and at Strasbourg Cathedral. On 2 August 1680 he was married (for the second time) in Buchholz, where he took up permanent residence. He built about 15 organs; in addition he was a respected judge and councillor.

Christoph Dressel (b Falkenstein; d Falkenstein, 6 Aug 1686), Tobias’s nephew, may have been apprenticed to him. On 14 May 1679 he married the daughter of the mayor of Leipzig. For the Leipzig Thomaskirche he built a harpsichord and rebuilt the organ. He also built an organ in the Johanneskirche, Zittau (...

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