Archive for the ‘Historical Makers’ Category

“Floating Strings” Free Online!

While I have just one last print copy available of the exhibit catalog I wrote for our Carlsbad exhibit 3 years ago, those of you who never availed yourself of a copy can now view and read the entire 64-page publication electronically. It is presented by the Museum of Making Museum on; just ignore […]

From Russia with Love, Part 2: Museum Treasures

I suspect that few outside of Russia have seen the rare harp guitars and related instruments that I’m about to show. While there are many examples from European makers we’re already familiar with, there are more obscure treasures here, and yes, I am saving the best for last! These instruments come from two major collections: […]

From Russia with Love: Harp Guitars, Part 1

Once again, I find my music desk backlogged with towering piles of new information and images of Russian harp guitarists. In the past our Harp Guitar Gathering friend Oleg Timofeyev donated rare material and information. Lately, another new friend, Ilya Kryzhanovsky, has been bitten by the harp guitar bug and is sending me new material […]

Vardon, Perry & Wilber Meet the Library of Congress

That’s right … “Those Three Boys” are finally enshrined for all time. I just sent the monograph on my favorite Vaudeville team to the Library of Congress. While this is my fourth (self-published) printed book (the first being the Museum of Making Music’s harp guitar exhibit catalog), it is my first fully realized project – […]

Stanford White’s Musical Instrument Treasures

My latest PDF article is something a little different (and not actually harp guitar-specific). I had vague recollections of Stanford White, but never knew he collected musical instruments. My interest was further piqued when I discovered random connections to other collections I’m familiar with, along with his various instruments that I also research. After a […]

From Three- to Four-Part Harmony

As readers know, I recently condensed all of my old Harmony harp guitar blogs into one long PDF article. Soon afterward (January, 2020), a fellow alerted us to another via Facebook. He inherited it from a great-grandfather, though sadly, there is no other known provenance. Unlike the other two fancy, near-identical specimens, this one’s a plain […]

Where’s the Harp in Harp Guitar?

Readers new to my site and blog may have missed a rather critical distinction I pointed out some years ago in this article: What a Harp Guitar Isn’t. Since people invariably confuse the issue, I reminded all that these instruments are actually “zither-guitars” in configuration, rather than “harp” guitars. Ironic, I know. Thus, one of […]

Knutsen’s Electrical Knnection

Some 15 years ago, I had the great privilege and joy to have had an official “Assistant to the Knutsen Archives.” Darrell Urbien was not only as obsessive and nerd-perfect as I was, he actually lived in Echo Park near downtown Los Angeles. He knew this area – the very haunts of Chris Knutsen in […]

The Tale of Knutsen Symphony Harp Guitar #HGT1

Recently, via a long, convoluted and unrelated Google search, this new and curious image at right popped up on my screen. As always, I stopped to save it and investigate. The caption said “Gene Mitchell with harp guitar at ‘Gene’s Guitar Shop’ Judah Street, San Francisco July, 1980.” My immediate thought: “Hey, that’s where I […]

Harp Guitar Foundation and Gathering News

We – the Harp Guitar Foundation Board and Advisors – have been brainstorming this for a couple years, and mentioned it at HGG17.  It is now official. Here’s what Stephen Bennett said at the Gathering last October: “While the Gathering has been part of the Harp Guitar Foundation for about a decade now, the Foundation […]

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