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Sue Carole DeVale

(b Cuba, March 15, 1838; d Washington DC, April 6, 1923). American ethnologist. She devoted herself to the study of the Great Plains Indians, so completely winning their confidence that she was privileged to gather data and record ceremonials and rituals not usually witnessed by non-Indians. While living on the Omaha reservation in 1881, she became interested in the education of the 24-year-old son, Francis, of Chief Joseph La Flesche. She took him to Washington where he lived with her, as her ‘son by adoption’, until 1910; with him, Fletcher wrote an important monograph on the Omaha tribe (1911).

Fletcher, who was an assistant at the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology from 1882, began collecting ethnological and musical data in 1883 among the Omaha and Dakota Indians. She also wrote about other tribes and kinship groups and transcribed hundreds of songs including the first complete record of the Pawnees’ Hako ceremony. Initially she notated melodies by ear, having her informants repeat each song until she was satisfied that she had an accurate transcription. Soon after the pioneer field use of the Edison phonograph by Jesse Walter Fewkes in ...

Article

Murray Campbell

(b Provo, UT, Sept 11, 1884; d Provo, July 23, 1981). American acoustician. He studied at Brigham Young University in Provo (BS 1907), then at the University of Chicago, where he gained his doctorate in 1911 for research into the charge of the electron. In 1916 he joined the staff of Bell Telephone Laboratories in New York; he remained there for 33 years, becoming director of acoustical research in 1928 and of physical research in 1935. In 1949 Fletcher was appointed professor of electrical engineering at Columbia University, and in 1952 he returned to Brigham Young University as director of research. He became professor emeritus in 1974, and continued his research activity until his death. Fletcher was one of the great pioneers of the science of psychoacoustics, and his work on the human perception of sound was of fundamental importance. Responsible for the first public demonstration of stereophonic sound reproduction in ...

Article

Murray Campbell and Clive Greated

(Horner)

(b Armidale, NSW, July 14, 1930). Australian physicist and acoustician. He studied at Sydney University (BSc 1951) and Harvard (PhD 1956); after a period working in industry and with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Radiophysics Laboratory, he was appointed in 1963 to a chair in physics at the University of New England, NSW. In 1983 he became director of the CSIRO Institute of Physical Sciences and in 1988 visiting fellow at the Australian National University. He studied the flute with Victor McMahon in Sydney and James Pappoutsakis in Boston. Most notable in Fletcher’s extensively published research is his work with Suzanne Thwaites on sound generation in flutes and organ pipes, on flute performance techniques and on reed and lip-valve generators in woodwind and brass instruments. He also studied the vibration characteristics of gongs and cymbals, and with the composer Moya Henderson invented the alemba, a keyboard percussion instrument of tuned triangles. He is best known as co-author of the influential ...

Article

Rudolf A. Rasch

(b Buitenzorg [now Bogor], Java, Aug 17, 1887; d Beekbergen, Sept 24, 1972). Dutch physicist and acoustician. He took the doctorate in physics in 1913 at the University of Leiden, and studied with Einstein in Zürich, Rutherford in Manchester and Bragg in Leeds. He taught physics at Delft Gymnasium (1921–3) and Technical College (1923–7), and was Lorentz's assistant (1927) and director of the physics section (1928–55) at Teyler’s Stichting, Haarlem, concurrently occupying the chair founded by this institute at Leiden (1928–55). During these years Fokker became one of the foremost physicists in the Netherlands, and with the suspension of academic activity under the German occupation he turned to problems of musical aesthetics, his chief interests being the theories of Euler and Christiaan Huygens. He constructed two pipe organs, one (1943) with just intonation scales according to the principles of Euler’s ...

Article

Angela Tosheva

(b Sofia, 1956). Bulgarian composer, pianist, conductor, and audio engineer. Goleminov was born in a family of professional musicians in Sofia, Bulgaria. He started learning the violin from early childhood, but later switched to piano, which has remained his primary instrument. During high school he began experimenting with electronics and became one of the pioneers of electroacoustic music in Bulgaria, by creating electronic music with no access to studios, doing everything with self-made analog devices, as well as telephones, old tape machines, and cassette recorders. Goleminov studied composition, orchestra conducting, and piano in Sofia, Vienna, and Amsterdam, and electroacoustic music in Vienna. In his capacity as composer, pianist, audio engineer, and conductor he collaborated in a series of musical and theatrical productions in various countries and took part in projects involving contemporary arts, mixed media, and intuitive and computer music. His works span a wide spectrum of styles and genres, from chamber and orchestral pieces to computer music, video-compositions, and music graphs, and have been commissioned by leading organizations and ensembles....

