Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/173

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TOWER DRUMS.

from the design of a Mr. Asbridge, of Drury Lane orchestra, and have since obtained the name of 'Tower Drums,' from a notion that the head of one of them was made from the skin of a lion in the Tower menagerie. These drums came into the possession of the late T. P. Chipp, the well-known kettledrummer, and on the sale of his instruments were bought by H. Potter & Co., military musical instrument makers. They added a brass T-shaped key to each tuning-screw, and presented them (1884) to the Crystal Palace Company, who have placed them in their large orchestra.

Larger drums were made for the Sacred Har- monic Society (47 and 43 inches in diameter), but no tone can be got from such overgrown instruments. [V. de*P.]

TOWERS, JOHN, born at Salford Feb. 18, 1836, was for six years choir-boy in Manchester Cathedral, in 1856 entered the Royal Academy of Music, London, and in the following year became pupil of A. B. Marx in Berlin, where he remained for more than two years, at the same time with J. K. Paine and A. W. Thayer. He then returned to England, and after a residence of two years in Brighton, settled at Manchester, where he has since remained as choirmaster, conductor, and organist. He conducts the Al- derley Edge, Fallowfield, and Rochdale Orpheus Glee Societies, the last-named being one of the most successful choirs in Lancashire, and is now organist to St. Stephen's, Chorlton in Medlock. Besides a few musical trifles, Mr. Towers has published a chronological list of Beethoven's works (Musical Directory, 1871), an interesting pamphlet on the ' Mortality of Musicians,' a 'List of Eminent Musicians,' etc., etc. He is also a more or less regular contributor to the press. [G.]

TRACKER. A thin flat strip of wood used in the mechanism of an organ for the purpose of conveying leverage from one portion of the instru- ment to another. A tracker differs from a sticker in the fact that a tracker pulls, while a sticker pushes ; while therefore a tracker can be flat and thin, a sticker is round and rigid. For example, if, when one end of a key is pressed down it raises a sticker at its other end, it is clear that the sticker will push up a lever at a higher level ; but the other end of the lever at the higher level will of course descend, and to this therefore must be attached a tracker. It will be evident also that a sticker, having only to remain in an upright position, can be kept in its place simply by means of a bit of wire inserted at each end and passing loosely through holes in the ends of the levers. But a tracker having to pull and be pulled is provided at each end with a tap- wire (or wire like a screw) which when passed through the hole in the lever is secured by a leather button. In all cases noisy action is prevented by the insertion of a layer of cloth or some other soft material. Trackers are generally made of pine-wood about one eighth of an inch in thickness and from one third to a half of an inch in width. The length of trackers varies of

��TRAETTA.

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��course according to circumstances; in long ' actions ' or extended ' movements ' (as for example, when mechanism is taken under a floor or up a wall) they are sometimes twelve or more feet in length ; in such cases they are formed of two or more parts joined together by wire. In order to prevent long trackers from swinging about laterally when in use they are often made to pass through a register or thin board containing holes of suitable size lined with cloth. A tracker may convey leverage from any part of an instru- ment to another, but its final function is to lower the pull-down and let air pass through the pallet into the pipe. L J - S -]

TRAETTA, TOMMASO MICHELB FRANCESCO SAVERIO, an Italian composer of the iSth cen- tury. Until recently it was believed that his name was Trajetta, and the date of his birth May 19, 1727; but the certificate of birth pub- lished by the * Gazetta Musicale di Milano ' of 1879, No. 30, settles beyond question that he was the legitimate son of Filippo Traetta and Anna Teresa Piasanti, and was born in the year 1727, on March 30, 'ad hore 16' in the morning, at Bitonto (Terra di Bari). At eleven years of age he became pupil of Durante at the ' Conservatorio di Santa Maria di Loreto ' at Naples, to which institution he belonged until the autumn of 1748, when we find him teaching singing, and occasionally writing some sacred music for several churches of Naples. Two years afterwards he tried his hand at the stage, and his first opera, ' Farnace,' produced at the San Carlo at Naples in 1750, met with such success that he was forthwith commissioned to compose six more operas for the same house. Of these nothing is known, except the title of one, ' I pas- tori felici,' 1753; yet they were probably not less successful than 'Farnace,' since his name spread rapidly, and he received engagements at Florence, Venice, Rome, Turin, Verona, Parma, etc. Goldoni and Metastasio did not disdain to write librettos for him; Goldoni a comic opera 'Buovo d'Antona' (Florence, 1756); and Metastasio ' L'Olimpiade ' (Ve- rona, 1758). Towards the end of 1759 Traetta accepted the appointment of Maestro di Cap- pella and teacher of singing to the Princesses, offered to him by Don Filippo, Infanta of Spain, and Duke of Parma. The first opera he com- posed for the Ducal Theatre of Parma was 'Solimano' (Carnival, 1759), followed in the spring by ' Ippolito ed Aricia.' This appears to have been a masterpiece, as both the Duke and the audience were exceedingly pleased with it ; and on its reproduction six years later for the wedding of the Princess Maria Luisa with Charles III. King of Spain, a life pension was granted to the composer. In 1759 and 1760 Traetta went twice to Vienna to witness the per- formance of two operas purposely written for the Austrian capital, 'Ifigenia in Aulide ' (1759). and ' Armida' (1760).

In 1765, after the death of the Duke, Traetta left Parma and settled in Venice, as principal of the ' Conservatorio dell' Ospedaletto.' He held

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