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Article

Ronald Brown Byrnside

revised by Aaron Ziegel

[Dukelsky, Vladimir Alexandrovich]

(b Parafianovo, nr Minsk, Russia, 10 Oct 1903; d Santa Monica, CA, 16 Jan 1969). Composer and songwriter of Russian birth; naturalized American. He studied with Reinhold Glière (1916–19) and Marian Dombrovsky (1917–19) at the Kiev Conservatory until forced to flee the Revolution with his family, settling first in Constantinople (1920–21) and then in New York (1921–4). There he wrote a piano concerto for Artur Rubinstein, but it remained unperformed and unorchestrated. From 1924 he was in Paris and was commissioned by Sergey Diaghilev to write a ballet, Zephyr and Flora, which was performed in 1925 by the Ballets Russes at Monte Carlo and Paris. He wrote music for the London stage (1926–9) before returning to New York, where he began composing for both Broadway shows and formal concert venues. He also briefly studied orchestration with Joseph Schillinger...

Article

Deborah Hayes

(b Melbourne, Australia, 29 Dec 1912; d Sydney, Australia, 25 June 1990). Australian composer, naturalized American. She was a major figure in American musical life as a New York–based critic, composer, and concert organizer from the late 1940s into the 60s. From about 1960 she spent increasing amounts of time outside the United States, especially in Greece. In 1967 she underwent surgery in New York to remove a brain tumor; she recovered but virtually ceased composing. In 1975 she moved from Greece to Australia, where her music attracted renewed attention from performers and audiences. In 1987 the University of Sydney awarded her the honorary DMus.

She received her first training from 1927 at the Melbourne Conservatorium, where she studied with conductor and opera composer Fritz Hart. In 1931 she won a scholarship to the RCM, where she studied with Ralph Vaughan Williams (composition), Arthur Benjamin (piano), and Constant Lambert and Malcolm Sargent (conducting). The award of an Octavia Travelling Scholarship (...

Article

The instrumentarium of Western music throughout its history has been in a state of continuous change, and every type and period of music has given rise to its own modifications of existing instruments and playing techniques. The desire for instruments capable of greater range, volume, and dynamic control as well as for fresh timbres and easier playing techniques has led not only to the use of new materials and changes in design but also to the invention of new instruments, many of which, introduced by manufacturers seeking to promote their products through claims of novelty, have achieved small success and are now regarded as little more than curiosities. These developments form the matter of other articles in this dictionary, in which the evolution of individual instruments to their present state is described. The 20th century and early 21st saw an unprecedented expansion in the instrumentarium, especially electronic, and a host of new approaches by composers and performers to the use of existing instruments....

Article

Price  

Rae Linda Brown

[née Smith]Florence Bea(trice)

(b Little Rock, AR, 9 April 1887; d Chicago, IL, 3 June 1953). Composer. She was the first African American woman to win widespread recognition as a symphonic composer, rising to prominence (with William Grant Still and William Dawson) in the 1930s. After early training with her mother she studied composition at the New England Conservatory in Boston with Wallace Goodrich and Frederick Shepherd Converse (1903–6) and privately with George Whitefield Chadwick. She gained an Artist’s Diploma (organ) and a piano teacher’s diploma. She returned to the South to teach at the Cotton Plant–Arkadelphia Academy (1906–7) and Shorter College (1907–10) in Little Rock, then headed the music department of Clark College in Atlanta until 1912, when she returned to Little Rock to marry. In 1927, presumably to escape the increasing racial oppression in the South, the Price family moved to Chicago. There she began a period of compositional creativity and study at the American Conservatory and with ...

