eBooksRead.com books search new books
Alfred Dolge.

Pianos and their makers online

. (page 21 of 25)
Online LibraryAlfred DolgePianos and their makers → online text (page 21 of 25)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook
the ]iresident appoints a.
committee of arbitration,
whose members shall act as
friendly advisers to the dis-
imting- i)arties. All decisions
of the chamber are subject
to the vote of the majority.
Every member must pay
special dues of 12 francs an-
nually to meet extraordinary
expenses and strengthen the

Austria has no national
organization of the music

trades, but a number of local associations, of which the
" Association of Musical Instrument Makers of Grasslitz " is
the oldest. It was founded in 1883, has over 300 members and
supports a school in which young men are taught the technical
and practical making of instruments.

The Vienna piano and organ makers formed an association in
1905. Its aims and purposes are similar to those of the " Paris
Chambre Syndicale." Franz Schmidt is acting president and
Friedrich Ehrbar, one of the directors. Ludwig Bosendorfer is
the onlv honorarv member of the bodv.

Germany has a large mnnber of associations for the various
branches of the music industries. The '' Association of Piano
Manufacturers " was organized at Leipsic in 1893 with Adolf

Adolf Schiedmayer



Se'liicdinayer as i)rosi(loiit.
Tlic ' ' ( 'Imrcli ( )i",u;ni Guild-
ers " followed in IS!*."),
" Musical liistruDieiit ^Mak-
ers "ill 1S1)7 and the '' l*i-
ano I )('al('i's "in 1S99. The
'' National A>soeialion ol'
Piano .Manufacturers " |mr-
sues the same objects as its
T*ai'is coiiteni])oraTy, hut in
addition thereto has entered
upon an effective policy of
])raetical aid to its mem-
bers. It is, for instance,
compulsory for each manu-
facturer to educate a num-
ber of ap})rentices propor-
tionate to tlie nuinher of men emi)l()yed in his factory. The ener-
getic pioident of llie association. Privy Commercial Counselor
Adolf Schiedmayer of Stuttgart, is organizing a trade school for
])iano makers in that city, to assure the education of young men in
the scieiitilic theories and ]n-actice of ])iano huihling. This is the
first institution of its kind, and wlien fully established will be of
great service to the industry at large. The school is mainly sup-
]>orted !»>• contributions i'lom members of the associations and
enjoys the protection and aid of the royal government of

'i'lie *' National Association of Piano Dealers," with head-
<iuai-ters at Leipsic, has, from its inception, under the al)le leader-
ship of President Carl Andre of Frankfort, a./M., inaugurated
an<l carried on a most energetic campaign against fraudulent acl-

Carl Andr6


vertising, sham sales and all dislionest or disreputable methods
prevalent in tlie i)iano trade, with excellent results. The associa-
tion lias 344 active members and maintains a bureau of informa-
tion, i)ul)lisliing i)eriodically contidential circulars containing rec-
ords of objectionable people dealing in luanos and other trade

In October, 1908, the various organizations formed the " Na-
tional Association of Musical Instrument Industries," without,
however, disturbing the existing organizations. This national
association has its headquarters at Leipsic and is subdivided ter-
ritorially into three sections, with bureaus at Leipsic, Berlin and
Stuttgart. The management is in the hands of a president, Adolf
Schiedmayer of Stuttgart; a vice-})resident and treas^urer, Her-
mann Feuricli of Leipsic, and a vice-president and secretary, Max
Bliithner of Leipsic. The main purpose of this association is to
represent the entire industries as a body in matters of tariff laws,
transportation, factory regulations, etc., seeking to harmonize the
needs and wants of the various special organizations of the Ger-
man Empire.

The " Music Trade Association of Great Britain " was or-
ganized in ]\rarch, 1886, with Sir Herbert Marshall as president.
The principal object of this association is " to extend a watchful
regard over all matters affecting the retail trade and to give
timely information to the members," and, further, " to hold con-
ferences for the interchange of views on questions of general trade
interest, and generally to co-operate and take such combined action
in defense of the just interests of the retail trade as may be found

The " Pianoforte Manufacturers' Association " of London,
founded in 1887 — George D. Rose, president — has as its object :
*' To promote and protect the various interests of the music trade
generally, to promote and support or oppose legislative or other


measures nffeeting the aforesaid interests; to seciiic tlie more eco-
noiiiical ami enVctiial wiiidiiii;- up of tlie estates of baiiki'ii])ts or
insoKi'iit (l('l)t(>rs; to i'nilca\(»r to secure prosecution ol' rraudulent
debtor.-, and to undertake, if retj[uested by l)()tli parties, settlement
l)y ai"bit faliou."

