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Article

W.H. Husk

revised by Marc Leroy

(York )

(b Whilton, Northants., England, Dec 22, 1785; d Versailles, France, Feb 19, 1859). English organ builder. The son of a local joiner, he first learnt his father’s trade. Against family wishes he was apprenticed to the organ builders James and David Davis and in 1818 went to work with Hugh Russell. Abbey became acquainted with Sébastian Erard in London and went to France in 1826 to build an organ that Erard designed for the 1827 Industrial Exhibition at the Louvre; before 1864 it was moved to the Paris Conservatoire. After moving to Paris and then Versailles, Abbey received a royal commission to build an organ for the chapel of the Légion d’honneur at St Denis and another designed by Erard for the chapel of the Tuileries Palace (1827; destroyed 1830). In 1831 with Meyerbeer’s support Abbey was employed to build an organ for the Paris Opéra (destroyed by fire, ...

Article

Philip J. Kass

[Grandadam]

Philip J. Kass

French family of bow makers. Jean Adam, also known as Grandadam (b Mirecourt, 1 Dec 1767; d Mirecourt, 3 Jan 1849), was a maker of reliable if workmanlike bows of good quality. His son and pupil Jean Dominique Adam, later known as Dominique Grandadam (b Mirecourt, 29 Dec 1795; d Mirecourt, 6 Oct 1841) followed his father’s precedents but with a more careful finish, working in a manner that over time developed an affinity to that of Pajeot. Father and son both used the stamp ADAM, the son’s being in larger type than his father’s.

Jean Dominique’s son, Jean Grandadam (b Mirecourt, 26 Feb 1823; d Mirecourt, 20 Jan 1869), was the finest bow maker of the family. His hand becomes visible in his father’s works dating from about 1835. He moved in 1841 to Paris, where from 1842 to 1850...

Article

Robert E. Eliason

(b Dunstable, NH, Aug 21, 1783; d Milford, NH, March 16, 1864). American brass instrument maker. He invented a valve with movable tongues or flaps within the windway. A trumpet in F by Adams with three such valves is displayed on board the USS Constitution; it dates from about 1830. A similar instrument, unsigned, with three primitive rotary valves, is in the Essig Collection, Warrensburg, Missouri. Adams is listed as a musical instrument maker in Longworth’s American Almanack, New-York Register, and City Directory for 1824. For the next four years he was bandmaster on the USS Constitution. About 1828 he settled in Lowell, Massachusetts, continuing there as a musical instrument maker until 1835. The latter part of his life was spent as a machinist and repairer of ships’ chronometers in Provincetown, Massachusetts. He was the composer of at least one published song, The Ruins of Troy, written while on board the ...

Article

Adler  

Niall O’Loughlin

German family of woodwind makers. Karl Friedrich Adler (b Breitenfeld, Germany, March 14, 1795; d Erlangen, Germany, April 1, 1888) learnt his craft from his father, Johann Georg Adler, in the years 1809–12, for short periods under Carl Doke of Linz and August Rorarius of Vienna, and for some three years with Max Stiegler in Munich. He set up his own business in Bamberg in ...

Article

James B. Kopp

(Christian Friedrich )

(b ?Breitenfeld, Vogtland, France, May 10, 1784; d Paris, France, 1854). French maker of woodwind instruments, principally bassoons. He was the brother of Karl Friedrich Adler (1795–1888) and Johann Georg Adler (1787–1842), woodwind makers active in Bamberg and Hermsgrün, respectively. Established in Paris about 1808, he reportedly made improvements to the bassoon in 1809. One surviving nine-key bassoon by Adler (GB.O.ub) shows a unique example of ‘double venting’ (two tone holes debouching under a single key flap, for A♭). In 1827 he exhibited a novel bassoon of tropical hardwood with 15 keys, including two new ones to produce d″ and e♭″. F.J. Fétis wrote in 1828 that Adler had made bassoons ‘after Almenräder’s model’. But while Adler had added keys to his bassoons, there is no clear evidence that he adopted distinctive Almenräder reforms (such as a more regularly conical bore and relocated tone holes). Indeed, Fétis criticized an Adler bassoon exhibited in ...