Article

Voice  

Sally Sanford

The quintessential human instrument, capable of unsurpassed tonal and melodic expressivity and nuance. Vocal sounds reflect individual anatomical differences as well as cultural, stylistic, and technique influences. The vocal mechanism is made up primarily of cartilaginous and other soft tissues. Vocal production involves coordination of complex physiologic processes, engaging the lungs and respiratory muscles (wind source), the vocal folds (vibrator/oscillator; also called vocal cords), the pharynx, mouth, nasal and head cavities (resonator), as well as the tongue, lips, teeth, and palate (articulator). The lips also radiate sound outward. The great capacity for variation in each of these areas, and for variation in more than one area at the same time, leads to a strong association of the voice with individual identity.

1. Phonation and vocal mechanism.

2. Acoustical analysis of the voice.

Phonation refers to the production of sound waves in the larynx (voice box). Phonation takes place during exhalation as the respiratory system supplies air through the vibrating vocal folds, which interrupt and break the air stream into smaller units or puffs of air. The resulting sounds are filtered through a resonator system and then transmitted outside the mouth. Singing, speaking, humming, and other vocal sounds usually involve practised regulation of air pressure and breath-stream mechanics, and balanced control of the inspiratory (chiefly the diaphragm) and expiratory muscles (chiefly the abdominal and intercostal muscles). This muscular antagonism requires some degree of experience or training to develop. Various methods are used in breathing for singing (often termed ‘breath support’ in Western vocal pedagogy) and different breath strategies will affect the vocal timbre and intensity. Singing tends to require greater lung capacity than normal speech, because musical phrases tend to be of longer duration than spoken phrases. Singing also often entails much higher air pressure than speech, sometimes reaching 40 to 50 cm (water gauge) at the top of the soprano range compared to a range of 4 to 9 cm for normal speech. The airflow is controlled by opening and closing the glottis, the space between the vocal folds. With sufficient subglottal air pressure, if the vocal folds are close enough, the Bernoulli effect will assist in their adduction....

Article

Biwa  

Komoda Haruko

revised by Hugh de Ferranti

Generic term for lutes of Japan. First brought from China to Japan by the late 7th century, diverse forms of biwa subsequently developed for the performance of various kinds of oral narrative and Buddhist ritual texts, and have been played in many strata of Japanese society. While dimensions and playing techniques vary, all biwa share a shallow, pear-shaped body and rather short neck, four or more wooden frets, a shallow wooden bridge, and four or five strings played with a large plectrum. Except for two archaic instruments, the gogen-biwa and the genkan, the strings are secured to tuning pegs inserted into a pegbox bent back nearly perpendicularly to the neck. Common to the forms of biwa that developed after the 17th century is a buzzing tone quality (sawari) produced by contact between a vibrating string and the upper surface of either a fret or the joint of the neck and pegbox. In modern performance the ...

Article

Ronit Seter

(b Haifa, Israel, 7 Dec 1957). Israeli composer.

She studied at the Rubin Israel Academy of Music, Tel Aviv University (BA 1982) with Abel Ehrlich and Yitzhak Sadai, in Berlin with Dieter Schnebel (1983–4), at Bard College (MFA 1987), where her teachers included Eli Yarden and Joan Tower, and at the University of California at San Diego (PhD 1993) with Roger Reynolds and Brian Ferneyhough. She has taught at the Darmstadt summer courses (1990–98, 2004, 2010), where she received the Kranichstein prize (1992), at the University of California, San Diego (1997–2006), at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna (2006–9), and at Harvard University (from 2009), where she became the first woman composer to serve as a senior professor of composition. Her honors include an Asahi Shimbun Fellowship for a year residency in Tokyo (...

Article

David Z. Kushner

(b Richmond, VA, 6 Sept 1882; d Richmond, VA, 15 Aug 1963). Pianist and composer.

He attended the University of Virginia (BA 1901) and went on to study in Vienna, where his teachers included Theodor Leschetizky and Karel Navrátil. His early works, among them the Sonata Virginianesque (1906) for violin and piano, and the piano works In the South (1906), At the Fair (1907, a six-movement suite whose first and last movements are titled, respectively, “Hoochie-Coochie Dance” and “Banjo-picker”), and Sonate noble (1908) blend American folk material with traditional contrapuntal techniques, elements that remained important to his compositional style. He made his recital debut in Berlin in 1907 and subsequently performed in Paris, London, and Vienna to great critical acclaim. An interest in and admiration for German culture are manifest in Sonate psychologique (its title was originally in German) completed in ...

