Hutchings, Ashley (Stephen)
(b Southgate, 26 Jan 1945). English folk-rock guitarist. He began playing the bass guitar at the age of 16 and formed a series of amateur bands that played American rock classics at a youth club in Muswell Hill, North London. He was living in Fairport House, owned by the family of Simon Nicol, when one of his bands, the Ethnic Shuffle Orchestra, evolved into Fairport Convention. An eponymous album (1967) was recorded with the vocalist Judy Dyble and consisted largely of cover versions, including songs by Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. The band changed direction with the arrival of the vocalist Sandy Denny, who brought with her a repertory of traditional songs. This was reflected on the album Unhalfbricking and the classic British folk-rock set Liege and Lief, (both Isl., 1969). Although Liege and Lief was in the top twenty album charts, Hutchings left the band and formed Steeleye Span who recorded Hark the Village Wake (RCA, 1970). He then left Steeleye Span to form the Albion band and concentrate on English music – though his repertory still included some of the American pop favourites of his youth. The retrospective album The Guv'nor Vol. 1 (HTD, 1994) included a track by the Ethnic Shuffle Orchestra, while Twangin' ‘n’ A-Traddin' (HTD, 1994) included a selection of favourite rock and roll instrumentals, recorded with a band that included Richard Thompson.
Hutchings, George Sherburn
(b Salem, MA, 9 Dec 1835; d Cambridge, MA, 1 June 1913). American organ builder. Trained as a carpenter, Hutchings entered the Hook firm of Boston in 1857 as a case maker, and was soon appointed foreman of his department. In 1861 he took a two-year leave of absence to serve in the Union Army, and shortly after his return was appointed factory superintendent. In 1869, with fellow employees from Hook (Mark Plaisted, G.V. Nordstrom and C.H. Preston), he formed the J.H. Willcox Co., named after its chief financial backer, a prominent organist and design consultant. A reorganization in 1872 resulted in a change of name to Hutchings, Plaisted & Co. Their first important commission was a large organ for Old South Church, Boston (1876). With Plaisted’s withdrawal in 1883 Hutchings carried on under his own name. He was an astute businessman, a good mechanic and a leader in the growing trend towards the Romantic style in organ building, with the result that by the 1890s the volume of his firm’s work vied with that of the older Hook & Hastings Company. In 1901, having purchased the organ interests of Edwin Scott Votey, the firm reorganized under the name of the Hutchings-Votey Organ Co., and a large new factory was built. Following this, various business difficulties caused a gradual decline, and the company failed entirely in 1919. Some of their large and important instruments include those in the Mission Church, Boston (1898), and Woolsey Hall, New Haven, Connecticut (1903).
‘George S. Hutchings’, The Organ, ii (Boston, 1893–4), 221–2
O. Ochse: The History of the Organ in the United States (Bloomington, IN, 1975)
B. Owen: The Organ in New England (Raleigh, NC, 1979)
E.T. Schmitt: ‘Letters: Geo. Hutchings & Pilgrim Congregational, St. Louis’, The Tracker, xxxiii/1 (1989), 21–6
Hutchins, Carleen (Maley)
(b Springfield, MA, 24 May 1911). American violin maker and acoustician. After studying biology at Cornell University (AB 1933) and taking an MA in education, she went on to study violin making with Karl A. Berger (1954–9) and Simone Sacconi (1960–63), and violin acoustics with Frederick A. Saunders of Harvard University (1949–63). Her work on violin design and construction techniques has been funded mostly from the sale of her own instruments. She is co-founder of the Catgut Acoustical Society, an organization which co-ordinates and disseminates information on violin acoustics. Hutchins is known internationally for her revolutionary work on the design and construction of the New Violin Family (or violin octet), a musically successful acoustically-matched consort of eight new instruments of the violin family. She has developed two electronic testing methods for violin makers, namely ‘free plate tuning’ for violins before assembling and ‘mode tuning’ for finished instruments, which provide measurable parameters to augment and quantify traditional violin-making techniques. As well as receiving a number of honorary doctorates, in 1998 she was given the Acoustical Society of America’s highest award, an honorary fellowship, for her work on violin design.
ed.: Musical Acoustics (Stroudsburg, PA, 1976)
ed.: The Physics of Music: Readings from Scientific American (San Francisco, 1978)
‘The Acoustics of Violin Plates’, Scientific American (1981), 170–86
‘A 30-Year Experiment on the Acoustics and Musical Development of Violin-Family Instruments’, JASA, xcii (1992), 639–49
with O.E. Rodgers: ‘Methods of Changing the Frequency Spacing (Delta) between the A1 and B1 Modes of the Violin’, Journal of the Catgut Acoustical Society, 2nd ser., ii/1 (1992), 13–19
ed.: Research Papers in Violin Acoustics 1975–1993 (Woodbury, NY, 1996)
See bibliography of Acoustics, §II, for further articles.
American family of singers. They were active from 1840 to the 1880s. Emulating the Austrian Rainer family, the Hutchinsons achieved an unprecedented popularity in the mid-1840s. The first and most influential of their numerous configurations of family, relatives and friends consisted of siblings Judson, John, Asa and Abby. At the beginning, the Hutchinsons sang glees using a close, ‘sweet’ blend of voices, and placed great emphasis on a ‘natural’ (uncultivated) tone and perfect intonation, delivered in an informal manner. They appealed to ‘respectable’ middle-class audiences who believed in the importance of family life, Protestantism, liberalism and improved well-being through the power of education. By 1843 the Hutchinsons began appearing at anti-slavery meetings and temperance conventions, causes they came to advocate through their song. Their political and social leanings, which included communitarianism and women's rights, eventually alienated more conservative audiences. Nevertheless, their espousal of radical ideas established a pattern in popular music that continued through the 20th century.
The Hutchinsons' early musical reputation was built largely on the performance of the songs of others. By the mid-1840s, however, they were publishing songs under their own names. Almost all this music was reworked from existing melodies, with new texts and arrangements; the most famous example is The Old Granite State, which used the Millerite hymn tune Old Church Yard. Abby, who composed nothing while a member of the quartet, became the most successful writer, and was known particularly for her arrangements of African American spirituals, her Kind Words Can Never Die (1855) and her setting of Tennyson's Ring Out, Wild Bells (1891).
A.B. Hutchinson: The Book of Brothers, or History of the Hutchinson Family (New York, 1852)
J. Hutchinson: A Brief Narrative of the Hutchinson Family (Boston, 1874)
J.W. Hutchinson: Story of the Hutchinsons (Tribe of Jesse), ed. C.E. Mann (Boston, 1896/R)
H. Nathan: ‘The Career of a Revival Hymn’, Southern Folklore Quarterly, vii (1943), 89–100
P.D. Jordan: Singin' Yankees (Minneapolis, 1946)
C. Brink: Harps in the Wind: the Story of the Singing Hutchinsons (New York, 1947/R)
C. Moseley: ‘The Hutchinson Family: the Function of their Song in Ante-bellum America’, Journal of American Culture, i (1978), 713–23
C. Hamm and J. Morris: There's a Good Time Coming: Songs by the Hutchinson Family, Smithsonian Collection N020 (1979) [disc notes]
D. Cockrell: ‘The Hutchinson Family, 1841–45: or, The Origins of some Yankee Doodles’, ISAM Newsletter, xii/1 (1982), 12–15
D. Cockerell, ed.: Excelsior: Journals of the Hutchinson Family Singers (New York, 1989)