Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Rasqeo
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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by Rasqeo » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:05 pm

andi33x wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:37 pm

This "Spanish" sound is related to a certain singing sound, mainly of the upper strings. Of course this sound is not "Spanish" compared with "German" or whatever but it has a similarity to the typical Flamenco sound and people say then it is "Spanish", simply in order to have a label for it. In my sphere this is common language. It has nothing to do with repertoire. When you try to play Bach on a Flamenco guitar then you will know what I mean.
There’s absolutely no reason why Bach can’t be played on a Flamenco guitar.

Agelastos
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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by Agelastos » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:19 pm

I thought that the so-called "spanish" sound was associated with the more aggressive-sounding guitar, a step down from a flamenco guitar, but that might just be nonsense. I am not a fan of mystification and romanticism, I like clear rational explanations, which is admittedly hard to do with a tone that an instrument produces (every set of ears on this planet is unique). It makes me think of the silly language people use when it comes to wine-tasting...

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andi33x
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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by andi33x » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:27 pm

Rasqeo wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:05 pm

There’s absolutely no reason why Bach can’t be played on a Flamenco guitar.
Of course, you can. I did so and this was the reason for the statement. :cry:
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soltirefa
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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by soltirefa » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:36 pm

I tried playing a Spanish piece on a Japanese-luthier guitar and it kept sounding like the pentatonic scale.

Rasqeo
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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by Rasqeo » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:38 pm

andi33x wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:27 pm
Rasqeo wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:05 pm

There’s absolutely no reason why Bach can’t be played on a Flamenco guitar.
Of course, you can. I did so and this was the reason for the statement. :cry:
Yes but presumably your reason for saying it was to imply that playing Bach on a flamenco guitar would make it sound somehow “Spanish”, which I disagree with.

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andi33x
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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by andi33x » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:55 pm

Agelastos wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:19 pm
I thought that the so-called "spanish" sound was associated with the more aggressive-sounding guitar, a step down from a flamenco guitar, but that might just be nonsense. I am not a fan of mystification and romanticism, I like clear rational explanations, which is admittedly hard to do with a tone that an instrument produces (every set of ears on this planet is unique). It makes me think of the silly language people use when it comes to wine-tasting...
I partly agree. This is the problem: What does "Spanish" mean?
But concerning rational explanations: With tones we have the overtones with the Fourier spectrum which is the key here. This is a big advantage compared to wine-tasting :D
There is nothing more beautiful than the sound of a guitar - maybe aside from that of two guitars (Frederic Chopin)

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andi33x
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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by andi33x » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:01 pm

Rasqeo wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:38 pm
andi33x wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:27 pm
Rasqeo wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:05 pm

There’s absolutely no reason why Bach can’t be played on a Flamenco guitar.
Of course, you can. I did so and this was the reason for the statement. :cry:
Yes but presumably your reason for saying it was to imply that playing Bach on a flamenco guitar would make it sound somehow “Spanish”, which I disagree with.
I understand. Right. It sounded not "Spanish".
There were simply way too many overtones which are not good for Bach compositions.
There is nothing more beautiful than the sound of a guitar - maybe aside from that of two guitars (Frederic Chopin)

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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by Rasqeo » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:30 pm

andi33x wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:55 pm
Agelastos wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:19 pm
I thought that the so-called "spanish" sound was associated with the more aggressive-sounding guitar, a step down from a flamenco guitar, but that might just be nonsense. I am not a fan of mystification and romanticism, I like clear rational explanations, which is admittedly hard to do with a tone that an instrument produces (every set of ears on this planet is unique). It makes me think of the silly language people use when it comes to wine-tasting...
I partly agree. This is the problem: What does "Spanish" mean?
But concerning rational explanations: With tones we have the overtones with the Fourier spectrum which is the key here. This is a big advantage compared to wine-tasting :D
You can play Spanish music on any instrument you like. It has nothing to do with the sound of the instrument.

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caneti3
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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by caneti3 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:50 am

soltirefa wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:36 pm
I tried playing a Spanish piece on a Japanese-luthier guitar and it kept sounding like the pentatonic scale.
If you play with a cedar vintage Japanese guitar (as Ryoji Matsuoka) , I'm sure it would not happen.