Article

Jon Burlingame

[Prendergast, John Barry]

(b York, England, 3 Nov 1933; d Oyster Bay, NY, 30 Jan 2011). English composer.

As a boy he worked at his father's theater chain in the north of England and listened to such established Hollywood composers as Steiner, Korngold, and Waxman. He contemplated a career as a film composer and left school to study music with Francis Jackson, then the Master of Music at York Minster. During his national service (1952–5) he studied jazz arranging and orchestration by mail with Stan Kenton's famous arranger William Russo.

In 1957 he formed the John Barry Seven, a jazz-rock group, and was music director for the singer Adam Faith on several hit songs, including “What do you Want” (1959, Parlophone). The Seven's recording “Hit and Miss” (1960, EMI) was adopted as the theme for the BBC's popular television show Juke Box Jury. Around this time Barry wrote, performed, and recorded pop music, appearing with his group on such influential shows as Six-Five Special...

Article

Christopher Palmer

revised by Clifford McCarty, Martin Marks and Nathan Platte

(b New York, NY, 4 April 1922; d Ojai, CA, 18 Aug 2004). Composer and conductor. He was trained as a pianist but also studied composition with Israel Citkowitz, Roger Sessions, Ivan Langstroth and Stefan Wolpe. He attended New York University, then enlisted in the Army Air Corps (1942); he arranged and composed music for some 80 programs for the Armed Forces Radio Service and was a concert pianist for three years after his discharge. Norman Corwin then engaged him to score radio drama, which led to composition for films; Bernstein's third film, Sudden Fear (1952), attracted favorable attention. In 1955, despite suffering career difficulties due to McCarthyism (see Marmorstein), he rose to sudden prominence with his score for The Man with the Golden Arm. In this, as in several scores that followed (e.g. Walk on the Wild Side, 1962), he effectively blended jazz into a modern symphonic idiom to suit gritty stories and contemporary settings. He subsequently became known for his rousing scores for westerns and action films (notably ...

Article

Kate Daubney

(b New York, NY, 21 Nov 1896; d Beverly Hills, CA, 24 May 1960). Composer, arranger, orchestrator, and conductor. He studied the piano with Maurice Gould and Jeanne Franco and composition and orchestration with Frank Saddler. During the 1920s he worked as an arranger for Broadway musicals, including The Girlfriend, Manhattan Mary, and the Ziegfeld Follies of 1920 and 1921. He also wrote songs for the 1922 musical Glory. He established the De PackhEnsemble, which he conducted between 1928 and 1931, then in 1933 he went to Hollywood as an arranger and orchestrator. He worked first for MGM and smaller studios on films such as The Dancing Lady (1933) and Rip Tide (1934). He was also one of the team of five principal orchestrators who assisted composer Max Steiner with Gone with the Wind (1939), a score that exemplifies the richness of orchestral timbre and complexity of arrangement that were hallmarks of film music of the time. In the early 1940s he moved to Twentieth Century Fox, where he worked on a number of Betty Grable musicals, including ...

Article

Martin Marks

[Daniel Robert]

(b Los Angeles, CA, 29 May 1953). Composer, rock singer, arranger, and guitarist.

With his brother Richard he formed the theater company the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo in the 1970s, which in 1979 became Oingo Boingo, an eight-piece, new wave band led by Elfman as vocalist and songwriter. During the 1980s the band developed a distinctive synthesizer and horn-based sound; occasionally its songs were featured in youth-market films, such as for the title song of Weird Science (1985), but its ten or so albums had limited commercial success and it formally broke up in 1995.