Article

Article

Adufe  

John M. Schecter

[pandeiro, quadrado]

Hand-beaten frame drum, of Muslim origin, played in Iberia, Latin America, and North Africa. Typically, a wooden frame about 30 to 45 cm square and 6 to 9 cm deep is covered with sheep or goat skin on one or both sides. Triangular and hexagonal shapes are occasionally found nowadays. The heads are normally tacked on and the tacks covered by ribbon, or in Morocco a single skin can be stitched over the frame. Rattling elements are sometimes enclosed. In Spain and Portugal it is played primarily by women (see illustration) often to accompany their singing. In Portugal it is prominently used with other instruments to accompany the charamba, a circle-dance performed by couples, and various Christian processions. In Guatemala string ensembles (zarabandas) incorporate adufe that have an interior rattle or bell. In Brazil it is called pandero or quadrado and is played (often in pairs) for the May ...

Article

Barbara Owen

American organ building firm. It was formed in 1931 when the firm of Ernest M(artin) Skinner & Co. acquired the organ department of the Aeolian Co., which had made its reputation building organs with self-playing mechanisms for private houses, changing its name to Aeolian-Skinner. In 1933 there was a reorganization in which G(eorge) Donald Harrison, who had joined Skinner in 1927, became technical director and Skinner’s activities were curtailed. In the same year Skinner, after increasing disagreement with Harrison over tonal matters, began a new company in Methuen, Massachusetts, with his son, Richmond, who had purchased the former Methuen Organ Co. factory and Serlo Hall the previous year.

During the 1930s the Aeolian-Skinner Co. continued to rise in popularity, and in 1940 Harrison became president, succeeding Arthur Hudson Marks (1874–1939), a wealthy businessman who had become its owner and president in 1919. Under Harrison the firm became a leader in the trend away from orchestral tonal practices and towards a more classical sound. It was Harrison who coined the term ‘American Classic’ to refer to this more eclectic type of tonal design. On his death, Joseph S. Whiteford (...

Article

Alfred Reichling

(b Gasteig, nr Sterzing, March 15, 1809; d Marling, nr Meran [Merano], Jan 2, 1887). Tyrolean organ builder. His earliest known work was the organ for Navis (1837; lost). Among his numerous other organs are those at Absam (1841; in an organ case by Johann Anton Fuchs, cl780), the Franciscan church, Schwaz (1843), Sautens im Ötztal (1846), Reutte (1847/48), Zirl (1851–2), Brixen [Bressanone] parish church (1858; in a case by Rochus Egedacher, 1740–41), the Benedictine abbey, Marienberg (1865–6; three manuals, 32 stops, his largest instrument), Meran parish church (1867; lost), St Georgenberg Benedictine abbey, Fiecht (1871; two manuals, 31 stops, his second-largest organ, restored in 2000 by Mathis Orgelbau), Burgeis (1873–4; in a case by Carlo Prati, 1678), Lana parish church (1875) and St Leonhard in Passeier (...

Article

José López-Calo

(b Gauteriz de Arteaga, Vizcaya, Sept 25, 1869; d Barcelona, March 19, 1948). Spanish organ builder. He began his career as an apprentice in the workshops of Aquilino Amezúa in Barcelona in 1885 and was active for more than 50 years. In 1895, on the retirement of Amezúa, Alberdi became director of the firm, and in 1896 the owner. His sons, Antonio and Luis Alberdi Aguirrezábal, assisted him in the workshop, which was the most productive in Spain, building nearly 200 organs (in particular those at the monastery of Montserrat, the Jesuit church in Madrid, and the cathedrals of Gerona and Santiago). Alberdi’s construction methods were extremely advanced: he incorporated many of the best techniques of the time and invented others. He always used mixed mechanical systems and was especially noted for systems without sliding valves; later he abandoned troublesome pneumatic machinery and utilized the possibilities of electricity. He always used the best available methods and systems. Organs from his workshop were exported to South America and the Philippines....

