Baldwin Piano Company
The Baldwin Piano Company is an American piano brand. It was once the largest US-based manufacturer of keyboard instruments and known by the slogan, "America's Favorite Piano", it ceased most domestic production in December 2008. Baldwin is a subsidiary of the Gibson Guitar Corporation, the largest American manufacturer of musical instruments; the company traces its origins back to 1857, when Dwight Hamilton Baldwin began teaching piano and violin in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1862, Baldwin started a Decker Brothers piano dealership and, in 1866, hired Lucien Wulsin as a clerk. Wulsin became a partner in the dealership, by known as D. H. Baldwin & Company, in 1873, under his leadership, the Baldwin Company became the largest piano dealer in the Midwestern United States by the 1890s. In 1889–1890, Baldwin vowed to build "the best piano that could be built" and subsequently formed two production companies: Hamilton Organ, which built reed organs, the Baldwin Piano Company, which made pianos; the company's first piano, an upright, began selling in 1891.
The company introduced its first grand piano in 1895. Baldwin left the vast majority of his estate to fund missionary causes. Wulsin purchased Baldwin's estate and continued the company's shift from retail to manufacturing; the company won its first major award in 1900, when their model 112 won the Grand Prix at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, the first American manufactured piano to win such an award. Baldwin-manufactured pianos won top awards at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and the 1914 Anglo-American Exposition. By 1913, business had become brisk, with Baldwin exporting to thirty-two countries in addition to having retailers throughout the United States. Baldwin, like many other manufacturers, began building player pianos in the 1920s. A piano factory was constructed in Ohio; the models became unpopular by the end of the 1920s, coupled with the beginning of the Great Depression, could have spelled disaster for Baldwin. However, the company's president, Lucien Wulsin II, had created a large reserve fund for such situations, Baldwin was able to ride out the market downturn.
During World War II, the US War Production Board ordered the cessation of all US piano manufacturing so that the factories could be used for the US war effort. Baldwin factories were used to manufacture plywood airplane components for various aircraft such as the Aeronca PT-23 trainer and the stillborn Curtiss-Wright C-76 Caravan cargo aircraft. While the employment of wood components in military aircraft could by no means be considered a resounding success, lessons learned in constructing plywood aircraft wings assisted in Baldwin's development of its 21-ply maple pinblock design used in its postwar piano models. After the war ended, Baldwin resumed selling pianos, by 1953 the company had doubled production figures from prewar levels. In 1946, Baldwin introduced its first electronic organ, which became so successful that the company changed its name to the Baldwin Piano & Organ Company. In 1961, Lucien Wulsin III became president. By 1963, the company had acquired C. Bechstein Pianofortefabrik and remained its owner until 1986.
In 1959, Baldwin constructed a new piano manufacturing plant in Conway, Arkansas to manufacture upright pianos: by 1973, the company had built 1,000,000 upright pianos. In 1961 Baldwin constructed a new piano factory in Greenwood Mississippi. Subsequently production of upright pianos was moved from Ohio to Greenwood; the company next attempted to capitalize on the growth of pop music. After an unsuccessful bid to buy Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, Baldwin bought Burns of London in 1965 for $380,000, began selling the guitars through the company's piano retail outlets. During this time period, Baldwin engineer Robert C. Scherer developed the Prismatone pickup for nylon string guitars. Unaccustomed to marketing guitars, the Baldwin stores failed to interest many guitar buyers, sales proved disappointing. In 1967, Baldwin bought Gretsch guitars, which had its own experienced guitar sales force and a distribution network of authorized retail outlets; however and Gibson continued to dominate, sales did not reach expected levels.
