A ‘genealogy’ of UK classical guitar-makers? How is the craft transmitted?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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josswinn
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Re: A ‘genealogy’ of UK classical guitar-makers? How is the craft transmitted?

Post by josswinn » Wed May 30, 2018 10:44 pm

Thanks, Simon. I have just added this and a number of other items, too, especially relating to history and culture.
Joss Winn

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Re: A ‘genealogy’ of UK classical guitar-makers? How is the craft transmitted?

Post by UKsteve » Thu May 31, 2018 3:24 pm

simonm wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 8:04 pm
Erwin Somogyi should definitely be in the bibliography.
Why? He's only really known for steel-strings. Although he has built some nylon guitars (inc. flamencos), I'm not aware of anyone well-known playing them. They're usually made for clients who already have one of two of his steel-strings. "The responsive guitar" and "Making the responsive guitar" are basically steel-string books.
Furthermore he's in Oakland - the OP refers to UK classical makers?

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Re: A ‘genealogy’ of UK classical guitar-makers? How is the craft transmitted?

Post by simonm » Thu May 31, 2018 3:35 pm

UKsteve wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 3:24 pm
simonm wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 8:04 pm
Erwin Somogyi should definitely be in the bibliography.
Why? He's only really known for steel-strings. Although he has built some nylon guitars (inc. flamencos), I'm not aware of anyone well-known playing them. They're usually made for clients who already have one of two of his steel-strings. "The responsive guitar" and "Making the responsive guitar" are basically steel-string books.
Furthermore he's in Oakland - the OP refers to UK classical makers?
The link is for the bibliography, not the list of UK guitar makers. The bibliography is not limited to UK makers/writers.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: A ‘genealogy’ of UK classical guitar-makers? How is the craft transmitted?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Thu May 31, 2018 3:41 pm

UKsteve wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 3:24 pm
simonm wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 8:04 pm
Erwin Somogyi should definitely be in the bibliography.
Why? He's only really known for steel-strings. Although he has built some nylon guitars (inc. flamencos), I'm not aware of anyone well-known playing them. They're usually made for clients who already have one of two of his steel-strings. "The responsive guitar" and "Making the responsive guitar" are basically steel-string books.
Furthermore he's in Oakland - the OP refers to UK classical makers?
Good point, according to Wikipedia he lived here a while but starting guitar making in Oakland. Plus while he started out on this side of the fence; "The steel-string crowd — players and builders — was "more easy-going than the classical people. Not as uptight," Somogyi said."... So it sounds like he's not that interested!
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)
Simon Ambridge 'Hauser' (2018)

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Re: A ‘genealogy’ of UK classical guitar-makers? How is the craft transmitted?

Post by josswinn » Thu May 31, 2018 4:16 pm

Thanks everyone for your help with this. The bibliography is not restricted to UK making, although the research data I am collecting is limited to the UK context.

I have only glanced through Somogyi's books and don't know to what extent he includes examples of classical designs and methods of build. I associate his instrument-making with steel-strings but the material on his website seems to be philosophically oriented a lot of the time and I was under the impression his book(s) were not 'DIY' books but as much about luthier culture as methods. Perhaps I have got the wrong impression. I will have a good look at the books next time I am at Newark College.
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Re: A ‘genealogy’ of UK classical guitar-makers? How is the craft transmitted?

Post by UKsteve » Thu May 31, 2018 4:23 pm

josswinn wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 4:16 pm
I was under the impression his book(s) were not 'DIY' books but as much about luthier culture as methods. Perhaps I have got the wrong impression. I will have a good look at the books next time I am at Newark College.
I have read both of them. There is a ton of interesting stuff in there but an overwhelming impression was that Mr. Somogyi could do with a visit from a stern copy Editor. He's not exactly given to linguistic brevity...

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Re: A ‘genealogy’ of UK classical guitar-makers? How is the craft transmitted?

