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Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith and Peter Ward Jones

(fl 1740–62). English music publisher, printer, music seller and possibly violin maker. He began his business in London by 1740, and probably acquired part of those of Daniel Wright and Benjamin Cooke, some of whose publications he reissued from the original plates. Around the mid-18th century the predominance of the Walsh engraving and publishing business began to wane, and Johnson was responsible for publishing some of the best music of the day, including works by Arne, Felton, Geminiani, Nares, Domenico Scarlatti and Stanley, as well as annual volumes and large collections of country dances. Unusually, many of Johnson's editions bore dates; their technical quality was high, some being engraved by John Phillips. A number of fair-quality violins bear the Johnson label, most probably made for rather than actually by him.

Johnson appears to have died about 1762, and from that time to 1777 most of the imprints bear the name of ‘Mrs. Johnson’ or ‘R. Johnson’, presumably his widow. The old imprint ‘John Johnson’ occasionally appears in these years, and may refer to her late husband or to another relative. Johnson's sign from ...

Article

Sabine K. Klaus

Firm of brass instrument makers in Cincinnati, Ohio. Franz Gotthold Kaiser (b Schöneck, Germany, 30 Aug 1825; d Cincinnati, 25 May 1890) trained with Carl Heinrich Beuthner, the brother-in-law of Carl August Zoebisch, in Neukirchen (today Markneukirchen); he emigrated to the USA in 1852 or 1853 and is first listed as musical instrument maker in Cincinnati in 1855. William Kohler (b Saxony, c1823, d Cincinnati, 13 Jan 1894) is first listed there in 1858. The partnership apparently began in 1859 and the company name Kaiser & Kohler appears from 1860 to 1890.

Kaiser initially made brass instruments in the European style. By 1860 Kaiser & Kohler had adopted rotary valves with string linkage, employing a special system with arched push rod that is otherwise not recorded. During the American Civil War the firm switched to producing standard string-rotary-valve instruments in over-the-shoulder, bell front, and turning bell configurations. It is likely that Kaiser & Kohler mainly supplied unmarked instruments to the trade, notably to the Wurlitzer firm. Rudolph Wurlitzer (...

Article

Karn  

Barbara Owen

Canadian firm of reed organ, piano and organ manufacturers. Dennis W. Karn (b North Oxford Co., Canada West, 6 Feb 1843; d Toronto, 19 Sept 1916), an amateur musician, joined the reed organ firm of John M. Miller around 1867, buying out his employer in 1870 and continuing under the name of Karn & Miller in Woodstock, Ontario. The firm was also known at various times as the Woodstock Organ Factory and the Woodstock Church Organ Co. In the late 1880s the firm began making pianos, and after a merger in 1896 with the firm of Warren continued the latter's pipe organ business in Toronto under the name of Karn & Warren. The first Karn player piano was made in 1901, and by the first decade of the 20th century the firm had branches in several major Canadian cities as well as London and Hamburg. Karn retired in ...

Article

Kemper  

Hans Klotz

German firm of organ builders and string keyboard instrument makers. Adolf Kemper (1811–80) became a citizen of Lübeck in 1839. His son Emanuel (1844–1933) took over the workshop of Theodor Voigt in 1868 and founded the present firm, which has remained under the control of the original family, from Kempringen, Westphalia. Emanuel’s son Karl Reinhold (1880–1957), well known for his collaboration with H.H. Jahnn, took over the firm in 1910. Karl’s son Emanuel Magnus (b Apenrade, 30 Sept 1906; d Lübeck, 17 March 1978) entered the firm in 1944, and greatly broadened its interests to include clavichords, spinets and harpsichords. On 1 January 1974 Emanuel Reinhold (b Lübeck, 8 Jan 1947), son of Emanuel Magnus, became head of the firm. It is uncertain whether Peter Kemper (b Menden, bap. 18 April 1734; d Bonn, 24 Oct 1820) was a member of this family. He was an organ builder in the tradition of Balthasar König, and his work included the organs in Bonn Minster and Aachen Cathedral....

Article

Kilgen  

Barbara Owen

American firm of organ builders. It was founded in New York by George Kilgen (b Merchingen, nr Osterburken, Germany, 19 March 1821; d St Louis, MO, 6 Dec 1902), who had been apprenticed to Louis Voit (1802–83) in Durlach, Germany. Kilgen emigrated to the USA with a group of political refugees in 1848, finding employment with the Jardine firm before he established his own firm in 1851. In 1873 he moved his company to St Louis, where it prospered. In 1886 the firm became George Kilgen & Son when Charles Christian Kilgen (b New York, 22 April 1859; d St Louis, 6 May 1932) joined as a partner. The firm's most distinguished work dates from the period of the latter's presidency, and includes instruments for St Patrick's Cathedral, New York (1928), and St Justin's Church, Hartford, Connecticut (1932).

