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Article

Alexander Sanchez-Behar

(Nonatonic)

A nine-note scale or collection comprised of the recurring pattern of two semitones and a whole tone: C–C♯–D–E–F–F♯–G♯–A–B♭–C (enharmonic spellings are common). The scale is widely known as enneatonic or nonatonic, yet other labels exist: ‘mode 3’ of limited transposition from Messiaen (1944), the ‘nine-step scale’ from Tcherepnin (1962), and set class 9–12 [01245689T] from Forte (1973).

The enneatonic scale has symmetrical properties, reducing its number of distinct transpositions to four. Analogous to other symmetrical scales such as the octatonic, the intervallic arrangement of this scale can be rotated to begin with a semitone or whole tone. It is possible to generate the enneatonic scale by superimposing other symmetrical collections, using either three augmented triads, two hexatonic scales a semitone apart, or a whole-tone scale combined with a hexatonic scale (ex.1). Conversely, it can be thought of as the complement of an augmented triad. One of the inherent properties of collections based on symmetrical octave partitioning such as enneatonic is the saturation of major or minor thirds. The enneatonic scale contains nine major thirds, the maximum number for all conceivable nine-note scales....

Article

(fl late 14th century). Theorist and musician, best known in association with several theoretical treatises in the composite manuscript E-Sc 5.2.25. The only known reference to a Johannes Pipudi by name is found in one of the treatises in E-Sc 5.2.25 (fols.104v–107). Here, Pipudi is given the titles dominus and magister and is named as a canon at the church of Saint Didier in Avignon (canonicus sancti desiderii avinionensis). He is cited as having created and ordered at least some of the rules of counterpoint laid out in the treatise, the incipit of which lent itself to the title Regulae contrapunctus as given by Maricarmen Gómez.

This incipit indicates that these rules were the work of the master responsible for the preceding treatise (‘per supradictum magistrum’), which Anglés and Gómez called De arte cantus; furthermore, a set of rules in a mix of Latin and Catalan that follow ...

Article

Judith Rosen and Alan Shockley

[Walter]

(b Pawtucket, RI, 14 Nov 1939). Composer.

Beginning music study with piano lessons at age six, Carlos became one of the early experimenters in electronic music. Carlos, named Walter until after her gender transition in the 1970s, studied composition with ron Nelson as an undergraduate at Brown University (AB 1962), then continued studies with otto Luening, vladimir Ussachevsky, and jack Beeson at Columbia University (MA 1965). From 1964 Carlos served as an adviser to Robert Moog in modifying and perfecting the Moog synthesizer. The synthesizer gained recognition as a musical instrument and became the standard for electronic realizations owing to the enormous popularity of Carlos’s recording Switched-on Bach (1968), which was made on a Moog synthesizer. More than a million copies of the album were sold, and this success spawned follow-up albums composed of other Baroque transcriptions for synthesizer, as well as many albums from other recording artists....

Article

Terence Charlston

(b Wooler, Northumberland, July 28, 1936; d Reading, Dec 8, 2018). English harpsichord maker. Educated at Lord Wandsworth College, Hampshire, he studied zoology at the University of Hull, served in the RAF as a pilot, and then worked in education for which he was awarded the MBE in 1986. Evans was captivated by the sound of an original French harpsichord as a child and inspired by the recorder and harpsichord partnership of Carl Dolmetsch and Joseph Saxby while at school.

He began harpsichord making in the late 1950s when non-historical, piano workshop-based approaches dominated commercial harpsichord building in the UK. His adoption of historical methods of harpsichord construction was unusual for the time and influenced the practice of other makers.

He undertook exhaustive studies of surviving instruments and collaborated over nearly half a century with a small but distinguished number of like-minded players and makers who shared his aspirations and interests. Important early influences were the cabinet maker and furniture restorer Denis Rawlings, and the harpsichord maker Frank Sykes (foreman to ...

Article

Gillian Rodger

[Antonio]

(b New York, NY, 26 April 1833; d Elmhurst, NY, 26 Aug 1908). Circus performer and variety manager.

He was the third of six children of a Spanish immigrant barber, Antonio Pastor, and his American wife Cornelia Pastor (née Buckley). He was apprenticed to John Jay Nathans, a circus equestrian, in 1847, but gravitated towards a career as a clown. In the latter role he was expected to sing and dance as well as take part in comic minstrel and pantomime skits, which were a standard part of 19th-century circus entertainments.

