Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

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musicbyandy
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Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

Post by musicbyandy » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:57 pm

Is anyone here aware of a historical connection between Russian and Brazilian 7 string guitar? Does anyone here know where to find more information regarding a historical connection between Russian and Brazilian 7 string guitar? If so, where?

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:26 pm

musicbyandy wrote:Is anyone here aware of a historical connection between Russian and Brazilian 7 string guitar? Does anyone here know where to find more information regarding a historical connection between Russian and Brazilian 7 string guitar? If so, where?
I don't think that there's any connection other than the number of strings - the last I read about the Russian guitar suggested that its tuning (D G B d g b d’) was related to that of the English "guittar" with a vague link to Ignatz von Held who is known to have played that English instrument.

There is also a reference to "Lithuanian" tuning - and I believe that Andrei Sychra, possibly the most influential figure in Russian guitar, came from Vil'no in that state.

There are people here who are far more knowledgeable than myself - they will probably chime in, but meanwhile you could research the work of Tichota and Timofeyev using some key words. Also check out the two Russian schools of, simplistically put, St. Petersburg (Sychra) and Moscow (Visotsky).

musicbyandy
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Re: Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

Post by musicbyandy » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:30 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:26 pm
musicbyandy wrote:Is anyone here aware of a historical connection between Russian and Brazilian 7 string guitar? Does anyone here know where to find more information regarding a historical connection between Russian and Brazilian 7 string guitar? If so, where?
I don't think that there's any connection other than the number of strings - the last I read about the Russian guitar suggested that its tuning (D G B d g b d’) was related to that of the English "guittar" with a vague link to Ignatz von Held who is known to have played that English instrument.

There is also a reference to "Lithuanian" tuning - and I believe that Andrei Sychra, possibly the most influential figure in Russian guitar, came from Vil'no in that state.

There are people here who are far more knowledgeable than myself - they will probably chime in, but meanwhile you could research the work of Tichota and Timofeyev using some key words. Also check out the two Russian schools of, simplistically put, St. Petersburg (Sychra) and Moscow (Visotsky).
Thank you.

Luis_Br
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Re: Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

Post by Luis_Br » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:41 pm

There is a tale among choro players that our 7-string begun after a guy saw a picture of a Russian 7-string and had the idea of playing one. But that is all, since our 7-string tuning is a regular tuning with 7th regularly tuned to B or C.
It is also probable that came from Spanish romantic 7string, eg Manjon used one.
I am not a specialist, just some stories I know. There is certainly no connection besides the picture tale.
I was a choro player in the past and the music style has no connection to Russian romantic guitar. The choro is much closer to the baroque style of improvisation and got some jazz influences on the second half of last century.

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eno
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Re: Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

Post by eno » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:04 pm

I don't know anything about the Brazilian 7st guitar. There is a good historical overview here Regarding the Russian 7st guitar, most likely it came to Russia through Gypsies who travelled around the Western and Eastern Europe and have always been lovers of guitar playing. Russian Gypsies had (and still have) their very special guitar playing and singing/dancing style that influenced Russian musical culture a lot. This was similar to Flamenco that has been a music style of Spanish Gypsies and had a huge influence on Spanish and classical guitar. I think the influence and contribution of Gypsies to the world's musical culture is still underappreciated and needs to be recognized.

Here is a few examples of Russian Gypsy music masterpieces:



I remember listening to a Paco De Lucia interview where he said thtat when he was young he travelled to Gypsie's villages in Spain to learnin flamenco there. They were happy to teach him but when he asked if he could play with them they said "No-no, only a Gypsy can play flamenco" :D
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musicbyandy
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Re: Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

Post by musicbyandy » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:18 pm

eno wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:04 pm
I don't know anything about the Brazilian 7st guitar. There is a good historical overview here Regarding the Russian 7st guitar, most likely it came to Russia through Gypsies who travelled around the Western and Eastern Europe and have always been lovers of guitar playing. Russian Gypsies had (and still have) their very special guitar playing and singing/dancing style that influenced Russian musical culture a lot. This was similar to Flamenco that has been a music style of Spanish Gypsies and had a huge influence on Spanish and classical guitar. I think the influence and contribution of Gypsies to the world's musical culture is still underappreciated and needs to be recognized.

Here is a few examples of Russian Gypsy music masterpieces:



I remember listening to a Paco De Lucia interview where he said thtat when he was young he travelled to Gypsie's villages in Spain to learnin flamenco there. They were happy to teach him but when he asked if he could play with them they said "No-no, only a Gypsy can play flamenco" :D
Cool. Thank you.

