(b Szent-György-Ábrány, Oct 15, 1822; d Budapest, Dec 20, 1903). Hungarian writer on music, composer and pianist. He came from the wealthy Eördögh family: the name means ‘devil’ and his father changed it to Ábrányi, the name of their estate. He studied the piano under János Kirch (1810–63) and Vilmos Dolegni. His first composition, Magyar ábránd (‘Hungarian Fantasy’), was published in 1841. In the early 1840s he gave concerts in Hungarian towns, and in 1846 left for Vienna to take piano lessons with Joseph Fischhof. There is no reliable evidence that he was ever a student of Chopin in Paris. From 1847 he lived in Pest, in the 1850s as a piano teacher, and studied composition with Mosonyi, together with whom he became a devoted follower of Liszt and Wagner. He was one of the founders of the first Hungarian music periodical, the Zenészeti lapok, in ...
(b Visby, June 5, 1805; d Stockholm, May 4, 1857). Swedish composer, conductor and organist. He studied music at the University of Uppsala and became the musical director of E.V. Djurstrms theatre company in 1828. From 1832 to 1842 he was a teacher at the Gymnasium in Vsterå and the city’s cathedral organist. He then moved to Stockholm, where he was a conductor of various theatre orchestras, for which he composed the music for about 100 productions, often in collaboration with August Blanche. His only full-length opera, Alfred den store (Alfred the Great), based on a text of Theodor Krner, was written in 1848 but never performed; another opera, Abu Hassan, was not finished. His other compositions include about 300 entractes, a vocal symphony, some orchestral works, a piano concerto and solo piano pieces. He also edited collections of Swedish and Nordic folksongs and folkdances and compiled a pocket dictionary of music (...
Bertil H. van Boer
(b Åletorp, Värdinge, Aug 14, 1756; d Stockholm, Aug 11, 1835). Swedish composer. After early musical education with a local organist, he moved in 1772 to Stockholm, where he was instructed in composition by Ferdinand Zellbell the younger. In 1777 he was appointed organist at the Mariakyrka and in 1786 at the Jakobskyrka. Though he made his livelihood mainly in government posts, he was active as a music publisher from 1787 to 1823, under royal privilege; in the journals he founded, Musikaliskt tidsfördrif (‘Musical Pastimes’, 1789–1834) and Skaldestycken satte i musik (‘Poetry Set to Music’, 1790–1823) he often published his own piano reductions of portions of the most popular operas in Stockholm during the period. His own operatic works, beginning with the nationalist comedy Frigga (1787), demonstrate a good sense of lyrical line coupled with influences from the opéras comiques of Grétry and Dalayrac. His orchestration is often fairly dense, and sometimes rich in texture. He was highly esteemed as a pianist and composer of songs, most of which were published in his own journals. He also wrote numerous pedagogical keyboard pieces for the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm....
German firm of music publishers. The lithographer Joseph Aibl (b Munich, 1802; d Munich, 1834), a pupil of Theobald Boehm, worked from 1819 to 1825 in Berne as a musician and later as a lithographer with a music dealer. In 1825 he founded a business that published music and dealt in instruments in Munich; after his death it was continued by his widow and from 1837 by Eduard Spitzweg (b Munich, 1811; d Munich, 1884), a brother of the painter Carl Spitzweg. Under the directorship of Eduard’s sons Eugen Spitzweg (b Munich, 1840; d Munich, 1914) and Otto Spitzweg (b Munich, 1843; d Munich, 1920), the firm acquired the publishing rights of Falter & Sohn in 1888, and those of Alfred Läuterer of Munich in 1892. The publishing house was sold in 1904 to Universal Edition. Composers represented by the firm included Peter Cornelius (i), Rheinberger, Alexander Ritter, Theobald Boehm, Bülow, Reger and Richard Strauss. Publisher's catalogues exist from ...
Paul G. Hammond
(b Chester Co., PA, March 5, 1808; d Montgomery Co., PA, 1900). American tune book compiler. He introduced a system of seven-shape notation in The Christian Minstrel (Philadelphia, 1846; for illustration see Shape-note hymnody, ex.2), a tune book containing many pieces found in the publications of Lowell Mason. The book underwent one revision and at least 171 reprintings by 1873 and reportedly sold more than 180,000 copies. Aikin’s notation found widespread acceptance, particularly in the South, and eventually supplanted all other forms of shape-notation. It continues to be used in denominational hymnals and books of the southern gospel-music tradition. His other publications include The Juvenile Minstrel (Philadelphia, 1847), Harmonia ecclesiae, or Companion to the Christian Minstrel (Philadelphia, 1853), The Sabbath-School Minstrel (Philadelphia, 1859), The Imperial Harmony (with Chester G. Allen and Hubert P. Main, New York, 1876), and The True Principles of the Science of Music...