After the death of Charles Christian, dissension broke out between his sons Alfred (...

Article

Kimball  

Barbara Owen

American firm of reed organ, piano and organ makers. It was founded in Chicago in 1857 by William Wallace Kimball (b Rumford, ME, 22 March 1828; d Chicago, 16 Dec 1904), the firm becoming known as the W.W. Kimball Co. Sensing the growing commercial importance of Chicago, he moved there in 1857; a chance purchase of a consignment of pianos at an auction shortly afterwards launched his career as a piano dealer. A few years later he added reed organs to his stock, but for over 20 years he purchased his instruments from East Coast manufacturers. In 1865 Kimball married Evalyne Cone, whose brother Albert (d 1900) soon entered the firm, eventually becoming treasurer. The fire in Chicago (1871) destroyed the Kimball store but this was only a temporary setback, and in 1880 Kimball opened his first factory, for the manufacture of reed organs. In ...

Article

Martin Krivin

revised by Margaret Downie Banks

Firm of instrument makers. It was founded as the H.N. White Company (Cleveland) in 1893 by Henderson Nelson White (1873–1940), an instrument repairman, amateur musician, and businessman. White created the company’s first instrument, a trombone, in consultation with trombonist Thomas H. King (1868–1926), after whom the King line was named. The company was renamed King Musical Instruments in 1966.

Foster A. Reynolds (1884–1960) managed White’s factory and a full line of band instruments from 1903 to 1935. A department of acoustical research was established in 1909 in a new factory at 5225 Superior Avenue. Saxophone manufacture began in 1916, followed by the invention of the King saxello (1924; a straight soprano sax with a curved neck and half-turned bell) and the pioneering introduction of sterling silver bells on cornets, trumpets, and trombones. White purchased the Cleveland Musical Instrument Company (1925), added stringed instruments to his line (...

Article

Koch  

Walter Hüttel

German family of organists and organ builders. Paul Koch the elder (d Zwickau, 1546), from St Joachimsthal (now Jáchymov), Bohemia, went to Zwickau in 1543 and there renovated the organs in St Marien and St Katharinen. Paul Koch the younger (bur. Zwickau, 28 Sept 1580) worked as organist in Zwickau, from 1544 at St Katharinen, and from 1552 at St Marien. He renovated the organ in Weiden. Hans Koch was organist from 1563 to 1568 at the Petrikirche in Freiberg, Saxony. Stephan Koch (d Zwickau, 29 Dec 1590) was organist at St Dorotheen in Vienna in 1564, and later in Annaberg (Erzgebirge), where he married in 1570. From 21 July 1575 he lived as a wealthy citizen and organist and highly esteemed instrument maker in Zwickau. He completed an organ begun by Jakob Weinrebe in Bischofswerda (Christuskirche, 1571) and built instruments in Olomouc (St Mauritius, ...

Article

Kolberg  

James Holland

German firm of percussion instrument manufacturers. It was founded near Stuttgart in 1968 by Bernard Kolberg (b Oberschliesen, Upper Silesia, 1942), a percussionist and engineer. The firm has been influential in extending the possibilities of existing instruments and in the development of new ones. It has produced extended-range tubular bells (three octaves), crotales (five octaves), bell plates (five octaves), anvils (four octaves), boobams (three octaves) and other instruments, and a mounted tambourine to facilitate the endless thumb trill; it has also developed a number of technical innovations for pedal timpani....

Article

Korg  

Hugh Davies

Japanese firm of electronic instrument manufacturers. It was founded in Tokyo in 1963 by Tsutomu Katoh and the accordion player Tadashi Osanai as Keio Geijutsu Kenkyujo. From 1968 the firm became known as Keio Electronic Laboratories; although they used the brand-name Korg (‘Katoh-Osanai organ’) on the products, this became the company's official name only in the mid-1980s. Keio began by constructing rhythm units for Yamaha's Electone electronic organs, then produced its own separate units, the Doncamatic rhythm machine followed by the MiniPops series. Korg soon became one of the most successful Japanese manufacturers of electronic instruments, and produced the first Japanese synthesizer in 1968. In 1986 Yamaha bought a 40% stake in Korg.

The range of Korg instruments has included monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers (such as the Polysix), synthesizer modules, electronic organs and pianos (many digital models), string synthesizers, home keyboards, electronic percussion units, guitar synthesizers, samplers, electronic tuners and a vocoder. Its most successful product has been the M1 work station (...

Article

Gillian Weir

Swiss firm of organ builders. The firm was founded in Männedorf, near Zürich, by Johann Nepomuk Kuhn (1827–88). He was succeeded by his son, Carl Theodor Kuhn, after whose death in 1925 ownership of the company passed to family friends, who with their successors control the company. By 1876 it had built organs for such important cathedrals as St Gallen and the Zürich Grossmünster, and by 1900 had exported widely, especially to France.