The Gretsch guitar operation was sold back to the Gretsch family in 1989. Throughout the 1970s, the company undertook a significant bid to diversify into financial services. Under the leadership of Morley P. Thompson, Baldwin bought dozens of firms and by the early 1980s owned over 200 savings and loan institutions, insurance companies and investment firms, including MGIC Investment Corporation; the company changed its name to Baldwin-United in 1977 after a merger with United Corp. In 1980, the company opened a new piano manufacturing facility in Arkansas. By 1982, the piano business contributed only three percent of Baldwin's $3.6 billion revenues. Meanwhile, the company had taken on significant debt to finance its acquisitions and new facilities, was finding it difficult to meet its loan obligations. In 1983, the holding company and several of its subsidiaries were forced into bankruptcy with a total debt of over $9 billion—at that time, the largest bankruptcy ever. However, the piano business was not part of the bankruptcy.
During bankruptcy proceedings in 1984, the Baldwin piano business was sold to its management. The new company went public in 1986 as the Baldwin Piano and Organ Company and moved its headquarters to Loveland, Ohio. However, difficulties continued as demographic changes and foreign competition slowed sales of keyboard instruments; the company responded by acquiring Wurlitzer to increase market share and by moving manufacturing overseas to reduce production costs
The clarion, is a rare charge in heraldry of uncertain meaning and purpose. It originates from England and is still exclusive to that country, though latterly it has been imported to other Anglophone nations. In Canadian heraldry, it is the cadency mark of a ninth daughter, it is said to represent a kind of wind instrument such as a panpipe or recorder, but does not resemble the trumpet-like clarion known to modern musicians. It may be intended as an overhead view of a keyboard instrument such as a spinet. Alternatively it has been said to represent a'rest', a device used by mediaeval knights to support a lance during jousting. In his Display of Heraldry John Guillim suggests that it may be a rudder.'Clarion' is the name given to a stop on an organ which imitates the sound of a trumpet. A verse of poetry published in 1568 does not do much to clarify the issue: The claricord hath a tunely kyndeAs the wyre is wrested hye and lowe So it tuenyth to the players mynde For as it is wrested so must it nedes showe As by this reson ye may well know Any Instrument mystunyd shall hurt a trew song Yet blame not the claricord the wrester doth wrong.
Translation: The claricord has a tuneful nature As the wire is tightened high and low Thus is it tuned to the player's mind For as it is tightened, so it must go And by this reason, you must know Any instrument mistuned shall hurt a true song Yet blame not the claricord the tuner does wrong. Clarion: illustration and discussion by François Velde. Accessed March 6, 2010. Clarion, Organ Rest, Sufflue: illustration and brief description. Accessed March 6, 2010; the Meanings Behind the Symbols: Clarion: heraldic charge illustrated, interpreted as meaning "ready for war." This meaning is compatible with the idiom clarion call, meaning an irresistible summons. Accessed March 6, 2010. Coats of arms of Case Western Reserve University and its predecessors. A description of the arms used by the School of Applied Science / Case Institute of Technology. Accessed March 6, 2010
Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition
The Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition is a 29-volume reference work, an edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. It was developed during the encyclopaedia's transition from a British to an American publication; some of its articles were written by the best-known scholars of the time. This edition of the encyclopedia, containing 40,000 entries, is now in the public domain, many of its articles have been used as a basis for articles in Wikipedia. However, the outdated nature of some of its content makes its use as a source for modern scholarship problematic; some articles have special value and interest to modern scholars as cultural artifacts of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The 1911 eleventh edition was assembled with the management of American publisher Horace Everett Hooper. Hugh Chisholm, who had edited the previous edition, was appointed editor in chief, with Walter Alison Phillips as his principal assistant editor. Hooper bought the rights to the 25-volume 9th edition and persuaded the British newspaper The Times to issue its reprint, with eleven additional volumes as the tenth edition, published in 1902.
Hooper's association with The Times ceased in 1909, he negotiated with the Cambridge University Press to publish the 29-volume eleventh edition. Though it is perceived as a quintessentially British work, the eleventh edition had substantial American influences, not only in the increased amount of American and Canadian content, but in the efforts made to make it more popular. American marketing methods assisted sales; some 14% of the contributors were from North America, a New York office was established to coordinate their work. The initials of the encyclopedia's contributors appear at the end of selected articles or at the end of a section in the case of longer articles, such as that on China, a key is given in each volume to these initials; some articles were written by the best-known scholars of the time, such as Edmund Gosse, J. B. Bury, Algernon Charles Swinburne, John Muir, Peter Kropotkin, T. H. Huxley, James Hopwood Jeans and William Michael Rossetti. Among the lesser-known contributors were some who would become distinguished, such as Ernest Rutherford and Bertrand Russell.
