The Twelfth Fret • Guitarists' Pro Shop
The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

The Century That Shaped The Guitar

The Century That Shaped The Guitar Book and CD set by James Westbrook
We have been looking for information on 19th century guitars for years, with little success. There is just not that much documentation regarding this critical era of the guitar’s evolution! We were delighted when contacted by James Westbrook who introduced us to his comprehensive book, The Century That Shaped The Guitar, with companion CD on this subject!

In James’ words: “This book focuses on just one century of the guitar’s history; it covers the Classical and some of the Romantic period, which accounts for what is considered to be the most significant era, containing the most popular repertoire and historical interest.”

“As we will see, the roots of today’s guitar can be traced back to the end of the eighteenth century. The Italian school of lutherie, especially that of Fabricatore was initially responsible for influencing Stauffer and was imported to America , perhaps through the Italian immigrants. This in turn influenced the early work of Orville Gibson who dominated the early flat back mandolin and arched top guitar making. This ultimately led to the electric guitar.

The Austrian / German school, primarily that of Stauffer who clearly influenced C. F. Martin also working in America paved the way for the steel strung acoustic guitar. And finally the Spanish school, especially that of Pages, Panormo and Torres with its strong routed tradition is still here today in the form of the classical guitar.

Of course this is grossly over simplifying things. Other schools and countries, such as the French, Portuguese, Russian, Danish and many more played their part in shaping the guitar in all of its forms and today’s varied designs.”

This is without a doubt, the most informative volume on 19th century guitars that we have come across. This softcover book is 180 pages of information with hundreds of black & white photos as well as 23 pages of colour plates and a companion CD that showcases professional concert classical guitarists playing nine of the most significant guitars discussed!

Link to a shortened Audio Sample from CD as played by Paul Gregory

Note: this link will open in a new tab.

“Perhaps the most famous of all composer-maker relationships was that between the Italian guitarist Luigi Legnani and the luthiers at the Stauffer workshop in Vienna. The selections from Legnani’s Thirty-six Caprices are played on a Stauffer ‘Legnani model’ guitar. This instrument is based on a design by Legnani and it contains the red wax seal and label that is associated with his models. Many of Legnani’s compositions regularly go beyond the normal compass of high Ab, thus necessitating instruments such as the Stauffer guitar, whose fingerboard extends to the high D.”


Pricing: $69.50 Canadian dollars or $ 55 US dollars, based on 1.3% exchange rate.
NOTE: Exchange Rates change daily!

Status: In Stock and Available


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