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History of British Folk Guitar

Don Firth 06 Dec 13 - 12:54 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 05 Dec 13 - 10:04 AM
GUEST 05 Dec 13 - 09:50 AM
GUEST 05 Dec 13 - 05:19 AM
GUEST 04 Dec 13 - 06:23 PM
Don Firth 04 Dec 13 - 02:16 PM
GUEST 04 Dec 13 - 08:28 AM
Ged Fox 04 Dec 13 - 06:45 AM
GUEST 04 Dec 13 - 06:08 AM
Don Firth 04 Dec 13 - 02:23 AM
Don Firth 04 Dec 13 - 02:14 AM
GUEST 03 Dec 13 - 09:14 PM
Don Firth 03 Dec 13 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,Twangler 03 Dec 13 - 07:25 PM
rosma 03 Dec 13 - 06:15 PM
Big Al Whittle 03 Dec 13 - 04:43 PM
MGM·Lion 03 Dec 13 - 12:56 AM
MGM·Lion 09 Nov 10 - 04:50 AM
GUEST, Sminky 09 Nov 10 - 04:15 AM
dick greenhaus 08 Nov 10 - 11:46 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 08 Nov 10 - 02:19 PM
TinDor 08 Nov 10 - 10:02 AM
Terry McDonald 15 Feb 10 - 08:24 AM
GUEST 21 Jan 10 - 02:14 PM
Will Fly 21 Jan 10 - 01:59 PM
Howard Jones 21 Jan 10 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 21 Jan 10 - 09:40 AM
The Sandman 21 Jan 10 - 07:20 AM
GUEST,DonMeixner 20 Jan 10 - 09:37 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 19 Jan 10 - 04:02 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Jan 10 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 19 Jan 10 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,KP 19 Jan 10 - 11:55 AM
M.Ted 19 Jan 10 - 11:17 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 19 Jan 10 - 09:55 AM
M.Ted 19 Jan 10 - 08:00 AM
Betsy 18 Jan 10 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,KP 18 Jan 10 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 18 Jan 10 - 11:05 AM
Will Fly 18 Jan 10 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,DonMeixner 18 Jan 10 - 10:19 AM
IanC 18 Jan 10 - 05:36 AM
bubblyrat 18 Jan 10 - 05:07 AM
Will Fly 18 Jan 10 - 04:34 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Jan 10 - 11:02 PM
Leadfingers 17 Jan 10 - 06:54 PM
Terry McDonald 17 Jan 10 - 06:06 PM
Will Fly 17 Jan 10 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 17 Jan 10 - 05:05 PM
The Sandman 17 Jan 10 - 05:02 PM
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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Dec 13 - 12:54 AM

Oooooooooh, no, thanks.

I'll stick with my unamplified nylon-string classic. I can make beautiful music miles from the nearest wall-plug. And I don't have to lug a bunch of amps and speakers around.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 05 Dec 13 - 10:04 AM

... Thanking the Godz of music for the electric guitar
- treble boosters, fuzz boxes, slapback echo, and amps with built in tremelo circuits & spring reverb...

now lets go play some proper noisy British 'folk' music...


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 13 - 09:50 AM

About half an hour, if it's seriously off (more than +/-5%).
But it only needs it every once in quite a long while, unlike gut guitars.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 13 - 05:19 AM

"if the lutenist lived to the ripe old age of ninety years, he would have spent sixty of those years just tuning his instrument!"

A friend claims that on being sentenced to execution, his last request would be a 12-string guitar and time to tune it...

On a similar theme - how long does it take to tune a hammered dulcimer?
.
.
.
Research is continuing.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Dec 13 - 06:23 PM

I have a fond memory of a moment on the Central Line, me with a folk harp bound for the London Northumbrian Pipers in an otherwise empty carriage, when in crashes Erin Headley with her theorbo. She's way short of 5' tall, the instrument's about twice her size, how she never got it stuck in the doors I'll never know...but too short a time to tune!
The spinet was an approach to the same problem, harpsichords got too long for sitting rooms, so by increasing the width of the instrument, it became possible to string at an angle, reducing the tension on the length of the soundboard at the same time. Pianos have the same layout.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Dec 13 - 02:16 PM

Thanks for the info, Guest.

I did hear that there was a point at which the lute became so big and unwieldy (dozens of doubled strings) with a sort of "outrigger" neck as much as seven or eight feet long (called a "theorbo" or "archlute") that it got a bit ridiculous, and the suggestion was made that the instrument be laid out flat like a harpsichord. There were a few experiments along those lines, so the idea is in the genes somewhere.

Some years ago, in a concert by the Alfred Deller consort that I attended at the University of Washington, Desmond DuPréz, the lutenist, quoted from an old book on the lute that some wag made the comment that "if the lutenist lived to the ripe old age of ninety years, he would have spent sixty of those years just tuning his instrument!"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Dec 13 - 08:28 AM

So the folk guitar started as a product spoiler in the hands of buskers?


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Ged Fox
Date: 04 Dec 13 - 06:45 AM

'Guitar', Rees's Cyclopaedia (London, 1819)
"The common guitar used in England has frequently had its fits of favour in this country; about 50 years ago, its vogue was so great among all ranks of people, as nearly to break all the harpsichord and spinet makers, and indeed the harpsichord masters themselves. All the ladies disposed of their harpsichords at auctions for one third of their price, or exchanged them for guitars; till old Kirkman, the harpsichord maker, after almost ruining himself with buying in his instruments, for better times, purchased likewise some cheap guitars and made a present of several to girls in milliners' shops, and to ballad singers, in the streets, whom he had taught to accompany themselves, with a few chords and triplets, which soon made the ladies ashamed of their frivolous and vulgar taste, and return to the harpsichord."


