(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 ...
Lyndesay G. Langwill
revised by James B. Kopp
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....
revised by Ludwig Böhm
(b Munich, April 9, 1794; d Munich, Nov 25, 1881). German flute maker, flautist, composer and inventor. He worked out the proportions and devised the mechanism which are the bases of the modern flute. Boehm was the son of a goldsmith, in whose craft he became fully skilled at an early age. In childhood he taught himself the flageolet and one-keyed flute; by the age of 16 he had already grown dissatisfied with the latter, and in 1810 made himself a copy of a four-keyed instrument by Grenser of Dresden. Around the same time he also made a nine-keyed flute with a movable golden mouth-hole, based on the ideas of Johann Nepomuk Kapeller (1776–1825), flautist in the royal court orchestra in Munich. In 1810 Boehm began flute lessons with Kapeller, who gave him formal instruction until 1812, admitting then that he had no more to teach him....
( b Paris, June 13, 1799; d Paris, 5/April 6, 1839). French oboist, wind instrument maker and composer . He studied at the Paris Conservatoire from 1812 under Gustave Vogt, who shared Brod’s Protestant Alsatian background. Having received the premier prix in 1818, the following year Brod was appointed second oboist in the Opéra orchestra alongside his teacher. During Vogt’s absences in 1826 and 1828 Brod filled Vogt’s place as first oboist. The abilities of the two players were often compared; Fétis found Brod’s tone sweeter than that of his teacher. A statuette by Dantan jeune (Paris, Musée Carnavalet) caricatures Brod playing a musette. He died just 3 months before he would have been eligible for a pension to support his wife and young son. His widow petitioned repeatedly for support from the administration of both the Conservatoire and Opéra.
Oboes by Brod, some made in collaboration with his brother Jean-Godefroy (...
revised by Thomas Hiebert
(b Würzburg, March 13, 1767; d Paris, June 19, 1844). German horn player, composer and teacher, active in France. Son of the Hungarian-born principal horn at the Würzburg court, Friedrich Domnich (b Ofen, 9 June 1729; d Würzburg, 22 April 1790), he was the most famous of three horn-playing brothers; the others were Jacob (b Würzburg, 1758; d Philadelphia, after 1806), who in about 1790 emigrated to Philadelphia and taught and played extensively there, and Arnold (b Würzburg, 29 Sept 1771; d Meiningen, 14 July 1834), who was employed at the Saxe-Meiningen court from 1786 until 1834, becoming principal horn in 1803. At an early age Heinrich entered the band of Count von Elz at Mainz, but when subjected to livery service he left in 1783 for Paris, where he studied with Punto for two years. In 1785 he earned praise for the neatness and facility of his playing as second to Jean Lebrun in a double concerto at the Concert Spirituel; this was the first of at least eight appearances there by Domnich between ...
Victor de Pontigny
revised by Paul Sparks
(b Heilbronn, 1802; d Styria, 1890). German jew's harp and guitar player. After an initial lack of success in his native country, he travelled through Switzerland in 1825–6, eventually arriving in Paris where he worked as a guitar virtuoso. In 1827 his op.1 (a set of 12 airs for solo guitar) was published by Richault in Paris, and in the same year he appeared in London as a guitarist and jew's harpist. He produced extremely beautiful effects by performing on 16 jew's harps, having for many years cultivated this instrument in an extraordinary manner. The patronage of the Duke of Gordon induced him to return to London in 1828; but he soon found that the iron jew's harp had so injured his teeth that he could not play without pain, and he therefore spent more time playing the guitar. At length a dentist devised a glutinous covering for his teeth, which enabled him to play his jew's harp again. He was very successful in Scotland and thence went to Bath (...
(b Belfast, Aug 12, 1839; d Manchester, Dec 12, 1911). English clarinettist, brass band conductor and teacher. He was the son of a military bandmaster and had a precocious musical talent; by the age of 11 he was appearing as a piccolo soloist with Louis Jullien’s orchestra. He also appears to have been a talented pianist, but it was as a clarinettist that he made his mark as a player. After touring with a number of theatre bands he became leader of the Harrogate Spa Band, and in 1861 he joined the Hallé Orchestra in which he remained for most of his playing career. In the 1850s he started to conduct brass bands, and he went on to have influential associations with the most successful Victorian bands, particularly the Meltham Mills Band. At the time of his death Gladney was widely referred to as the father of the brass band movement. With two other successful Victorian band conductors, Edwin Swift and Alexander Owen, he shaped the format and idiom of the British brass band. The standard instrumentation comes from their preferred combination of forces (...