Ill tile Inited Slates Die ])ian() mauufactui-ers of New York
oruanized the liisl association in the fall of ISDO. William E.
AVheelock was elected first president and served until IS!),"). Later
on a nunibiT o( K)cal associations of })iano juanufacturers and
dealers \v(>ro organized who coml)iued in August, 1897, to form the
*• National Tiano Manufacturers' Association of America." its
(iliject is the rni'tlu'rance of:

( 1 ) A ])etter aciiuaintance among the members of tlie trade,
gooil fellowshii) and interchange of views on to^^ics of mutual

(2) The ethics of the i)iano trade.

(3) Tei-i'itorial lights of manufacturers and dealers in regard
to x'Hiiig pianos.

(4) A uniform warranty.

(r-)) The i)roducts of su}>ply houses: i.e., the question of stamp-
ing tlic niaiiufacturer's name upon i)iaiio ])arts furnished by the
supi)ly houses to the trade.

(()) The relation of the manufacturers to the music-trade

(7 and H) To obtain reductions in insurance and transportation

(9) Tlie estal)lishment of a bureau of credits.

(10) Legislation by united action; that more uniform laws
shall be enacted in several States regarding conditional sales, and
sucli other matters of importance to the piano trade as may come
u\) from time to time.

Presidents of the National Association of Piano Manufacturers of America from

1S97 to 1911

Presidents of the National Association of Piano Dealers of America from 1!)()2 to 1011


The association is governed by a i)resident, two vice-presidents,
a treasurer, secretary and assistant secretary. Contrary to the
European system, where officers, once elected, are reguUirly re-
elected as long as they are able to attend to their duties with effi-
ciency, this association changes its governing board (willi the
exception of the assistant secretary) annually.

The " National Association of Piano Dealers of America " was
organized in May, 1902. Its object is tersely stated in its consti-
tution, as follows :

" The object of this association shall be the mutual elevation
of trade interests." Its by-laws provide for the following board:
a president, four vice-presidents, a commissioner for each State
and Territory (to be known as state commissioners), a secretary,
a treasurer, and an executive board consisting of the president,
secretary, treasurer and four members of the association. The
officers are elected at the annual meeting and usually a new set
is chosen each year. The membership is divided into active and
associate members. The latter class takes in any one engaged in
any branch of the musical industry not otherwise eligible. The
annual dues are $10 for active and $5 for associate members. The
association has a membership of over 1,000, and has done very
eiTective work in guarding the ethics of the piano trade, and is
making strenuous efforts for the general introduction of the one-
price system.

National piano exhibitions have lately been held in connection
with the annual dealers' conventions, apparently to the benefit of
both dealers and manufacturers.


The Trade Press — Its Value to the Indiistryo



IX America the piano-trade press evolved slowly and, after
many interrnptions from so-called musical journals, the first
of wliicli, the " American Musical Journal," was founded
in 1835. It carried some advertisements of piano manufacturers
and would publish, off and on, items which at that time were con-
sidered trade news.

In 1843 Henry C. Watson established his " Musical Chronicle "
in New York. Watson was a most remarkable man, equally gifted
and learned as a musician as he was as a writer, and withal a man
of business. He saw the necessity of enlisting the active support
of the piano manufacturers for his journal and endeavored hon-
estly to render value for such support. Thus Watson became the
founder of piano-trade journalism. It is to be regretted that space
does not permit a complete record of the brilliant career of this
interesting character.

Born in London on November -1, 1818, he appeared at Covent
Garden in '' Oberon " at the age of nine, singing the part of a
'' fairy." In 1811 he came to New York, welcomed by such men
as William CuUen Bryant, Horace Greeley and others of like stand-
ing. He was immediately engaged as a musical critic for the
" New World," then edited by Greeley. Besides his duties as a
critic and also writing lyrics and composing songs, Watson man-




aged to |»iil)lisli the " Broad-
"way .lounial." ciilisling Ed-
gar Allan I*t»(' as editor. He
found. li(»\v('\-('r. liis real field
of usefulness in his '' ^Tu-
sieal I'lirunicle," in which lie
intcM-ested Jonas riiickering
as well as the leaders among
the New York piano manu-
facturers. He had discovered
that the interests of nuisical
art and the interests of the
piano industry were interde-
l)endent and that the one
nmst support the (jther for
mutual benefit. He, there-
fore, devoted considerable
energy to the propaganda of the ])iano. In course of time he
changed the title of his i)ublication to '' ^Musical Times,"
•• IMiilhai-inonie Journal " and finally to '' The American
Alt .b.iiinal." He was one of the founders of the Philharmonic
Society and also organized the Mendelssohn Union of New

As nuisical critic of the " New York Tribune " and editor-in-
chief of '^ Frank T.eslie's Tllu^trated Xewsiia])er," AVatson was for
iii;in>- Ncars one of the pillais (»!' musical life in America. He died
on Decembei- 4, 1875, at the age of 57. " The American Art Jour-
nal " was continued by Watson's pupil, William M. Thoms, until
his letirement in 11)06.

