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Article

John H. Baron

(b New Orleans, LA, 1871; d New Orleans, LA, Oct 21, 1956). American violinist, organist, and composer. He was the son of the engraver and music publisher Henri Wehrmann Sr. (c1827–1905). He began his musical training in New Orleans under Herms, E. Oweczka, and Charles F. Haase Jr. and went to Paris to study the violin with Auguste Kiesgen. On his return he was recognized as a virtuoso player and gave concerts in New Orleans and other southern cities as soloist and as leader of the Wehrmann Trio and Quartet and the Beethoven Quartet. He was organist at Trinity Church, New Orleans, and from 1899 to 1956 was organist of the First Presbyterian Church. He was also organist for a number of years at the French Opera House, where he served as concertmaster from 1913 to 1919. He then led the Glee Club of Tulane University (...

Article

Olivia Carter Mather

(b Lake Charles, LA, Jan 26, 1953). American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Williams’s Americana style draws upon blues, country, folk, rock, gospel, and Cajun music. Born in Lake Charles, she spent her childhood in southern US college towns and in Latin America, and her lyrics reveal intimate knowledge of Southern small-town life. Other common themes include erotic love, failed romance, and death.

After a short period as a folksinger New York City, Williams moved to Texas and joined the singer/songwriter scenes in Houston and Austin in the early 1970s. Her first album, Ramblin’ (1979), recorded for Smithsonian Folkways, was devoted to blues and country covers accompanied only by acoustic guitars. Williams increasingly adopted a rock and electric blues aesthetic as her career progressed. She began to receive critical attention for her recordings in the 1980s, but her first commercial successes came as a songwriter. “Passionate Kisses” was a top five country hit for Mary Chapin Carpenter; other artists who covered her songs were Patty Loveless, Emmylou Harris, and Tom Petty....

Article

Jonas Westover

(b Michigan, 1949). American composer, pianist, producer, and guitarist. He is best known for his evocative and introspective solo piano works. He often draws on nature for his picturesque titles, perhaps responding to his time in the Midwest and areas such as eastern Montana. He did not receive any formal training, but instead learned to play the organ by ear in 1967 by listening to records. In 1971, he turned to the piano, influenced by 1920s jazz and the stride piano style of Thomas “Fats” Waller and Teddy Wilson, among others. He studied music at Stetson University in Deland, Florida. The style he developed has been described by Winston as “rural folk piano,” and he was asked to record by John Fahey for Takoma Records in 1972. His first album, Ballads and Blues, did not receive much popular or critical acclaim, but it brought Winston to the attention of New Age guru William Ackerman in ...

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Article

Withers  

Charles Beare

revised by Philip J. Kass

English family of violin makers, repairers and dealers . Edward Withers (i) (1808–75) founded his firm in London by purchasing that of R. and W. Davis in 1846. Davis had been associated with the well-known violin maker John Frederick Lott, with whom Withers had clearly studied. Withers's output was considerable and of fine quality; for a time he employed Charles Adolphe Maucotel and Charles Boullangier, émigrés from France. The premises were at 31 Coventry Street.

Edward Withers (ii) (1844–1915) was apprenticed to his father at an early age, also working with Lott. Like his father, he copied the work of Stradivari and Guarneri (mainly the latter) and it is said that he made about 200 instruments in addition to his repair work. In 1878 the business moved to 22 Wardour Street, where it has remained; on the death of Edward Withers (ii) it was continued by his three sons, Edward Sidney Munns Withers (...

Article

Deane L. Root

revised by Robert Paul Kolt

(Cecil )

(b New York, NY, May 8, 1926). American conductor, oboist, and violinist; son of jacques Wolfe . He began music studies as a child and made his debut as a violinist at Barbizon Hall in New York (1938). From 1942–5 Wolfe attended Queens College in New York and studied violin with Mischa Mischakoff, Oscar Shumsky, roman Totenberg , and emanuel Vardi , oboe with Anton Maly, and conducting with leon Barzin and Fritz Mahler. He then served as concertmaster and assistant conductor of the US Air Force Orchestra in Washington, DC (1946–9). Both as a student and afterwards, Wolfe conducted several ensembles in New York, including the New Chamber Music Society (1942–55) and the Bronx Symphony Orchestra (1955–61). He was initially principal oboist, then assistant conductor and string coach, with the National Orchestral Association (1950–61) while also performing as violinist with several other orchestras. In ...

