Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

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Altophile

Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

Post by Altophile » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:39 am

I have a Peter Blanchette CD which I love, and found his "Archguitar" unique, but I had no idea that, in a sense, it all started with Bream:


RobMacKillop
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Re: Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

Post by RobMacKillop » Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:03 am

I'm sorry, but there's a lot of baloney, to put it mildly, in that video. For a start, that is not an archguitar, it is an 11-string guitar, with a bad case of over-resonance confusing the harmony - well, it's not something I can abide. But if that's what you love, fair enough. There's a lot of self mythologising in the way Peter talks, which I find off putting. But I'm glad we don't all think and act the same way, as that would be tedious. Suffice to say, that's not for me.

Altophile

Re: Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

Post by Altophile » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:05 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:03 am
I'm sorry, but there's a lot of baloney, to put it mildly, in that video. For a start, that is not an archguitar, it is an 11-string guitar, with a bad case of over-resonance confusing the harmony - well, it's not something I can abide. But if that's what you love, fair enough. There's a lot of self mythologising in the way Peter talks, which I find off putting. But I'm glad we don't all think and act the same way, as that would be tedious. Suffice to say, that's not for me.
Well, he invented the guitar and chose to call it an "Archguitar", it has 11 strings, it's apparently tuned to G, and according to Wiki an Archguitar is another name for an Alto Guitar.

I definitely prefer the form of Alto that Sollscher plays, or even an eight-string version such as the one Erik Tolstrop uses, but the only real point of the post was to offer a hat tip to Bream's influence.

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Re: Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

Post by RobMacKillop » Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:37 pm

He can call it whatever he likes, and I wouldn't never cite a Wiki comment as authoritative. Arch guitars existed in the 17th century, with surviving music for them, and they also played continuo. They were all theorboed instruments, meaning they had an extra neck for floating basses. Archlutes were the same. His guitar does not have a second neck for floating basses. It's just an 11-string guitar. All he has done is add another string to a ten-string guitar. He hasn't really invented anything, though his tuning is possibly his own invention. One should not take a name of an instrument that existed before and use it for something different. Archguitars from the 17th century were five-course instruments tuned treble to bass ebgda, which should look familiar. His is tuned like a lute in g for the first six strings. This is not to say that because of the above it is a bad instrument. If you like it, you like it. But it ain't an archguitar. And I'd love to know what Julian Bream would think of being associated with it.

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Re: Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

Post by johnd » Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:00 pm

He did not invent anything. He modified an existing musical instrument (guitar) that has been around for awhile.

Altophile

Re: Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

Post by Altophile » Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:57 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:37 pm
He can call it whatever he likes, and I wouldn't never cite a Wiki comment as authoritative. Arch guitars existed in the 17th century, with surviving music for them, and they also played continuo. They were all theorboed instruments, meaning they had an extra neck for floating basses. Archlutes were the same. His guitar does not have a second neck for floating basses. It's just an 11-string guitar. All he has done is add another string to a ten-string guitar. He hasn't really invented anything, though his tuning is possibly his own invention. One should not take a name of an instrument that existed before and use it for something different. Archguitars from the 17th century were five-course instruments tuned treble to bass ebgda, which should look familiar. His is tuned like a lute in g for the first six strings. This is not to say that because of the above it is a bad instrument. If you like it, you like it. But it ain't an archguitar. And I'd love to know what Julian Bream would think of being associated with it.
Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

True, Wiki isn't authroitative, but I allow the man to call the instrument he invented, or modified, or whatever the pedants where want to allow, whatever he chooses to call it. If more than one sort of instrument can be called an Alto guitar (some have 11 strings and are tuned to G while other's have 6 strings and are tuned to B), then I think the world is big enough to allow more than one instrument to be called An Archguitar.

Sorry I posted it here. Time for a vacation.

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Re: Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

Post by Tom Poore » Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:17 pm

RobMacKillop wrote: He can call it whatever he likes, and I wouldn't never cite a Wiki comment as authoritative. Arch guitars existed in the 17th century, with surviving music for them, and they also played continuo. They were all theorboed instruments, meaning they had an extra neck for floating basses. Archlutes were the same. His guitar does not have a second neck for floating basses. It's just an 11-string guitar. All he has done is add another string to a ten-string guitar. He hasn't really invented anything, though his tuning is possibly his own invention. One should not take a name of an instrument that existed before and use it for something different. Archguitars from the 17th century were five-course instruments tuned treble to bass ebgda, which should look familiar. His is tuned like a lute in g for the first six strings. This is not to say that because of the above it is a bad instrument. If you like it, you like it. But it ain't an archguitar. And I'd love to know what Julian Bream would think of being associated with it.
Altophile wrote:Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

True, Wiki isn't authroitative, but I allow the man to call the instrument he invented, or modified, or whatever the pedants where want to allow, whatever he chooses to call it.
Mr. MacKillop isn’t being pedantic. He’s raising a valid point. When naming something, it makes no sense to give it a name that already describes something else. For example, if I created a new car model, I wouldn’t call it a “Volkswagen”—that term already describes another car model, and to affix it to my new model just muddies the water.

