The Catgut Acoustical Society Library

File #:B6680

Name:Bodley, Nicholas Bessaraboff

Dates:d. 1973

See also:B8151 - Bram, Marjorie.

General Information:

Nicholas Bessaraboff is the author of the definitive book "Ancient European Musical Instruments, An

Organological Study of the Instruments in the Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection at the Museum of Fine

Arts Boston" (October House 1964). When he first heard all the Violin Octet instruments he became

very excited and said that this was the treatment that the violin family had needed for a long time.

Marjorie Bram (MacPhillamy) taped an interview with Bessaraboff which is in the CAS Newsletter.

Bessaraboff originally came to the USA during the first world war as an agent for the Russian

Government to purchase arms. He was also a waldhorn player in the Russian Army Band. He stayed

here and developed his long-time interest in early musical instruments and helped to catalogue those in

the above collection. During the second war he changed his name to Bodley. He died in NYC in 1973.

Wife: Virginia, Son: Nicholas, Daughter: Elizabeth.

File Contents:


Correspondence: 1966-1974 involving Nicholas Bessaraboff Bodley, Elizabeth Blaker Bodley (daughter), David

Boyden, Marjorie Bram, R.E. Fryxell, CMH and James Pruett. Includes news clipping and some

biographical material.

Key Words:


Correspondence: with Bodley family, mainly son, 1974-1987.

Key Words:


Transcription of taped interview with Bessaraboff (Bodley) on 4/26/67. Participants in interview

included Marjorie Bram, CMH and Lewis Wilson. Also a considerably edited version of the

transcription used as a basis for article in CAS Newsletter. The published version of the interview.

Biographical information addressed by Bessaraboff (Bodley) to Marjorie Bram. Dust jacket of the

Bessaraboff book. An article on Bessaraboff (Bodley) and his book. Newspaper notice of his death.

Key Words:


Technical: "The Auloi of Meroe", Amer. J of Archeology (1946); "Two Main Types of Arching",

(1967), a translation of part of book by Anatolii Ivanovich Leman - published in CASNL #8.

Key Words:Violin arching | Ancient wind instruments

Last modified: 27 June 1998