Article

Nicholas Shackleton

(b Brussels, April 26, 1816; d Brussels, May 11, 1890). Belgian woodwind instrument maker. He is known chiefly for his clarinets. His three sons Jean-Baptiste (-Gustav) (1845–99), Jacques (-Emile) (1849–1918) and Joseph-Eugène (known as E.J. Albert; 1860–1931) were also woodwind instrument makers specializing in clarinets. Eugène Albert is recorded as a maker from 1839. He was so successful that the model of clarinet that he made is widely known (especially in the USA) as the ‘Albert System’ although it was basically Iwan Müller's 13-key clarinet augmented by the two rings (brille) added to the lower joint by Adolphe Sax. Albert's instruments were exceptionally well made and finely tuned. They were particularly popular in England, where his agents were Louis Jullien and then Samuel Arthur Chappell; the leading English clarinettist Henry Lazarus owned eight of his instruments. When Boosey and Co. began to make clarinets in about ...

Article

Cynthia Adams Hoover

(b Germany, 1759/60; d Montgomery, PA, June 28, 1848). American piano maker of German birth. He was active in Philadelphia as a piano maker by the 1790s, probably arriving there on the ship Hamburgh in October 1785. (His marriage to Maria Fuchs is listed in the records of St Michael′s and Zion′s Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, for 17 June 1787; they had no children.) His name appears in tax records, census entries and city directories from 1788 until his death in 1848. First described as a “joiner,” he is listed in newspapers and real estate documents as “Musical Instrument Maker” at the address of 95 Vine Street from 1791 to at least 1824, when he retired from piano making but continued to purchase property in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. Albrecht made some of the earliest surviving American square pianos, over 20 of which are still extant (four are at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; the date of ...

Article

Cynthia Adams Hoover

(b Hanover, Jan 6, 1788; d Philadelphia, PA, March 1843). American piano maker of German birth. He immigrated to the United States, arriving in Philadelphia on 17 October 1822, and from 1823 to 1824 ran a business there at 106 St John Street; from 1830 to 1843 his address was 144 South 3rd Street. On his death his small business was bequeathed to his wife Maria. His pianos exhibit excellent craftsmanship; pianos by him (one upright and one square) at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, are in empire style and have six octaves. No relationship between Christian Albrecht, Charles Albrecht, and Albrecht & Co. has yet been established....

Article

Cynthia Adams Hoover

(b Hanover, Jan 6, 1788; d Philadelphia, March 1843). American piano maker of German birth. He emigrated to the USA, arriving in Philadelphia on 17 October 1822, and from 1823 to 1824 ran a business there at 106 St John Street; from 1830 to 1843 his address was 144 South 3rd Street. On his death his small business was bequeathed to his wife Maria. His pianos exhibit excellent craftsmanship; pianos by him (one upright and one square) at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, are in empire style and have six octaves. No relationship between Christian Albrecht, Charles Albrecht and Albrecht & Co. has yet been established....

Article

Jaak Liivoja-Lorius

revised by Sylvette Milliot

( b Mirecourt, April 28, 1765; d Paris, 1843). French violin maker . One of the third generation of a Mirecourt family of violin makers, he settled in Paris in 1785, firstly at 16 rue des Arcis, moving to 30 rue de Bussy about 1807, and finally to 71 rue de Seine in 1820. The fine quality of his work places him in the forefront of French violin makers. His instruments are patterned after the Stradivari model but tend towards more fullness in both outline and archings. The varnish, generally of a red-brown colour, can be very attractive, but often falls a little short of achieving clarity and elasticity; heavily varnished instruments have a broad checking, which is not at all unattractive. Those varnished a lighter golden-yellow or orange-brown appear to belong to a lesser category. Tonally, Aldric’s instruments are among the best produced by the French; his cellos are quite outstanding and are much sought after as concert instruments. Aldric used a variety of different labels; the printed ones usually have a decorative border while the manuscript labels are plain and appear rather carelessly turned out. He was the first French violin maker to buy some of the fine Italian instruments that were brought to Paris by Luigi Tarisio in ...

