Engel, Carl


Writer on musical subjects and authority on musical history and musical incidents. He was a pupil of Enckhausen, a Hanover organist, and of Hummel in piano; and was musician for some time in the family of Herr von Schlabendorf, a Pomeranian nobleman. When about twenty-six years old he went to England, where he began piano teaching at Manchester, but soon moved to London, where he became interested in research work, collecting musical instruments and books, reading, writing, and familiarizing himself with the scores of modern composers, and in time acquiring collections equaled by few, and surpassed only by some of the larger public libraries and museums. His earlier works include a sonata and also some instructive works for the piano, and Reflections on Church Music. His researches soon enabled him to produce The Music of the Most Ancient Nations, and An Introduction to the Study of National Music. After these publications he became connected with the South Kensington Museum, which profited by his wide knowledge. A number of valuable works were published during the rest of his life, among which were a Descriptive Catalog of the Musical Institute in South Kensington Museum, Musical Myths and Facts, and Researches into the Early History of the Violin Family. Two works, a collection of national airs, and an immense work, designed to comprise descriptions of all known musical instruments, remain in manuscript. His library was sold at public auction in 1881, after which he visited Germany, returning to Kensington the following year, in which he died.