Thanks to all those who have subscribed - the funds are
Perhaps more so are the comments of appreciation and thanks from so many.
Don't stop - it helps keeps me going! - Gregg Miner, "the harp guitar pope"
NOTE: Some letters have been edited to the salient points.
10/18/08: Great job on the information you've provided on Albert Shutt and related history. And I especially enjoyed your comments on how he was playing tag-team with Gibson regarding competing design features. Over the years, I've found it very interesting that Shutt's mandolins embodied many features that Gibson began to employ after Shutt's design patent expired. Things like a 6° neck pitch, elevated fretboard, f-holes, and the narrow fretboard (which, by the way, is the precise width and shape of the fretboard on Gibson's F5 mandolin that was launched just three years after Shutt's patent expired). So, while I attribute much of Gibson's introduction of these features to the work of Lloyd Loar, there is a huge question mark in my mind as to where the influence really was - and, just who was "borrowing" ideas from who. Anyway, congratulations on compiling and presenting some great material!!!
8/29/2008 (re: the new Lacote page):
It is truly fantastic, and unlike printed publications it can always be added to and/or improved.
James Westbrook, The Guitar Museum http://www.theguitarmuseum.com/
8/9/2008: Thanks for having such a definitive resource for
harp guitars; I appreciate it all the more having attempted to find string
information elsewhere online. I don't know how people coped before you put
your websites together.
7/11/2008: Thanks again for your help in giving some
recognition to Armando (Giulietti), his father and so many other otherwise
near forgotten artists through your site.
7/10/2008 (regarding Albert Shutt and the Mando-Bass-Harp-Guitar): I was impressed by the detail and compassion displayed for my grandfather. He had a place in musical instrument's history and you have assured that others might know of what he did. Thank you very much.
Jack Shutt, Grandson to Albert Shutt, Kansas
have found your very impressive website
about the Harpguitars. So many important information!
You have done a really fantastic work
about many aspects of organology.
Your website has to be one of the best
websites I have seen and has become encyclopedic in recent times...
totally fascinating!!! It has been amazing to see how your website has
grown - it was a welcome advance after the collapse of the 'old'
1/31/2006: Your site is one of the very very
few sites I can quote which is truly informative and comprehensive on a
topic. As a student of web design I felt the need to congratulate you
on putting a site to a topic you both understand and enjoy for people like
me (who happened to hear that Jeff Martin of the Tea Party fame was
playing this instrument during recording; and I think it was at the first
concert I saw in 1998 - I'm not sure if he played it, but I digress. I learnt
about harp guitars quickly, and I thank you for the quality of
4/25/2005: I love the website! I recently
became intrigued with harp guitars/instruments after stumbling across a
bass lute on ebay. Then I found your website which further fueled my
interest, very well done. It sounds like you have setup this site
specifically to help generate a renewed interest in harp guitars and
other related instruments. In my case you have succeeded in doing just
that, you've reeled me into the deep end! I find it amazing that there
was so much interest in these instruments in the early 1900s, and now
they have been all but forgotten by mainstream music and culture.
3/2/2005: I found your site completely on a whim. I’m planning on getting a 12 string guitar this summer, and of course, I scoured the internet for information. Thanks to the net, I found loads of info on instruments, luthiers (though my purchase will be off the rack – a Seagull S12+), and players (two of my all time favorites for years have been Leo Kottke and Ralph Towner). Thus informed, for some reason I still can’t explain, I wondered if there was a site devoted to the harp guitar. Though slightly familiar with the instrument, I knew very little about it, and aside from looking over the web site of John Doan and having the CD of Hedges (Aerial Boundaries) my slate was clean.
Well, your web site was a bright revelation! I had no idea of the sheer mass of players, history, and luthiers dedicated to this most esoteric of stringed instruments. It was a rich treat to read up on an instrument that has lore both separate from and as rich as the conventional guitar. I plan to become a member soon. As I said, outside of Hedges, and Metheny ‘s use of the Pikasso guitar, I’d never heard the instrument in any other context. I look forward to purchasing the compilation CD. As to ever stepping up to the plate of the instrument itself – I’ll have my hands full with the 12er as is; which will be a serious challenge to this pilgrim.
I have to say that the information available on your site is deliciously exhausting. I had to stop after a while and "unplug", as my eyes were turning into poached eggs. The wealth of material regarding the history, players, instruments, artist links, etc., is near overwhelming. By the time I came up for air I had devoured as much as my fifty year old gray matter could sustain, and was ready for more once my brains had a brief exhalation.
I have to laugh at the irony of it all. In my whim of a search, the most I expected to find was a historical site primarily concerning Gibson harp guitars (I'd never heard of Knutsen, or others), with a possible mention of Hedges but mainly focusing on turn of the century players. What I found upon entering your site was an endless font of information and lore mixed with past glory and current modernity. In short, you have built a bridge of sorts, from the instrument's beginnings in the 18th century (that really astounded me) to its ongoing evolution.