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Julian Ward
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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by Julian Ward » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:50 am

caneti3 wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:50 am
soltirefa wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:36 pm
I tried playing a Spanish piece on a Japanese-luthier guitar and it kept sounding like the pentatonic scale.
If you play with a cedar vintage Japanese guitar (as Ryoji Matsuoka) , I'm sure it would not happen.
I had a cedar Ryoji Matsuoka guitar as a student, it was a fine looking guitar and had nice trebles but the bases were completely dead unless utterly brand new, and the whole guitar was too quiet - this was a model from around 1980 and I think it may have had laminiated rosewood back and sides. It did sound 'Spanishy' though.

I had a Burguet 1a which I regrettably sold - that was definitely Spanishy. I tried many guitars in the Bristol guitar centre that day, including some UK luthiers such as Simon Ambridge, and to my ears the Burguet was the only one that sounded 'Spanish' enough for me.

I currently use a Ramirez 4E which is certainly even better than the Burguet 1a, and also a student Burguet model for weddings which funnily enough sounds incredibly Spanish, if not a little quiet.

I don't know how else to describe the 'Spanish sound' other than it is fatter and more 'mid tonal'. The Ramirez to me, *is* the Spanish sound.

What is the 'non Spanish sound?' To me these guitars sound like pianos, sort of boring.
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Beowulf
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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by Beowulf » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:46 pm

Spanish? Torres...Hernandez...Ramirez? Is there a common sound character to these maker's guitars?
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eno
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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by eno » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:30 pm

I also have been always puzzled with what people exactly mean by "Spanish sound". Take for example Ramirez, Fleta and Bernabe - all of them Spanish but they all sound quite different. Is there anything common between them that differentiate them form French, English or Japanese CGs? Intuitively I can say from my playing experience that high-grade Spanish guitars typically have some mysterious strong "character" or "charisma" but I have no way to explain or prove it with any technical or scientific terms.
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andi33x
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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by andi33x » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:30 pm

eno wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:30 pm
I also have been always puzzled with what people exactly mean by "Spanish sound". Take for example Ramirez, Fleta and Bernabe - all of them Spanish but they all sound quite different. Is there anything common between them that differentiate them form French, English or Japanese CGs? Intuitively I can say from my playing experience that high-grade Spanish guitars typically have some mysterious strong "character" or "charisma" but I have no way to explain or prove it with any technical or scientific terms.
Hi, I agree. They sound different but have a certain charisma and I always tried to refer to this in the former posts.
Some time ago I had the occasion to try out many guitars. I saw that some double tops and lattice guitars simply have a different sound characteristic which I never found in traditionally built guitars. Some very high priced guitars of this type indeed sounded very very dark but very loud instead. I.e. big vibrations but no or only very few overtones (which would be the scientific explanation). I would not say then, this is a "Spanish" sound. This is my individual impression of course.

This is seen by playing one tone. Repertoire has nothing to do with that.

So I believe it depends mainly on how the top is constructed and the country is not the key here. A French or German guitar will very likely also sound "spanish". Of course it depends on the quality of the wood of the top, the distances of the annual rings etc., too.
There is nothing more beautiful than the sound of a guitar - maybe aside from that of two guitars (Frederic Chopin)

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John Oster
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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by John Oster » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:36 pm

astro64 wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:43 pm
But John Williams on a Smallman never sounded like John Williams on a Fleta.
I thought something had gone terribly wrong with the recording of the first CD he made with a Smallman: "How could the engineer make his Fleta sound so awful?" was the thought that entered my mind. I didn't initially notice the mention of a Smallman on the back cover.
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Michael.N.
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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by Michael.N. » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:39 pm

The term is meaningless or rather it means different things to different people. We could quite easily use the term Spanish guitar (sound) to something that approximates the style of guitars made by the Cadiz makers such as Pages (Panormo certainly did). I very much doubt that many people on this forum would refer to that model of guitar as being Spanish sounding were they to hear one. Spanish they were. Move on 50 years and we have the larger models of Torres, early Ramirez and Hernandez et al, much fuller sounding than the early 19 th century Spanish models. The last iteration seems to be the larger Madrid cedar models starting in the 60's.
That's quite a diverse range of Spanish guitars. Pick any one you want.
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