What kind of guitar did Fernando Sor play?

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powderedtoastman
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Re: What kind of guitar did Fernando Sor play?

Post by powderedtoastman » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:12 am

Wuuthrad wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:34 am
Michael.N. wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:31 am
But a 'parlor' steel string can cost $5,000 too - sometimes quite a bit more. It's simply the difference between very cheap mass produced far east guitars and handmade luthier guitars.
I wondered this, and thanks for your explanation. I should elaborate in suggesting that a Romantic guitar would be worth a look at the budget price, or low to mid range for many players. There are no low to mid range Romantic guitars, unless I am looking in wrong place. However there is plenty of music written on and for the Romantic guitar.

Instead what I presume is that the industry has provided numerous variations on the Torres model, whereas I think guitarists might benefit, or even prefer other choices (especially ones that don't break the bank, so to speak.)

I see many 1/2, 3/4, 7/8 model classical guitars, but not many Romantic styles. Hardly any at all. And when there are options for other early instruments in a more affordable range, it strikes me as curious that Romantic guitars are limited to Luthiers. Obviously (I hope apparently) not to suggest there's anything wrong with Luthier guitars, but I'm wondering why doesn't Córdoba or Yamaha make a budget Romantic Guitar?

We all study Sor and it seems he was very specific about what kind of guitar should be played.

Also curious to me, as someone suggested elsewhere, Romantic guitars were tuned to 415? How was this notated then properly on the staff as we see his music now?
There actually a few options for less expensive romantic guitars (I started a thread on a recent one in the "Advice on Buying..." section in the Luthiers forum here). One is exclusive to t h o m a n n in Europe (typed with spaces to get past forum filter), and the Raimundo Romantica is also sold by them.
There's also a luthier named Justin White in Australia who builds a Lacote copy or a terz for quite a reasonable price. I've tried one of his terz guitars owned by a friend, and I thought it was quite nice. There is also Miodrag Zerdoner in Canada who is building a Stauffer replica for a forum member here and the approximate price came up in a discussion and I think it's also very reasonable compared to more established luthiers in the field, but that may not be the case forever if he continues to build a reputation.

Unfortunately, none of those reach the under-$1k price range. What you can sometimes get for under 1k is an original guitar with a missing label so the builder is unknown, or an instrument made by an early 20th century German builder from when they were still building romantic type guitars.

In my opinion, the Cordoba Mini guitars sound a bit like romantic guitars, but unfortunately they're extremely uncomfortable to play. There is a Pepe Romero signature mini guitar that has a longer scale and I think possibly a bigger body than the Cordoba Mini, but it's not really a romantic guitar at all, just may have a more similar sound than anything else that's mass produced and well under 1k.
I would love it if a production company could give us a reasonably authentic looking and sounding historical instrument for a production instrument price but unfortunately there's probably just not a big enough market for it, so if you really want one badly enough (like I do) then your options are mostly limited to paying a luthier price for a luthier quality instrument. I love these instruments enough to go to that length but I guess not everyone has that luxury...

powderedtoastman
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Re: What kind of guitar did Fernando Sor play?

Post by powderedtoastman » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:22 am

Wuuthrad wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:34 am
Also curious to me, as someone suggested elsewhere, Romantic guitars were tuned to 415? How was this notated then properly on the staff as we see his music now?
As for tuning, the staff doesn't say anything about the relative pitch. Whatever you have your A tuned to, 415 or anything else, it only matters that the guitar is in tune to itself and the open strings are E B D G A E unless otherwise noted.
432 is another common reference pitch for romantic guitars, and I think possibly orchestral instruments of that period. If I remember right, I think I read somewhere on this forum that in Europe it is even now common for orchestras to tune slightly flat or sharp compared to 440 (I don't remember which) for some reason or another.

Jesús Morote
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Re: What kind of guitar did Fernando Sor play?

Post by Jesús Morote » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:54 am

In the Spanish Forum someone has posted about a Romantic Guitar with a price under 500 €.

You can see and hear this guitar here http://www.guitarraclasicadelcamp.com/v ... 36#p196256

:bye:
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Jesús Morote
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Re: What kind of guitar did Fernando Sor play?

Post by Jesús Morote » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:55 am

Jesús Morote wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:54 am
In the Spanish Forum someone has posted about a Romantic Guitar with a price under 500 €.

You can see and hear this guitar here http://www.guitarraclasicadelcamp.com/v ... 36#p196256

The Forum mate says that the sound is very good.

:bye:
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Michael.N.
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Re: What kind of guitar did Fernando Sor play?

Post by Michael.N. » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:27 am

Going by that Utube video (how deceptive they can be!) it sounds far closer to a Panormo than a Lacote. It lacks the 'woody' quality of a French romantic guitar, so certainly more of a Spanish romantic guitar than a French romantic guitar.
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powderedtoastman
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Re: What kind of guitar did Fernando Sor play?