Luis_Br
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Re: Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

Post by Luis_Br » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:11 am

Here an interview from a famous Brazilian news specific on the subject. From Russia to Brazil.



Yamandu starts improvising over a Russian theme you see later from a Russian guitarist. He said he recently discovered through YouTube the Russian 7 string and he was very impressed. He tried to search if there is some connection with our guitar, but all he knows is a story that Pixinguinha's musicians were walking in the center of Rio de Janeiro and they met some Russian gypsies playing in the street. They noticed the guitarist was playing a seven string and decided to do something similar. I didn't know this variation of the story, that someone really saw a Russian gypsy playing.

Then he said that besides this, the style is completely different. Russian 7-string is more of a soloist, while the Brazilian works on the counterpoint of the melody and some accompaniment (to me, more related to a baroque basso continuo with special work in the improvised counterpoint).

Sandaun
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Re: Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

Post by Sandaun » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:54 am

And how are the different guitars constructed? IIRC, from what little information I've been able to glean, the Brazilian 7-string is built like a conventional Torres guitar, while the Russian 7-string is built like a pre-Torres guitar. But I don't have any sources for that statement, only a vague recollection of things I read a few years ago. Can anyone either refute, correct, or verify my statement? Thanks
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eno
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Re: Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

Post by eno » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:18 pm

Luis_Br wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:11 am
He tried to search if there is some connection with our guitar, but all he knows is a story that Pixinguinha's musicians were walking in the center of Rio de Janeiro and they met some Russian gypsies playing in the street. They noticed the guitarist was playing a seven string and decided to do something similar. I didn't know this variation of the story, that someone really saw a Russian gypsy playing.
Aha, so it was Gypsies again :D

To be fair, 7st guitar should really be called Gypsy guitar, not Russian guitar. And in fact, this is exactly how people call it in Russia. There was a period in Russian history back in the 19th century when the 7st guitar was popular but it lost its popularity in the beginning of 20th century and now it's mostly played by Gypsies (as they always did for centuries). Russian guitar players massively shifted to 6st guitar after Segovia's concert tour to Russia.
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musicbyandy
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Re: Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

Post by musicbyandy » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:00 pm

Luis_Br wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:11 am
Here an interview from a famous Brazilian news specific on the subject. From Russia to Brazil.



Yamandu starts improvising over a Russian theme you see later from a Russian guitarist. He said he recently discovered through YouTube the Russian 7 string and he was very impressed. He tried to search if there is some connection with our guitar, but all he knows is a story that Pixinguinha's musicians were walking in the center of Rio de Janeiro and they met some Russian gypsies playing in the street. They noticed the guitarist was playing a seven string and decided to do something similar. I didn't know this variation of the story, that someone really saw a Russian gypsy playing.

Then he said that besides this, the style is completely different. Russian 7-string is more of a soloist, while the Brazilian works on the counterpoint of the melody and some accompaniment (to me, more related to a baroque basso continuo with special work in the improvised counterpoint).
Thank you!

ronjazz
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Re: Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

Post by ronjazz » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:43 pm

And, of course, there is the American 7-string guitar, with a A an octave lower than the 5th string as the 7th. While most are electric archtop guitars, I play a Brazilian Giannini nylon 7, along with a Godin Multiac Grande nylon 7, and a converted flamenco nylon 7. Mostly with the low A tuning, although for certain arrangements of chore or classical pieces, I can tune the 7th to a Bb, B or C. I have the Giannini tuned a tone lower, so the 7th is a G, sounds like a pipe organ!
Lester Devoe Flamenco Negra
Lester Devoe Flamenco Blanca
Aparicio Flamenco Blanca with RMC pickup
Bartolex 7-string with RMC pickup
Giannini 7-string with Shadow pickup
Sal Pace 7-string archtop

musicbyandy
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Re: Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

Post by musicbyandy » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:12 pm

ronjazz wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:43 pm
And, of course, there is the American 7-string guitar, with a A an octave lower than the 5th string as the 7th. While most are electric archtop guitars, I play a Brazilian Giannini nylon 7, along with a Godin Multiac Grande nylon 7, and a converted flamenco nylon 7. Mostly with the low A tuning, although for certain arrangements of chore or classical pieces, I can tune the 7th to a Bb, B or C. I have the Giannini tuned a tone lower, so the 7th is a G, sounds like a pipe organ!
I'm not familiar with the concept of a specifically American 7-String Guitar. Does the American in this sense refer specifically to the United States? Would you consider the 7-string guitars that George Van Eps used to be American 7-String guitars?