Beginning in 1985 Elfman also began scoring films, becoming especially well known for his association with the director Tim Burton; after Batman (1989), he became one of Hollywood's most sought-after younger composers. He has worked on nearly all of Burton's films, creating colorful, rhythmically driving and knowingly referential scores, well matched to Burton's surreal style. Elfman has also written the theme music for many television shows, notably “The Simpsons”. Objecting to the overbearing use of sound effects in such action-driven films as ...

Article

Martin Marks

(b Brooklyn, NY, 2 May 1954). Composer. He learned piano as a child and in his teens also played trumpet and sang in a touring blues band. In the 1970s he studied at the Manhattan School with John Corigliano (ii) and later informally with Aaron Copland. His first important works were for classical chamber ensembles. The largest and best known of his concert works is Vietnam Oratorio, first performed in April 1995 to mark the 20th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. Its texts are in Vietnamese, Latin, and English and include poems by Yusef Komunyakaa. Its style is decidedly modern, and the eclectic vocal and instrumental writing includes a prominent solo cello part written for Yo-Yo Ma.

Since the late 1980s Goldenthal has also composed stage and film scores. Of particular interest are his collaborations with the theater director Julie Taymor, his longtime personal companion; these include popular productions of plays by Gozzi for the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a critically acclaimed revival of the oratorio-like ...

Article

Martin Marks

[Jerrald]

(b Los Angeles, CA, 10 Feb 1929; d Beverly Hills, CA, 21 July 2004). Composer and conductor. In the 1940s he studied the piano with Jakob Gimpel and theory and composition with Castelnuovo-Tedesco; he also attended Los Angeles City College, as well as Rózsa’s classes at the University of Southern California. In the 1950s he worked primarily for CBS, composing and conducting music first for radio, then for television. His television credits include numerous scores for such live dramatic programs as Climax! and Playhouse 90, as well as for episodes of long-running series such as Gunsmoke and The Twilight Zone. Although he continued to write for television with some frequency during the 1960s and 70s, after 1962 he mostly scored feature films. Over four decades he completed scores for more than 160 films and collaborated repeatedly with directors including Schaffner, Ridley Scott, Dante, Verhoeven and Schepisi. He worked closely with two outstanding orchestrators, Arthur Morton and Alexander Courage....

Article

Geoffrey Block

(Frederick)

(b New York, NY, 2 June 1944; d Los Angeles, CA, 6 Aug 2012). Composer. After demonstrating precocious talent, he became the youngest student to attend the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied piano reluctantly from 1951 to 1965; while still there, he worked as a rehearsal pianist for Funny Girl (1964). In 1965 he attained early success as a popular songwriter when two songs he composed with a high school friend, Howard Liebling, “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows” and “California Nights,” were recorded by Lesley Gore; one other song he composed as a teenager, “Travelin’ Life,” was recorded years later by Liza Minnelli, another high school friend, on her first album. Concurrently with his studies in music at Queens College, from which he graduated in 1967, Hamlisch was employed for two seasons as a vocal arranger and rehearsal pianist for a wide variety of acclaimed performers on ...

Article

James Wierzbicki

(Warren)

(b Cambridge, MA, 27 March 1920; D New York, 5 February 2014).. Conductor, arranger, harmonica player, and composer. He began his professional career in 1938 as a performer and arranger with the Borrah Minevitch Harmonica Rascals. His arrangements for this ensemble brought him to the attention of commercial musicians, and within a few years he was working as an orchestrator for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios on musical films that included Girl Crazy, Meet me in St. Louis, and As Thousands Cheer. After returning to Boston, where he was music director of the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra in the late 1940s, Hayman was named principal arranger for the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1950. In the decades that followed he served as music director for numerous leading entertainers, including Bob Hope, Johnny Cash, Red Skelton, Johnny Carson, Andy Williams, Pat Boone, Olivia Newton-John, and Bobby Vinton. His tune “Ruby” (from the soundtrack for the film ...