The company has always been noted for its progressiveness, and has patented several major technical innovations, such as the ‘System Kuhn’, developed in 1891 for the firm's first tubular-pneumatic organ. It responded quickly to the Orgelbewegung: the Berne Minster organ of 1930 was built with slider-chests and a Rückpositiv (but electro-pneumatic key- and stop-actions), and the 1937 organ at Fribourg was Kuhn’s first instrument with slider-chests and mechanical key- and stop-action. In 1964 it built its last electric action organ, and since then, under the guidance of Friedrich Jakob, who became associated with Kuhn in ...

Article

Margaret Cranmer

Portuguese firm of piano makers. Luigi Gioacchino Lambertini (b Bologna, 17 March 1790; d Lisbon, 13 Nov 1864) was a fellow student of Rossini at the Liceo Filarmonico (now Conservatorio Statale di Musica G.B. Martini), Bologna. He emigrated to Lisbon for political reasons in 1836, and established a piano-making business with the help of four of the best workers from his Italian workshop, receiving a prize for his instruments in 1838. In 1860, under the direction of his sons Evaristo (b ?Bologna, 10 June 1827; d Lisbon, 7 Dec 1900) and Ermete Lambertini (d Lisbon, 11 Dec 1887), the firm became Lambertini Filhos & Ca., selling and publishing music as well as making pianos. The firm later became Lambertini & Irmão. Evaristo's son, Michel'Angelo Lambertini (b Oporto, 14 April 1852; d Lisbon, 20 Dec 1920), was a fine pianist and founded the Grande Orchestra Portuguesa in ...

Article

John Thomas

Instrument makers of Swedish birth. From the late 1800s through the early 1940s Carl Johan Ferdinand Larson (b Sweden, 31 Dec 1867; d Chicago, IL, 4 Sept 1946) and (Peter) August Larson (b Sweden, 24 April 1873; d Chicago, IL, 16 June 1944) produced a wide array of fretted instruments, including guitars, mandolins, mandolas, mandocellos and mandobasses, ukuleles, tiples and mandolinettos, and harp guitars.

The brothers immigrated to Chicago in the late 1880s and worked at the Cubley Drum Factory until a fire destroyed it in 1892. They subsequently worked at Maurer Mandolin and Guitars, which was purchased by two outside investors in 1900. A few years later, the brothers bought out the investors.

In 1904, August received a patent for a design incorporating laminated bracing that strengthened their guitars, enabling the brothers to equip their instruments with steel strings a full two decades before C.F. Martin and Company. August received four more patents in his lifetime, including one for the steel rod system that ran lengthwise inside the Prairie State brand of guitars....

Article

Rick Mattingly

[LP]

Manufacturer of Latin-American and other percussion instruments, headquartered in Garfield, New Jersey. The company was founded by Martin Cohen (b Bronx, NY, 28 Jan 1939), an engineer with a passion for Latin music who began making bongos in the late 1950s because a government-imposed trade embargo made instruments from Cuba difficult to obtain. In August 1964, Cohen began marketing products under the name Latin Percussion, including bongos, timbales, and cowbells. LP’s fiberglass congas gained a reputation for being louder and more durable than traditional wood congas. During the 1960s, Cohen also made percussion sound effects for Carroll Sound in New York and cowbells for the Rogers Drum Company.

Cohen’s innovative designs include the Vibraslap, which reproduces the sound made by striking a horse jawbone with rattling teeth; the Afuche/Cabassa, which creates the sound of a traditional cabassa made from gourds wrapped with beads; and the Jam Block, which is made from plastic but replicates the sound of a woodblock. Cohen also became known for his photographs of LP products and endorsers....

Article

Leedy  

Edmund A. Bowles

American firm of drum makers. It was established in Indianapolis in 1900 by Ulysses G. Leedy (b Fostoria, OH, 1867; d Indianapolis, IN, 7 Jan 1931) and Samuel L. Cooley as Leedy & Cooley and made “everything for the band and orchestra drummer.” Leedy, a professional musician and drum maker, bought out his partner in 1903 and broadened the firm’s product line to include more than 900 items, among them orchestra bells, vibraphones, and numerous sound effect instruments to accompany silent movies. Most important were the timpani designed by factory superintendent cecil h. Strupe and patented in 1923. They featured a ratchet-and-pawl clutch for locking the foot pedal in position and rods connected to the tensioning screws around the rim. The copper bowls were formed in a hydraulic press rather than spun on a lathe or hand-hammered over molds. Leedy timpani were exported to England during the 1920s, but later only the parts were shipped and the drums themselves were assembled by the Hawkes firm. Subsequently, they became the model for the first English pedal timpani. Leedy was purchased by the C.G. Conn company in ...

