Avedis Zildjian Company

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Avedis Zildjian Company
Private
Industry Cymbal manufacturer
Founded Constantinople (present-day Istanbul), Ottoman Empire (1623; 394 years ago (1623))
Founder Avedis Zildjian
Headquarters Norwell, Massachusetts, United States
Key people
Avedis Zildjian, Founder
Armand Zildjian
Craigie Zildjian, Current CEO
Debbie Zildjian
Products Cymbals, Drum sticks
Owners Craigie Zildjian, Current CEO
Debbie Zildjian
Website www.zildjian.com

The Avedis Zildjian Company, commonly known as Zildjian /ˈzɪliən/,[1] is a cymbal manufacturer founded in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) by an Armenian alchemist called Avedis Zildjian in the 17th century, during the Ottoman period. It is now based in Norwell, Massachusetts. Zildjian is nearly 400 years old. Zildjian also sells drum-related accessories, such as drum sticks and cymbal carriers. It is the largest cymbal manufacturer in the world.[2][3][4][5][6]

On December 20, 2010, it was announced that Avedis Zildjian Company had merged with Vic Firth, Inc.[7] According to the announcement, both companies will continue to run autonomously.[7]

History[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

The first Zildjian cymbals were created in 1618 by Avedis Zildjian, an Armenian alchemist who was looking for a way to turn base metal into gold; he created an alloy combining tin, copper, and silver into a sheet of metal that could make musical sounds without shattering. Avedis was given the name of Zildjian (Zilciyân) by the Sultan Osman II[8] (from the Turkish terms zil "bell" + -ci "-er, maker, seller" + -ian a common suffix used in Armenian last names) and began an industry in 1623, the details of whose main product have remained secret for generations. It became family tradition that only the company's heirs would know the manufacturing process.

The Zildjian Company moved from manufacturing noisemakers that frightened the enemies of the Ottoman Empire to manufacturing its cymbals as musical instruments in the 19th century.[9]

1900s[edit]

Avedis Zildjian III in front of Zildjian Quincy Factory

Around 1928, Avedis III, his brother Puzant, and his uncle Aram Zildjian began manufacturing cymbals in Quincy, Massachusetts. The Avedis Zildjian Co. was formed on September 19, 1929, the month before the Great Depression began, in competition with the K. Zildjian company in Turkey. Avedis made many innovations in cymbals that are still around today; he was the first to develop drum-set cymbals and gave cymbals names such as ride, crash, splash, and hi-hat.

Avedis III's son Armand Zildjian, also known as the "Father of Artist Relations," began hand-selecting cymbals for top drummers. It was his close personal relationships with the top drummers and percussionists of the day on which Zildjian still bases its Artist Relations Department. In 1968, the K. Zildjian Co. and all European trademarks were bought back on behalf of the Avedis Zildjian Co. Also in 1968, Avedis split production into two operations, opening the Azco factory in Meductic, New Brunswick, Canada.

From 1968 to 1970, the Azco factory produced Zilco cymbals. There were two types of Zilco: one was a thin rolling produced without any hammering, which cut costs. At about this time in the Azco factory, the modern process for pressing cymbals into shape came about. Before this it was done by bumping with the Quincy drop hammer.[citation needed]

Gravestone of Puzant and Arpine Zildjians, Mount Auburn Cemetery, Watertown, MA

In 1970, Zildjian needed all their production capabilities at Azco for their regular Zildjian line, so the factory in Quincy (the then location of Zildjian) would send up castings to be finished into cymbals at Azco.

In 1975, Zildjian began making K. Zildjian cymbals at the Azco plant. This was an interesting time for the Zildjian clan because it was the first time that K. Zildjian Istanbul and the Avedis Zildjian Company had worked together to make the same Zildjian cymbals after years of competing with each other. These were made until 1979. Within four years (1980), all K Cymbals were being made in the Norwell, USA plant, because the Ks demanded far more oversight. Armand worked with friends, the great Elvin Jones and Tony Williams, to relaunch the K series.

In early 1977, Armand Zildjian was appointed president of the Avedis Zildjian Company by his father. Soon after, Robert Zildjian split from the company amidst conflict with his brother, Armand. Shortly thereafter, in 1981, Robert started making Sabian cymbals in the Meductic Azco factory.[citation needed]

After taking over in 1981, Armand was awarded a number of honors from his 50-year career.

  • In 1988, he received an Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music.
  • In 1994, he was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame.
  • He was one of the few manufacturers to be honored at the "Rock Walk" on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.
  • In 2002, he was presented with the Modern Drummer Editor's Achievement Award.

Recent history[edit]

In keeping with tradition, Armand passed the Zildjian Secret Alloy to his daughters, Craigie and Debbie (14th generation), both of whom continue to run the family business from the current factory in Norwell, Massachusetts.

Other than cymbals, the Avedis Zildjian Company produces products such as drum sticks and other drum accessories. The Artist Series drum sticks allow these endorsers to personalize their drum sticks, and these sticks are sold to the public.

