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 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:18 pm

Thank you. I hadn't seen that but will check through it for classical guitar makers. My original source was http://jacaranda-music.com/UKGuitars.html and I've also been through this list for classical guitar makers, too.

In terms of the research, it is progressing steadily when I have time. I'm visiting Newark College for the second time this week and also arranging interviews with working Luthiers around the country, as well as visiting the British Library to do some historical research at the weekend. Small steps...
Joss Winn

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

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:22 pm

A couple more names that I didn't see on your map:

Oliver Moore - West Sussex - son of Philip Woodfield
Geoff Needham - Northumbria

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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 Apr 18, 2018 6:50 am

I've been through the list simonm provided and added 11 new classical guitar makers to the list/map, including those provided by Mark Clifton-Gaultier. There are now 118 on the full list and of those, I have been able to add 102 to the map. Thank you.
Joss Winn

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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 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:02 pm

If anyone has copies of BMG magazine from before 1950, please could you get in touch? I'm having difficulty locating copies. The British Library only go back to 1955 but it was published from 1903. Please PM me or email joss AT josswinn.org

I've got a good sense now of the history of UK classical guitar making from the early 1950s onwards but want to uncover traces going back to the 1940s. I know that Clifford Essex/A. P. Sharpe/Marco Roccia were making them immediately after the war because Bream was given a Clifford Essex 'Hauser' model in 1947 and Roccia served in WWII so wasn't making guitars during that period, although he worked for Clifford Essex from 1927. An article by Terry Usher in The Galpin Society journal (1956) that A. P. Sharpe quotes in his DIY book (1957) also testifies to Roccia making such guitars when he returned from the War. It was Usher who supplied Bream with the Clifford Essex guitar in July 1947 and Bream replaced it with his Ramirez a few weeks later (Stewart Button's biog of Bream documents this nicely).

So far, 1947 is the earliest reference to a Spanish-style classical guitar made in the UK that I can find and I would expect Clifford Essex to be marketing these 'new' guitars in their own magazine (BMG) during the late 1940s, although to what extent there was a market for them in terms of amateur players, is not yet clear to me. There were a surprising number of 'BMG orchestras' around the country by the 1950s but photos of them tend to show lots of mandolins, banjos and Panormo style guitars, but not a lot of Torres influenced instruments, imported or otherwise.

Thanks for any help.
Joss Winn

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

Post by RedCliff » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:43 pm

In the foreward to A.P Sharpe's Make your own Spanish guitar (1957 or revised 1971) he states that Rocco's joined Clifford Essex in 1927 to become one of the craftsmen producing guitars 'of all kinds' after serving an apprenticeship at his father's workshop in Italy. He then returned after the war in 1945. If you can get hold of it 'The story of the Spanish guitar' by Sharpe probably lists any noteable UK makers if they existed. Never found a copy though.
Giles Ratcliffe
Sheffield
England

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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 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:35 pm

Thanks Giles. I have both of the Sharpe books. The ‘Story’ book pictures a 1953 Roccia/Essex classical guitar but nothing more. The book is interesting enough and no doubt unique in its day but doesn’t offer any detail about guitars made in the UK prior to 1950.
Joss Winn

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

Post by Stuart Christie » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:32 am

Hi Joss,

I notice that Pablo Requena is on your map in Plumpton still. He moved back to Malaga recently, though he still needs to be on the list of English makers.
Congratulations, this is a great resource.
Stuart

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

Post by madrilla » Fri May 11, 2018 7:03 pm

Kevin Aram initially began making and repairing electric & acoustic guitars. He was encouraged by David Rubio to make classical guitars and David helped him to make his first one. He didn't look back and gradually gained recognition for his guitar making during the 80s. He met the owner of London Guitar Studio, Juan, when he attended his evening class. Juan was having problems with the guitars he was importing wholesale from Spain and Kevin helped to fix them. In return, Kevin was offered workshop space and sold his guitars there too. He eventually moved and set up shop in Devon.

Kevin is a traditionalist and admires the work of Santos Hernandez, Manuel Ramirez, Francisco Simplicio, Marcel Barbero and Angel Fernandez.

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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 » Sat May 12, 2018 9:32 am

Thank you. I will contact Kevin before too long. I was reading early issues of Classical Guitar and Guitar magazine and in an article about Maggie Ridout, I learned that she was a student, in the mid-1970s, alongside Kevin Aram at the Guitar Workshop in Camden, where David Dyke, the tonewood supplier taught guitar making. The articles are here (PDF). I think these can be considered 'fair use' and are of particular interest because Ridout is (was) one of the very few female UK classical guitar makers. I assume there have been more women making classical guitars in the UK although I’m not aware of any yet.
Joss Winn

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

Post by madrilla » Sat May 12, 2018 8:05 pm

^ Nice articles on Maggie Ridout, who I did not know about, thanks for sharing.

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

Post by madrilla » Wed May 16, 2018 1:01 am

The latest Orfeo magazine - a special on English guitars. You might have seen it already, but just in case.

https://issuu.com/orfeomagazine/docs/orfeo_11_en

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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 » Fri May 25, 2018 3:23 pm

I've been organising the literature related to classical guitar making that I have found over the last few months. I thought it would be of interest to people here to create a selected bibliography. Please consider it a working document and I very much welcome suggested additions or comments here or on the website. Thank you.
Joss Winn

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

Post by Dave M » Sat May 26, 2018 4:13 pm

Joss there is Manual of Guitar Technology by Franz Jahnel, pub 1981.

I found very hard going but there is a lot of info there, some of it useful!
Dave

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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 » Sun May 27, 2018 8:16 pm

Thanks, Dave. You're not alone: Romanillos wrote a scathing and sometimes humorous review of it back in the 1980s.
Joss Winn

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

Post by simonm » Tue May 29, 2018 8:04 pm

Erwin Somogyi should definitely be in the bibliography.

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