That’s exactly what Mr. MacKillop is objecting to.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA

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Re: Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

Post by RobMacKillop » Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:18 pm

Pedant? I said he can call it whatever he likes. Look at the very first sentence of the paragraph you quoted!

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Re: Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

Post by RobMacKillop » Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:35 pm

I'm sorry, altophile. You posted something in all innocence, something you like, possibly hoping others might enthuse about it too. Many people like what Mr Blanchette does, and I never criticised his playing or the man himself. I believe he is wrong to say he invented the archguitar, and gave evidence that such things existed before and were different from what he is playing. Torres himself made 11-string guitars - nothing new there - but he didn't call it the archguitar. It's not pedantic to mention these things. My point was that he can call it an archguitar if he likes, but that doesn't make it one. And he can claim he invented it all he wants, but that doesn't mean he did.

Altophile

Re: Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

Post by Altophile » Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:43 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:35 pm
I'm sorry, altophile. You posted something in all innocence, something you like, possibly hoping others might enthuse about it too. Many people like what Mr Blanchette does, and I never criticised his playing or the man himself. I believe he is wrong to say he invented the archguitar, and gave evidence that such things existed before and were different from what he is playing. Torres himself made 11-string guitars - nothing new there - but he didn't call it the ar,
chguitar. It's not pedantic to mention these things. My point was that he can call it an archguitar if he likes, but that doesn't make it one. And he can claim he invented it all he wants, but that doesn't mean he did.
No worries, mate. I just no longer think I belong here.

Take care, and best regards,

~Sean

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Re: Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

Post by RobMacKillop » Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:45 pm

That's a pity. Best wishes.

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Re: Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

Post by guitarmaker » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:24 pm

Curious topic: I used to own an eleven string guitar, made by Torres, some 150 years ago: as they say, 'nothing new under the sun'. Sadly no evidence of the specific tuning , if there was one, survives. bc

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Re: Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

Post by Conall » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:50 pm

Well I confess I like the sound of Blanchette's guitar (whatever he calls it) & his playing - very lyrical & expressive. I agree with Rob that there's a bit too much over-resonance however. Could it be partly the recording that's at fault? Too much reverb either at the venue or at the editing stage?

I agree with Blanchette's view that a guitar with extra strings is a good idea for playing music such as Bach's & Renaissance lute music though personally I'd prefer something that sounds closer to a guitar than a lute. He should have maybe called it a lutar or glute (!) or something else rather than borrowing the name of an earlier instrument which is just confusing. Perhaps he didn't know of the earlier instrument?

Of course Bolin's altgitarr / alto guitar is also a confusing term given that that can refer to a number of other guitar type instruments.

The more variations on the guitar & lute the better as far as I'm concerned - the 6 string CG is a nice instrument but there's room for improvement in my opinion!

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Re: Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

Post by lagartija » Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:59 pm

Living in the same area as Mr. Blanchette and having heard him in concert, the guitar he plays does not have enough resonance or projection to be played unamplified. He *always* plays plugged in and that is my objection to the sound. After you have run the sound through an amplifier added lots of reverb, I think the instrument lacks the beautiful tonal qualities of a normal classical guitar. But that is just my opinion. Others may like that sound and that is perfectly fine. There is room for all. 😃
He has found a niche for himself in the local music scene, and yes, that includes a good deal of self promotion. That sort of thing is less acceptable in Great Britain, (where modesty is considered a virtue) than it is in the US.😉
[I confess to being more comfortable with the British outlook on such things.]
When the sun shines, bask.
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Classical Guitar forever!

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Re: Bream Begets the Archguitar: Who Knew?

Post by joachim33 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:59 pm

Altophile wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:43 pm

No worries, mate. I just no longer think I belong here.

Take care, and best regards,

~Sean
This forum is quite wide a place. Who belongs here and who doesn’t is not for fellow members to decide.

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