(Carel Gerhard )
( b Cape of Good Hope, May 22, 1791; d Lausanne, 1838). Scottish and Cape Dutch amateur flute maker and player . He carried out improvements to the flute, firstly in Paris, and in 1831 in London in association with Rudall & Rose and Cornelius Ward. He is remembered for the ‘Boehm–Gordon controversy’, a libel campaign against Theobald Boehm initiated for his own commercial ends by Victor Coche in 1838, in which Boehm was falsely accused of stealing the idea of the ring-key (brille) from Gordon (it had in fact been patented in 1808 by Friedrich Nolan). Boehm and Gordon had worked together in Munich in 1833–4, a result of which was Gordon's 13-hole Flûte diatonique of 1834. There had been no misunderstanding between them; the campaign against Boehm, which was perpetuated by John Clinton, Cornelius Ward and Richard Shepard Rockstro, seems to have originated in jealousy. The accusations were refuted by Schafhäutl and Christopher Welch, but Gordon’s apparent failure led to severe mental illness and eventually to suicide....
Alice Lawson Aber-Count
(b Berlin, 17 Feb ?1821; d Berlin, May 23, 1882). German harpist, teacher and composer, son of Karl Grimm. He studied the harp with Josef Hasselmans at the Strasbourg Conservatory and perfected his skill in Leipzig with Elias Parish Alvars. From 1837 he performed with great success and was much in demand, particularly by Liszt and Bülow. In 1844 he was the principal harpist at the royal chapel in Berlin and 25 years later received the title königliche Concertmeister.
Grimm was the founder of the modern German school of harp playing. Among his pupils were Albert Zabel, Wilhelm Posse, Franz Poenitz, Rosalia Spohr (wife of Louis Spohr) and Ferdinand B. Hummel. His compositions for the harp are unpublished.B. Bagatti: Arpa e arpisti (Piacenza, 1932), 52 M.G. Scimeca: L’arpa nella storia (Bari, 1938), 145–6 W. Henley: Universal Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers, 2 (Brighton, 1960) A.N. Schirinzi...
Robert E. Eliason
(b Lyme, NH, May 16, 1822; d Boston, Feb 11, 1900). American bandleader, bugle player and brass instrument manufacturer. He was an accomplished keyed bugle player and led several bands, first in Hartford, Connecticut (1844–5), then in New Haven (1845–6). Shortly after he became director and E♭ bugle soloist with the Lowell, Massachusetts, brass band. He was presented with an extremely fine E♭ keyed bugle of solid gold on 15 April 1850 by the members of the Lowell band. In 1856 Hall succeeded Patrick S. Gilmore as leader of the Boston Brass Band, a position he retained for many years.
In 1862, after a year of partnership with J. Lathrop Allen, a leading Boston instrument maker, Hall began his own brass instrument manufactory and importing business. He was joined by Benjamin F. Quinby, and from 1866 to 1875 Hall & Quinby were leading producers and importers of brass instruments in Boston. Their instruments were made in circular and over-shoulder forms as well as in the shapes common today, and they were usually equipped with Allen valves. Although most of Hall & Quinby’s instruments were pitched alternately in E♭ and B♭ like saxhorns, they also made brass instruments pitched a 3rd apart, like those in the ...
Edward H. Tarr
(b Bozí Dar [Gottesgab], Bohemia, March 11, 1795; d Prague, Jan 29, 1871). Czech horn player, teacher and inventor. He graduated from the Prague Conservatory in 1817, and played the horn in the theatre orchestra of Pest from 1819 to 1822 and in the Vienna Hofoper (Kärntnertortheater) from 1822 to 1 December 1824. He then returned to Prague to become principal horn in the Estates Theatre. In June 1826 he was summoned by B.D. Weber, the director of the Prague Conservatory (whose variations ‘for the newly invented keyed horn’ Kail had performed in 1819), to be its first professor for trumpet and trombone (both with valves). From 1852 he also taught the flugelhorn; he retired in 1867.