By the end of the 1850s Pastor had moved into variety entertainment. It was not uncommon for variety theaters to hire circus acts, and Pastor found his first steady employment with Frank Rivers, a Philadelphia manager, and then with Robert Butler, the manager of the American Music Hall in Manhattan. Pastor worked with Butler for several seasons and established himself as a hugely popular performer with a diverse range of skills. A new theater licensing law in ...

Article

Luiz Mantovani

(Wilhelm Friedrich)

(b Vienna, June 11, 1880; d Vienna, Nov 6, 1953). Austrian composer, arranger, choirmaster, pianist, and piano teacher. As a child, he sang in the boys’ choir of the Heiligenkreuz Abbey, later studying composition privately with two members of Brahms’s circle, Eusebius Mandyczewski and Josef von Wöss. Rebay graduated in 1904 from the Conservatory of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, where he was a prize-winning student of Robert Fuchs. He subsequently worked for 16 years as a choirmaster in Vienna, leading two important choirs in that city: the Vienna Choir Association and the Schubertbund. During these years, Rebay acquired a local reputation as a composer of vocal music and regularly accompanied important Viennese singers, including Hans Duhan of the Vienna State Opera. In 1920, Rebay was hired as a piano teacher at his former school (by now renamed the Vienna Academy for Music and Performing Arts), a post he kept until his retirement in ...

Article

Robbins  

Frances Barulich

Firm of music publishers. It was founded in New York in 1927 by John Jacob (Jack) Robbins (b Worcester, MA, 15 Sept 1894; d New York, NY, 15 Dec 1959), who had formerly worked for Harms and for Enterprise. Robbins Music Corporation was one of the earliest firms to publish popular songs associated with films, their successes included “Spring is here” and “You were meant for me” (1929), “Goodnight sweetheart” (1931), “Try a little tenderness” (1932), “All I do is dream of you” and “Blue Moon” (1934), and “A-tisket, A-tasket” (1938). Robbins also published theme songs for the bands of Jimmy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton, and Count Basie, Ferde Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite, and popular Latin American music. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer bought an interest in the firm in 1929, and in 1939 it became part of the Big 3 Music Corporation; Robbins was vice president of the new company until ...

Article

Krin Gabbard

(b Pensacola, FL, Jan 29, 1927; d New York City, April 6, 2013). American pianist and composer. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Donald Shirley showed substantial promise as a pianist at an early age. At the age of 18, he made his début with the Boston Pops Orchestra performing a piano concerto by Tchaikovsky. He later studied music at the Catholic University in Washington. As a composer, he wrote symphonies, concerti, string quartets, works for organ, piano, and violin, a ‘Recorso’ inspired by James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, and an extended piece for piano that he called ‘an improvisation based on the story of Orpheus in the Underworld’. As a pianist, Shirley hoped to have a career in classical music, but after being told that audiences would not take an African American seriously as a classical artist, he chose to play jazz and popular music. For many years he played in clubs in New York City where he lived in an apartment directly above Carnegie Hall. Performing at Carnegie Hall in ...

Article

Geneva Southall

[Blind Tom]

(b Columbus, GA, 25 May 1849; d Hoboken, NJ, 13 June 1908). Pianist and composer.

He was blind from birth and was bought as a slave with his parents in 1850 by James N. Bethune, a journalist, lawyer, and politician in Columbus. He demonstrated musical aptitude and exceptional retentive skills by his fourth year and was given musical instruction by Bethune’s daughter Mary. He was exhibited throughout the state by his master in 1857, and then hired out to Perry Oliver, a planter of Savannah, who took him on an extensive concert tour throughout the slaveholding states; this included a command performance at Willard Hall in Washington for visiting Japanese dignitaries. His programs included works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Frydryk Chopin, Franz Liszt, Sigismond Thalberg, and other European masters, improvisations on operatic tunes and popular ballads, and several of his own published and unpublished compositions. He could perform difficult pieces after one hearing, sing and recite poetry or prose in several languages, duplicate lengthy orations, and imitate the sounds of nature, machinery, and various musical instruments. On the outbreak of the Civil War, he was returned to the Bethunes, who continued to exhibit him in the South to raise money for the Confederacy. After the Bethunes were successful in a guardianship trial in ...

