Instrument Makers in Slovenia 1606–1918

  • Darja Koter
Keywords: instrument making, organ, clavichord, piano, harmonium, strings, violin, woodwinds, brass, percussion


Historical studies of instrument making and individual makers do not have a long tradition in Slovenia. Attention to this segment of our musical past was for the first time drawn by Josip Mantuani on the occasion of the both anniversary of the Ljubljana Glasbena matica (i.e. Musical association of professional musicians, connoisseurs and music-lovers); in 1932, when, in the National House in Ljubljana, a big exhibition – The Development of Music with the Slovenes – was organized, comprising also several products of some older as well as contemporary native instrument makers. One of the least developed segments of musicology in Slovenia are organology of musical instruments and history of instrument making. Nevertheless, a certain degree of professional attention has been given to organs and organ builders. Ever since the seventies, Ladislav Šaban, Milko Bizjak, and Edo Škulj have done research in organ building and in individual organ makers, whereas during the last decade there has been growing interest in other instrument makers, active in the past centuries within the territory of today's Slovenia. The results of partial studies have been printed in various publications, magazines, collections of scholarly papers and encyclopaedias, while some of the data regarding instrument makers can be found also in foreign literature. In order to achieve greater clarity and accessibility as regards the history of instrument making and our knowledge of individual makers, at as of utmost importance to sum up the published results an the form of headwords, together with the most vital data, so that users wall have better access to: desired information. The formation of headwords has taken into account the methodology that has asserted itself in German and English lexicographic, literature. Thus, names of individual makers are registered an their original form, though an some cases variants of surnames and first names, found in primary sources, are also added. The years of birth and death are given, and, if possible, the exact data aswell. In cases when the date of birth cannot be established, the active years of each individual are of great importance. Example: CAJHEN', (Zeichen), Martin (1855–1863). As regards their trade, there as a variety of possibilities, e.g. organ builder, organist, instrument dealer … In cases when individuals were active in smaller places, the first bigger town nearby as mentioned for the sake of clarity. With master craftsmen, a condensed evaluation as given, taking into account their role an Slovenia or, an a broader sense, within the European framework. Of essential importance are data concerning the place of birth, years of travel as a trainee, acquisition of civil, and master rights (as for masters, also the circumstances under which they acquhed their trading licence: e.g. through; payment, or by marrying the widow of a deceased master craftsman). All this as followed by the type of products made an individual workshops (e.g. pianos, organs, harmoniums …), region of activity (with organ makers e.g. places and churches were the organs were built, also where they were transferred to, and where they remain preserved today), workshop dimensions, assistants and apprentices, as well as their names. Further, as follows: inventions and improvements, exhibitions, acknowledgements, prizes, eventual renaming of the workshop, successors or/and heirs. A special rubric is intended for stating instruments that are preserved in public collections, in museums, as well as in private assemblages at home and abroad. The heritage of organ building is presented in connection with the region of activity. There follows the address of the workshop, and possible changes of dwellings. At the end, sources used are stated in chronological order: literature (independent publications, articles in periodicals, dissertations or rather diploma works, exhibition catalogues, anthologies and lexicographic headwords), magazines and newspapers, as well as archival sources.


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How to Cite
KoterD. (2003). Instrument Makers in Slovenia 1606–1918. Musicological Annual, 39(1), 123-152.