‘Inventing the American Guitar’


john of MT
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john of MT
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10/15/2013 7:11 pm
Can ya' tell the Holiday Season is fast approaching? I mean...Halloween candy has been on sale for a month and the Thanksgiving knick knacks are running low at my WalMart. Another sign of the gift-giving season is the rush of coffee table books and this is the second one about guitars that I've seen in the past week (see Guitar Coffeetable Book, this forum).

"A new book due out on Tuesday, to be followed by a yearlong exhibition of Martin guitars at the Metropolitan Museum of Art... “Inventing the American Guitar,” argues that Christian Friedrich Martin, who founded the ((Martin Guitar)) company in 1833, was not only a sublime craftsman and canny entrepreneur, but also a design and technology innovator of the first order, responsible for many features accepted today as standard on stringed instruments...

"The most important of those new influences, “Inventing the American Guitar” demonstrates, was Spanish. Most notably, Martin abandoned the Austro-German system of lateral bracing to reinforce and support the guitar soundboard in favor of Spanish-style fan bracing, which he then adapted into the X-bracing style that is the hallmark of Martin and other modern guitars...

"The text of the book, which is in coffee table format, is supplemented by lush color photographs of the guitars themselves, many of them close-up shots that highlight design features or the sheen or grain of the wood that Martin used. The effect is similar to that of viewing a Georgia O’Keeffe painting that magnifies the stamen of a flower or part of a cow skull. “We weren’t thinking about her, but we were thinking about parts of the guitar that could be isolated in photographs that were both pleasing to look at and informative,” said Robert Shaw, the book’s other editor. “We wanted to make a point about C. F. Martin’s high level of attention to detail. A lot of what he did was not necessary, but that was his aesthetic and his integrity as a master craftsman.”

The remainder of the article discusses the upcoming exhibition and the recent history of the Martin company.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/15/books/inventing-the-american-guitar-explores-1840s-innovations.html?_r=0
"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
-- Chet Atkins
# 1
Neal Walter
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Joined: 02/11/09
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Neal Walter
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10/18/2013 10:14 pm
hi John,

Thanks for sharing this. Another book that's coming out is this one:
http://108rockstarguitars.com/

I think it was posted here in the forum (was it you?) but it looks really cool too, a bit pricey though.
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# 2
john of MT
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john of MT
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10/19/2013 12:05 am
T'was me. :)
"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
-- Chet Atkins
# 3
SebastBerg
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SebastBerg
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10/19/2013 5:09 pm
I'm starting to think that John is the owner of a book store :P
# 4
john of MT
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john of MT
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10/19/2013 11:27 pm
Not me! With Amazon, and Apple and the rest that's a good way to make a small fortune...out of a big one!
"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
-- Chet Atkins
# 5

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