Article

Fabian Huss

(b Brighton, Feb 26, 1879; d Eastbourne, Jan 10, 1941). English composer, violist, and conductor. He entered the Royal College of Music in 1896 as a violin student, before winning a foundation scholarship in 1899 to study composition with C.V. Stanford. During his remaining four years at the College he produced a number of ambitious chamber works, and began to establish a reputation as a chamber musician, particularly as a violist. He was a member of the English, Grimson, and Motto String Quartets. His rising stature was signalled by an invitation to perform with the Joachim Quartet in 1906, and he would perform with many eminent musicians in the next decade. From around 1912 onwards he began to curtail his activities as an instrumentalist, focussing increasingly on conducting and composition; this was partly due to an apprehension that his image as a performer hindered his stature as a composer....

Article

Mary Lou Humphrey

revised by Jonas Westover

(b Paterson, NJ, 20 Feb 1951). Composer.

A graduate of Yale University, where he was the first Lustman Fellow, he gained international recognition in the 1970s as a virtuoso pianist and as the director of Episteme, a chamber ensemble specializing in improvisation. In 1992 Davis became Professor of Music in African American Studies at Harvard, and in 1998 he assumed a full-time professorship at the University of California at San Diego; he has also held academic positions at Cornell and Yale. Best known as an operatic composer, Davis’s works exemplify his aesthetic desire to create an authentic American operatic art form through the use of vernacular musical styles, as well as his attempt to break down the divisions between popular culture and serious art. His other work in the theater includes his collaboration with the choreographer Ralph Lemon and his Broadway debut, in 1993, as the composer for ...

Article

Todd Decker

[Gumm, Frances Ethel]

(b Grand Rapids, MN, 10 June 1922; d London, England, 22 June 1969) Singer and actress, mother of Liza Minnelli

She began her career at age three in a family vaudeville act. As a child, she was billed as “the little girl with the great big voice.” The musical short Every Sunday initiated Garland’s long-term connection with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer when she was 13. After taking a featured role as Sophie Tucker’s daughter in Broadway Melody of 1938, Garland became a major musical film star following the release of The Wizard of Oz (1939) and a series of teen-oriented musicals with Mickey Rooney. Her first adult role, in For me and my Gal (1942), introduced Gene Kelly to Hollywood. Under the direction of Vincente Minnelli, who became her second husband, Garland made a final appearance as a teenager in Meet me in St. Louis (1944...

Article

Patricia Surman

(Rose Esther)

(b Aug 26, 1933, Calais, France). French composer and pianist. Raised in a musical family, her mother and father (Jacques Gotkovsky) were violinists; her father played in the Loewenguth Quartet. Her siblings Ivar (piano) and Nell (violin) were accomplished musicians, performing together regularly.

Gotkovsky began composing at the age of eight and studied at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (CNSMDP) and later taught at the CNSMDP and in the US. Composition teachers included Tony Aubin, Nadia Boulanger, and Olivier Messiaen. She has won many composition prizes, most notably the Prix Lily Boulanger (1967). Her oeuvre includes operas, ballets, orchestral and wind band works, concerti, and numerous chamber works. Noted as a wind band composer, significant works in this genre include the Poème du feu (1978), Danses rituelles (1988), Brillante symphonie (1988–1989), Le Chant de la forêt for chorus and wind orchestra (1989), and ...

Article

Kōl  

P. Pitoeff

[koul]

Oboe of the Kota people of the Nilgiri Hills, south India. Locally made, it is about 30 to 35 cm long and comprises four parts telescoped together, to which is added the reed: the conical bell is of neemwood, its rim reinforced by a brass flange; the cylindrical body has six fingerholes and is of fig- or rosewood, its two ends bound by brass bands; a brass tube or staple, of much smaller diameter, carries a large metal disc against which the player rests his lips; and a bird-quill extension carries a double reed affixed by binding. A simpler type has the bell and body made from one piece of wood. It is played in pairs, together with other Kota instruments—tābeteke (drums) and kombu (semicircular trumpets)—to accompany songs, dances, and processions. The Kota play music also for the mourning ceremonies of the Toda and certain Badaga clans, the latter sometimes call the Kota ...

Article

Christopher Lynch

Opera translators. Ruth Kelley Martin (b Ruth Berenice Kelley, Jersey City, NJ, April 14, 1914; d New York, Dec 11, 2000) and Thomas Philipp Martin (b Thomas Philipp Fleischer, Vienna, May 28, 1909; d New York, May 14, 1984) together translated over 40 operas into English, and Thomas translated four American operas into German. Throughout their careers they participated in the American debate over translated opera, vigorously defending the practice in newspapers and magazines.