Many articles were carried over from some with minimal updating. Some of the book-length articles were divided into smaller parts for easier reference, yet others much abridged; the best-known authors contributed only a single article or part of an article. Most of the work was done by British Museum scholars and other scholars; the 1911 edition was the first edition of the encyclopædia to include more than just a handful of female contributors, with 34 women contributing articles to the edition. The eleventh edition introduced a number of changes of the format of the Britannica, it was the first to be published complete, instead of the previous method of volumes being released as they were ready. The print type was subject to continual updating until publication, it was the first edition of Britannica to be issued with a comprehensive index volume in, added a categorical index, where like topics were listed. It was the first not to include long treatise-length articles. Though the overall length of the work was about the same as that of its predecessor, the number of articles had increased from 17,000 to 40,000.
It was the first edition of Britannica to include biographies of living people. Sixteen maps of the famous 9th edition of Stielers Handatlas were translated to English, converted to Imperial units, printed in Gotha, Germany by Justus Perthes and became part this edition. Editions only included Perthes' great maps as low quality reproductions. According to Coleman and Simmons, the content of the encyclopedia was distributed as follows: Hooper sold the rights to Sears Roebuck of Chicago in 1920, completing the Britannica's transition to becoming a American publication. In 1922, an additional three volumes, were published, covering the events of the intervening years, including World War I. These, together with a reprint of the eleventh edition, formed the twelfth edition of the work. A similar thirteenth edition, consisting of three volumes plus a reprint of the twelfth edition, was published in 1926, so the twelfth and thirteenth editions were related to the eleventh edition and shared much of the same content.
However, it became apparent that a more thorough update of the work was required. The fourteenth edition, published in 1929, was revised, with much text eliminated or abridged to make room for new topics; the eleventh edition was the basis of every version of the Encyclopædia Britannica until the new fifteenth edition was published in 1974, using modern information presentation. The eleventh edition's articles are still of value and interest to modern readers and scholars as a cultural artifact: the British Empire was at its maximum, imperialism was unchallenged, much of the world was still ruled by monarchs, the tragedy of the modern world wars was still in the future, they are an invaluable resource for topics omitted from modern encyclopedias for biography and the history of science and technology. As a literary text, the encyclopedia has value as an example of early 20th-century prose. For example, it employs literary devices, such as pathetic fallacy, which are not as common in modern reference texts.
In 1917, using the pseudonym of S. S. Van Dine, the US art critic and author Willard Huntington Wright published Misinforming a Nation, a 200+
Bookmatching is the practice of matching two wood or stone surfaces, so that two adjoining surfaces mirror each other, giving the impression of an opened book. As applied to wood, bookmatching is done with veneer, but can be done with solid wood; the technique is used to beautify a variety of objects such as furniture, guitars or the interior of high-luxury cars. The two adjoining surfaces are produced from the same piece of wood, so that they have the same appearance, but mirrored; the final effect varies with the figure of the wood chosen and can range from subtle, to dramatic effects with wavy grain showcased, as in high-end guitars. Bookmatching is possible with marble or other patterned stone. Luthier For keyboard instruments adorned with bookmatched veneer, see Spinet and Conrad Graf. http://www.veneernet.com/matching.html
The virginals or virginal is a keyboard instrument of the harpsichord family. It was popular in Europe during the late Renaissance and early baroque periods. A virginal is a smaller and simpler rectangular form of the harpsichord with only one string per note running more or less parallel to the keyboard on the long side of the case. Many, if not most, of the instruments were constructed without legs, would be placed on a table for playing. Models were built with their own stands; the mechanism of the virginals is identical to the harpsichord's, in that its wire strings are plucked by plectra mounted in jacks. Its case, however, is rectangular, the single choir of strings—one per note—runs parallel to the keyboard; the strings are plucked either at one end, as with the harpsichord, or, in the case of the muselar, nearer the middle, producing a richer, flute-like tone. The origin of the name is obscure, it may derive from the Latin virga meaning a rod referring to the wooden jacks that rest on the ends of the keys, but this is unproven.
