(b Rostock, Sept 12, 1941). German composer, instrument maker and performer. He studied composition with Wagner-Régeny, the piano with Walter Olbertz and choral conducting with Fritz Höft at the East Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1962–8), and then was lecturer in theory at the musicological institute of the East Berlin Humboldt University (until 1974). His studies were completed in Paul Dessau’s masterclass at the German Academy of Arts (1972–4). In 1974 he founded the East Berlin ‘Klangwerkstatt’. In 1980, concerned about East German cultural and educational policy, he moved to West Germany. Since then he has given performances in Western Europe and in the USA on instruments he has made himself. He has received scholarships to work in the electronic studios at Freiburg (1981) and at the IRCAM (1982). He taught music to students of music therapy in Heidelberg between ...
revised by Lars Klingberg
[Carl Leopold; Johann Ludwig]
(b Hamburg; d Vienna, March 4, 1804). German glass harmonica player and composer. His birthdate is often given as about 1754 (a calculation from the age of 50 given in the Viennese register of deaths) but it is presumably too late, since Röllig was musical director of Ackermann’s theatrical company in Hamburg from 1764 to 1769 and in 1771–2. His lost opera Clarisse was performed in Hamburg in 1771 and two years later in Hanover. About 1780 he took up the glass harmonica and went on a concert tour; in Dresden he was the guest of J.G. Naumann, and appearances are recorded in Hamburg (1781 and 1788) and Berlin (1787). From 1791 to his death he lived in Vienna, where he had a post at the court library and frequently performed on the glass harmonica.
Röllig was much concerned with the improvement of Franklin’s glass harmonica. He visited most of the glassworks of Bohemia and Hungary in his search for the best glasses, and about ...
(b Maidstone, Feb 19, 1951). Australian violinist, improviser, composer, radical luthier, and Hörspiel maker, born in England. Despite gaining a music scholarship for secondary school study, from his mid-teens he was essentially self-taught. After a few years performing and composing in a variety of genres in England, as well as beginning to create experimental string instruments, mainly based on easily affordable Chinese violins, in the mid-seventies he moved to Australia, where he rapidly emerged as a leading figure in a thriving free improvisation scene. In the process, he adopted a notably critical, polemical stance vis-à-vis those fully notated compositions that left no scope for improvisation. In 1986 he moved to Berlin, partly to facilitate work on his project The Relative Violin, which takes a sort of Gesamtkunstwerk approach to the instrument (performing, composing, designing, constructing). He relocated to Australia in 2003.
While Rose’s work tends, understandably, to be assessed in terms of its most radical elements (he has performed with musicians such as Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, John Zorn, and Bob Ostertag) it is, in fact, very eclectic in orientation. As an improviser, he not only has access to the entire canon of virtuoso classical violin technique, but is also at home with its jazz practice from Stuff Smith onwards, as well as any number of regional (ethnic) practices....
revised by David Patterson
(b Fairfield, IA, Sept 9, 1947). American composer, performer and designer and maker of electronic instruments. He studied music at the University of Illinois (1965–7, composition with Binkerd and Martirano, electronic and computer techniques with Hiller) and also privately, learning various instruments, conducting and Indian music. In 1967–8 he went to the Center for Creative and Performing Arts at SUNY, Buffalo, and from there to New York University as a guest lecturer (1968–70). He was director of computer and electronic media research at York University, Toronto (1970–77), developing a computer language for the composition and performance of synthesized music, and computerized electronic instruments for live performance. He also carried out research on biofeedback and the relationship between the information-processing mechanisms of the brain and aesthetic experience. He served as artistic director of the Electric Circus in New York (1967–8) and helped found the Neurona Company, which carries out research and development in arts and technology. He joined the faculty at Mills College in ...