Article

Jonas Westover

[Fred Lincoln Wray, Jr. ]

(b Dunn, NC, May 2, 1929; d Copenhagen, Denmark, Nov 5, 2005). American guitarist and songwriter. Part Shawnee Indian, Wray moved frequently throughout the United States, first with his family and then because of his own military service. This mobility exposed him to many different musical styles. After he was honorably discharged from the army during the Korean War, he and several friends (including his brothers Doug and Vernon) formed a band called Lucky Wray and the Palomino Ranch Hands. The group, later called the Wraymen, recorded on Starday Records and became house band for the television show Milt Grant’s House Party, where they played backup for many key musicians of the mid-1950s, including Ricky Nelson and the Diamonds. It was there that Wray came up with the music for his most famous instrumental, “Rumble” (1958), which featured heavy rhythmic pounding and Wray’s aggressive guitar work. Other notable songs included “Rawhide” (...

Article

Edwin M. Ripin

revised by John Koster

[tuning pins] (Fr. chevilles; Ger. Stimmwirbeln)

The turnable metal pegs around which one end of the strings of a piano, harpsichord, clavichord, zither, European harp etc. are wound. They are turned to increase or decrease tension on the strings, thereby raising or lowering their pitch and enabling the instrument to be tuned. In modern instruments, the wrest pins are made of hardened steel, have accurately formed square heads that fit an appropriate tuning-key or ‘hammer’, are finely threaded at the end to be inserted into the Wrest plank or other part into which they are driven (in harps they pass through the neck), and have a hole through which the end of the string passes before being wound on to the pin. Earlier wrest pins were forged from round iron rod and the head formed by flattening on an anvil; the opposite end, usually slightly tapered, is not threaded, although it may be lightly knurled. These pins were not drilled to accept the end of the string, but the softer wire formerly used for strings could be wound directly on to the pins. In general, early wrest pins are far smaller in diameter than those used on modern pianos, since the string tension was much smaller – approximately 10 kg at the beginning of the 19th century compared with about 75 kg today. In pianos there have since the 18th century been occasional attempts, none lasting, to replace wrest pins with a machine screw mechanism: the end of the string is attached to one end of a threaded pin that passes horizontally through the wrest plank; the pin’s other end protrudes and is secured by a nut which is turned with a spanner....

Article

Cynthia Adams Hoover, Roslyn Rensch and Hugh Davies

American firm of instrument makers and dealers of German origin.

Cynthia Adams Hoover

(Franz) Rudolph Wurlitzer (b Schöneck, Saxony, 31 Jan 1831; d Cincinnati, 14 Jan 1914) came to the USA in 1853; he settled in Cincinnati and began dealing in musical instruments in addition to working in a local bank. It is likely that he was one of a long line of Saxon instrument makers, beginning with Heinrich Wurlitzer (1595–1656), a lute maker. By 1860 he had a thriving trade and is said to have been a leading supplier of military wind instruments and drums during the Civil War. In 1865 he opened a branch in Chicago and in 1872 joined his brother Anton to form the partnership of Rudolph Wurlitzer & Bro. On 25 March 1890 the firm was incorporated as the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company. Rudolph served as president of the corporation from 1890 to 1912...

Article

Cynthia Adams Hoover, Roslyn Rensch and Hugh Davies

Firm of instrument makers and dealers of German origin.

Rudolph Wurlitzer (Franz Rudolph Wurlitzer; b Schöneck, Saxony, 31 Jan 1831; d Cincinnati, OH, 14 Jan 1914) came to the United States in 1853; he settled in Cincinnati and began dealing in musical instruments in addition to working in a local bank. It is likely that he was one of a long line of Saxon instrument makers, beginning with Heinrich Wurlitzer (1595–1656), a lute maker. By 1860 he had a thriving trade and is said to have been a leading supplier of military wind instruments and drums during the Civil War. In 1865 he opened a branch in Chicago and in 1872 joined his brother Anton to form the partnership of Rudolph Wurlitzer & Bro. On 25 March 1890 the firm was incorporated as the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company. Rudolph served as president of the corporation from 1890 to 1912...