I would say for a player and curiosity seeker such as myself, your
site is an amazing achievement. God bless you and the internet!
2/12/2005: I am very sorry that I never made
it to any of your harp guitar events. After 2 1/2 years of being free from
Lark In The Morning, music has once again become the forefront of my life. I
thought I should let you know about my relation to the harp guitar. My first
experience with the harp guitar was at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in
1966 where I met David Lindley. He had a Gibson harp guitar with him
which he let me play. I was hooked. I got my first harp guitar
shortly after that from Milt Owens who at one time had been a craftsman for
Gibson. This instrument was a Gibson with all the finish removed and I put
it back together. I never clicked with the instrument. In the early 80s I
was lucky enough to buy a Dyer instrument at the Seattle Folk Life Auction
and clicked with the instrument. I used in touring with Mooncoin for a
number of years and it is still my favorite out of my collection of harp
guitars. Michael Hedges was over for a music party at my house and saw my
Dyer. He had never seen a harp guitar before and I enjoyed him playing it
and seeing the beginning of his love affair with the instrument.
Thanks so much for
doing the wonderful website on these great instruments. We perform mostly
locally due to health and child considerations these day.
1/31/2005: I am very impressed with your website - one of
the best pertaining to musical instruments/history that I have ever seen!
Your dissertation is of the type, quality, and subject matter that much interests me personally. I primarily review dissertations related to the medical field-but this was very interesting reading for me and I am glad you included it on your site.
(HGG3 Gathering) group shot, Gregg......:-) The site really
exemplifies what a good time was had this year at The Gathering.
I believe you have all come
upon something very special and magical with your harp-guitar comraderie.....:-)
Cherish it, for sure. All the best, Patty
All the best, Patty
11/28/2004: I look forward to being a subscriber.
Your site really has been an education for me and well worth the ten
bucks. Thanks for taking so much of your time to do this!
Dear Gregg, What an enormous amount of work you do for this group.
I have been watching
the site grow, and it is wonderful.
11/22/2004: Gregg, It was a pleasure meeting you
and all of the harp guitar family… what a wonderful bunch!
I truly appreciate all of the work that you’ve done and do in
performing, promoting, educating, documenting, organizing, etc. The
“Beyond Six Strings” CD is an extraordinary album… thanks much for
putting it together...
11/20/2004: Hiya Gregg! Wow it always takes me a
while before I can talk about an HGG...it's just so much old fashioned
fun, and a real love fest! So much genuine appreciation for one
another's respective endeavors, you can really feel it. You deserve
so much thanks for your work which is basically year round though it was
surely crunch time for you this time with the CD and everything. By
the way, kudos on the recording, well assembled from the running order to
the graphics, thank you so much.
11/7/2004: I just sent in my membership for
Harpguitars.net. I think it's about time you did something like
7/12/2004: I just sent a (Lifetime) donation to help with the maintenance costs of your great new website. I'd like to keep it an anonymous donation. Continued good luck with the project. Harpguitars.com is a pleasure to visit as I continue on my journey of never-ending musical enlightenment!
7/8/2004: hey Greg, well I certainly got my
moneys worth, what a huge and informative site!! incredible!
gregg...i so do appreciate your energy, ears, and love for the harp guitar
(and guitarp)...the site is really awesome... very educational and
interesting ... i am honored to be part of such an effort... i thank
7/4/2004: The website is fantastic man,
great job! Thank you for all of your hard work!
7/3/2004: Hello! I just did a
quick overview of your new harp gtr.net site and .....WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you very much for including me. I will now
definitely have your new site on my links page soon! I'm sure you
get asked virtually daily, when people see your instrument, " What do
you call that?" and then they say, "I’ve never heard of that
before." I get that all the time, but never tire of it.
Glad I'll have your site on my links to direct them to. Will be checking
out the site more thoroughly.
you for all you do to promote this amazing instrument - establishing its
history, recognizing its makers and players. I am a fan of yours!
5/9/2004: Count me in for a two-year membership
subscription--- I'll send in $20.00 for 2 years--Small price for all your
tireless effort, and without which, my ideas for my HG Would
have been severely curtailed, to say the least! many
He does it again! Congratulations on yet another scholarly roundup
of something so diffuse and un-referenceable that nobody else dared tackle
it! Where do you get this energy, time? Where do I get it on CD-rom? You
are a gift to us all. You simply have a grasp of excellence - bravo
maestro! You have exceeded everyone's expectation and once again
established a benchmark for scholarly research and the denouement of this
instrument's long and circuitous past is laid clean for all to inspect.
Thank you for your work.
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