(b Portogruaro, April 30, 1885; d Cerro di Laveno, Varese, Feb 6, 1947). Italian inventor, painter and composer. Although from a musical family, he joined the futurist movement in 1910 as a painter. Inspired by the violent reception of Pratella's Musica futurista, in 1913 he published the radical manifesto L'arte dei rumori. This advocated the creation of a music in which everyday sounds, including noise, are used in a non-imitative manner. With his assistant Ugo Piatti, he constructed intonarumori (noise intoners) between 1913 and 1921 with which he put his theories into practice. These instruments were mostly based on the principle of the Hurdy-gurdy; the instrument was housed in a brightly painted box and the performer turned a crank or pressed an electric button at the rear to operate it; pitch was controlled by a lever on the top. By the end of 1913, 15 such machines, bearing onomatopoeic names such as the ...
Ingram D. Marshall
revised by David Atkinson Wells
(b New Brunswick, NJ, April 12, 1942). American composer and instrument builder. He studied singing at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey (BMA 1964), and at Rutgers University (1967–70), and composition and Javanese music at the California Institute of the Arts (MFA 1973), where his principal teachers were morton Subotnick and Ki Wasitodipura. He did postgraduate work in Javanese music with the American Society for Eastern Arts (1973–5). Schmidt has taught at the University of California, Berkeley; Sonoma (California) State College; University of California, Santa Barbara; and currently teaches gamelan and musical instrument building at Mills College in Oakland, California. He also spent more than 30 years teaching gamelan and musical instrument building to elementary and middle-school students, primarily at San Francisco-area institutions such as the East Bay School of the Arts. He is artistic director of the Berkeley Gamelan, which he founded in ...
Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller
(b Bamberg, Nov 8, 1718; d Karlsruhe, Oct 24, 1809). German composer, conductor and glass harmonica maker. He received his musical education from the organ builder J.P. Seuffert in Würzburg and was a musician at the Rastatt court from about 1745 until its dissolution in 1771. There he was Konzertmeister in 1762 (leading the orchestra from the harpsichord) and Kapellmeister from 1765. In 1772 he became Konzertmeister at the Karlsruhe court, but in 1775 he went to Cologne as Kapellmeister at the cathedral and director of public concerts. Although his stay was brief, he had a lasting influence on Cologne’s musical life through his sacred compositions (in particular his mass for Epiphany, 1776, published in 1781) and through his introduction of modern orchestral methods in the style of Mannheim. In 1777 he accepted an invitation to return to Karlsruhe as Kapellmeister, and was also active there as a teacher and maker of glass harmonicas, whose range he extended from two octaves to four (...
(b Nuremberg, Germany, July 31, 1901). American organist. He immigrated to the USA in 1912 and in Salt Lake City was a pupil of the Mormon Tabernacle organist J. J. McClellan. Beginning in 1918 he worked for several years as a theater organist. During the 1920s, except for two years he spent studying with Henri Libert, Vierne, and Widor in Paris (1924–6), he was employed as organist and lecturer at UCLA. In the summers he returned to Salt Lake City where in 1924 he joined the staff of organists at the Tabernacle; he was later senior organist (1939–77). He became widely known through two media: his Organ Voluntaries (1937) and later publications of sacred selections, all arranged on two or three staves, which served countless pianists pressed into service as organists; and his broadcasts with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (1929–77). Schreiner, who held both a BA (...
George J. Buelow, Maribel Meisel and Philip R. Belt
(b Hohnstein, Saxony, Aug 10, 1699; d Nordhausen, May 20, 1782). German organist, composer, keyboard instrument designer and music theorist.
George J. Buelow
After early training in music from his father, he was sent in 1706 to nearby Dresden, where he joined the royal chapel as a soprano and took keyboard lessons from the Kapellmeister, J.C. Schmidt. In 1709 ill health forced him to live for a while with his godfather Hentschel in Bischofswerda. Returning to Dresden in 1710, on Schmidt’s recommendation he was appointed, together with the slightly younger C.H. Graun, Ratsdiskantist (town discantist). With his change of voice he enrolled at the Kreuzschule, where according to his autobiography (see Marpurg) he studied, among other subjects, fugue with Schmidt. He did not say, however, with whom he studied the organ, but he reported practising on the instruments in the Kreuz- and Sophienkirchen as well as on an organ in the royal residence. In ...
