Early Romantic Guitar More Information and Links

www.EarlyGuitar.com - The collection of Raymond Attard (Australia) is now on-line. This fine collection of early guitars is worth checking out.

Accademia 800 Instruments Page Good photo gallery.

Classical Guitar Composers List (CGCL) Homepage The purpose of this list is to provide a succinct reference to composers who have composed at least one published original music for, or being transcribed for, solo classical guitar. Each entry of the list consists of the composer's full name, year of birth, year of death (if applicable), and nationality. Alphabetizing is simply done by dropping all accents and diacritics.

Crane Photo Gallery Private Collection Many pictures of various 19th century guitars. From the CRANE Homepage by Makoto Tsuruta.

Crane Overview of Guitar Construction A good pictoral overview of the stages of building an early guitar. From the CRANE Homepage by Makoto Tsuruta.

Dr. Heck - Stalking the Earliest 6-String Quite a bit of guitar history listed here; good content. Discussion of when the earliest 6-string guitar first appeared by the author of the Giuliani biography.

Guitar pre-1650 Excellent discussion of the guitar's evolution up to the 1800's.

Guitars Through The Ages Guitars Through The Ages Guitars Through The Ages By James Westbrook. Features 6 original period instruments from the author's collection: ca. 1780 Baroque guitar, 1830 Gennaro Fabricatore, 1830 René François Lacôte, 1838 Louis Panormo, 1889 Antonio de Torres, 1966 Robert Bouchet. A relatively light book of just over 70 pages, 21cm square, that I read in about 2 hours. The photos are very high quality and detailed; the guitars are spectacular - especially the Fabricatore which was made for a very wealthy client, having ebony backs and sides, detailed vine inlays, mother of pearl purfling, ivory edging, etc.. The book has a general illustrated overview of classical guitar instrument history, and ends with a semi-technical description of each instrument, including measurements and X-Rays. It was also interesting to see the evolution from the Baroque predecessor through the 19th century to Torres and modern adaptations. There are not many books of this type, and it is well worth $20. Limited edition of 1,000 copies available from the author.

Stauffer & Co. Book Cover

A comprehensive study of Stauffer, with high quality photos, is available in the book "Stauffer & Co.".

Illustrated Classical Guitar History Article about guitar history.

Musee de la Musique An excellent French musical museum with thousands of photos on line, as well as other documents, searchable. An incredible collection of early guitars. In French, but easy to navigate even if you do not read French.

Philip Bone: "Guitar and Mandolin" - an extensive 1914 biographical source that is often quoted, but also known for having some errors. Well worth studying as a good primary source, and sometimes the only source of information. This book has been digitized for free download at The Internet Archive: "a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format."

Zavaletas Collection This collection has a Baroque guitar from 1762, a Viennese guitar from 1800, a French 1845 instrument, and several valuable Spanish or modern guitars from 1860-1965. Sound samples are provided for most of the guitars, a very nice feature so you can hear them.

Read the very influential document The Memoirs of Makaroff - where the virtuoso guitarist recounts his visits with guitar makers and composers.

The Italian Guitar in the 19th-Century: Just Classical Guitar website at http://www.justclassicalguitar.com contains biographies of Italian guitarist composers of Nineteenth century in alphabetic order.

Also be sure to check out the GFA Archives in the Sheet Music Vendors section below. The GFA Archives has incredible amounts of first edition material from which you can order facsimile copies.

John McCormick's article Songs with Guitar from the Age of Napoleon. Excellent overview of the history and performance of vocal music in the Napoleonic age, though I disagree with John to some degree regarding the use of modern instrumentation over period instruments to enhance performance.

Web site by Jose Antonio Vallejo in Spain, showing several period guitars of his collection: www.instrumentosmusicalesantiguos.com

The antique guitars in Felix Manzanero´s Private Collection are fascinating.

The Frederick Noad series contains four volumes - Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic. Two of the books, "The Classical Guitar" and "The Romantic Guitar" cover the early romantic time period, composers, and style. For the average guitarist who wants to get an overview, these are very good books. I personally first discovered Legnani and Mertz years ago through these books. Fred Noad spent years doing the research for this series, often obtaining first-hand sources. The books are targeted toward amateur players of intermediate ability who want to learn more about a particular time period. Fred Noad has done probably more than anyone to bring new students into the classical guitar, myself included. My personal correspondence with Fred Noad showed him to be a generous and pleasant man, very knowledgeable, who patiently answered all my questions and helped out. We will miss him, and the classical guitar world lost one of its best proponents.

The time period divisions of these books are different than what this web site terms the "Early Romantic" guitar. The "Classical Guitar" book covers the earliest composers: mostly Sor, Giuliani, Regondi, Aguado. One could argue the difference between whether this is the "Classical" period or the "Early Romantic" period, but all the material in this volume is relevant to the era we are discussing. The "Romantic Guitar" book however, lumps together the next generation of guitarists after Sor and Giuliani: namely Coste and Mertz born in 1806, with Late Romantic guitarists Tarrega born 1852, and others born in the late 1800's who flourished in the early 20th century. Most scholars today recognize that Coste and Mertz should be lumped stylistically with Sor and Giuliani, since they were directly influenced by that style (Coste was Sor's student for example), while Tarrega and the others were scarcely or not even born by the time Coste and Mertz died. Sylistically, the music of say Mertz and Coste sounds nothing like the later music of Tarrega and Granados. I suppose this is nit-picking as the books are excellent, and the later material is great also: it puts Julian Arcas where he belongs in history, as the real source of innovation behind Torres, and the teacher of Tarrega.

More Information about Guitar Evolution:

The bibliography by Erik Stenstadvold "Guitar Methods 1760 - 1860" is available and can be ordered through Amazon.com. For more info, please see: Pendragon Press. Erik's research into the very first 6 single-string guitar methods show in England, Sperati published the first 6-string method in 1800, possibly 1801. In France, Gatayes published a method for 5 and 6 string guitar c.1800, and in Vienna there were two 6-string methods published 1801, and in Germany several in 1802 (all in chronological lists in the book). Based on these dates, it stands to reason that the 6-string guitar had been introduced and was more or less established in most countries before 1800.

Images of Ancient Guitars Classical Guitar Illustrated History page, showing Renaissance and Baroque predecessors. This page is a good visual of early guitars, many of which share design characteristics with the later romantic guitars. Also see the parent page at Classical Guitar Illustrated History for information about guitar ancestors dating back over two thousand years.

The Guitar Family Tree - Dennis Cinelli's web site contains a fascinating pictoral explanation with text showing the major phases in guitar design, starting with the early guitar, through the major schools of 19th century building, through Torres and the modern day.

Dr. Heck - Stalking the Earliest 6-String Quite a bit of guitar history listed here; good content. Discussion of when the earliest 6-string guitar first appeared by the author of the Giuliani biography.

Clive Titmuss adds this:

"If you are interested in further information, I highly reccommend the book "The Spanish Guitar" which is catologue of an exhibit at the Met 1991, which has 35 instruments, all made in Spain, much detailed organological information, a huge bibliography, articles about the various periods and museum-quality photos of the instruments, from the Paris vihuela to Marcelo Barbero 1935. There are several 5 and 6 course guitars. The book has measurements which make it possible for any luthier to make a reasonable facsimile of any of the instruments. I believe it can still be ordered from www.stewmac.com."

The Guitar in Art

K l a s s i s k g i t a r . n e t - Image archives by time period (see images archive link).

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