Dec. 1776 he took out a patent for 'Improvements on the violin and other instruments played on finger boards,' which he asserted rendered it 'almost impossible to stop or play out of tune.' In August, 1788, he took out another patent for 'Methods of constructing and tuning musical instruments which will be perfect in their kind and much easier to be performed on than any hitherto discovered.' Among these were the following:—'A new instrument called the Teliochordon, in form like a pianoforte, but capable of being put much better in tune, for the grand pianoforte or harpsichord divide every octave only into thirteen parts or semitones, whereas on this instrument every octave can be divided into thirty -nine parts or gradations of sound; for any finger-key will, at the pleasure of the performer, produce three different degrees of intonation.' He represented that by this instrument all thirds and fifths could be highly improved, and what is called the 'woulfe' entirely done away with.—A method of uniting two trumpets or horns, one in D, and the other in E flat, so that the mouthpiece might be applied to either instantaneously, thereby getting the advantage of a complete chromatic scale.—Tuning forks with balls or weights for the more easy tuning of musical instruments.—A new instrument composed of a proper number of these tuning forks or of single prongs or rods of metal fixed on a standing board or box and put in vibration by finger keys. Or a celestina stop made by an endless fillet might be applied, producing the sounds on these forks or prongs as it does on the strings.—Tuning keys of a form which rendered them steadier and easier to use than others. And lastly, a better method of fitting the sounding post of a violin to its place. Clagget was also the inventor of the 'Aiuton, or, Ever-tuned Organ, an instrument without pipes, strings, glasses, or bells, which will never require to be retuned in any climate.' Of this instrument and others he published a descriptive account under the title of 'Musical Phenomena.' He kept his collection of instruments at his house in Greek Street, Soho, which he called 'The Musical Museum.' About 1791 he exhibited them publicly at the Hanover Square Rooms. On Oct. 31, 1793, Clagget gave what he termed an 'Attic Concert,' at the King's Arms Tavern, Cornhill, several of the pieces being played on or accompanied by the various instruments invented or improved by him. The performance was interspersed with 'A Discourse on Musick,' the object of which was professedly to prove the absolute necessity of refining the harmony of keyed instruments, and of course to insist that Clagget's inventions had effected that object. In the course of this address a letter from Haydn to Clagget, dated 1792, was read, in which the great composer expressed his full approbation of Clagget's improvements on the pianoforte and harpsichord. The discourse was published with the word-book of the concert, and to it was prefixed a well-engraved portrait of Clagget, who is described beneath it as 'Harmonizer of Musical Instruments,' etc., etc. He is represented with a violin bow in his right hand, and in the left a tuning fork of very large dimensions, each prong of which is bifurcated, so that there are three forks in one. [App. p.591 adds that "he is said to have died in 1820, and that the tuning-fork referred to in the last sentence of the article is one of the sounding bars of his 'Aiuton.'"]
[ W. H. H. ]
CLAPISSON, Antoine Louis, born at Naples Sept. 15, 1808, died at Paris March 19, 1866, was a good violin-player before becoming a composer, and published a great many romances and songs, which exhibit an easy vein of melody. His operas are 'La Figurante' (5 acts, 1838); 'La Symphonie' (1839); 'La Perruche' (1840); 'Frère et Mari' (1841); Le Code noir' (3 acts, 1842); 'Les Bergers-Trumeau' (1845); 'Gibby la Cornemuse' (3 acts, 1846); 'Jeanne la Folle' (5 acts, 1848); 'La Statue équestre' (1850); 'Les Mysteres d'Udolphe' (3 acts, 1852); 'La Promise' (3 acts, 1854); 'La Fanchonnette' (3 acts, March 1, 1856); 'Le Sylphe' (2 acts, Nov. 1856); 'Margot' (3 acts, 1857); 'Les trois Nicolas' (3 acts, 1858); and 'Madame Gregoire' (3 acts, 1861). These plays are generally poor, and many of them were unsuccessful. In fact, 'La Promise' and 'La Fanchounette' are the only two of his operas which gained public favour. There is however much good music in 'Gibby,' 'Le Code noir,' and several others. His style is somewhat bombastic and deficient in genuine inspiration; but, in almost every one of his operas there are to be found graceful and fluent tunes, fine harmonies, pathetic passages, and characteristic effects of orchestration.Clapisson was made Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in 1847, and member of the 'Institut' in 1854. He collected ancient instruments of music, and sold his collection to the French government in 1861; it is now included in the museum of the Conservatoire. Annibale dei Rossi's splendid spinet, ornamented with precious stones and exhibited at the South Kensington Museum, was bought from Clapisson.
[ G. C. ]
CLARI, Giovanni Carlo Maria, was born at Pisa in 1669 where he became Maestro di Cappella. He studied music at Bologna, under the well-known Colonna, of whom he has always been considered to have been one of the best pupils. For the theatre of the last-named town he wrote an opera intituled 'II Savio delirante,' which had considerable success. But his renown chiefly comes from a collection of vocal duets and trios written with a basso continue, which he published in 1720. A later edition of these is extant, published by Carli of Paris in 1823, and arranged with a modern accompaniment for the piano by a Polish composer named Mirecki. In these his novel treatment of fugue, and his approach towards the modulation of later times, help to mark an epoch in composition, and stamp him as a progressive and profound musician.
There is a Stabat Mater by Clari in C minor in the Royal Library at Copenhagen; and Landsberg of Rome had the following works of his: a Mass for 5 voices, strings and organ; a Credo for 4 voices; Psalms for 4 voices in 2 dialogued choruses; a De Profundis for 4 voices and the