Article

Bill Dobbins and Barry Long

[Herbert Jeffrey]

(b Chicago, IL, 12 April 1940). Jazz pianist, keyboard player, and composer. He was born into a musical family and began studying piano at the age of seven. Four years later he performed the first movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto no.5 with the Chicago SO in a young people's concert. He formed his own jazz band while attending Hyde Park High School; his early influences were from Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, and the harmonies of Clare Fischer, Gil Evans, and Ravel. Hancock began studies at Grinnell College with a double major in music and engineering, the latter an early interest that later was manifested in his groundbreaking synthesizer work. He switched to composition in his junior year, and by the time he left Grinnell in 1960 he was already working in jazz clubs in Chicago with Coleman Hawkins. The trumpeter Donald Byrd invited him to join his quintet and move to New York, where during Hancock's first recording session with the group, Blue Note was sufficiently impressed to offer him his first date as a leader, in ...

Article

David Cooper

(b New York, NY, 29 June 1911; d Los Angeles, CA, 24 Dec 1975). Composer and conductor. In 1929, while still a student at DeWitt Clinton High School, he enrolled for classes in composition and conducting at New York University. The subsequent year he followed his conducting teacher Albert Stoessel to the Juilliard School of Music, where he was taught composition by the Dutch émigré Bernard Wagenaar. He left the Juilliard School after less than two years, apparently because he found the institution too conservative, and returned informally to New York University during the academic year 1932–3 to attend a course in composition and orchestration given by Percy Grainger. Grainger's eclectic approach revealed to Herrmann the range and diversity of the musical materials available to the contemporary composer. Early in 1933 he formed the New Chamber Orchestra from a group of unemployed musicians as a vehicle for his talents as both conductor and composer. The orchestra's repertory brought together contemporary compositions (including those of Charles Ives, with whom Herrmann formed a lasting friendship) and works by English composers such as Henry Purcell and Edward Elgar, symptomatic of his anglophile tendencies....

Article

Brendan G. Carroll

(b Brno, Moravia [now Czech Republic], 29 May 1897; d Hollywood, CA, 29 Nov 1957). Austrian composer.

The second son of the eminent music critic Julius Korngold (1860–1945), he was a remarkable child prodigy composer. In 1906 he played his cantata Gold to Gustav Mahler, who pronounced him a genius and recommended that he be sent to Zemlinsky for tuition. At age 11 he composed the ballet Der Schneemann, a sensation when it was first performed at the Vienna Court Opera (1910); he followed this with a Piano Trio and a Piano Sonata in E that so impressed Artur Schnabel that he championed the work all over Europe. Richard Strauss remarked: “One's first reaction that these compositions are by a child are those of awe and concern that so precocious a genius should follow its normal development. … This assurance of style, this mastery of form, this characteristic expressiveness, this bold harmony, are truly astonishing!” Giacomo Puccini, Jean Sibelius, Bruno Walter, Arthur Nikisch, Engelbert Humperdinck, Karl Goldmark, and many others were similarly impressed....

Article

Mark Brill

(b Paris, France, 24 Feb 1932; d Paris, France, 26 Jan 2019). French composer, pianist, and arranger, son of the composer Raymond Legrand (b 1908) and brother of the singer Christiane Legrand (b 1930). A musical prodigy he enrolled at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 11. He attended from 1943 to 1950, studied conducting with Nadia Boulanger and harmony with Henri Chaland, and graduated as a first-prize winner in composition. A Dizzy Gillespie concert in Paris in 1947 awakened his passion for jazz. In the 1950s he became a popular bandleader, singer, and songwriter, and wrote and conducted ballets for Roland Petit. In 1954 he became the bandleader and conductor for Maurice Chevalier and traveled with him to New York. That same year he recorded the album I Love Paris. In the late 1950s his arrangements for the album Legrand Jazz (...