Post by simonm » Thu May 31, 2018 8:04 pm

UKsteve wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 4:23 pm
...
I have read both of them. There is a ton of interesting stuff in there but an overwhelming impression was that Mr. Somogyi could do with a visit from a stern copy Editor. He's not exactly given to linguistic brevity...
Then you probably don't like Jose Romaniilos' book either? :-) Somogyi's books are unique for sure but I do not regret buying them in the least and I made the point here or on mimf years ago that if nothing else just making some of the jigs he has (this is true for many other books too) will pay for the cost of the book. I had one of those "aha" moments when looking at his comparison of the different bracing systems - that alone made it worth the cash.

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Re: A ‘genealogy’ of UK classical guitar-makers? How is the craft transmitted?

Post by josswinn » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:49 pm

I just wanted to provide a quick update to my research into UK classical guitar making. I have begun the case study with Newark College and have started interviewing students. I have also started interviewing experienced luthiers, too, and continue to do historical research in libraries and archives.

I have designed a survey and announced it separately on this thread and encourage any UK makers to consider completing it, which would be a great help.

Thank you!
Joss Winn

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Re: A ‘genealogy’ of UK classical guitar-makers? How is the craft transmitted?

Post by josswinn » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:02 pm

If anyone has contact information for the following luthiers, I would be grateful if you could PM me. I am sending my survey out to individuals and would like to include them if possible.

Alex Bishop (Teaches at Wiltshire College)
Alan Bradley (Instagram page only)
John Claughton (retired Leeds College teacher)
Reid Galbraith (relation to David Rubio)
John Hall (Staffordshire)
Ken Leftwich (Westcliffe)
Alastair McNeill (Chippenham)
James Stewart (studied at Guildhall)

Thank you.
Joss Winn

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Re: A ‘genealogy’ of UK classical guitar-makers? How is the craft transmitted?

Post by josswinn » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:11 am

In September 1965, the 'Woodworker' magazine began to reprint a series of articles on making 'The Spanish Classic Guitar' which they first published ten years earlier. I believe that the author, Clifford Hoing, was a prolific maker of violins and violas and in 1955, this would have been the earliest set of DIY instructions printed in the UK for the Spanish/classical guitar, preceding A P Sharpe's book from 1957.

ImageWoodworker 1965 by Joss Winn, on Flickr

I hope this is of interest to people here and as always, if you have further information to add, please do get in touch.

In terms of my research into the teaching and learning of classical guitar making in the UK, I have issued a survey to around 100 luthiers in the UK and so far about half have responded. Following this, I will be interviewing 15-20 luthiers over the next few months as well as making regular visits to Newark College.
Joss Winn

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Re: A ‘genealogy’ of UK classical guitar-makers? How is the craft transmitted?

Post by josswinn » Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:14 pm

I have written a blog post that may be of interest to some members of this forum. It discusses DIY classical guitar making in the UK. Comments here or on the blog are always welcome. I'm still working through a lot of material.
Joss Winn

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Re: A ‘genealogy’ of UK classical guitar-makers? How is the craft transmitted?

Post by sxedio » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:05 am

josswinn wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:11 am
In September 1965, the 'Woodworker' magazine began to reprint a series of articles on making 'The Spanish Classic Guitar' which they first published ten years earlier. I believe that the author, Clifford Hoing, was a prolific maker of violins and violas and in 1955, this would have been the earliest set of DIY instructions printed in the UK for the Spanish/classical guitar, preceding A P Sharpe's book from 1957.
Actually I noticed a similar woodworking magazine (perhaps the same) with a special issue on making lutes, when I was in W H Smith's last week, in case you are also interested in the contemporary dimension and related instruments.
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Re: A ‘genealogy’ of UK classical guitar-makers? How is the craft transmitted?

Post by James Lister » Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:59 pm

Hi Joss,

I've found another name for you - Luke Mundy (Northfield Guitars). He was actually a member of the forum a few years ago, but his membership has lapsed. https://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/ ... 11&t=90597

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

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Re: A ‘genealogy’ of UK classical guitar-makers? How is the craft transmitted?

Post by josswinn » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:22 pm

Hello,

I have written a brief update on one aspect of my research into classical guitar making in the UK.

‘The Birth of a Guitar’ by Eric V. Ridge

I hope it is of interest to some of you here. As always, thoughts, comment and critique, very welcome.
Joss Winn

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