Article

Robert E. Eliason

(b Holland, MA, Sept 24, 1815; dc1905). American brass instrument maker. About 1853 he designed a very efficient rotary valve, featuring flattened windways, string linkage, and enclosed stops. This valve was very successful in the USA during the second half of the 19th century. Other makers who adopted the Allen valve included B.F. Richardson, D.C. Hall, and B.F. Quinby, all of whom had at one time worked with Allen; Henry Lehnert, who worked in Boston for a time before moving to Philadelphia; and E. Glier of Cochecton, New York.

Allen began making brass instruments about 1838 in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, a short distance from his birthplace. He moved to Boston in 1842 and is known to have worked in Norwich, Connecticut, from 1846 to 1849; in 1852 he returned to Boston. He is known to have made at least one keyed bugle early in his career, and a number of instruments with double-piston Vienna valves. During the late 1850s in Boston his flat-windway valve won respect among leading musicians and his instruments received favourable comment at mechanics exhibitions. From ...

Article

Charles Beare

(b Cornwall, England, 1848; dc1905). English bow maker. He worked for W.E. Hill & Sons from about 1880 until 1891. During this time he made many bows marked with the brand of his employers, some of them with exquisitely decorative mountings. He also repaired and modernized old sticks. On leaving Hill’s he continued to make bows, branding them ‘S. ALLEN’; he made at least one double bass as well. Some players complain that his violin bows are too ‘whippy’, but strong sticks were apparently not highly regarded by players at that time. He earned his reputation mainly through his cello bows: patterned in most respects after Tourte, they are medium to heavy in weight, of the strongest pernambuco wood, and in every way ideal for the modern cellist. His sticks are almost always octagonal....

Article

Article

Barbara Owen

(b Kennebunk, ME, March 4, 1804; d Newburyport, MA, March 8, 1880). American organ builder. He is said to have learnt about organbuilding from a Dr Furbush in Kennebunk, and began making reed organs at the age of 18. In 1826 he moved to Newburyport, where he eventually built 37 church organs, the largest in 1834 for the Unitarian Church in Newburyport. His fame, however, derives from the experimental ‘euharmonic’ (enharmonic) organs built between 1849 and 1851 in conjunction with Henry Ward Poole (1826–90) and Henry James Hudson (b 1821). These organs, while having a normal keyboard, had more than one pipe for each black key (e.g. both C♯ and D♭ pipes), and the intervals were tuned pure rather than tempered. To bring the proper pipes into operation the player depressed a selector pedal for the desired tonality. Alley and Poole patented the device on ...

Article

Lyndesay G. Langwill

revised by James B. Kopp

(b Ronsdorf [now Wuppertal], Germany, Oct 3, 1786; d Biebrich, Germany, Sept 14, 1843). German bassoonist, inventor, and composer. Largely self-taught, he was a professional bassoonist in Cologne from 1808. After a period with the Frankfurt Nationaltheater (1812–14) he returned to Cologne as bandmaster of the 3rd Prussian Militia, then accepted a similar position in Mainz (1816), where he met the acoustician and theorist Gottfried Weber. His association with Weber influenced his subsequent career and led him to make fundamental improvements to the bassoon. In 1817 he experimented in the instrument factory of B. Schotts Söhne. He first published his findings in Traité sur le perfectionnement du basson avec deux tableaux (Mainz, c1823), describing his improved 15-key bassoon. In 1820, after Weber’s departure from Mainz, Almenräder returned to Cologne where he taught and performed and also made flutes and clarinets in his own workshop. He gave this up in ...