Post by powderedtoastman » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:00 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:27 am
Going by that Utube video (how deceptive they can be!) it sounds far closer to a Panormo than a Lacote. It lacks the 'woody' quality of a French romantic guitar, so certainly more of a Spanish romantic guitar than a French romantic guitar.
Yeah that doesn't look or sound like a Lacote at all to me. Just sounds like a Spanish type guitar, very boomy/bassy. Also the body looks a bit large and doesn't resemble any particular romantic guitar that I know of. At least somebody out there is sort of trying, though.

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Jacek A. Rochacki
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Re: What kind of guitar did Fernando Sor play?

Post by Jacek A. Rochacki » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:24 pm

in his "Method for the Spanish Guitar" (translated from original by A. Merrick) Fernando Sor on page 9 says:
...if I wanted an instrument, I would procure it from M. Joseph Martínez of Malaga, or from M. Lacote, a French maker...
and:
...The guitars to which I have always given the preference are those of Alonzo of Madrid, Pages and Benediz of Cádiz, Joseph and Manuel Martínez of Malaga, or Rada, successor and scholar of the latter, and those of M. Lacote of París...
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RobMacKillop
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Re: What kind of guitar did Fernando Sor play?

Post by RobMacKillop » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:29 pm

Well, I've played a guitar with Sor's signature on the label inside, a Panormo belonging to Edinburgh University, but it is understood that Sor signed a number of labels on his visit to the Panormo workshop in London. He clearly thought Panormo's finest guitars were worthy of his name, and, yes, he mentions Panormo in his method. That guitar has a string length of 63cms, if I remember correctly.

That said, I think Lacote was a better maker, and Sor certainly played his guitars. The Panormo sounds too Spanish for some of Sor's music, most of which was written outside of Spain.

Wuuthrad
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Re: What kind of guitar did Fernando Sor play?

Post by Wuuthrad » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:02 pm

I've found an Aria A19-C 100 and 200 model online, and the 200 also comes in black.

The black is spruce top with mahogany and the others are spruce rosewood.

I'm guessing these are probably not period accurate woods?

Too bad these aren't carried in the US; I've played good Aria electrics and I know their classicals are well regarded.

powderedtoastman
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Re: What kind of guitar did Fernando Sor play?

Post by powderedtoastman » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:14 pm

Wuuthrad wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:02 pm
I've found an Aria A19-C 100 and 200 model online, and the 200 also comes in black.

The black is spruce top with mahogany and the others are spruce rosewood.

I'm guessing these are probably not period accurate woods?

Too bad these aren't carried in the US; I've played good Aria electrics and I know their classicals are well regarded.

Rosewood was sometimes used (especially in Panormo guitars which the Aria does resemble a bit, but I've seen some pictures of Lacotes also with rosewood), but maple back and sides seem like the most common. Some guitars had fruit woods (like pear or cherry) for back and sides as well. Not so sure about mahogany.

I've seen in person at least two original period guitars that have Brazilian rosewood back and sides, BUT on closer inspection you'll find that the rosewood is actually razor thin and has worn through in some spots to reveal another hard wood that is actually the real structural substance of the B+S.

On some French guitars you might find a spruce laminate on the inside of the back, which I've heard does have a certain effect on the tone.

I think the spruce top, body size/shape, and thickness and bracing of the top have the most important effects on the guitar's sound, it's widely said that the back and sides only contribute a small amount, except maybe the spruce lining if it is there. It may be very hard to prove that!

That Aria looks like probably the closest I've seen that's well under 1k. It looks pretty similar to the Martinez, but in the limited Youtube videos I've seen, it does sound a bit less boomy... I think you can order one from Japan from Rakuten but I don't know if it could end up being a minor hassle for the rosewood version because of CITES.

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jpryan
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Re: What kind of guitar did Fernando Sor play?

Post by jpryan » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:57 pm

From an article by Mark Small in the Spring 2016 issue of "Classical Guitar" magazine:
April 19,2016
While he does not have a guitar collection as extensive as Pepe’s, among Angel’s instruments is a 19th-century guitar built by Manuel Martinez de Málaga that belonged to Fernando Sor. “In an old article I read,” Angel tells me, “Sor was asked what his favorite guitar was. He said it was the Manuel Martinez rather than his Lacote.”
--John

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Re: What kind of guitar did Fernando Sor play?

Post by hanredman » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:32 am

Ramon Amira wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:12 pm
This question has already been definitively answered. In an article in the official newsletter of the Saint-Petersburg Classical Guitar Society, Professor Ivan Romanovsky of the Saint-Petersburg State University, after five years of exhaustive research conducted under a grant funded by the Friends of the Classical Guitar Foundation in Moscow, has irrefutably determined that the main guitar Sor played was an Esteban Concert model.

Ramon
Rumor has it that it was a 6 1/2 string guitar........
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