I would imagine that most United States 7-string guitars would be electric solid body guitars like the guitars used by Korn and Limp Bizkit but admittedly I don't have any concrete data to support my imagination.

ronjazz
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Re: Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

Post by ronjazz » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:26 pm

musicbyandy wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:12 pm
ronjazz wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:43 pm
And, of course, there is the American 7-string guitar, with a A an octave lower than the 5th string as the 7th. While most are electric archtop guitars, I play a Brazilian Giannini nylon 7, along with a Godin Multiac Grande nylon 7, and a converted flamenco nylon 7. Mostly with the low A tuning, although for certain arrangements of chore or classical pieces, I can tune the 7th to a Bb, B or C. I have the Giannini tuned a tone lower, so the 7th is a G, sounds like a pipe organ!
I'm not familiar with the concept of a specifically American 7-String Guitar. Does the American in this sense refer specifically to the United States? Would you consider the 7-string guitars that George Van Eps used to be American 7-String guitars?

I would imagine that most United States 7-string guitars would be electric solid body guitars like the guitars used by Korn and Limp Bizkit but admittedly I don't have any concrete data to support my imagination.
I refer mainly to the tuning used in the USA for 7-string guitars: mostly low A for the 7th, at least in the jazz world. The metal and hard rockers often use a low B, and often tune the guitar 1/2 step flat, giving them a low Bb, but they mainly use the low strings for "power" chords of root and 5th. Van Eps used an American Epiphone Deluxe customized by Epiphone in the 1930s, and later a Gretsch "Van Eps" model 7-string, a production guitar. Most jazzers play Archtop 7-strings, custom-built by American luthiers like Moll and Benedetto, but, again, I'm just contrasting the tuning method with the Brazilian and Russian styles.
Lester Devoe Flamenco Negra
Lester Devoe Flamenco Blanca
Aparicio Flamenco Blanca with RMC pickup
Bartolex 7-string with RMC pickup
Giannini 7-string with Shadow pickup
Sal Pace 7-string archtop

musicbyandy
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Re: Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

Post by musicbyandy » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:04 pm

ronjazz wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:26 pm
musicbyandy wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:12 pm
ronjazz wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:43 pm
And, of course, there is the American 7-string guitar, with a A an octave lower than the 5th string as the 7th. While most are electric archtop guitars, I play a Brazilian Giannini nylon 7, along with a Godin Multiac Grande nylon 7, and a converted flamenco nylon 7. Mostly with the low A tuning, although for certain arrangements of chore or classical pieces, I can tune the 7th to a Bb, B or C. I have the Giannini tuned a tone lower, so the 7th is a G, sounds like a pipe organ!
I'm not familiar with the concept of a specifically American 7-String Guitar. Does the American in this sense refer specifically to the United States? Would you consider the 7-string guitars that George Van Eps used to be American 7-String guitars?

I would imagine that most United States 7-string guitars would be electric solid body guitars like the guitars used by Korn and Limp Bizkit but admittedly I don't have any concrete data to support my imagination.
I refer mainly to the tuning used in the USA for 7-string guitars: mostly low A for the 7th, at least in the jazz world. The metal and hard rockers often use a low B, and often tune the guitar 1/2 step flat, giving them a low Bb, but they mainly use the low strings for "power" chords of root and 5th. Van Eps used an American Epiphone Deluxe customized by Epiphone in the 1930s, and later a Gretsch "Van Eps" model 7-string, a production guitar. Most jazzers play Archtop 7-strings, custom-built by American luthiers like Moll and Benedetto, but, again, I'm just contrasting the tuning method with the Brazilian and Russian styles.
Thank you!

Luis_Br
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Re: Russian and Brazilian 7 String Guitar

Post by Luis_Br » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:30 pm

Choro players also eventually tune 7th to A or D, according to the piece (Yamandu use A in one example of previous video I posted). I said C or B just as more used ones.

Construction type generally follows concert classical guitar tradition and evolve as such. So started more or less as Torres style as well as we find modern tendencies such as Cedar top and nowadays some are even using double-tops.
Giannini and Di Giorgio were good up to the 60s, then they became more commercial and started to get worse. In the 70s you still find some good ones. From 80s and later they are really bad guitars. Their most expensive models are reasonable, but for the price you can buy a much better handmade from some local luthier.

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