Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

The guitar in europe: four centuries of master pieces

The violin makers and their work have always fascinated historians and musicologists who could thus study the codes and the functioning of a profession in constant evolution. They collected historic as well as social cultural information necessary to the comprehension of this activity, without ever differentiating guitar makers from violin makers. As the powerful corporations that, in the 18th century gave the status of “sworn master” to the best craftsmen, they classified instrument makers in several large generic categories; strings, organs, harpsichords and brass instruments. Until around 1760, there was no separation between guitar makers from violin makers, the same makers built violins, basses, quintets, viols, mandolins, harps, citers, guitars and hurdy-gurdies, that is, plucked and bowed strings. Inventories made in some violin making workshops – after the death of the violin maker – demonstrated this fact clearly by the stock of wood, inlays and uncompleted instruments remaining when the activity stopped. Except for the “Romanillos” and the “Antonioni” the dictionaries of violin makers – for the major part written in the 20th century – do not refer to the guitar, except in anecdotic ways, and often with contempt: read what Vannes wrote about Stauffer! : “..In spite of (…) all these efforts and research,he was never considered any better than a guitar...

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