Free sheet music for classical guitar -
Delcamp.org Publications -
... surviving 19th century guitars are often extremely difficult to play with fingertips. The choice is often between audibility and dexterity and even with one's best efforts, many surviving instruments (and modern copies) are so heavily built that playing them without nails feels, I imagine, like trying to eat steak with no teeth! .... [A] chance conversation with someone working as a curator of antique furniture gave me some useful ideas about my situation. I learned the informal "Law of Furniture Survival" - surviving antique furniture is almost always uncomfortable. A comfortable chair will be sat on until it wears out. By analogy we could guess that guitars (which as domestic instruments have rarely been cherished like old violins or cellos) which are fun to play would be played into oblivion and that ones with heavier construction (which suit nail players better anyway) would be more likely to survive.
I was wondering if those of you who build 19th century style instruments had found that to be the case when you research them? Do the heavily used ones tend to be of noticeably lighter construction than the ones that don't seem to have been much played?
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I will conceed that many (certainly not all) 19th century guitar builders did tend to utilize thicker (could read "heavier") tops and often backs than modern builders would but to make this statement "... surviving 19th century guitars are often extremely difficult to play with fingertips. The choice is often between audibility and dexterity and even with one's best efforts, many surviving instruments (and modern copies) are so heavily built that playing them without nails feels, I imagine, like trying to eat steak with no teeth! ...." shows a complete lack of understanding of the principles of 19th century building IMO. Some of the loudest,and easiest playing instruments I know of were made in the 19th century.
I'm not sure why Mr. carter would make such a statement when it is clearly inaccurate to those who work with these instruments on a daily basis. Perhaps to advance the reputation of his friend, the guitar maker who made his instrument...It's puzzling...
However, after reading the full liner notes, where I suspect this excerpt came from, I see there are a number of bold statements which seem a little "over the top" and ill informed.
"One picture is worth a thousand words. So, for me, one good note put where it should be put, will say what it will take some people many notes to say. ~B.B. King, 1986
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