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The American Musical Instrument Society

Gribbon Award recipient
President Bryant (r) and committee chair Christina Linsenmeyer (l) present Densmore award certificate to 2015 winner Edmond Johnson

2013 Densmore to John Koster
2013 Densmore Recipient John Koster




The Frances Densmore Prize

One of two publication prizes, the Frances Densmore Prize is awarded for the most distinguished article-length work in English which best furthers the Society's goal "to promote study of the history, design, and use of musical instruments in all cultures and from all periods." The first award in this category was given in 1988 and has been awarded in even-numbered years thereafter. In 2009, the Board of Governors voted to make the award annually.

The prize consists of the sum of $500 and a certificate, and the winner is announced at the Society's annual meeting and in the Society's Newsletter. Nominations (including self-nominations) and copies of the publication nominated should be submitted by November 15 to:

Anne Acker,

Past Recipients

2017 Allen Roda, “The Tabla Past and Present: Analysis of Materials in India’s Most Iconic Drums,” The Galpin Society Journal, LXVIII, March 2015

2016 Lance Whitehead and Jenny Nex, “The Insurance of Musical London and the Sun Fire Office 1710-1779” The Galpin Society Journal LXVII (2014)
2016 Megan Rancier, “The Musical Instrument as National Archive: A Case Study of the Kazakh Qyl-qobyz” Ethnomusicology, Fall 2014 (58/3)

2015 Edmond Johnson, “The Death and Second Life of the Harpsichord” Journal of Musicology  30/2, (Spring 2013), 180-214.

2014 Arnold Myers, "How Different are Cornets and Trumpets?" Historic Brass Society Journal 24 (2012), 113-128.

2013 John Koster, “A Harpsichord by Diego Fernandez?”, The Galpin Society Journal LXIV (March 2011), pp. 5-48.

2012 David Lasocki, "New Light on the History of the Keyed Bugle." Historic Brass Society Journal 21:11-50 (2009) and 22:19-54 (2010).

2011 George S. Bozarth and Margaret Debenham, with collaborator David Cripps; "Piano Wars: the Legal Machinations of London Pianoforte Makers, 1795-1806," Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle XLII (2009), 45-108.

2010 Rita Steblin,  “Viennese Woodwind Makers in the Classical Era, with Emphasis on Friedrich Lempp’s Request for Protection in 1768,” Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society XXXIV (2008), 26-73.

2008 Patrizio Barbieri, “Roman and Neapolitan Gut Strings
1550-1950.” Galpin Society Journal 59 (2006):147-182.

2006 Robert Howe, "The Boehm Système Oboe and its Role in the Development of the Modern Oboe." The Galpin Society Journal 56 (2003): 27-60.

2004 Stewart Carter, "The Gütter Family: Wind Instrument Makers and Dealers to the Moravian Brethren in America." Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society 27 (2001): 48-83.

2002 Michael Greenberg, "The Double-Bass Class at the Paris Conservatory, 1826-1832,"Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society 26 (2000): 83-140.

2000 Sabine K. Klaus, "German Square Pianos with Prellmechanik in Major American Museum Collections: Distinguishing Characteristics of Regional Schools in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries," Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, 25 (1998): 27-80.

1998 Sam Quigley, "The Raffles Gamelan at Claydon House," Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, 22 (1996): 5-41.

1996 Philip F. Gura, "Manufacturing Guitars for the American Parlor: James Ashborn's Wolcottville, Connecticut, Factory, 1851-56," Journal of the American Antiquarian Society (1994): 117-56

1994 Darcy Kuronen, "The Musical Instruments of Benjamin Crehore," Journal of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 4 (1992): 52-77.

1992 Cecil Adkins, "Oboes Beyond Compare: The Instruments of Hendrik and Fredrik Richters," Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, 16 (1990): 42-117.

1990 Robert S. Winter, "The Significance of Striking Points in the Evolution of the Romantic Piano," Journal of Musicology 6, No. 3 (1988): 267-92.

1988 Bruce Haynes, "Questions of Tonality in Bach's Cantatas: The Woodwind Perspective," Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society 12 (1986): 40-67.

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