The *' Afusic Trade TJeview," foundecl in November, 1875, by
Jolin ( ". Erennd, appeared I'oi- about two years; it was followed
in 1878 by the " Musical Times," which soon changed to " Musical

Ilciirv C. Watson


and Dramatic Times." In 1881 Freuud started a journal called
" Music," which title was changed to " ^lusic and Drama."
" Freund's Weekly " ai)i)eared in 1884. Soon changed to " Music
and Drama." In 1887 Freund joined J. Travis Quigg in publish-
ing the " American Musician," and in 1893 he started, with ^Nfilton
Weil, '' ISlusic Trades."

Charles Avery Wells established the '' Music Trade Journal "
in 187(3, which he changed to the " Musical Critic and Trade Re-
view " in 1879. In January, 1888, Edward Lyman Bill bought an
interest in the journal and soon became sole owner. He changed
it from a fortnightly to a weekly, under the title of " Music Trades
Review," making it the first trade paper published in America
devoted exclusively to the music industries. He has also published
several valuable treatises on piano construction, in book form,
which are enumerated elsewhere.

In 1880 Harry E. Freund began to conduct a journal called
" Music and Drama," which title he later changed to *' Musical

William E. Nickerson started the ^' Musical and Dramatic
News " in 1877. It went into the hands of the Lockwood
Press, who sold the same to Marc A. Blumenberg in 1881, and
the name was changed to " Musical Courier." In 1897 Blumen-
berg separated the musical and industrial departments,
publishing the " Musical Courier Extra " strictly as a trade

" The Indicator," established by Orrin L. Fox at Chicago in
1880, devoted to the liberal arts and art industries, was changed
into an organ for musical industries exclusively, being the first
in the field to make effective propaganda for the i)iano industry of
the west.

'' The Presto " was founded at Chicago by Frank A. Abbott in

418 riAXoS AND TllKllJ .MAKERS

1883. The '" riv>t(» Year IWjok " is a very valnablo, historical
eomi^eiKlinin ol" \v;\f\o events. Al)l)i)U assoeiat(Ml hiiiiscli' in 18*J4
with (". A. haiiicll, who holds tlie responsihh' position as editor-in-
ehiel" of the \arioiis Presto pnljlieations.

Tlie " Chicauo Musieal Times" was started by William 1^].
Xickci-sun in JS8j, and has b^en di'\ek)|)ed to its })i'esent com-
maiidiii.i;- position by i\ 15. liari>'er, wlio aninired control in 1895.

George l*>. Ai'instrong estal)lisli('(l his dignified monthly jour-
nal, '• Tlie Piano Trade/' at Chicago in VMS.

Ill p.ip) ('. A. Datiicll assnmed tlie management of the " Piano
Magazine," an illustrated monthly i)nl)lished in Xew York City.
'Iliis pnl)li('ation treats mainly of the historical, mnsical and tech-
nical aspects (if tilt' piano and allictl musical industries in an enter-
taining manner, thus differing from the trade jonrnals which deal
niainly with the news of the day.

The " Zeitschrit't fiir instrumentenbau " was established by
Panl (](' ^Vit at Leii)sic in 1880 and has a wide circulation all over

The " AVelt-Adressbnch " of musical industries, com})iled and
l)ul)lished t)y Paul de Wit, is a most valuable reference book. It
contaiTis the names of all the firms connected in any way with
musical industries in all parts of the world.

The " Musik Instrumenten-Zeitung," })nblislied in Berlin, was
startc(l in 1S<)().

In England the " London and Pi'ovincial Ylusic Trades Re-
view " was established in London in 1877; " Musical Opinion and
Music Ti-ade Review," also a monthly jniblication, often contains
valuable cont rilmtions of interest to the piano trade. '' The Piano
♦Journal " is a monthly dcx'olcd cntii'cl}- to the interests of piano
makers and dealers. The monthly journal, '' Music," also makes
reference to trade tojncs.

tup: trade press 419

The Importance and Value of the Trade Press to the Piano ■


As the government of a nation is only the reflex of the indi-
viduals composing the nation, so is the trade press the reflex of
the individuals composing an industry. The character of a trade
press is stamped upon it by its patrons. The earlier piano-trade
papers, after Watson's time, allowed themselves to be used by a
group of firms, from which they received liberal financial support.
This tended to demoralization, and the cry of blackmail was heard.
The papers depending on this one-sided support had a precarious
existence, and had to go to the wall whenever the extra subsidy was
withheld. Questionable methods were resorted to, off and on, to
compel more liberal financial support from the piano makers.

