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Thomas W. Bridges

revised by Maureen Buja

(b Langres; fl Rome, 1551–72). French printer. He was a singer in the Cappella Giulia intermittently from March 1552 until at least the end of 1554, and was also active as a composer: in 1552 his Madrigali a quattro voci were printed in Rome by Valerio and Luigi Dorico.

In 1555 he began to print music, publishing a series of collections entitled ‘delle muse’, Vicentino’s L’antica musica ridotta alla moderna pratica (1555; in 1551 Barrè had been a witness at the famous debate between Vicentino and Lusitano in Rome) and a few volumes devoted to single composers. His first publication, Il primo libro delle muse a cinque (1555), set a high standard, with canzone settings by Barrè himself, Berchem, Vincenzo Ruffo and Arcadelt, including Arcadelt’s superb setting of Petrarch’s Chiare, fresch’e dolci acque. Barrè’s Primo libro delle muse a quattro voci (1555) includes his own setting of four stanzas from Ariosto’s ...

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Thane Tierney

German record company. It was established in a farmhouse just outside of Bremen in the former West Germany by musicologist/collector Richard Weize in 1975. The company’s name and logo were taken from an engraving Weize found in a 1898 encyclopedia. While the first record released on the imprint was Going Back to Dixie by bluegrass legend Bill Clifton, the label soon branched out into the reissue field, where it made a name for itself with definitive compilations of individual artists, labels, genres, and eras, all accompanied by meticulously-crafted liner notes and superior sound. Owner Weize claims he has never sold more than 3000 units of any Bear Family title, but any shortfall is offset by his successful music mail-order business, which distributes product from other labels.

Perhaps the label’s level of commitment is best demonstrated by their 7-CD set, Lily Marleen: an allen Fronten ein Lied geht um die Welt...

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W. Thomas Marrocco, Mark Jacobs, R. Allen Lott, Leslie A Troutman and Jonas Westover

Firm of music publishers. Belwin, Inc., was founded in 1918 by Max Winkler, and Mills Music Publishers started a year later under the aegis of Jack and Irving Mills; the two organizations merged as the Belwin-Mills Publishing Corporation in 1969, with Martin Winkler as director. Formerly located in Melville, New York, the company is now based in Miami; it is one of the most important publishers of educational music, producing many widely-used piano series, a number of class band methods and material for teaching string instruments. The firm represents such composers as Creston, Crumb, Davidovsky, Dello Joio, Ellington, Vittorio Giannini, Gould, Gustav Holst, Menotti, Krzysztof Penderecki, Schuller, Sessions, Virgil Thomson, Toch and Villa-Lobos, and also issues popular music. In the 1970s, the company branched out to produce a few Broadway musicals, although this was a short-lived endeavor. Belwin-Mills became the primary distributor for E.B. Marks in 1973. In 1985 Belwin-Mills was acquired by Columbia Pictures, who divided the firm’s printing and publishing concerns; during ...

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Stephen Siek

In 

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Theodor Wohnhaas

German firm of music publishers. Its origin can be traced to 1818, when Joseph Benjamin founded a book and music shop in Altona, which his son Anton later re-established in Hamburg. John Benjamin (1868–1931), a grandson of the founder who had taken charge of the firm in 1888, bought the Böhme music shop and concert agency in Hamburg in 1907. In 1917 he acquired the music publishing house originally founded in St Petersburg by A. Büttner but which had been taken over by Daniel Rahter in 1879. As Verlag Benjamin, the firm moved to Leipzig in 1920, and Richard Schauer, a nephew of John Benjamin, took over the direction. In 1925 they acquired the A.E. Fischer publishing house of Bremen, and in 1929 the Simrock music publishing firm. By taking over the Rahter and Simrock concerns, which continued to exist under their original names, the group publishing business of Benjamin acquired original publication rights on works by Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, Respighi, Rheinberger, Wolf-Ferrari, Beethoven, Brahms, Dvořák and others. After the Jewish pogrom of ...

