For Chinese emperors the study of calendars, map making, astronomy, and horology had great importance. Music was considered similar in character to calendrics which is the reckoning and recording of time over long periods. The pipe organ, clavichord and harpsichord were of double interest to Ming and Qing Emperors as representing a Western musical tradition and as ingenious mechanical devices.
John Burkhalter studied the performance of early music at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston under Daniel Pinkham and the performance of Baroque music at Harvard University under the noted Dutch recorder virtuoso, scholar, and conductor Frans Brüggen. Mr. Burkhalter is the artistic director of The Practitioners of Musick, specializing in the musical world of Eighteenth-Century Great Britain and Ireland, and the Colonial and early Federal periods in America.