Article

Lipp  

Hugh Davies

revised by William Jurgenson and Anne Beetem Acker

German firm of keyboard instrument makers. It was founded in Stuttgart in 1831 by Richard Lipp (1805–74), who had apprenticed with Haug and thereafter was a journeyman for other Stuttgart builders. At some point the firm became known as Richard Lipp & Sohn, when presumably a son came into partnership who continued the business after his father’s death, but documentation is lacking. Two 6½-octave rosewood square pianos were exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. Surviving 19th-century Lipp grand pianos are very well regarded, with their design at the forefront of piano developments. Piano manufacture constituted the majority of the firm’s business from 1895 to 1965. From 1985 to 1992 pianos under the brand name Lipp were manufactured by the Bentley Co. Ltd and then from 1993 by Whelpdale, Maxwell, & Codd Ltd until that company ceased piano production in 2003. In 2005 the trademark for R. Lipp & Sohn was registered by Neville Charles Oreo of Australia. Three models of grands and four sizes of uprights produced in China were available in ...

Article

Peter Ward Jones, Peter Williams and Charles Mould

English firm of music publishers and instrument dealers, established in London. The business was founded in or before 1767 by James Longman and others, and was first known as J. Longman & Co. Its Harp & Crown sign, though not its premises, was apparently acquired from the widow of John Johnson. From 1769 to 1775 the firm was known as Longman, Lukey & Co., becoming Longman, Lukey & Broderip when Francis Fane Broderip entered the business in September 1775. Lukey withdrew from the business in 1776 and the firm remained as Longman & Broderip until its bankruptcy in 1798. From December 1782 it had a circulating music library and in 1786 a Mr Mann and Mr Russell were sent to Calcutta to open a music shop in Loll Bazaar, opposite the Old Harmonia, while in 1789 the firm advertised that it was opening branches at Margate and Brighthelmstone (now Brighton) ‘during the watering season’....

Article

Margaret Cranmer

German firm of harpsichord and piano makers . Karl Maendler (b Munich, 22 March 1872; d Munich, 2 Aug 1958) began as a piano maker. He married Susanne Schramm, daughter of M.J. Schramm, and on 1 April 1903 became the sole owner of his father-in-law's piano firm in Munich. It is probable that the firm had already produced harpsichords (one labelled ‘M.J. Schramm’ is known to exist), but Maendler built up this side of the business, producing his first harpsichord in 1907, and continuing to make harpsichords, clavichords and pianos until he went blind in 1956. The business then passed to Ernst Zucker. Maendler's main output was of heavily built, mass-produced instruments; he also built harpsichords to the so-called ‘Bach disposition’ ( see Bach harpsichord ); he also used a metal frame which Zucker called Panzerplatte. In the 1920s he developed the Bachklavier , an attempt at a harpsichord capable of admitting touch dynamics. On the other hand, the Händel-Haus at Halle has a Maendler-Schramm harpsichord of ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Swedish piano manufacturer established in Göteborg in December 1843 by Johan Gustaf Malmsjö (b Skane, Sweden, Jan 14, 1815; d Göteborg, Sweden, Sept 13, 1891). A talented musician, Malmsjö studied carpentry for six years, then worked with the luthier Olaf Berndt Ekström in Malmö. From 1838 to 1842 he studied with Andreas Marschall, then the largest piano maker in Copenhagen, after which he returned to Malmö. There, working again with Ekström, he made two square pianos, which he sold upon moving to start his own firm in Göteborg. He first rented a workshop at Gustof Adolf Square, but in April 1844 moved to a larger shop in a house where he worked with two assistants, adding two more the following year. In 1847 he moved the workshop to a larger building nearby. C.H. Billberg, who was Malmsjö’s partner from 1859 to 1864, had visited piano makers in America from ...

Article

Brian Boydell

( b ?Dublin; d Dublin, 1763). Irish music publisher, music seller, instrument dealer and violinist . He worked from about 1738 in the business established by his brother Bartholemew (d July 1758) about a year previously at Corelli’s Head, opposite Anglesea Street in College Green, Dublin. In April 1740 he advertised a proposal for printing Geminiani’s Guida armonica by subscription; it was finally issued in about 1752. Notable publications by him include collections of songs from Arne’s Comus, Dubourg’s variations on the Irish melody ‘Ellen a Roon’ and in December 1752 ‘six Trios for 2 Fiddles and thorough Bass composed by Sieur Van Maldere’. From 1741 a number of publications were issued in conjunction with William Neale, including the Monthly Musical Masque consisting of a collection of contemporary popular songs; the first issue was advertised in January 1744. Manwaring also imported Peter Wamsley’s best violins, Roman fiddle strings and ‘all the newest music published in London’. In addition to his business he took a prominent part in Dublin musical life during the 1740s as a violinist, often appearing with his brother who was also a violinist. He acted as treasurer of various charitable musical societies. After his death his wife carried on the business until ...