Maelzel, Johannes Nepomuk
Maelzel, Johannes Nepomuk
Maelzel, Johannes Nepomuk, German inventor; b. Regensburg, Aug. 15, 1772; d. on board the brig Otis in the harbor of La Guiara, Venezuela, en route to Philadelphia, July 21, 1838. He studied music with his father, an organ manufacturer. In 1792 he went to Vienna, where he began constructing mechanical instruments, which attracted great attention there and subsequently in other European cities; of these, the Panhar-monicon, exhibited in Vienna in 1804, was particularly effective. He then purchased the “automatic chess player,” which he claimed was his invention; in fact it was designed and built by Wolfgang von Kempelen. He was able to impress the public by his “scientific” miracle, but it was soon exposed by skeptical observers, among them Edgar Allan Poe, as an ingenious mechanical contrivance concealing a diminutive chess master behind its gears. He subsequently invented the automatic trumpeter, displaying it and a new version of the Panharmonicon in his Kunstabinet in 1812. In 1816 he constructed the metronome, the idea for which he obtained from Winkel of Amsterdam, who had exhibited similar instruments, but without the scale divisions indicating the number of beats per minute. Maelzel put the metronome on the market, despite a lawsuit brought by Winkel, and the initial of his last name was thenceforth added to the indication of tempo in musical compositions (M.M., Maelzel’s metronome). Beethoven wrote a piece for the Panharmonicon, which he subsequently orchestrated and publ. as Wellington’s Victory. After Maelzel declared that the composition was his property, Beethoven sued him in the Viennese courts, but nothing ever came from his legal action.
C. Carroll, The Great Chess Automaton (N.Y., 1975).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
"Maelzel, Johannes Nepomuk." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 23, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/maelzel-johannes-nepomuk
"Maelzel, Johannes Nepomuk." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Retrieved January 23, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/maelzel-johannes-nepomuk
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.