Archive for the ‘Historical Makers’ Category

Women in Harp Guitar History: Italy and Beyond

Thanks to Bruce Hammond for the wonderful Guest Blog on Grace Ravlin, Fine Artist and Bohmann Harp Guitar Player. And now back to our regularly scheduled program. Here is the last of my collected historical images of historical female harp guitar players – from Italy, then on to Russia! We begin in a land that I […]

Women in Harp Guitar History: Grace Ravlin, Transcendent Artist

The sixth in my special series celebrating women harp guitarists for 2021’s Women’s History Month features guest author Bruce Hammond, expert and collaborator on all things related to the world famous yet still enigmatic Chicago harp guitar maker Joseph Bohmann. This is a single-artist profile on a remarkable young woman who went from harp guitar-playing […]

Women in Harp Guitar History: An Assortment of American Harp Guitarists

Thanks for joining me in No. 5 in a series of celebrating women harp guitarists! We last visited Central Europe for thirty incredible images, and now return to the States, circa 18950-1920. After focusing on Gibson, Dyer and Knutsen instruments, I’ll now finish up with the many other American brands along with a couple “one-offs.” […]

Women in Harp Guitar History: Schrammelgitarristinnen!

We last celebrated the (mostly) American women who played those amazing Gibson harp guitars from about 1905-1925. Now we travel to Central Europe to look at the wide variety of musical groups where women took on the role of accompaniment on their many forms of kontragitarren, i.e.: “contra guitars,” sometimes called “bass (or contrabass) guitars” […]

Women in Harp Guitar History: Gibson Gals

Harp Guitarists in Women’s History Month continues from last episode’s hollow arm harp guitar players to the world’s most famous and historically popular harp guitar of all time: The Gibson! And, if anything, the proportion of female players of these instruments was even higher – despite the instruments being dramatically larger. Much has already been […]

Women in Harp Guitar History: Dyer and Knutsen Players

We continue celebrating Women’s “Harp Guitar” History Month with past players of what has become today’s most popular vintage HG: the W. J. Dyer & Bro. Symphony harp guitar!  As I’ve found just four female players to date, I’ll follow them with the related Dyer predecessors – the Knutsen hollow arm harp guitars. (All but the […]

Women in Harp Guitar History: Introduction

Welcome to the first in a series as I celebrate Women’s History Month with an incredible collection of almost one hundred images of women playing harp guitars throughout history. I have so much to catch up on! I’ve been collecting and posting images of historical harp guitar players for 17 years now. The variety and […]

The Invincible Four

Looking for something to celebrate 2021’s Black History Month, I went back through my files to see if there was anything harp-guitar-related that I might have somehow missed. Indeed there was. It was this second image of the “Greater Invincible Concert Company” that I had neglected to add with the other stunning image of the […]

James Shaw: First Rewrite

…which I know won’t be the last! Shortly after publishing my epic 3-part article “The James Shaw Family: A Hawaiian Musical Dynasty” barely two months ago, I finally received a high-resolution scan of a crucial piece. Yes, the rare, smoking gun trade card of the Volcano Singers – the first to perform in America at […]

The Earliest Harp Guitars

Since creating Harpguitars.net 16+ years ago, one of the most frequent questions I routinely get is along the lines of “What was the first (or earliest/oldest) harp guitar?” I’ve never answered this, and am not about to try now. However, I think it is finally time to give a little nutshell history lesson. I’ll then […]


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