On 1 November 1823 Kail obtained a privilege, together with the Vienna maker Joseph Riedl, for a trumpet with two Vienna valves; on 11 September 1835 the two received a privilege for a rotary valve; and from ...
(b Ferrara, Nov 7, 1790; d Ravenna, Aug 5, 1877). Italian guitarist, instrument maker and composer. Although trained from his earliest years as an orchestral string player, Legnani devoted himself to singing and especially to the guitar. He made his début as a tenor in Ravenna in 1807, and appeared there again from 1820 to 1826 in operas by Rossini, Pacini and Donizetti. He launched his career as a concert guitarist in Milan in 1819. In 1822 he appeared in Vienna with such sensational success that he was considered the worthy successor to Mauro Giuliani (who had left Vienna in 1819 to return to Italy). This city received Legnani with much praise again in 1833 and 1839.
In the intervening years, besides touring Italy, Germany and Switzerland as a guitarist, Legnani struck up a friendship with Paganini, who considered him ‘the leading player of the guitar’. They planned to play together as a duo in a series of ...
Jeffrey L. Snedeker
[Joseph Jean Pierre Emile, Pierre-Joseph Emile, Jérôme]
(b Colmar, Nov 22, 1791; d Paris, Aug 29, 1867). French horn player and designer. He was a pioneer of valve horn playing, pedagogy and design, influencing Halévy, Berlioz and others in Paris, especially in the years between 1830 and 1850. Meifred’s first performing speciality was Cor basse, which required flexibility for wide leaps and refined hand-stopping on the natural horn. He won the premier prix at the Conservatoire in 1818, and played in the orchestras of the Théâtre Italien (1819–22) and the Opéra (1822–50). With the introduction of valved instruments to Paris in about 1826, Meifred adopted the valve horn. He collaborated with Labbaye to create a design which included internal crooks, two permanently attached Stölzel valves and the first European use of tuning-slides added to the valve tubes (later labelled ‘Meifred’ horns). This design was awarded a silver medal at the 1827...
revised by Laura Moore Pruett
(b Setauket, NY, Nov 26, 1807; d Setauket, NY, Nov 18, 1868). American painter, composer, fiddler, and inventor. Best known as a genre painter of the Hudson River School who depicted some significant examples of banjo and fiddle iconography, he is also notable for his ‘improved’, louder model of the violin, patented 1 June 1852 (no.8981). The patent model, a 7/8-size instrument (US.W.si), was patterned after a design that requires fewer constituent parts than usual; it incorporates a boutless, almond-shaped body, a ‘hollow’ (i.e. concave, cradle-like) bent back, a ‘spring-beam’ bass-bar, shortened soundpost, and straight soundholes. In its final form, as exemplified by a full-sized violin of 1857 (Museums at Stony Brook, New York, where Mount’s patterns and notes are also preserved), it possesses a boutless, guitar-shaped body, the same ‘hollow’ back, a conventional bass-bar, and ordinary soundholes in reversed position. Under the trade name ‘The Cradle of Harmony’ various models were displayed at the Crystal Palace, New York, during the ...
(b Poltava, 17/May 29, 1894; d Moscow, Aug 15, 1967). Soviet music historian, theorist, pianist and instrument maker . In 1912 he went to Moscow University to read physics and mathematics, but he changed to law and graduated in 1917. At the same time he studied at the Moscow People’s Conservatory under Boleslav Yavorsky (composition) and Yevgeny Bogoslovsky and Aleksandr Goedicke (piano). Between 1912 and 1916 he appeared as a concert pianist and performed his own sonatas (all five of which have remained in manuscript) and other works, stylistically influenced by the Taneyev school. In 1915 he started teaching at the conservatory. He edited the literary journal Gyulistan, and from 1923 to 1933 held a number of posts in different publishing houses; from 1937 to 1941 he was editor of the publishing house of the USSR Academy of Architecture. For several years he played an active part in the Union of Soviet Composers; he was chairman of the Moscow branch (...
(b Amatrice, Rieti, Italy, 17??; d Amatrice, Italy, 16–17 March 1804). Italian amateur flutist, composer, and developer of the flute. Orazi served as an army lieutenant in Naples and Spain and on retirement returned to Amatrice, on the northern border of the Kingdom of Naples. In 1797 he published a short treatise illustrating his invention and fabrication of a new type of transverse flute; printed separately at the same time were two ‘enharmonic’ trios he wrote especially for this instrument, incorporating themes by other composers. His aim was to make the flute more competitive with the violin by extending its range down to g; increasing the upper range and facilitating emission of high notes; and enabling it to perform quarter-tones so that portamento effects could enhance its expressive potential.