Wolfgang Maria Hoffmann
(Alcantara) [Josef Anton]
(b Häselgehr, July 18, 1810; d Salzburg, Jan 25, 1882). Austrian composer, music theorist, organist, choirmaster and instrument maker. He was musically mainly self-taught; at the age or 9 he learnt to play the piano and organ, as well as the violin, harp, flute, clarinet and horn. When he was 11 he took lessons in harmony and basso continuo from P. Mauritius Gasteiger in Reutte. He attended the Gymnasium in Hall (1824–30), and took some organ and piano lessons from the organist Ignaz Heinz. He entered the Franciscan monastery of Salzburg in 1830 under the name of Peter von Alcantara, and was ordained in 1834. From 1837 to 1840 he was organist and choirmaster in Bolzano and Innsbruck, and he spent the rest of his life in the Franciscan monastery in Salzburg.
Singer became famous for the building of his ‘Pansymphonikon’ in 1845; this was a keyboard instrument with sets of reeds, two manuals and 42 registers which imitated an entire orchestra. He wrote contemplative works, a treatise on choral singing entitled ...
(b 1948, Hardwick, MA). American composer, guitarist, and instrument designer. Smith began piano lessons at the age of eight before deciding to take up the electric guitar in his teens. He later performed with several local rock bands. He enrolled at Berklee College of Music to study jazz but dropped out before completing his first year. A few months later he moved to California to attend CalArts (BFA 1975; MFA 1977), where he worked with morton Subotnick . He also studied privately with mel Powell , james Tenney , earle Brown , and harold Budd . Working as a professional welder and machinist in the 1970s, he began his first serious experimentations with instrument design. A large chime made of aluminum tubes set to 45 tones to the octave was used on his first full-length release, Nakadai (1987). The first of his elaborate structures, the Bass Tweed (1993), was assembled from junk metal. Smith has focused much of his activity around his sound sculptures, which are featured on the albums ...
Pamela L. Poulin
(b Bruck an der Leitha, June 28, 1753; d Vienna, June 15, 1812). Austrian clarinettist, composer and inventor. He was a son of a Viennese musician and shoemaker, Joseph Stadler, and his wife Sophie (née Altmann). At some time after the birth of his brother Johann (Nepomuk Franz) (b Vienna, ?1755; d Vienna, May–June 1804), the family returned to Vienna. Both boys became clarinettists; the earliest evidence of a joint performance appears in a programme of the Tonkünstler-Societät (1773). In 1779 they were engaged in the imperial eight-part Harmonie (Anton initially played second clarinet because of his interest in the low register), and they played in the court orchestra on a freelance basis. In 1780, the year of Anton’s marriage to Francisca Pichler (?Bichler), the brothers were also in the service of Count Carl von Palm, while Anton was also employed by the Russian ambassador Count Dmitry Golitsïn and the order of Maria Treu. By ...
(b Birmingham, England, Jan 29, 1802; d Philadelphia, PA, Dec 15, 1871). American organ builder, organist, and composer, of English birth. The son of a pharmacist, he came to the USA as a child with his family. He studied at the Pennsylvania School of Medicine and assisted his father before turning to organ building in 1840, his first instrument being a parlour organ. In 1841 he published a piano method book, followed by numerous arrangements, hymns, and other compositions. By the 1850s Standbridge had established a substantial business, and in 1852 built a three-manual organ for the Presbyterian Church, Arch Street, Philadelphia. By 1860 he had built organs for several churches in Philadelphia as well as for St Bridget’s, New York (1855). In 1868 he rebuilt the organ of St Augustine’s in Philadelphia, using storage batteries for the electrically operated Choir action; this is said to be the first use in the USA of an electric action. In that same year he completed a large organ for the Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul at a cost of $10,000. He was succeeded by his sons John G. and George O. Standbridge, the firm becoming known as Standbridge Bros....