Another possibility is that the name derives from the word virgin, as it was most played by young women, or from its sound, like a young girl's voice. A further view is that the name derives from the Virgin Mary as it was used by nuns to accompany hymns in honour of the Virgin. In England, during the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras, any stringed keyboard instrument was described as a virginals, could apply to a harpsichord or even a clavichord or spinet. Thus, the masterworks of William Byrd and his contemporaries were played on full-size, Italian or Flemish harpsichords, not only on the virginals as we call it today. Contemporary nomenclature referred to a pair of virginals, which implied a single instrument a harpsichord with two registers, or a double virginals. Like the harpsichord, the virginals has its origins in the medieval psaltery to which a keyboard was applied in the 15th century; the first mention of the word is in Paulus Paulirinus of Prague's Tractatus de musica of around 1460 where he writes: The virginal is an instrument in the shape of a clavichord, having metal strings which give it the timbre of a clavicembalo.
It has 32 courses of strings set in motion by striking the fingers on projecting keys, giving a dulcet tone in both whole and half steps. It is called a virginal because, like a virgin, it sounds with a undisturbed voice; the OED records its first mention in English in 1530, when King Henry VIII purchased five instruments so named. Small early virginals were played either in the lap, or more rested on a table, but nearly all examples were provided with their own stands; the heyday of the virginals was the latter half of the 16th century to the 17th century until the high baroque period when it was eclipsed in England by the bentside spinet and in Germany by the clavichord. Spinet virginals were made principally in Italy and Flanders; the keyboard is placed left of centre, the strings are plucked at one end, although farther from the bridge than in the harpsichord. This is the more common arrangement for modern instruments, an instrument described as a "virginal" is to be a spinet virginals; the principal differences in construction lie in the placement of the keyboard: Italian instruments invariably had a keyboard that projected from the case, whilst northern virginals had their keyboards recessed in a keywell.
The cases of Italian instruments were made of cypress wood and were of delicate manufacture, whilst northern virginals were more stoutly constructed of poplar. Early Italian virginals were hexagonal in shape, the case following the lines of the strings and bridges, a few early Flemish examples are made. From about 1580 however, nearly all virginals were rectangular, the Italian models having an outer case like harpsichords from that country. There are few surviving English virginals, all of them late, they follow the Flemish construction, but with a vaulted lid. Muselars were made only in northern Europe. Here, the keyboard is placed right of centre and the strings are plucked about one-third the way along their sounding length; this gives a warm, resonant sound, with a strong fundamental and weak overtones. However, this comes at a price: the jacks and keys for the left hand are placed in the middle of the instrument's soundboard, with the result that any mechanical noise from these is amplified.
In addition to mechanical noise, from the string vibrating against the descending plectrum, the central plucking point in the bass makes repetition difficult, because the motion of the still-sounding string interferes with the ability of the plectrum to connect again. An 18th-century commentator wrote that muselars "grunt in the bass like young pigs", thus the muselar was better suited to chord-and-melody music without complex left hand parts. The muselar could be provided with a stop called the harpichordium, which consists of lead hooks being applied against the ends of the bass strings in such a manner that the string vibrating against the hook produces a buzzing, snarling sound. Muselars were popular in the 16th and 17th centuries and their ubiquity has been compared to that of the upright piano in the early 20th century, but like other types of virginals they fell out of use in the 18th century. Both Italian and northern schools produced. Ottavini were pitched an octave higher than the larger instrument.