The conditions existing in the piano trade some 30 years ago
were such as really to infect part of the trade press with the
bacillus of coercion. But, after all, the papers which did pursue
a policy of coercion became unconsciously " ein tlieil von jener
kraft, die boses will und gutes schafft." Repeated failures of the
most aggressive papers of that character proved the error of
playing champion for one or more firms, and the various later
publications started out with the pronounced policy of aiding the
entire industry and injuring none. Success followed this policy,
and the piano trade of to-day has in its trade press a great help-
mate which is worthy of the support it enjoys.

It is altogether wrong to consider the support of a clean trade
paper as a tax. Every laborer is worthy of his hire, and the more
liberally the trade press is supported the better service it can
render, a service needed by the trade and obtainable only through
a well-organized press.

That music-trade journalism is an honorable profession has


Ijoeii (l»'itionstrntc(l liy its i'onndcr, TToiiry C. AVatson, who enjoyed
the respei't and waiin liieiidship of his supporters as well as that
nl' the (•(»iiiiiniiiit\' at large. The value of an honest and able trade
])ress is ahnost unineasural)l(' in the coin of the realm. From year
to ycai- thi' piniio-t rade i)ress has grown in dignity and usefulness,
and, just as soon as the indnsti-y itself gets entirely upon the
I 'lane of K'gitimate business methods, whatever may be objection-
able in the trade press of to-day will then of necessity die its nat-
ural death.



Literature on the Pianoforte



THE first attempt to write a history of the pianoforte was
made in 1830 by M. Fetis, '' Sketch of the History of the
Pianoforte and the Pianists," a laborious effort bv a bril-
liant writer, but of little value to the piano maker.

Kusting's " Practisches Handbuch der Pianoforte Baukunst,"
Berne, 1844, is a more iDractical treatise than Fetis' attempt, but
antiquated and only of interest to the historian. The same may be
said of the interesting work of Professor Fischhof, " Versuchi
einer Geschichte des Clavierbaues," Vienna, 1853.

Welcker von Gontershausen published in 1860 " Der Clavierbau
in seiner Theorie, Teclmik und Geschichte," a fourth edition of
which was printed in 1870 by Christian Winter, Frankfurt a./M.

As a practical piano maker, fairly well posted on the laws of
acoustics and thoroughly acquainted with the characteristics of all
known musical instruments, Welcker has given a work of interest-
and value. It is to be regretted that his extreme patriotism and
rather biased opinion do not permit him to do full justice to
pianos made in other countries than Germany. Aside from this
fault, his book is to be recommended to the studious piano maker
as well as the student of musical-instrument lore.

Dr. Ed. F. Rimbault published in 1860, in London, his ambitious
work, " The Pianoforte." Written at the time when the English



piano iiuln.-^try was at its lieigiit, it is pardonable that the author
laid liis emphasis on English efforts and achievements rather at
the expense of the French, German and Austrian schools. It must
be assuuicnl llial the aciiievements of the hitter were not known
to him ill tlioii" iMitirety and iiiiportance. Especial credit is, how-
ever, due to IJiiiiliniilt Tor having produced documentary evidence
of Christofori's priority as inventor of the pianoforte.

G. 'F. Sievei's of Naples, an al)k' i)iano maker, ])uMished in 1868
his '' 11 I'ianoforte Guida Practica," with a special atlas showing
piano actions in natui-a! size and ilierefore of great value to the
piano student.

\)v. Oscar Paul, a professor at the Conservatory of Music in
Leipsic, wrote in 18()8, '' Geschichte des Claviers." The learned
professor of music failed to do justice to the title of his book.
Entirely unac(iuainted with the ]iractical art of ])iano making, he
assumes an authority which is anuising to tlie knowing reader.
Like AVek'kers, Dr. Paul suffers too much from German egotism.
All through the book the effort of ascribing all progress in piano
construction to his countrymen is })ainfully })alpable, he even go-
ing so far as to im])ly that Christofori had co]>ied Schroter's in-
vention, an cfToi-t which demonstrates Paul's ignorance of action
construction. However, the book contains sufficient good matter
to icpay reading it. Publisiied by A. H. Payne, Leipsic.

