Online Encyclopedia

KARL CZERNY (1791–1857)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 725 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: del.icio.us del.icio.us it!
KARL CZERNY (1791–1857), Austrian pianist and composer, was born at Vienna on the 21st of February 1791. His father, who was a teacher of the piano, trained him for that instrument from an early age with such success that he performed in public at the age of nine, and commenced his own career as a teacher at fourteen. He was brought under the notice of Beethoven, and was his pupil in the sense in which the great master had pupils. It is perhaps his greatest claim to distinction as a performer that he was selected to be the first to play Beethoven's celebrated Emperor concerto in public. He soon became the most popular teacher of his instrument in a capital which abounded in pianists of the first rank. Among his pupils he numbered Liszt, Theodor Dohler (1814–1843) and many others who afterwards became famous. As a composer he was prolific to an astonishing degree, considering the other demands on his time. His works, which included every class of composition, numbered 849 at the time of his death. Comparatively few of them possess high merit, and none is the production of genius. He had considerable skill in devising variations for the piano of the display type, and in this and other ways helped to develop the executive power which in the modern school of pianoforte playing seems to have reached the limits of the possible. His various books of exercises, elementary and advanced, of which the best known are the Etudes de la velocite, have probably had a wider circulation than any other works of their class. To the theory of music he contributed a translation of Reicha's Traite de composition, and a work entitled Umriss der ganzen Musikgeschichte. Czerny died on the 15th of July 1857 at Vienna. Having no family, he left his fortune, which was considerable, to the Vienna Conservatorium and various benevolent institutions. D The fourth letter in the English alphabet occupies the same position in the Latin, Greek and Phoenician alphabets, which represent the preceding stages in its history. The Phoenician name Daleth is represented by the Greek Delta. In form D has varied throughout its career comparatively little. In the earliest Phoenician it is Q with slight variations; in most Greek dialects Q which has been adopted as the Greek literary form, but in others as e.g. the earliest Attic d or Q. The form with the rounded back, which has passed from Latin into the languages of western Europe, was borrowed from the Greeks of S.W. Italy, but is widely spread also amongst the peoples of the Peloponnese and of northern Greece. It arises from a form like D when the sides which meet to the right are written or engraved at one stroke. From a very early period one side of the triangle was often prolonged, thus producing a form q which is characteristic of Aramaic from 800 B.C. In Greek this was avoided because of the likelihood of its confusion with q, the oldest form of the symbol for r, but in the alphabets of Italy—which were borrowed from Etruscan—this confusion actually takes place. Etruscan had no sound corresponding to the symbol D (in inscriptions written from right to left, Cl ), and hence used it as a by-form for q, the symbol for r. The Oscans and Umbrians took it over in this value, but having the sound d they used for it the symbol for r (q in Umbrian, 51 in Oscan). The sound which D represents is the voiced dental corresponding to the unvoiced t. The English d, however, is not a true dental, but is really pronounced by placing the tongue against the sockets of the teeth, not the teeth themselves. It thus differs from the d of French and German, and in phonetic terminology is called an alveolar. In the languages of India where both true dentals and alveolars are found, the English d is represented by the alveolar symbol (transliterated (1). Etymologically in genuine English words d represents in most cases dh of the original Indo-European language, but in some cases an original t. In many languages d develops an aspirate after it, and this dh becomes then a voiced spirant (6), the initial sound of there and that. This has occurred widely in Semitic, and is found also in languages like modern Greek, where 6, except after v, is always spirant, Sip (=not) being pronounced like English then. As the mouth position for 1 differs from that for d only by the breath being allowed to escape past one or both sides of the tongue, confusion has arisen in many languages between d and 1, the best-known being cases like the Latin lacrima as compared with the Greek 66c-pv. The English tear and the forms of other languages show that d and not 1 is the more original sound. Between vowels in the ancient Umbrian d passed into a sound which was transliterated in the Latin alphabet by rs; this was probably a sibilant r, like the Bohemian t. In many languages it is unvoiced at the end of words, thus becoming almost or altogether identical with t. As an abbreviation it is used in Latin for the praenomen Decimus, and under the empire for the title Divus of certain deceased emperors. As a Roman numeral (= Soo) it is only the half of the old symbol m (= woo); this was itself the old form of the Greek 4', which was useless in Latin as that language had no sound identical with the Greek 0: (P. G1.)
End of Article: KARL CZERNY (1791–1857)
[back]
CZERNOWITZ (Rum. Cernautzi)
[next]
D2D7 (14) (19) (13)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.