Early Instruments at Brandeis

Keyboards

Original Viennese Fortepiano (Joseph Worel, 1835)

French Double Harpsichord (William Dowd, 1971)

Single Manual Harpsichord (Frank Hubbard, 1970’s)

Organetto (Michael Swinger, 1978)

Violas da Gamba

Treble viol (Clark Gaiennie, 1980)

Treble viol (German mid-20th century)

Tenor Viol (Dominic Zuchowicz, 1982)

Tenor Viol (Michael Heale, 1978)

Tenor Viol (Arnold Dolmetsch workshop, 1954)

Bass Viol (Dominic Zuchowicz, 1987)

Bass Viol (P.J. Aslett, 1978)

Bass Viol (Dolmetsch workshop)

Bows

Baroque violin bows (J. & M. Dolmetsch)

A large assortment of viol bows, including Ashmead

Plucked Strings

Lute (Cox Luthiers, 1979)

Lute (Marc Southard, 1984)

Lute (Alan Careth, 1979)

19-string bray-harp (Ardival)

3-octave Renaissance harp (Westover)

29-string folk harp (FolkCraft)

Recorders & Flutes

SAATB Renaissance recorders (Levin-Silverstein)

SSSATGb Renaissance recorders (Mollenhauer)

ATTB Renaissance recorders (Hopf)

ATTB Renaissance flutes (Herb Myers)

Baroque alto recorders (Moeck)

Reeds

SATB Krumhorns (Körber)

Cornamuse (Robinson)

Rauschpfeife (Körber)

Treble shawms (Cronin)

Treble & alto shawm (Moeck)

Treble & alto racket (Neuman)

Brass

Cornetto (Monk)

Alto sackbut (Lätzsch)

Tenor sackbut (Meinl & Lauber)

Jencks Room

The Jencks Early Music Room & The Brandeis Collection of Early Instruments

In 2008 the William P. Jencks Early Music Room was established through the generosity of Mrs. Miriam Jencks and friends and former students of Professor William P. Jencks. This climate-controlled room is located on the first floor of the Slosberg Music Center and houses the Music Department’s entire collection of early instruments, including a Viennese fortepiano (ca. 1835) built by Josef Worel, William Dowd double-manual harpsichord (French style), numerous string and wind instruments, and a small portative organ. The Jencks Room is available to students on a permission basis, and is conveniently located close to the Recital Hall.

Jencks Room

Professor and Mrs. Jencks were long-time supporters of the Lydian String Quartet who attended numerous concerts over the years. Professor William Jencks was a distinguished professor of biochemistry at Brandeis for almost 40 years, revered and beloved by his students for his keen mind, generosity of spirit, and dedication to mentoring all who came under his wing. Following his death in 2007, his wife Miriam decided to memorialize Bill’s love for music through the donation to the Music Department of a Viennese fortepiano built by Josef Worel ca. 1835.  Josef Worel was one of many piano makers active in Vienna in the first part of the 19th century. The entire instrument, with the exception of the soundboard, is original. This includes the keys, covered with bone for the naturals and ebony on pear for the sharps, as well as the vegetable tanned leather that covers the hammers. The instrument has five pedals: una chorda, bassoon, dampers, moderator, and bass drum with Janissary bells. The soundboard was replaced by instrument maker Keith Hill prior to the piano’s arrival at Brandeis. Although the fortepiano is housed in the Jencks Room, it (as well as the Dowd) can be easily rolled into the recital hall for performance.

Jencks Room

The William Dowd harpsichord (#229/1971) is a transposing French double harpsichord with ebony keys (sharps topped with ivory).

Jencks Room

Collection of Early Instruments

The Brandeis Early Music Ensemble is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students at Brandeis lead by faculty member Sarah Mead. They rehearse during the academic year in the Jencks Early Music Room and in the recital hall. This collection makes it possible for Brandeis students to experience historical music on the instruments that gave rise to it. Please see the sidebar for our full inventory.

Jencks Room