Archive for the ‘Historical Music’ Category

First Harp Guitar to the South Pole Wins

I recently finished the book I mentioned picking up at AMIS: A Stowaway Ukulele Revealed: Richard Konter & the Byrd Polar Expeditions by Larry Bartram with Dick Boak. The story is both interesting and entertaining, as is the story of the story – how the authors met, found mutual interest in seeing this through, and […]

Bohmania!

I think I’ll call this the Summer of (Joseph) Bohmann… …as that’s how long it’ll likely take you to get through two brand new articles and four updated major articles related to the celebrated Chicago harp guitar maker. All can be accessed through this new page. This all came about after the release of Sheri […]

Early Gibson Guitar Strings By Way of the Harp Guitar

Time for a shout out to the Guild of American Luthiers, of which I seem to perpetually find myself a member. Believe it or not, I have never built a guitar – nor do I repair my own instruments – I only do the simplest of tweaks for setup or easy repairs. Yet I have […]

AMIS, 2019 in Greenville, SC

Greetings! I’d here to report on my lovely trip to the 2019 Meeting/Conference/Symposium of the American Musical Instrument Society. As always, click on (most) photos to expand for details. This year’s was held in Greenville, South Carolina, hosted by Tom Strange (pictured) and staff at their wonderful 1-year-old Carolina Music Museum. The impressive collection consists […]

Matt Redman, Live at the Miner Museum

Firstly, make sure that no matter what, you get to the bottom of this post to play the video Matt has kindly let me share with you. Last week, you met Matt Redman, a pen pal of mine from the U.K. who I met just this last February. For his authentic musical recreations of early […]

Matt Redman, Bringing the Past into the Present

“What do they sound like?” “What music did they play?” These are two common questions I am inevitably asked by visitors to the Miner Museum, whether the visitors are interested in ethnic, ancient European or early American instruments. I wish I had the time and talent to be prepared to demonstrate on command, but alas, […]

The Ballad of Serge Singer

It’s extremely rare when my main two nerdy obsessions – harp guitars and Disney – overlap in any way. I’d certainly count this as one of the more unusual. Yes, it’s a YouTube clip of the famous Paris vocalist Serge Singer with this trademark harpe guitare performing the 1955 hit “The Ballad of Davy Crockett.” […]

A Short – Yet Surprisingly Complete – History of the Modern Archguitar

Those of you who attended our 12th Harp Guitar Gathering in Idaho in 2014 will recall that (in honor of one of our featured guests, Jon Mendle) I presented an in-depth look at an instrument called the “archguitar” (or arch guitar). I was always rather proud of my efforts and intended to one day turn […]

Recent Harp Guitar CDs

It seems like it’s been ages since I last did this (February, 2017, now that I look it up).  Apologizes if I’ve missed any below.  Just remind me (or send) and I’ll add it in if appropriate. As usual, I stop short of giving actual “reviews” (which often becomes politically problematic for me) but have […]

Massimo Traffano and the Brahms-Harp Guitar

As I mentioned in the final chapter of our Genoa trip, in June, 2017 I met a Genovese classical guitarist who had come to the attention of my colleague Franco Ghisalberti after inventing a new harp guitar variant. Franco was confused by the instrument, and after I met Massimo Traffano at the reception following the […]


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