English family of music publishers and piano makers. Robert Wornum (i) (b ?Berkshire, 1742; d London, 1815) was established in Glasshouse Street, London (c1772–7), and then at 42 Wigmore Street (c1777–1815). He published many small books of dances and airs for the flute or violin, and was also a maker of violins and cellos. His son Robert Wornum (ii) (b London, bap. 19 Nov 1780; d London, 29 Sept 1852) went into partnership with George Wilkinson in a piano business in Oxford Street from 1810 to about 1813. Following his father’s death in 1815 Robert (ii) continued the family business making pianos, moving in 1832 to Store Street, Bedford Square. He played an important role in developing small upright pianos which were acceptable as articles of drawing-room furniture. Wornum invented the diagonally and vertically strung low upright pianos in 1811 and 1813, which he named respectively the ‘Unique’ and the ‘Harmonic’. He patented his actions and by 1828 had completed the development of his cottage piano action, which became very popular and was copied by Pape and Pleyel in their ‘pianino’. Wornum was not, as is formerly thought, the inventor of the tape-check action for upright pianos, which facilitated rapid repetition – Herman Lichtenthal first patented it in 1832 – but he did patent his own version of it in 1842 (no. 9262). He also experimented with down-striking actions, including a down-striking tape-check action, a ‘pizzicato’ stop operated by a pedal, and with placing the soundboard above the strings. His son, A.N. Wornum (b London, bap. 9 Sept 1814; d London, 1888), succeeded him as head of the firm (by then Robert Wornum & Sons) and the business continued until 1900.
E.F.Rimbault: The Pianoforte: its Origin, Progress and Construction (London, 1860)
R.E.M.Harding: The Piano-Forte: its History Traced to the Great Exhibition of 1851 (Cambridge, 1933/R, 2/1978/R)
C.Ehrlich: The Piano: a History (London, 1976, 2/1990)
K.Mobbs: ‘Stops and other Special Effects on the Early Piano’, EMc, xii (1984), 471–6
PETER WARD JONES
Woroniec, Antoni Arnulf
(fl 2nd half of the 18th century). Polish priest and theologian. He was a doctor of theology and canon law, and abbot of a Benedictine monastery at Nieśwież. In 1794 he wrote one of the earliest manuals of music theory in Polish, Początki muzyki tak figuralnego jako i choralnego kantu (‘The origins of music in plainsong and chorale chant’, Vilnius, 1809), which he dedicated to Prince Dominik Radziwiłł. It contains basic music theory, principles of teaching liturgical singing and a glossary of musical terms; it derives partly from Schott’s Organum mathematicum of 1668.
B.Doleżalówna: ‘Początki muzyki X. Antoniego Arnulfa Worońca’, Wiadomości muzyczne, i (1925), 147
A.Miller: ‘Jan Dawid Holland i Antoni Arnulf Woroniec jako pierwsi twórcy podręcznika teorji muzyki w jęz. polskim’ [Holland and Woroniec as the authors of the first Polish theories of music], Wiadomości muzyczne, i (1925), 116
A.Nowak-Romanowicz and others, eds.: Z dziejów polskiej kultury muzycznej [History of Polish musical culture], ii (Kraków, 1966)
English organization based in London. Its aim is to promote all aspects of the art and science of music. It grew from the London Fellowship of Minstrels, which became a guild in 1500, and it took its present name in 1604 when it was granted a charter by James I.
Because of the presence of the king’s and other royal minstrels in London, the London Fellowship was until 1500 prevented from becoming a guild and from acquiring the virtual monopoly of music-making in the city and its environs that similar groups outside London possessed. Its privileges were improved by a charter of Edward IV (1469), which created the ranks of marshal and two wardens (all members of the King’s Musick), and gave the London Fellowship control over the musical profession throughout the country (except for Cheshire where a separate arrangement obtained). This gave the fellowship some protection against unauthorized competition, but it did not resolve the conflict of rights between it and the royal and aristocratic bodies within London. With the charter of James I, the London guild was transformed into the Worshipful Company of Musicians, granted the civic influence and prestige of other livery companies, and given control over all music-making in and within three miles of London (except for Westminster and Southwark). Its relationship with the royal and aristocratic bands, however, remained precarious; in 1632 Charles I declared the 1604 charter null and void, and the Westminster Musicians Guild claimed control of the city musicians in 1637. Though further impeded by charters of Charles II (1664) and James II (1688), the company did its best to preserve its hard-won privileges, insisting on its rights throughout most of the 18th century. But by mid-century most ‘public’ music had moved out of the control of the company into the newly built West End of London; to both Hawkins and Burney the Worshipful Company was a pitiful anachronism surviving from a barbarous age, out of touch with the world of Handel and his Classical successors. It began to admit non-musicians, notably businessmen, in order to maintain its existence, and the membership increased from 31 (1739) to 269 (1783). Not until 1870 with the election of William Chappell did the company revive its interest in music and admit more musicians, and its lay members became increasingly willing to use the company to serve the ends of music.
In more recent times it has done this most effectively by awarding prizes, scholarships and medals, the most important of which is the Collard Fellowship, established in 1931 in memory of John Clementi Collard, twice master of the company, and held by, among others, Howells, Lambert, Berkeley and Fricker. It awards the Cobbett Prize for services to chamber music, the Santley medal to singers, and other prizes and medals at various schools and colleges of music and at the National Brass Band Championship. The company operated without a charter from 1632 until 1950, when its position was regularized by the charter under which it now operates.
H.A.F.Crewdson: The Worshipful Company of Musicians (London, 1950, 2/1971)