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Eric Werner and Don Harrán

[Ugolino, Biagio]

(b Venice, c1700; d Venice, 1771). Italian theorist. He may originally have been Jewish, though apostatized, eventually becoming a monk in the Franciscan order. As a scholar of Hebrew and other ancient languages, he was well qualified to compile and edit a vast anthology of writings, mainly by 17th- and 18th-century Christian authors, including himself, on Jewish antiquities, named Thesaurus antiquitatum sacrarum (Venice, 1744–69). Amounting to 34 volumes in folio, the compilation includes Latin translations of numerous tractates from the Mishnah, the Babylonion and Palestinian Talmud and rabbinical writings. Volume xxxii (1767) is entirely dedicated to learned disquisitions on biblical music and related topics; it contains 46 essays (in Latin), many of them excerpts from larger treatises, by 34 scholars, among whom the names of Marin Mersenne, Athanasius Kircher, Augustin Calmet and Augustus Pfeiffer indicate the breadth of Ugolinus's reading. Of special importance is Ugolinus's own Latin translation of the polyhistor Abraham Portaleone's ...


Mervyn McLean

Mouth bow of Hawaii. It is reputed to be the only indigenous Hawaiian string instrument. It usually has two, or sometimes three strings, traditionally of plant fibre (later of horsehair or gut), stretched over a flexible wooden stave 3 to 4 cm wide and 40 to 60 cm long; the strings are attached in notches or holes at one end and wound around a fishtail-like carving at the other. The upper surface of the stave is flat and the under surface slightly convex. The wood (typically kauila or ulei) is held at one end between the lips and the strings are plucked with the fingers or a plectrum made of the midrib of a leaf; the player might chant while sounding the instrument. Most specimens have small bridges inserted to keep the strings from touching the stick. Three-string instruments are tuned to tonic, 3rd, and 4th, or tonic, 2nd, and 4th. Most two-string instruments have strings a 3rd or 4th apart. The ...



Thomas J. Walsh

[‘ukulele; ukulele]

A small four-string instrument of the guitar family. The ukulele is derived from a pair of Portuguese instruments first brought to Hawai’i in the late 1870s by immigrants from the island of Madeira. The ukulele (or ‘ukulele, a Hawaiian term meaning “jumping flea”) developed from the machete, a four-string Madeiran instrument. However, its tuning is taken from the first four strings of the five-string Madeiran rajão.

Ukuleles were first built in Hawai’i by three Madeiran cabinetmakers, Augusto Dias, Manuel Nunes, and Jose do Espirito Santo, all of whom arrived in Hawai’i in 1879. After serving their agricultural contracts, all three eventually settled in Honolulu. By 1885, each was advertising the various instruments he was building. Machetes and rajãoes quickly became known on the islands by a number of other names, most commonly “taro-patch guitars” or “taro-patch fiddles.” By 1888, the four-string instrument was becoming known as the ukulele, and soon the term “taro-patch fiddle” primarily was used to describe the larger five-string instrument. By the early 1890s, the original machete tuning of d’-g’-b’-d” was falling out of favor. Instead, the reentrant tuning of the Madeiran ...


Zaneta Ho‘oūlu Cambra

Hawaiian vessel rattle. It is made from a single small gourd receptacle containing seeds, fitted with a fibre handle surmounted by an artistically designed flat circular disc fringed with feathers. In 1779 Captain James Cook and his men witnessed the hula ‘ulī’ulī (gourd-rattle dance) at Kealakekua, Hawaii. The male ‘ōlapa...


Laurence Libin

Hawaiian spinning rattle, played for instance by a hula dancer while dancing or chanting, or by children as a toy. It consists of three laamia gourds mounted axially on a stick, two of them large and spherical flanking a smaller, somewhat oblong gourd that serves as a grip. The outer gourds, which often contain rattling seeds, spin and whizz when a cord wound around the stick is pulled quickly through a hole in the middle gourd. When released, the cord winds again around the stick in the manner of a yo-yo. Similar instruments elsewhere include the Turkish ...


Victoria Lindsay Levine

End-blown duct flute of the Choctaw people of Mississippi, USA. Made by medicine men from a local river cane, the flutes are about 30 cm long and 2.5 cm in diameter, with two fingerholes near the distal end. An opening in the tube about one quarter of the length below the proximal end is partially filled with pine pitch to direct the airflow against the lower lip of the opening. Some flutes are decorated with a medicine man’s personal mark or other symbols, such as a snake design, burnt onto the flute’s upper side; the proximal end is often wrapped with leather. It is played by medicine men before and during stickball games to conjure for their teams. Formerly, Chickasaw medicine men played similar instruments and the Delaware used them at the start of communal dance songs to encourage the dancers. Each tribe has its own word for cane flutes....



Edwin Seroussi, Joachim Braun, Eliyahu Schleifer, Uri Sharvit, Sara Manasseh, Theodore Levin, Tang Yating, Kay Kaufman Shelemay, Jehoash Hirshberg, Philip V. Bohlman, Israel J. Katz, Bret Werb, Walter Zev Feldman, Don Harrán, Alexander Knapp, David Bloch and Emily Thwaite



(b Medicina, nr Bologna, c1660; d after in or 1699). Italian composer. He came from a Jewish family, but he converted to Christianity and entered the Carmelite monastery in Bologna. According to the title-pages and dedications of his works, he was maestro di cappella of Ravenna Cathedral from 1691 to 1699. The statement (in EitnerQ) that he was maestro di cappella at Medicina in 1692 may stem from a misreading of the title-page of op.2. Vannini's extant music consists of sacred polyphonic works for voices and instruments; they reveal him as a composer of moderate significance and skill.


Margaret Campbell

(b Novosibirsk, Aug 15, 1974). Israeli violinist of Russian birth . He studied with Galina Turchaninova in Novosibirsk and later at the Moscow Conservatory, and also with Zakhar Bron. He won first prize in the Junior Wieniawski Competition in Poland in 1984, and made débuts in Moscow in 1985, in Germany in 1987 and in London in 1989. In 1990 he won the Carl Flesch Competition, and he has subsequently established an international reputation, appearing with leading orchestras and conductors. He made his début in the USA in 1991 with the New York PO, and appeared at the Proms in 1992 and 1993. Vengerov has made several recordings including virtuoso solo repertory and critically acclaimed accounts of the concertos of Tchaikovsky and Glazunov. His playing combines superb technical command with a lyrical eloquence that can captivate his audience. He plays the ‘Reynier’ Stradivari of 1727.

W. Savenye: ‘Poetic Licence’, ...