Article

Lana Paćuka

(b Tbilisi, Georgia, April 12, 1947). Russian cellist and music pedagogue , who established the Bosnian and Herzegovinian cello school. His propensity for music was shown in childhood, and his first musical training was given by his mother, the pianist Maria Rahmanina von Hohenzollern. He finished his primary and secondary cello education from 1954 to 1965 in the 11-year music school for gifted children within the V. Saradžišvili Tbilisi Conservatory. He enrolled in cello studies in 1970 at the P.I. Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory. There he took the master’s degree in 1975 (class of S. Aslamazjan, M. Rostropovich, N. Gutman, and G. Kozolupova).

He has enjoyed a successful artistic career, which includes over 500 concerts in several major concert halls (the Bolshoi Theater of Opera and Ballet of Belarus, the S. Rachmaninoff Academy of Music in Paris, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the Prague Philharmonic, among others). He has performed on 15 recordings....

Article

Nicholas Tochka

(b Zall-Dardhë, 1917; d Tirana, Albania, 1959). Albanian composer and guitarist. Born into a small village in the north-eastern district of Dibër, he showed an early aptitude for singing and performing. He primarily accompanied himself on the two-stringed plucked chordophone, çifteli, performing traditional men’s songs. In 1937 the pre-war monarchy sentenced him to prison, where he first encountered the health problems that would plague him until the end of his life. After escaping from prison, he made his way to Italy as an economic migrant. A self-taught singer and guitarist, he enrolled at the Conservatory in Bologna, though he interrupted his studies to return to Albania to join the Partisan Resistance during World War II. After the war, he was named guitarist to the Orchestra of the People’s Theater and subsequently held the post of bandleader at the State Estrada. During this period, he began composing the Italian-style songs for which he became best known. Among these are his compositions ...

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Article

Alastair Dick

Drone spike lute of Sindh, Pakistan. Its name means literally ‘monochord’, like the South Asian ektār, of which it is the Sindi equivalent, although it generally has two strings. A round-section wooden neck, terminating in a lathe-turned bobbin at each end, passes through two-thirds of a skin-covered gourd. The metal strings pass from two frontal pegs at the upper end over a clay or metal bridge in the middle of the skin soundtable and are affixed to the lower end of the neck. The yaktāro is held over one shoulder and plucked by the forefinger, the player often holding in his other hand the ḍaṇḍo (stick rattle) or capṙun (clappers) to accompany his own singing of kāfi or kalām Sufi songs; an accompaniment is often also provided by a clay pot (the dilo or the ghaghar). As well as a drone the yaktāro provides rhythmic backing in various tār...

Article

Yāḻ  

Alastair Dick

[yāzh]

Name of the arched harp in old Tamil literature of South India. In the Cilappatikāram (?2nd century ce) and other texts it is described as having a resonator (pattar: ‘wooden trough’); a skin-covered, curved neck (kōṭu: ‘horn’) to which the strings (narampu: ‘gut’) are attached at one end by leather tuning-cords (tivavu); and, probably, a string-bar (tantirikaram) in the resonator to which the strings are attached at the other end (possibly called oṟṟuṟupu). It has been said to have had a tuning-bar (māṭakam), an oblong piece of wood lying on the resonator, with holes through which the strings passed, and pins (āṇi) to hold them tight. Reference is made to yāḻ with 7, 14, 19, and 21 strings, in different tunings. The harp was covered with a colourful cloth and used to accompany song and in the dance orchestra, where it followed the ...

Article

Henry Johnson

Type of long-neck Japanese lute. The instrument is named after Yanagawa Kengyō (d 1680), a blind male professional musician who influenced much shamisen music of his time. The instrument is thought to be very similar to the one used early in the shamisen’s existence in Japan, in the latter half of the 16th century. Its distinctive features include its particularly thin neck (hosozao, about 2.4 cm wide), a large curve just before the neck enters the soundbox (although some other types of shamisen also have this curve in contrast to the jiuta shamisen), a very slender ivory plectrum with a narrow spatula-shaped end, and a small piece of brocade on the top of the soundbox upon which players rest the right arm whilst playing (in contrast to a cover on other shamisen that fits over the entire top part of the box). The instrument is used especially in the Yanagawa-ryū ...

Article

Yangqin  

Alan R. Thrasher

Hammered dulcimer of the Han Chinese. The name yang in its original form means ‘foreign’; qin is generic for string instruments. More recently, another character for yang meaning ‘elevated’ has come into public acceptance. The yangqin is also traditionally known as hudie qin (‘butterfly qin’, in reference to its double-wing shaped body) and daqin (‘beaten qin’).