Cymbal Lines[edit]

K Family[edit]

Dark & Rich[edit]

  • K Constantinople - The legendary "K Con" is the pinnacle of the Zildjian cymbal line, renowned for its perfect blended sound quality. Complex hammering contributes to the cymbal's unique sonic identity and dark tones that can be at once cutting and smooth. Made in small batches using a 14-step process, every K Constantinople has its own signature voice.
  • Kerope - The Kerope line draws from Zildjian's rich history and cymbal making expertise to bring forth the most authentic vintage K recreation to date. These hand crafted cymbals look as they sound - dark, and complex. Named in honor of Kerope Zildjian, who presided over one of the most storied periods in Zildjian history, each cymbal is meticulously hand crafted using a 14-step process that encompasses the best of everything we have learned in 390 years of cymbal making.
  • K Custom - Drawing from the spirit of the legendary K Zildjian range, K Custom cymbals are dark, rich and dry and enable today's drummers to utilize complex K sounds in a more modern musical environment. They feature traditional K hammering, plus a variety of additional modern hammering techniques that produce unique sonic capabilities. Recommended for modern jazz, studio, country and medium rock. K Customs are designed with today's diverse music scene in mind.
  • K Zildjian - K Zildjian cymbals continue to inspire drummers today with their deep, warm, and expressive sounds developed by Kerope Zildjian in 19th Century Turkey. Elaborate hammering and lathing techniques work the Zildjian alloy into versatile cymbals that are dark yet well suited for a wide variety of musical genres from jazz to rock.

A Family[edit]

Bright & Sweet[edit]

  • A Avedis - This new addition to the Zildjian “A” Family is a vintage recreation of the timeless sound and feel heard and played on thousands of top hits from the 30’s through the 60’s, from swing to bebop to the explosion of rock & roll. Named in honor of Avedis Zildjian III, the father of the modern American cymbal, this legendary sound has be remastered and is now available for a new generation of drummers.
  • A Zildjian - Zildjian’s classic sound is embodied by A Zildjian and immortalized in countless recordings by the greatest drummers of all time. Known for their versatility, these bright cymbals range from paper thin and delicate to extra heavy and cutting. Recent adjustments were made to the curvature and weights of many current models to capture the sweet spot of the classic A sound, producing crashes, rides, and hats that reflect today’s musical styles.
  • A Custom - The choice of renowned rock, metal and fusion drummers, A Customs feature a brilliant finish and radical new hammering techniques that deliver a crisp, sweet, sophisticated A Zildjian sound, but with a contemporary feel. A Customs are not too dark and not too bright with a fast response and clean attack.

Z Family[edit]

Bright & Cutting[edit]

  • ZBT - ZBT (Zildjian Bronze Technology) delivers a bright, intense sound that cuts through the mix. Each ZBT cymbal was created using Ziljdian's extensive experience in cymbal making and features extensive lathing with a traditional finish.
  • Planet Z - Planet Z cymbals are a great entry to the Zildjian Family, designed to be versatile, inspiring instruments. Each cymbal is precision crafted in the U.S.A. from a proprietary Nickel Silver alloy.


S Family[edit]

Versatile & Bold[edit]

  • S Series - A versatile collection of bright and expressive cymbals built with a balanced frequency response, making it suitable for a variety of musical styles.

Sister companies[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pronunciation of zildjian". howjsay.com. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  2. ^ Robert Kreitner, Carlene M. Cassidy (2011). Management (12th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-111-22136-2. Company, based in Norwell, Massachusetts, is the largest cymbal maker in the world and the oldest continuously family-run business in the United States. 
  3. ^ Lamb, Charles W. (2002). The Subject is Marketing (2nd Canadian ed.). Scarborough, Ont.: Nelson Thomson Learning. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-17-616955-8. Avedis Zildjian of Norwell, Massachusetts, can trace its history back to 1623 in Constantinople. It is the world's largest maker of cymbals for drummers and musicians. 
  4. ^ Newsweek, Volume 71, Issues 1-9, 1968, p. 71 "As the only producer of cymbals in the U.S., the Zildjian company dominates a world market rapidly expanding with the proliferation of per- cussionary rock 'n' roll bands."
  5. ^ The Music Trades, Volume 135, Issues 1-6, p. 90 "Maintaining its position as the world's largest cymbal producer, the Avedis Zildjian Company has announced an exciting joint venture with Barcus-Berry, Inc."
  6. ^ "Robert Zildjian Dead: Founder Of Sabian Cymbal Company Dies At 89". The Huffington Post. 29 March 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Vic Firth Company and Avedis Zildjian Company Announce Merger". VicFirth.com. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  8. ^ "Zildjian Historical Timeline". Avedis Zildjian Company. Archived from the original on 2010-12-01. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  9. ^ "Zildjian Bios-Avedis Zildjian I". zildjian.com. Archived from the original on 14 March 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°9′42.30″N 70°53′11.15″W / 42.1617500°N 70.8864306°W / 42.1617500; -70.8864306