revised by Nym Cooke
(b Dalkeith, c1746; d Philadelphia, Sept 8, 1831). American music engraver, publisher and dealer of Scottish birth. He also worked as a metalsmith for much of his life. Arriving in Philadelphia by 1785, he began his career as a music publisher in 1787 with three large works: Alexander Reinagle’s A Selection of the most Favorite Scots Tunes, William Brown’s Three Rondos for the Piano Forte or Harpsichord, and his own A Compilation of the Litanies and Vespers Hymns and Anthems (2/1791), the only 18th-century American collection of music for the Roman Catholic Church. In 1788 he issued another anthology by Reinagle and also probably Francis Hopkinson’s Seven Songs; a few pieces of sheet music and more of Reinagle’s song collections followed in 1789. By 1793 he had brought out at least 20 titles, but between then and 1806 he published only the compendious Scots Musical Museum...
(b Meadow, TN, Oct 24, 1867; d Birmingham, England, Oct 13, 1920). American revivalist and publisher. He attended Maryville College, Tennessee, and the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago; in 1893 he assisted Moody in his revival at the World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago. From 1908 he toured with J. Wilbur Champman through the USA, Great Britain, Australia and missionary areas of East Asia. He was noted for his skill in inspiring a congregation to sing enthusiastically and in conducting large choirs. He published a number of revival songbooks and owned the copyrights of several popular gospel hymns, such as Charles H. Gabriel’s ...
Renee Lapp Norris
(b Northborough, MA, Sept 5, 1830; d Madison, WI, Dec 9, 1889). American classical scholar, teacher, editor, and writer. Allen is best known musically as an editor of Slave Songs of the United States (New York, 1867), also edited by Charles Pickard Ware and Lucy McKim Garrison, who were white collectors of black music.
Allen graduated from Harvard in 1851, subsequently studied in Europe, and returned to the United States in 1856. In 1863 he began an eight-month stint as a teacher on St Helena Island in South Carolina, home to former slaves who remained after plantation owners left in 1861. Here, Allen gained first-hand experience of slave singing that contributed to the detailed explanations of his 36-page prologue to Slave Songs. In 1867 Allen was appointed chair of ancient languages at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he remained until his death.
Allen’s interest in philology is evident in the many pages of the prologue to ...
(b Lublin, Dec 31, 1840; d Warsaw, Feb 15, 1916). Polish bookseller and music publisher. He served his apprenticeship in the bookshop of his uncle Stanisław Arct in Warsaw, then at Behr & Bock in Berlin. In 1862 he took over the management of Stanisław Arct’s bookshop, becoming its proprietor in 1881. In 1900 he founded his own printing house, and devoted himself almost completely to publishing, especially dictionaries, encyclopedias, school and children’s literature, and music. As a distinguished authority on music publishing he developed considerably the retailing of scores, as well as introducing a system of lending music for the students of the Warsaw Conservatory. He increased his number of publications to 100 titles yearly, mainly for teaching purposes. The publishing firm M. Arct existed until 1939 and, as the firm S. Arct, from 1946 to 1949.
Music series published by M. Arct include Etudes et exercises, Sonates et sonatines...
Peter Ward Jones
(b 1826; d Nov 26, 1912). English music publisher. He and Henry John Parry were employed by Wessel & Co. and took over the business on the retirement of Christian Rudolph Wessel in 1860; the firm then became known as Ashdown & Parry. Parry retired in 1882 and the firm’s name changed to Edwin Ashdown, becoming a limited company in 1891. The firm’s publications included much new English music and the short-lived periodical Hanover Square (1867–9), edited by the pianist Lindsay Sloper, which consisted largely of new music. Composers in the catalogue included G.A. Macfarren, Sullivan, Elgar and Vaughan Williams, and for many years the firm was also the English agent for Bote & Bock of Berlin. Piano and choral music and solo songs came to form the core of its publishing activities. Ashdown also took over the music publishing firms of Hatzfeld & Co. (...
revised by Meredith M. Eliassen
(b Boston, MA, June 4, 1811; d Oakland, CA, Nov 29, 1891). American proprietor of music stores and sheet music publisher. From 1833 to 1849, Atwill operated a “Music Saloon” music store and publishing business on Broadway in New York City, using printing plates of the Thomas Birch Company. He married Eliza Dugliss in 1834. After suffering financial setbacks, the business was taken over by Samuel C. Jollie, and Atwill left his family to travel to San Francisco. He arrived penniless on 28 October 1849 but hit paydirt in the gold fields. Unlike many miners who sent paper money drafts home, Atwill sent about $75,000 in gold dust to New York. He brought his wife and daughters to California in 1854. Atwill moved his East Coast stock to California and established California’s first music store, a tiny metal-constructed building at 158 Washington Street that withstood San Francisco’s many firestorms. In New York, Atwill published Vincenzo Belini’s ...