Article

(b Detroit, MI, June 20, 1917; d New York, NY, Jan 4, 2011). American acoustician. At UCLA he studied mathematics and physics (BA 1938, MA 1940), then went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study acoustics under Philip McCord Morse (PhD 1945). In posts at Bell Telephone Laboratories (1945–51) and Columbia University (from 1952), where he taught in the engineering school as well as the graduate school of architecture and planning, he researched the acoustical properties of building materials, airborne sound, and musical instruments. He was acoustical consultant for more than 100 halls, including the Metropolitan Opera House (1966); Powell Symphony Hall, St. Louis (renovation 1968); Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois (1969); the concert hall and opera house at the John F. Kennedy Center (1971); Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis (...

Article

D. Quincy Whitney

(b Springfield, MA, May 24, 1911; d Wolfeboro, NH, Aug 7, 2009). American violinmaker, acoustician, and writer. A trumpeter and biology graduate of Cornell University (AB 1933) and New York University (MA 1942), she left both disciplines to embrace string instruments and acoustical physics. While teaching science and woodworking at the Brearley School, chamber music colleagues convinced her to take up viola. A woodcarver since childhood, Hutchins, at age 35, decided to make a viola. Hutchins then studied luthiery with Karl A. Berger (1949–59) and Stradivari expert Fernando Sacconi. While she and Harvard physicist Frederick A. Saunders performed more than 100 acoustical experiments (1949–63), Hutchins taught herself acoustical physics by making string instruments. In 1963 Hutchins and colleagues Robert Fryxell and John Schelleng founded the Catgut Acoustical Society. She published the CAS journal for more than 30 years, helping bridge the gap between violin makers and acoustical physicists. Hutchins made more than 500 instruments, authored more than 100 technical papers on violin acoustics, and edited ...

Article

James F. Bell

revised by Clive Greated

(b Königsberg, Nov 26, 1832; d Paris, Oct 2, 1901). German physicist. Although Helmholtz was his principal professor at the University of Königsberg, Koenig's research was not in acoustics. After receiving the PhD in physics, Koenig apprenticed himself to the Parisian violin maker Vuillaume. Koenig completed his apprenticeship in 1858 and set up shop at the Quai d'Anjou, where he remained for the rest of his life, making tuning-forks of great precision for his tonometer which covered the entire audible range of frequencies. He constructed remarkably precise clock tuning-forks, sirens, ingenious compound sirens, improved Helmholtz resonators and a wide variety of other apparatuses. The quality of his instruments became legendary, and they became the physics tools for university laboratories in Europe and the USA. He was commissioned by the French government to make the apparatus for establishing ‘Diapason normal’, a′ = 435; and he improved Léon Scott's ‘phonautograph’ of ...

Article

Ronnie Graham

(b Waa, nr Mombasa, 1924). Kenyan popular musician. Konde has travelled widely in eastern Africa for over 50 years. Born in colonial Kenya, he absorbed the local nomba dance rhythms from an early age. He attended St George's Catholic School where he learned clarinet, flute and trumpet, and Western notation. In 1940 he joined the colonial Department of Health but continued to play acoustic guitar, occasionally entertaining at weddings and parties. Konde's early groups featured guitars, accordions and drums, and played original compositions in Swahili that combined traditional Sengenya rhythms with African American blues and Cuban Son, styles that were accessible at the time and were now influential in the bustling port of Mombasa.

At 19 years old he enrolled in the King's African Rifles (Entertainment Unit), and began entertaining in Burma with musicians from Tanganyika and Uganda; he made his first recordings at that time in a Calcutta studio. After World War II, Konde's unit returned to Kenya under the guidance of the film producer and director of East African Records, Peter Coleman. He was encouraged to play an electric Gibson (the first in East Africa) and from then on became the featured guitarist in Peter Coleman's African Band. From there his career flourished, as he became one of the three most sought after entertainers in the region....

Article

Daniele Buccio

(Noel )

(b Milwaukee, WI, 1951). American composer, teacher, keyboardist and sound designer. Koykkar’s principal composition teachers have been john c. Eaton , Dennis Kam and John Downey. He spent two years as composer-in-residence with the Artists-in Schools Program in Virginia (1978–80) and studied at the University of Miami (DMA 1983). He has received grants and awards from, among others, ASCAP, Truman State University, Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pew Charitable Trust for Music. He has held visiting fellowships at various festivals, seminars, and institutes in the United States and Europe. He has also served as president of the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers (1990–3).

Koykkar’s works have been performed in Europe and the Americas by ensembles such as the New York New Music Ensemble, California EAR Unit, Relache, Compagnia Brasileira De Music, and Slovak Radio Symphony, among many others. His musical syntax seeks to produce musical gestures that can be perceived as outgrowths of preceding ones, gradually transforming over time. In works that range from music for dance and film-video to computer and electronic music, Koykkar tends to achieve perceptual clarity and economy of musical materials in such a way that popular and cultivated traditions both find their place as sources of inspiration. As a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin–Madison since ...