In the Flemish tradition these were – perha
House of Medici
The House of Medici was an Italian banking family and political dynasty that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the first half of the 15th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of Tuscany, prospered until it was able to fund the Medici Bank; this bank was the largest in Europe during the 15th century, it facilitated the Medicis' rise to political power in Florence, although they remained citizens rather than monarchs until the 16th century. The Medici produced four Popes of the Catholic Church—Pope Leo X, Pope Clement VII, Pope Pius IV and Pope Leo XI —and two queens of France—Catherine de' Medici and Marie de' Medici. In 1532, the family acquired the hereditary title Duke of Florence. In 1569, the duchy was elevated to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany after territorial expansion; the Medicis ruled the Grand Duchy from its inception until 1737, with the death of Gian Gastone de' Medici. The grand duchy witnessed degrees of economic growth under the early grand dukes, but was bankrupt by the time of Cosimo III de' Medici.
The Medicis' wealth and influence was derived from the textile trade guided by the wool guild of Florence, the Arte della Lana. Like other families ruling in Italian signorie, the Medicis dominated their city's government, were able to bring Florence under their family's power, created an environment in which art and humanism flourished, they and other families of Italy inspired the Italian Renaissance, such as the Visconti and Sforza in Milan, the Este in Ferrara, the Gonzaga in Mantua. The Medici Bank, from when it was created in 1397 to its fall in 1494, was one of the most prosperous and respected institutions in Europe, the Medici family was considered the wealthiest in Europe for a time. From this base, they acquired political power in Florence and in wider Italy and Europe, they were among the earliest businesses to use the general ledger system of accounting through the development of the double-entry bookkeeping system for tracking credits and debits. The Medici family bankrolled the invention of the piano and opera, funded the construction of Saint Peter Basilica and Santa Maria del Fiore, patronized Leonardo, Michelangelo and Galileo.
They were protagonists of the counter-reformation, from the beginning of the reformation through the Council of Trent and the French wars of religion. The Medici family came from the agricultural Mugello region north of Florence, they are first mentioned in a document of 1230; the origin of the name is uncertain. Medici is the plural of medico, meaning "medical doctor"; the dynasty began with the founding of the Medici Bank in Florence in 1397. For most of the 13th century, the leading banking center in Italy was Siena, but in 1298, one of the leading banking families of Europe, the Bonsignoris, went bankrupt, the city of Siena lost its status as the banking center of Italy to Florence. Until the late 14th century, prior to the Medici, the leading family of Florence was the House of Albizzi. In 1293, the Ordinances of Justice were enacted; the city's numerous luxurious palazzi were becoming surrounded by townhouses built by the prospering merchant class. The main challengers to the Albizzi family were the Medicis, first under Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici under his son Cosimo di Giovanni de' Medici and great-grandson, Lorenzo de' Medici.
The Medici controlled the Medici Bank—then Europe's largest bank—and an array of other enterprises in Florence and elsewhere. In 1433, the Albizzi managed to have Cosimo exiled; the next year, however, a pro-Medici Signoria led by Tommaso Soderini, Oddo Altoviti and Lucca Pitti was elected and Cosimo returned. The Medici became the city's leading family, a position they would hold for the next three centuries. Florence remained a republic until 1537, traditionally marking the end of the High Renaissance in Florence, but the instruments of republican government were under the control of the Medici and their allies, save during intervals after 1494 and 1527. Cosimo and Lorenzo held official posts but were the unquestioned leaders; the Medici family was connected to most other elite families of the time through marriages of convenience, partnerships, or employment, so the family had a central position in the social network: several families had systematic access to the rest of the elite families only through the Medici similar to banking relationships.
