Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

The Sound of Trees: Wood Selection in Guitars and Other Chordophones

Until recently, luthiers have been conservative in their wood choices for guitars and other chordophones. Most soundboards (tops) were made from American or European spruces. Rosewood and, less frequently, mahogany, maple, and koa, were used for backs and sides. Spanish cedar and mahogany were the preferred species for necks; ebony or rosewood for fretboards. Due to scarcity and increasing costs, new woods are now employed. Some are congeners of traditional woods; others are more innovative. The botanical identification of many of these species is inaccurate. A common name may refer to more than one species (under–differentiation, e.g., Madagascar rosewood for several Dalbergia spp.). Conversely, a binomial may be known by several common names (over–differentiation, e.g., European, German, or Italian spruce for Picea abies). Instrument makers and wood suppliers are unreliable sources of taxonomic names, especially with newer...

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