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Donald W. Krummel

[Berg, Joachim; Montanus]

(b Lübeck, c1540; d Dresden, 1597). German printer. After apprenticeship with Jakob Lucius in Rostock and Johann Eichorn in Frankfurt an der Oder, he moved to Dresden, working at first with Matthäus Stökel. His music printing began in 1570 with vocal collections by Matthaeus Le Maistre and Antonio Scandello, followed by several Lutheran hymnals. After his death the press was continued by his widow and heirs, including his son Gimel II (fl 1610–37, made Hofbruckdrucker in 1616), then Gimel III (fl 1640–43), Christian and Melchior (fl 1643–88), Melchior’s son Immanuel (fl 1688–93) and eventually Melchior’s son-in-law, Johannes Riedel (fl 1688–1716). Their most ambitious and best-executed printing coincides with their finest music. Editions of Heinrich Schütz began to appear in 1618, including the Psalmen Davids (1619) and the second and third parts of the Symphoniae sacrae...

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Samuel F. Pogue, Laurent Guillo and Frank Dobbins

French firm of printers. It was founded by Godefroy Beringen (b Germany, fl 1538–59; d ? Lyons), who was active in Lyons as a humanist; several Lyons intellectuals, including Etienne Dolet in 1538, addressed Latin verses to him. He began to print books in 1544. In 1545 he formed an association with his brother Marcellin Beringen which lasted until the latter’s death in 1556. The Beringen brothers did not publish many titles but frequently reprinted those that were successful. Law, medicine, alchemy and the Roman classics dominated their production. They were in contact with Geneva through the poet Guillaume Guéroult and the musician Loys Bourgeois, and probably began printing music under their influence. Between 1547 and 1552 they issued a number of important music books, thus becoming the first music printers in Lyons to challenge the monopoly of Jacques Moderne. The Beringens were the first French music publishers to concentrate on issuing single-composer collections. The ...

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Nigel Simeone

Italian firm of music publishers. It was founded in Naples in about 1875 and rapidly established itself as one of the leading producers of popular Neapolitan songs. As well as printing songsheets (the firm's main output), Bideri also produced a series of musical postcards which depicted favourite comic or ballad singers of the day shown opposite the melodies of popular songs. Bideri's printing equipment was modern and he was able to publish songs with colour covers. The firm enjoyed huge commercial success and a constant flow of new songs was ensured by placing many of the firm's favoured composers under exclusive contracts. Bideri also organized an annual song-writing competition. For over 30 years the firm had a prolific production schedule, but it appears to have gone into decline after World War I....

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BIEM  

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Frances Barulich

Firm of music publishers. It was formed in 1939 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which acquired three major publishers of popular music, Robbins Music Corporation, Leo Feist, Inc., and Miller Music, in order to gain control of copyrights for music used in films. The resulting company, the Big 3 Music Corporation, expanded its catalog with popular music, film scores, and television theme music; among its successes were “You don’t have to say you love me...

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Caroline Richmond

Firm of music publishers. A partnership was formed in New York in 1867 between Lucius Horatio Biglow (1833–c1910) and Sylvester Main (1819–73) in order to continue the publishing activities of william Bradbury , who had become seriously ill during the previous year. Bradbury served the firm as music editor until his death in January 1868. Main had formerly been Bradbury’s assistant, but it was his son Hubert Platt Main (1839–1925) who was responsible for shaping the editorial policy of the company and who built it into one of the foremost 19th-century firms of gospel-song publishers. Among the composers whose works he issued were Philip P. Bliss, William H. Doane, William J. Kirkpatrick, Robert Lowry, McGranahan, G.F. Root, Sankey, Sherwin, Stebbins, Sweney, and Whittle. Lowry succeeded Bradbury as music editor in 1868, and a number of other composers also had editorial relationships with the firm. The poet ...