Son of bass-baritone Arthur Fleischer, Thomas was raised in a musical family. He was trained in conducting at the Vienna Conservatory and then conducted at the Vienna Volksoper. Ruth studied English and music at Smith College. After graduating in 1936 she continued her studies in the summers of 1937 and 1938 in Austria, where she met Thomas. She also reported on the Salzburg Festival as a correspondent for the New York Times...

Article

Laurence Libin

(Peter Samuel)

(b London, England 27 Dec 1927). English musician,organologist,instrument curator, and collector.

After military service, he trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, as a conductor, and horn and percussion player. He performed as a professional percussionist from 1950 to the mid-1990s, and conducted his own orchestra from 1951 to 1956 with special attention to early music performance practice. He pioneered the reconstruction of medieval percussion instruments, which were used in performance with Musica Reservata from the late 1950s to 1980; this effort led to research and numerous publications on biblical, medieval, and later instruments.

In 1960, as curator of instruments at the Horniman Museum, he became interested in ethnographic instruments, and began to form his own comprehensive collection to illustrate his lectures and publications. He has lectured at colleges and universities including King’s College and Goldsmiths College of the University of London, was Heath Visiting Professor at Grinnell College, Iowa, 1970–71, and in 1981 was appointed Lecturer/Curator of the Bate Collection in the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford, retiring in 1995. Montagu was Honorary Secretary of the Galpin Society from 1965 to 1971 and was elected its President in 2006. In 1975 he co-founded the Fellowship of Makers and Researchers of Historic Instruments (FoMRHI) and was its Honorary Secretary until 2000. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute in 1960 and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1987. He received the Anthony Baines Memorial Prize of the Galpin Society in 2004 and the Curt Sachs Award from the American Musical Instrument Society in 2010. He is an Emeritus Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford. Montagu has contributed many articles to dictionaries and encyclopedias and is one of the editors of the ...

Article

Pambai  

[pamba].

Pair of double-headed cylindrical drums of Tamil Nadu (pambai) and and Andhra Pradesh (pamba), south India. The heads are braced on hoops and attached by Y-lacing. The drums, about 30 cm long, are bound together and played horizontally. In Tamil Nadu, one drum is usually made of wood, the other of brass; the Andhran ...

Article

Matthew Shaftel

(Albert)

(b Peru, IN, 9 June 1891; d Santa Monica, CA, 15 Oct 1964). Composer, songwriter, and lyricist.

One of the most celebrated Broadway and film composers of his era, Porter also penned his own lyrics, which were famous for their wit and sophistication.

The son of Kate Cole, an amateur pianist, and Sam Porter, an amateur guitarist, pianist, and singer, Cole Porter began his musical training at an early age. In addition to singing at the local Lutheran church, Cole studied the violin and the piano, attending the Marion Conservatory in Indiana at age six. He wrote his first song in 1901, “The Song of the Birds,” and his first publication was a short piano work, The Bobolink Waltz (1902). As a youth, he played violin in the conservatory orchestra, provided piano accompaniment for silent movies, and even starred in a school production of Snow White...

Article

Robert William Peck

(b Tel-Aviv, 21 Oct 1949). Composer of Israeli birth. In Israel she studied composition with Alexander Boscovich and Paul Ben Haim, the piano with Miriam Boscovich and Emma Gorochov, and was a student at the Tel Aviv Academy. She was awarded scholarships that enabled her to continue her studies at the American-Israeli Cultural Foundation and the Mannes College of Music, New York (BM 1967), where her principal teachers included Dello Joio and Reisenberg. She pursued further studies with Dorothy Taubman (1970–6) and Ralph Shapey (1976). After serving as artist-in-residence at St Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia (1972–3), she joined the music department at the University of Chicago in 1973. She has served as composer-in-residence with the Chicago SO (1990–7) and the Lyric Opera of Chicago (1994–7). Her numerous honors include awards from the Rockefeller Fund (1968...

Article

P. Pitoeff

[tambaṭṭam]

Frame drum of the Kota people of the Nilgiri Hills, south India. The circular frame, of metal, measures 40 cm in diameter. The skin extends over its sides completely and is held underneath by a system of lacing that radiates outward from a centrally placed, suspended, metal ring. The drum is held vertically on the player’s hip by means of a strap passed around his neck; it is beaten with two sticks, one thinner than the other. See ...