Classical Guitar Composers List (CGCL) Homepage The purpose of this list is to provide a succinct reference to composers who have composed at least one published original music for, or being transcribed for, solo classical guitar. Each entry of the list consists of the composer's full name, year of birth, year of death (if applicable), and nationality. Alphabetizing is simply done by dropping all accents and diacritics.
Crane Photo Gallery Private Collection Many pictures of various 19th century guitars. From the CRANE Homepage by Makoto Tsuruta.
Crane Overview of Guitar Construction A good pictoral overview of the stages of building an early guitar. From the CRANE Homepage by Makoto Tsuruta.
Dr. Heck - Stalking the Earliest 6-String Quite a bit of guitar history listed here; good content. Discussion of when the earliest 6-string guitar first appeared by the author of the Giuliani biography.
Guitar pre-1650 Excellent discussion of the guitar's evolution up to the 1800's.
|Guitars Through The Ages By James Westbrook. Features 6 original period instruments from the author's collection: ca. 1780 Baroque guitar, 1830 Gennaro Fabricatore, 1830 René François Lacôte, 1838 Louis Panormo, 1889 Antonio de Torres, 1966 Robert Bouchet. A relatively light book of just over 70 pages, 21cm square, that I read in about 2 hours. The photos are very high quality and detailed; the guitars are spectacular - especially the Fabricatore which was made for a very wealthy client, having ebony backs and sides, detailed vine inlays, mother of pearl purfling, ivory edging, etc.. The book has a general illustrated overview of classical guitar instrument history, and ends with a semi-technical description of each instrument, including measurements and X-Rays. It was also interesting to see the evolution from the Baroque predecessor through the 19th century to Torres and modern adaptations. There are not many books of this type, and it is well worth $20. Limited edition of 1,000 copies available from the author.|
|The Frederick Noad series contains four volumes - Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic. Two of the books, "The Classical Guitar" and "The Romantic Guitar" cover the early romantic time period, composers, and style. For the average guitarist who wants to get an overview, these are very good books. I personally first discovered Legnani and Mertz years ago through these books. Fred Noad spent years doing the research for this series, often obtaining first-hand sources. The books are targeted toward amateur players of intermediate ability who want to learn more about a particular time period. Fred Noad has done probably more than anyone to bring new students into the classical guitar, myself included. My personal correspondence with Fred Noad showed him to be a generous and pleasant man, very knowledgeable, who patiently answered all my questions and helped out. We will miss him, and the classical guitar world lost one of its best proponents.|
|The time period divisions of these books are different than what this web site terms the "Early Romantic" guitar. The "Classical Guitar" book covers the earliest composers: mostly Sor, Giuliani, Regondi, Aguado. One could argue the difference between whether this is the "Classical" period or the "Early Romantic" period, but all the material in this volume is relevant to the era we are discussing. The "Romantic Guitar" book however, lumps together the next generation of guitarists after Sor and Giuliani: namely Coste and Mertz born in 1806, with Late Romantic guitarists Tarrega born 1852, and others born in the late 1800's who flourished in the early 20th century. Most scholars today recognize that Coste and Mertz should be lumped stylistically with Sor and Giuliani, since they were directly influenced by that style (Coste was Sor's student for example), while Tarrega and the others were scarcely or not even born by the time Coste and Mertz died. Sylistically, the music of say Mertz and Coste sounds nothing like the later music of Tarrega and Granados. I suppose this is nit-picking as the books are excellent, and the later material is great also: it puts Julian Arcas where he belongs in history, as the real source of innovation behind Torres, and the teacher of Tarrega.|
Clive Titmuss adds this:"If you are interested in further information, I highly reccommend the book "The Spanish Guitar" which is catologue of an exhibit at the Met 1991, which has 35 instruments, all made in Spain, much detailed organological information, a huge bibliography, articles about the various periods and museum-quality photos of the instruments, from the Paris vihuela to Marcelo Barbero 1935. There are several 5 and 6 course guitars. The book has measurements which make it possible for any luthier to make a reasonable facsimile of any of the instruments. I believe it can still be ordered from www.stewmac.com."