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Jeremy Drake

French firm of music publishers. It was founded in Paris in 1896 by Louis Billaudot (1871–1936) with his purchase of Editions Alphonse Laurens and initially specialized in choral, band and theatrical music as well as works on the study of harmony. The business was expanded with the publication of new music and the acquisition of other firms: Cordier (1903), Lory (1905), Gobert (1907), Tilliard (1914), Guille (1918), Thomas (1921), Pinatel (1926), Librairie Théâtrale (1929) and, since World War II, Béthune (1945), Costallat (1958), Andrieu (1962), Pierre Noël (1966), Jacquot (1973) and Editions Françaises de Musique (the former publications section of Radio France; 1988).

In the 1920s Robert Billaudot (1910–81) and Gérard Billaudot (1911–86) joined the firm; from ...

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Alan Pope

revised by Willi Kahl

German firm of music publishers. It was founded in 1911 in Berlin by Richard Birnbach (1883–1953) who quickly developed a successful catalogue, publishing a wide variety of works, including educational music, music for salon orchestra, and contemporary instrumental and vocal music. In 1919 he expanded his publishing enterprise by acquiring the catalogue of C.A. Challier & Co., a notable Berlin publishing company. It had been founded by Carl August Challier (d Berlin, 17 July 1871) and Karl Gaillard in 1835 and had published works by Gluck, Haydn and Mozart as well as composers from Berlin. From 1844 Challier and Gaillard edited the Berliner musikalische Zeitung, which in 1847 merged with the Neue Berliner Musikzeitung (founded by Gustav Bock). Challier's son, Willibald (b Berlin, 29 July 1849; d Berlin, 25 Jan 1926), managed the firm from 1865 until its acquisition by Birnbach who carried it on under its original name. Birnbach's catalogue was further extended with the purchase in ...

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BIRS  

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BIS  

Pekka Gronow

Swedish record company. It was founded by Robert von Bahr (b Solna, 1943) in 1973. Bahr took degrees in law and music in Stockholm and appeared as a conductor and flautist. He established Grammofon AB BIS, known simply as BIS, after he had attempted to find a record company to release an album featuring his wife, the flautist Gunilla von Bahr. Record sales were growing in Sweden in the 1970s, but there was relatively little domestic production of classical music, and BIS gradually established itself as the leading label in its field in Sweden. Annual output has varied between 70 and 90 new albums; the company has a policy of keeping all its issues available. Its repertory has a Scandinavian bias, with complete surveys of Nielsen, Stenhammar, Sibelius, Kokkonen and Aho in progress during the 1990s. The company has also published an extensive selection of Baltic and Russian music including a planned complete Schnittke series. However, it also issues a wide selection of music from other countries, often works outside the standard repertory. It supports the idea of ‘original dynamics recordings’, with minimum interference from the sound engineer....

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David Suisman

Record label. It was launched in Harlem in 1921 by the Pace Phonograph Corp. (later renamed the Black Swan Phonograph Co.), whose principal Harry H. Pace (1884–1943) sought to make a phonograph record company a vehicle for social, political, and economic uplift for African Americans. The company aimed to issue high-quality records by African Americans in all styles of music—not just blues and popular genres, but also opera, concert music, and religious works. This catholicity, Pace believed, would undermine racial and cultural stereotypes about African Americans, on the one hand, and promote African Americans’ own cultural development, on the other. At the same time, the company sought to be an archetype of economic development, both a model and symbol of African American capital accumulation and economic self-determination. The venture grew out of Pace’s diverse background in music, business, and political activism: he was a former songwriting partner of W.C. Handy, with whom he established the Pace and Handy Music Publishing Co.; he had worked for important black-owned banking and insurance companies; and he had been a protégé of W.E.B. Du Bois, whom Pace recruited to sit on Black Swan’s board of directors. The name of the label was inspired by the 19th-century African American concert singer Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, whose sobriquet was “the Black Swan.” (Although Black Swan is often cited as the first black-owned record company, this distinction apparently belongs to Broome Records, established in Boston in ...