(b Lérida, Sept 27, 1817; d Santiago de Compostela, Sept 26, 1874). Spanish organist, organ builder and composer. Tafall began his career as an instrumentalist. In 1836 he was already conductor of an important military band, but resigned the post within a year to become an instrumentalist at the Cathedral of Burgos. In 1854 he went to Santiago as an instrumentalist for the cathedral there; he was later appointed organist and made and repaired organs. As an organ builder Tafall was active in the provinces of Galicia, repairing and constructing organs in various cathedrals and churches. By 1855, he had fully repaired one of the two main organs of the Cathedral of Santiago.
In his last years, he assembled the knowledge gained from his long experience as an organ builder in his four-volume treatise: Arte completo del constructor de órganos, o sea guía manual del organero (Santiago de Compostela, ...
(b Istein, now part of Efringen-Kirchen, Germany, Nov 26, 1951). German instrument inventor, kinetic sculptor, sound artist, and composer, known as Trimpin. His father was a brass and woodwind player, and Trimpin played with old instruments as a child but developed an allergy to metals that precluded performing on brass instruments. Instead he experimented with making new devices using old radios and parts of discarded instruments. He studied music and art at the University of Berlin from 1975 to 1979. From 1976 to 1979 he was a musician for the Theater Zentrifuge in Berlin, and designed sets for the San Quentin Drama Workshop under the direction of Rick Cluchey and Samuel Beckett. In 1979 he left Berlin for Seattle and began independent research in sound sculpture design, combining music composition and kinetics with computer technology. From 1985 to 1987 he taught at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, and in ...
(b c1781; d 1856). Inventor, composer and teacher. He worked in London from at least 1813 and taught Princess Augusta Charlotte from that year until her death in 1817. This opportunity, and an early partnership with Edward Light, enabled him to create and market eight harp-lute-guitar hybrids, for which he gave lessons and published simple song arrangements and 16- or 32-bar compositions, mostly in binary form.
His most important invention was the ‘Harp Ventura’, patented in 1828, a 17–19-string harp-lute, measuring about 83 × 33 × 13 cm, and apparently tuned diatonically from e to b′, with three notes on the fingerboard: c″, c‴ and a‴. This was perhaps the most flexible harp-lute for song accompaniments with awkward modulations, or in unusual keys. Its seven pushstops (later levers) raised the open strings by a semitone, using forks similar to Erard's fourchettes of the 1780s. An attractively decorated example is displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (no.248)....
(b Leiden, 1949; d June 18, 2008). Dutch composer, inventor of instruments and performer. He was self-taught. He became acquainted with electronics at the age of 16, when his father built a theremin. From 1981 he was director of the Studio voor Elektronische Muziek in the Netherlands.
In the mid-1970s he invented the kraakdoos (cracklebox), which is based on the instability of electronic circuits, usually considered undesirable. In 1981 he composed De Slungels, the first theatrical piece to be performed entirely by robots. Using these theatrical robots, Waisvisz studied both the relationship between man and machine and ways of improving the operation of electronic systems. An important step in this respect was the development of De Handen (hands), a sensitive instrument with which material stored in the computer can be played in real time. Variants on this same principle are De MIDI-Conductor (1985) and Het Web...
revised by David Patterson
(b East Grand Rapids, MI, Sept 25, 1945). American composer, film maker and video artist. He worked with Moog at the Independent Electronic Music Centre in Trumansburg, New York (1965–9) and studied composition at the Cleveland Institute with Erb (BMus 1973) and at New York University with Fennelly (MA 1980, PhD 1989). His earliest awards include first prize in the Sonavera International Tape Music Competition (New York, 1979). Weidenaar has received widespread recognition in the USA and abroad for his films and videotapes, which integrate variations of texture and colour developed parallel to analogue tape music. His Love of Line, of Light and Shadow: the Brooklyn Bridge (1982, for clarinet and stereo and colour video), realized for the centenary of the Brooklyn Bridge, was chosen for inclusion in the Eastman School’s International Computer Music Conference (1983) and the second annual New York City Experimental Video and Film Festival. He has received the Special Distinction Award from the Tokyo Video Festival (...