The instrument was essentially a normal concert flute in D (‘flauto corista’) equipped with four closed-standing keys (E♭, F, G#, B♭). To it was added an extension partly bent back on itself for more convenient positioning of the keys, allowing one to play chromatically from ...
revised by Jan ten Bokum
Dutch family of musicians . Jan Hendrik Paling (b Woerden, Dec 14, 1796; d Rotterdam, Feb 23, 1879) was a carillonneur, organist and piano maker . In 1826 he opened a piano factory in Rotterdam and quickly gained a wide reputation for the quality of tone produced by his instruments. He was also active as a music publisher. His son Willem Hendrik Paling (b Rotterdam, Sept 1, 1825; d Sydney, Aug 27, 1895 ) studied the violin and piano under Bartholomeus Tours and taught at the Rotterdam music school for three years (1844–7). In 1855 he emigrated to Australia and, after considerable success as a violinist and teacher, he started the firm of W.H. Paling & Co., piano manufacturers. Willem’s brother Anton Adriaan Paling (b Rotterdam, Sept 14, 1835; d Nĳmegen, Oct 12, 1922 ) was a pupil of his father and joined him in the piano factory, becoming head of the firm in ...
[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 ...
Beryl Kenyon de Pascual
(b Madrid, May 11, 1815; d Madrid, Oct 7, 1886). Spanish clarinettist, music publisher and instrument inventor . Romero began to study the clarinet in 1826 and by 1829 he was playing in a regimental band and a theatre orchestra in Valladolid. He subsequently joined the band of the royal guards, rising to bandmaster in 1841, and was appointed supernumerary clarinet in the royal chapel in 1844. During the 1840s and 50s he also played in Madrid theatre orchestras as a clarinettist and oboist. From 1849 to 1876 he was professor of the clarinet at the Madrid Conservatory and briefly taught the oboe. He opened a shop in 1854 selling both music and instruments and in 1856 founded a music publishing firm. By 1870 he had incorporated an instrument factory into his business and in 1884 he added a concert room.
Romero was an influential figure in Madrid musical life. As a publisher he laid particular emphasis on making available works by Spanish composers and on enlarging the military band repertory. He published a series of specially commissioned Spanish-language tutors covering all conservatory and band instruments, himself writing those for the clarinet, the bassoon and the french horn. A modern revised edition of his clarinet tutor was still in use in Spain at the end of the 20th century. In ...
(b Guise, Aisne, Sept 1786; d Paris, Feb 9, 1853). French bassoon maker and bassoonist. His father was the Paris woodwind maker known as a Savary père (fl c1798–c1827) comparatively, few of whose instruments survive. About an elder brother Savary fils aîné listed 1819 to 1837 variously as woodwind and string instrument/maker, nothing else is known. Jean Nicolas first trained as bassoonist under Delcambre at the Paris Conservatoire, winning a premier prix in 1808 and later becoming principal at the Théâtre des Italiens. He probably started making bassoons in 1816/17, in association with his father; by 1823 he had his own workshop, styling himself Savary jeune, and listed as ‘fournisseur de la maison du Roi, de l’Académie et de l’école royale’ and inventor of a model à coulisse mécanique and culasse à bascule. An instrument of this type, dated 1823, with five machine-operated tuning-slides fitted to the three lower joints and to the butt-knee, is at the Shrine to Music Museum, Vermillion, south Dakota. He fitted many of his instruments with a pioneering form of automatic crook-key mechanism and made early use of the key roller. His background as an excellent performer was undoubtedly of great practical value and helped him subsequently to become the most celebrated maker of his time both in France and England. His instruments, which he habitually dated, were unequalled for the sweetness and singing quality of their tone and remained in use and sought after by professionals, especially in London, for almost a century; Day called him ‘the Stradivari of the bassoon’. Of his prolific output, 51 bassoons, eight tenor bassoons and one octave bassoon are listed by Young as surviving today. He did not participate in any of the Paris exhibitions. He had no workshop successor, his stock being sold after his death....