For the practical piano nuU^er who reads German, the '' Lehr-
])nch des Pianofortebaues," by Julius Bliithner and TTeinrich
Gretschel, pu])lished in 1872 and revised by Robert Hannemann in
19fH), Leipsic, Pernh. Friedr. Voigt, ofl'ers much valuable infor-
mation, treating with great care the construction of the piano and
tlu' materials, tools and machinery used in the manufacturing of
the instrument. It also has a short essay on acoustics written by
Dr. AValter Niemann, who furthermore contributes a history of the
piano up to the time of the general introduction of the iron frame.


Edgar Brinsmead's " History of the Pianoforte," London, 1889,
dwells too mueli upon the achievements of the firm of Brinsmead
<fe Sons and loses all importance when compared to A. J. Hi])kins'
" Descrii)tion and History of the Pianoforte," published by No-
vello & Company, London, 1890. An earnest scholar and careful
writer, Hii)kins successfully avoids the many pitfalls of the lexicog-
raphers and gives a clear and succinct description of the develop-
ment of the i)iano from its earliest stages to the modern concert
grand. The book is well worth careful perusal by anyone inter-
ested in the piano industry.

Daniel Spillane's " History of the American Pianoforte," New
York, 1890, is an interesting compendium showing the development
of the piano industry in the new world, with sidelights upon the
men who have been most prominent in that sphere.

Edward Quincy Norton, a piano maker of long and manifold
experience, wrote his " Construction and Care of the Pianoforte "
in 1892. This book, published by Oliver Ditson & Company of
Boston, contains valuable suggestions for tuners and repairers,
and is still meeting with a ready sale.

The more modern books, '' Piano Saving and How to Accom-
plish It," by Edward Lyman Bill, and " The Piano, or Tuner's
Guide," by Spillane, also William B. White's books, " Theorj^ and
Practice of Pianoforte Building," ^' A Technical Treatise on Piano
Player Mechanism," " Regulation and Repair of Piano and
Player Mechanism, Together with Tuning as Science and Art "
and " The Player Pianist," all published by Edward Lyman Bill,
New York, have found wide circulation among practical piano
makers because of their popular treatment of intricate subjects.
All of these books are almost indispensable for a conscientious
tuner and repairer.

Among the strictly scientific works, John Tyndall's treatise on
^^ Sound " and Helmholtz' '' Sensation of Tone " offer much food



for tlioiiii'lit to tlio student
of acoustics, altlioui>li Ilchn-
lioltz's originally nnicli-
lauded " Tone AVave The-
ory," as well as his so-
called discovery of the " Ear
Harp,'" have been vigorously
attacked by Henry A. Mott
in his book, " The Fallacy
of the Present Theory of
Sound " (New York, John
Wiley & Sons), and by
vSiegfried Hansing in " Das
Pianoforte in seinen akus-
tischen Anlagen," New
York, 1888, revised edition,
Schwerin i./M., 1909.

llansing's work is be-
yond (luestion the most important, so far written, on the construc-
tion of the ])ianoforte. His studies in the realm of acoustics
disclose a most ])enetrating mind capable of exact logical rea-
soning, ilc bases his conclusions on exhaustive studies, without
regai-d to the accepted theories of earlier scientists. As a thor-
oughly piactical piano maker and master of his art, Hansing
stiidicil cause and effect in its ap])lication to the piano, and his
book is a rich mine of information for the ])rospective piano
designer and constructor. I'ree from any business affiliations, he
treats his subject with an im])nrtial and unl)iased keenness of
l)ercei)tion which is at once im])ressive and convincing.

Dr. AValter Niemann's '' Das Klavierbuch," C. F. Kahnt
Naclifolger, Leipsic, is an entertaining little book on the i)iano, its


music, composers and virtuosos, containing many illustrations of
rare and valuable pictures of noted artists playing tlie piano.

Henry Edward Krelibiel's more pretentious and serious work^
" The Pianoforte and Its Music," Scribner, New York, 1911, is
a valuable work of interest to the student of the piano, the musician
and music lover.

Of special interest to the studious piano maker are the cata-
logues of old instruments collected by Morris Steinert of New
Haven and Paul de Wit of Leipsic. '' M. Steinert 's Collection of
Keyed and Stringed Instruments " is the title of a book published
by Charles F. Tretbar, Steinway Hall, New York. It contains ex-
cellent illustrations of the clavichords, spinets, harpsichords and

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 23 24 25

Online LibraryAlfred DolgePianos and their makers → online text (page 21 of 25)
Using the text of ebook Pianos and their makers by Alfred Dolge active link like:
read the ebook Pianos and their makers is obligatory.

Leave us your feedback | Links exchange | RSS feed 

Online library ebooksread.com © 2007-2014