(b London, Feb 22, 1777; d London, May 8, 1858). English editor, critic and impresario, youngest son of Edmund Ayrton. He was baptized at St Margaret's, Westminster, and probably studied music with his father. In 1794 he was a bass chorus singer at the Ancient Concerts, and by 1803, when he married Marianne Arnold (daughter of Samuel Arnold), a piano teacher. Through the Chapel Royal connections of his father and father-in-law, and the friendship of Frederick Nicolay (Queen Charlotte's music librarian), he had easy access to court circles. But it was his membership in the Society of Antiquaries (1807) that stimulated his serious interest in music history. In 1808 he began collecting materials for a historical music dictionary (never completed), eventually assembling one of the most remarkable music collections of the mid-19th century. Among his circle of acquaintances around this time, mostly journalists and barristers, Henry Crabb Robinson, Martin Burney (the music historian's grandson), Charles Lamb and William Hazlitt were prominent; T.M. Alsager, the ...
Laurie J. Sampsel
(b Milton, MA, Feb 18, 1760; d French Mills, NY, Nov 23, 1813). American composer, singing master, singer, and tunebook compiler. Babcock lived most of his life in Watertown, MA, where he worked as a hatter. As a teenager he fought in the Revolutionary War, and he died while enlisted in the Army during the War of 1812. He was active primarily as a psalmodist during the period from 1790 to 1810. Babcock was the choir leader at the Watertown Congregational church, sang at and composed music for town events, and taught singing schools there in 1798 and 1804. He may also have been an itinerant singing master in the Boston area. Babcock composed 75 extant pieces, including anthems, set pieces, fuging tunes, psalm, and hymn tunes. Most of his music was first published in his own tunebook, Middlesex Harmony, which was published in two editions (1795...
Paul C. Echols
(b Detroit, MI, Feb 19, 1803; d New Haven, CT, Dec 23, 1881). American author of hymn texts and hymnbook compiler. The son of a missionary to the Native Americans, he was educated at Yale University and Andover Theological Seminary. While at Andover he compiled a small pamphlet containing 101 missionary hymns, three of them his own: entitled Hymns and Sacred Songs; for the Monthly Concert (Andover, MA, 1823), it was intended for use at missionary prayer meetings and was the first such collection to be published in the United States. In 1825 Bacon was ordained and became pastor of the Center Church, New Haven, where he served until he joined the faculty of the Yale Divinity School in 1866. In 1833 he published in New Haven a revision of Timothy Dwight’s edition of Isaac Watts’s Psalms and Hymns, to which he appended the collection Additional Hymns, Designed as a Supplement to Dwight’s Psalms & Hymns...
revised by William Waterhouse
(d 1831). English woodwind instrument inventor, maker and player and music publisher. Having originally trained as a turner, he began his career playing oboe, flute and flageolet at two London theatres. As maker, his first patent was in 1803 for a new model of ‘English flageolet’, which, by changing the fingering of the tonic from six to three fingers, led in about 1805 to the development of his double flageolet model in collaboration with John Parry (ii) (1776–1851). Between 1808 and 1821 he was in partnership with John Wood as Bainbridge & Wood, writing and publishing tutors and music for his instruments. From cto 1835 the business was continued by Bainbridge’s widow Harriet, and thereafter until 1855 by his successor, Hastrick, whose mark usually included the words ‘late Bainbridge, inventor’.
The firm’s speciality was the ‘English flute’ or ‘English flageolet’ – not to be confused with the French or the ‘quadrille’ flageolet – in its single, double and occasionally triple form. In addition they made single and double concert flutes with flageolet-type heads to be held transversely. These instruments, designed for amateurs of both sexes, enjoued enormous popularity, the double flageolet being much plagiarised (in spite of two unsuccessful legal actions) by rival makers both at home and abroad. Bainbridge was perhaps the earliest wind-instrument maker with the all-round abilities required to launch such projects successfully, combining single-handedly as he did the diverse skills of inventor, performer, teacher, manufacturer, author and publisher....