The traditional instrument shell is trapezoidal in shape, with rounded ends and fluted sides of hardwood, its resonating chamber covered with a thin soundboard of white pine or other softwood (see). Held against the soundboard by pressure of the strings are two rows of bridges, each row with seven or eight chessman-shaped bridges. The strings on older instruments are of copper (more recently of steel) and organized in two groups (left and right), each traditionally comprising a one-octave range of diatonically tuned pitches, with double (or more) courses of strings for each pitch position. Strings in the right group run from their tuning pegs, over a common nut, across their respective bridges (the right row), between the left row of bridges, across the left nut, and are fastened to pins on the left side of the instrument. Strings in the left group reverse this arrangement, running between the right row of bridges and then over the left row. The left row of bridges is positioned on the soundboard so as to divide its strings in a 2:3 relationship (such as 20 cm on the left side, 30 cm on the right). With this particular division, these strings are capable of sounding two pitches a 5th apart, one on each side of its bridge (e.g. ...

Article

Yatga  

Carole Pegg

[yataga, yatuga]

Mongolian half-tube zither with movable bridges. Traditionally, the instrument varies in size and tuning even within one ethnic group, as evidenced by two Chahar Mongol instruments collected by Haslund-Christensen this century: one, now in the National Museum, Copenhagen, measures 114·5 cm long by 21·6 cm wide; a second, in the Swedish Ethnographical Museum, Stockholm, measures 153·4 cm long by 22 cm wide. The tuning of the instrument used by Sünit Mongols was pentatonic in the sequence of the Chinese zhi mode, using the harmonic series 45·123. Similarly, the ten-string Ordos Mongol zither described by van Oost (1915–16) lacked the mi and ti of the Western solmization series.

The earliest documentation of the classical Mongolian term yatuga (or yatugan) occurs in a Mongolian-Chinese dictionary of 1389, where it is paired with the Chinese zheng, an instrument described in the Yüan shih (1370), a history of the Yüan (Mongol) dynasty, as having 13 strings. It was also used in the Mughal courts of Central Asia. Persian sources use the Mongolian word ‘yatugan’ for a zither with movable bridges, and a 15th-century poem written in old Uzbek (Chagatay) also mentions the ...

Article

Eric B. Ederer

The bowed (yayli) version of the Turkish Ṭanbūr. The normal tanbur was first bowed by the composer Tanburi Cemil Bey in the 1910s, but by the 1930s the much louder yayli tanbur was invented, apparently as a type of Cümbüş , with that instrument’s characteristic skin-head resonator. Its body is usually bowl-shaped, made of glued wooden strips or, less expensively, of spun aluminium. The wooden neck, with geared tuning machines, is 104 to 110 cm long, affording a 120 cm vibrating string length. It normally has 31 tied nylon frets in the lower octave and 24 in the higher octave, though players often move, add, or subtract frets. All but the highest course of its three or four metal bichords (tuned in fifths, fourths, and/or octaves according to the melodic mode) are intended to vibrate sympathetically, only the highest bichord being bowed and fingered. The lower bichords often sound octaves, while the playing course is tuned in unison, normally to ...

Article

Yazheng  

Han Mei

Bowed half-tube zither of China (ya: ‘creak’; zheng: ‘zither’). The instrument is mentioned in the Jiu Tangshu (‘Old History of the Tang Dynasty’, completed 945 ce) with the comment, ‘The yazheng is made to creak with a slip of bamboo, moistened at its tip’. An early illustration of the yazheng appears in Chen Yang’s Yueshu (‘Treatise on Music’) of 1104, showing a long zither with a slightly convex soundboard (closely resembling a zheng), approximately nine strings, and an L-shaped playing implement. Yazheng was also referred to as qin (a different character from the seven-string scholar’s zither) from the Song to the Ming dynasties. The 13th-century encyclopedia Shilin guangji (‘Comprehensive Record of the Forest of Affairs’) states that the instrument had seven strings, each with a movable bridge underneath. Da Qing huidian tu (‘Illustrations for the Compendium of Administrative Laws of Qing’, 1899) describes the yazheng as having ten strings played with a straight wooden stick....