Some examples of these families include the Bardi, Ridolfi and the Tornabuoni. This has been suggested as a reason for the rise of the Medici family. Members of the family rose to some prominence in the early 14th century in the wool trade with France and Spain. Despite the presence of some Medici in the city's government institutions, they were still far less notable than other outstanding families such as the Albizzi or the Strozzi. One Salvestro de' Medici was speaker of the woolmakers' guild during the Ciompi revolt of 1378-82, one Antonio de' Medici was exiled from Florence in 1396. Involvement in another plot in 1400 caused all branches of the family to be banned from Florentine politics for twenty years, with the exception of two. Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, son of Averardo de' Medici, increased the wealth of the family through his creation of the Medici Bank, became one of the richest men in the city of Florence. Although he never held any political office, he gained strong popular support for the family through his supp
A harpsichord is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. This activates a row of levers that turn a trigger mechanism that plucks one or more strings with a small plectrum; the term denotes the whole family of similar plucked-keyboard instruments, including the smaller virginals and spinet. The harpsichord was used in Renaissance and Baroque music. During the late 18th century, with the rise of the piano, it disappeared from the musical scene. In the 20th century, it made a resurgence, being used in informed performances of older music, in new compositions, in certain styles of popular music. Harpsichords vary in size and shape; the player depresses a key that rocks over a pivot in the middle of its length. The other end of the key lifts a jack; when the player releases the key, the far end returns to its rest position, the jack falls back. As the key reaches its rest position, a felt damper atop the jack stops the string's vibrations; these basic principles are explained in detail below.
The keylever is a simple pivot, which rocks on a balance pin that passes through a hole drilled through the keylever. The jack is a rectangular piece of wood that sits upright on the end of the keylever; the jacks are held in place by the registers. These are two long strips of wood, which run in the gap between bellyrail; the registers have rectangular mortises through which the jacks pass as they can move down. The registers hold the jacks in the precise location needed to pluck the string. In the jack, a plectrum juts out horizontally and passes just under the string. Plectra were made of bird quill or leather; when the front of the key is pressed, the back of the key rises, the jack is lifted, the plectrum plucks the string. The vertical motion of the jack is stopped by the jackrail, covered with soft felt to muffle the impact; when the key is released, the jack falls back down under its own weight, the plectrum passes back under the string. This is made possible by having the plectrum held in a tongue attached with a pivot and a spring to the body of the jack.
The bottom surface of the plectrum is cut at a slant. When the jack arrives in lowered position, the felt damper touches the string, causing the note to cease; each string is wound around a tuning pin at the end of the string closer to the player. When rotated with a wrench or tuning hammer, the tuning pin adjusts the tension so that the string sounds the correct pitch. Tuning pins are held in holes drilled in the pinblock or wrestplank, an oblong hardwood plank. Proceeding from the tuning pin, a string next passes over the nut, a sharp edge, made of hardwood and is attached to the wrestplank; the section of the string beyond the nut forms its vibrating length, plucked and creates sound. At the other end of its vibrating length, the string passes over the bridge, another sharp edge made of hardwood; as with the nut, the horizontal position of the string along the bridge is determined by a vertical metal pin inserted into the bridge, against which the string rests. The bridge itself rests on a soundboard, a thin panel of wood made of spruce, fir or—in some Italian harpsichords—cypress.
The soundboard efficiently transduces the vibrations of the strings into vibrations in the air. A string is attached at its far end by a loop to a hitchpin. While many harpsichords have one string per note, more elaborate harpsichords can have two or more strings for each note; when there are multiple strings for each note, these additional strings are called "choirs" of strings. This provides two advantages: the ability to vary ability to vary tonal quality. Volume is increased when the mechanism of the instrument is set up by the player so that the press of a single key plucks more than one string. Tonal quality can be varied in two ways. First, different choirs of strings can be designed to have distinct tonal qualities by having one set of strings plucked closer to the nut, which emphasizes the higher harmonics, produces a "nasal" sound quality; the mechanism of the instrument, called "stops" permits the player to select the other. Second, having one key pluck two strings at once changes not just volume but tonal quality.
A vivid effect is obtained when the strings plucked are an octave apart. This is heard by the ear not as two pitches but as one: the sound of the higher string is blended with that of the lower one, the ear hears the lower pitch, enriched in tonal quality by the additional strength in the upper harmonics of the note sounded by the higher string; when describing a harpsichord it is customary to specify its choirs of strings called its disposition. Strings at eight foot pitch sound at the normal expected pitch, strings at four foot pitch sound