H. Wiley Hitchcock
(b New York, June 3, 1851; d Dresden, Oct 13, 1934). American music scholar and lexicographer. Trained as a young man for a business career, he decided rather on music. For a time he was an organist in Concord, Massachusetts. He went to Germany to study in 1874 and took the doctorate at Leipzig in 1882 with a dissertation based on field studies among the Seneca Indians in New York state. This, the first serious work on American Indian music, was shown to MacDowell by Henry Gilbert, and provided themes for MacDowell's Second (‘Indian’) Suite for orchestra. Baker returned to the USA in 1891 and became literary editor and translator for the music publishing firm of Schirmer, Inc. (1892), a post he held until his retirement in 1926, when he returned to Germany. Besides making many translations into English of books, librettos and articles (the last especially for the ...
(b 1770; bur. London, Oct 7, 1833). English piano maker, music seller, publisher, printer and organ builder. He worked in Duke Street, Grosvenor Square, London, from 1787 until his death. Domenico Motta joined him briefly to form Motta & Ball about 1794; in 1818 the Post Office London Directory lists the firm as J. Ball and Son. The son must be the Edward Ball who is listed as a piano maker at Duke Street in an 1824 jury roll preserved at Westminster City Archives. James Ball is listed in the 1827 Post Office London Directory as ‘Grand cabinet & square Piano Forte maker to his Majesty’. Ball’s early five-octave square pianos with the English single action had two hand stops, one for raising the dampers and the other a ‘lute’ stop. He is best known for his square pianos, but also made cabinet pianos and grands, some of them for the Prince Regent. In ...
revised by Deniz Ertan
(b Bethel, CT, July 5, 1810; d Bridgeport, CT, Apr 7, 1891). American impresario, author, publisher, philanthropist, and politician/reformer. He produced theatrical matinées, blackface minstrelsy, melodramas, circus tours (the first to own private trains), farces, baby and beauty contests, and temperance lectures. After an early success exhibiting Joyce Heth (advertised as George Washington’s 160-year-old nurse) in 1835, he capitalized on the enthusiasm for Tyrolean acts by introducing the often parodied “Swiss Bell Ringers” in 1844. His management of such novelties as the celebrated midget Tom Thumb had established him as America’s leading showman, and the lecture hall at the Museum became an early venue for “family” minstrelsy and variety. Barnum’s greatest triumph, however, was a tour by soprano JENNY LIND (1850–51); under his management she gave 95 concerts in 19 cities, attracting unprecedented receipts of $712,161.34 (see also Taylor, Bayard). This was the first major tour in the United States to be managed by a nonperformer, marking the rise of a separate class of agents and promoters. He also sponsored the Irish soprano Catherine Hayes on a tour of California (...
Raymond A. Barr
(b Erfurt, April 9, 1752; d Gotha, March 28, 1822). German writer and publisher. The son of a schoolteacher, he graduated in theology from Jena University, and then taught at a school in Klettenberg am Harze for a short time before returning to Erfurt as a tutor. In 1782 he took a teaching position in Dessau, but in 1784 moved to Gotha to help found a teachers’ institute. There he continued his career as a writer, established several periodicals and in 1795 founded his own publishing house.
Becker is best known for his literary works, particularly the Versuch über die Aufklärung des Landsmanns (1784) and the remarkably popular Noth- und Hülfsbüchlein für Bauersleute (1787), both of which deal with his imaginary utopian village of Mildheim. His importance to music rests in the songbook he compiled for the village – the Mildheimisches Liederbuch von 518 lustigen und ernsthaften Gesängen über alle Dinge in der Welt und alle Umstände des menschlichen Lebens, die man besingen kann, gesammelt für Freunde erlaubter Fröhlichkeit und echer Tugend, die den Kopf nicht hängt...
(b Stoughton, MA, March 29, 1751; d Farmington, ME, June 9, 1836). American composer and tunebook compiler. He began a career as a merchant in Boston, but by 1776 he was back in his hometown, where he purchased a farm and operated a tavern; he was also a member of the Stoughton Musical Society. In 1785 he and his family moved to Maine and spent six years in Hallowell (now Augusta). In 1796 a local newspaper reported of a public ceremony marking the Hallowell Academy’s first year of operation: “The exercises were enlivened by vocal and instrumental music under the direction of Mr. Belcher, the ‘Handel of Maine.’” Belcher then settled in Farmington, where he spent the rest of his life. He played a leading role in the community, as town clerk, magistrate, representative to the state government, selectman, and schoolmaster, and was also known as a violinist and singer; he is said to have organized the town’s first choir....