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Dec 13 - 06:08 AM

The killer detail is the Medici catalogue of 1698, describing Cristofori's first piano as an "arpicembalo". The maker was clearly making hybrid instruments, the early pianos have the case and soundboard of a spinet, but the hammers and foot dampers of a cembalon, and that's what cracked the problem: the clavichord strings are struck with tangents - Nigel Eaton in an exuberant moment! - which didn't have the attack a hammer has.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Dec 13 - 02:23 AM

Actually, the direct precursor to the pianoforte was the clavichord. With the harpsichord, the strings are plucked. With the clavichord, they are struck.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Dec 13 - 02:14 AM

Quite probably right, Guest. The origin of the pianoforte or piano and its various stages of evolution is pretty much lost in the mists of antiquity. Like the guitar and guitar-like instruments.

The whole shebang probably started with some prehistoric bow-hunter who notice the pleasant sound his bow-string made and put the end of the bow on a turtle shell to make it sound louder.

After a bit of evolution:   CLICKY.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Dec 13 - 09:14 PM

Nice piece, Don, but not quite right, the forerunner of the pianos was principally the cembalon, a table hammer dulcimer.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Dec 13 - 07:33 PM

The first six-string guitar appeared in 1779, made in Italy. The six-string guitar during the late 1700s and into the 1800s was known as the "Romantic" guitar, not so much because it was associated with love and all that, but because it emerged during music's Romantic period. They were about the size that we would call a "parlor guitar" today.

They did sound out reasonably well because Fernando Sor and a number of others made careers out of going around and doing concerts—although most of these concerts were held in some nobleman's "salon."

It was Antonio Torres who increased the volume—and the size—of the guitar with his fan-bracing system under the top. The guitar that Segovia started his concert career with was a Herman Hauser, made in Germany. He changed to the Jose Ramirez when Herman Hauser died and the luthier's shop was taken over by Hans Hauser. Segovia commented that, although the guitars he made were good, "The son is not the father." Hence the shift to the Ramirez.

Prior to this, it was pretty much the lute, which was the standard instrument for the serious musician--apart from cathedral organs and later, the harpsichord, which are a bit difficult to carry around.

But along with the lute, there was the Renaissance guitar, which was a "waisted" instrument like the modern guitar, but much smaller, a bit larger than a baritone ukulele. It had four "courses." The bottom three courses were double strings, like the lute, and the top string was single.

This was pretty much an amateur musicians instrument and was looked down on by lutenists and other "serious" musicians, who called it "an instrument for young girls to strum on." When Alonzo Mudarra wrote several pieces for the Renaissance guitar, which have to be classed as real music, smug lutenists made snide remarks about why he would waste his time with writing music for such a toy.

Then, the Renaissance guitar increased in size, gained a fifth course to increase its range, and became quite ornate, as befit the Baroque period—and became known as the Baroque guitar. Some pretty nice music was written for the Baroque guitar, which is still played on modern classic guitars.

Then, as I said above, the guitar took a giant step in 1779 when it increased further in size, the double stringing was dropped, and it gained a sixth string.

The lute fell into disuse (save for its resurrection in early music groups such as the Baltimore Consort) when they kept adding courses until somebody, perhaps in disgust, laid it flat, added keys activating small felt hammers, and called it a "pianoforte."

Benjamin Franklin's guitar was probably a Baroque guitar or one of the earliest Romantic guitars.

I don't really believe that the guitar, in any form, became a "folk instrument" in the U.K. until very recently. But who knows how far the Renaissance guitar, say, relegated by musical snobs as the instrument of young maidens and servant girls, may have filtered down through the social hierarchy?

Lute.

Renaissance guitar.

Elizabeth Brown, who teaches lute, Baroque guitar, and modern classical guitar in Seattle, playing the Baroque guitar.

Ms. Brown also plays the Romantic guitar:   Not playing, but showing hers.

Lute with a thyroid problem.

I know someone who has one of these things. He had to buy a van to transport it!

And, of course, Vermeer's famous painting, "Young Girl with Guitar:" CLICKY.

Or a slight variation thereof:   CLICKY too.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST,Twangler
Date: 03 Dec 13 - 07:25 PM

In my head there is a distinction between the Carthy/Thompson-esk folk guitar and the session accompanist style played all over the UK.   When I think of English folk guitar I think of first one.   Is there a tradition of English dance tune accompanists on guitar or similar?

Thanks
D . . .
Love the Portuguese guitar! There should be more of these in English music!


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: rosma
Date: 03 Dec 13 - 06:15 PM

I know some who would agree, Al. There are threats to turn mine to matchwood most Friday evenings... and that's before I start playing!

Simon


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Dec 13 - 04:43 PM

obviously the guitar does not have a role in English folk music. we should all knock it on the head.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Dec 13 - 12:56 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 04:50 AM

Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790 ~~ exactly contemporary with Goldsmith's The Vicar Of Wakefield [1766], to whose daughter's (the character of the vicar's daughter, that is) guitar playing to accompany singing, I have 2ce referred above. The novel is a tale of simple English village life among the poor [the villagers] to middling [the not-wealthy vicar himself] sort. So may I point out yet again that Goldsmith obviously thought that singing to the guitar was the sort of activity an educated but not that wealthy villager might well do at the time.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 04:15 AM

Benjamin Franklin was a keen guitarist. It is stated that he loved to play Scottish songs as he felt their beauty lay in their simplicity.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 11:46 PM

Here in th US, guitars came in as a staple folk instrument in the late 1800s. Before them, by a half century or so, was the banjo. Before that, most instumental music seems to have been on fiddle, fife and drum.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 02:19 PM

That desperate mob of evil cultuural gangsters the Elton Hayes/Robin hall and Jimmy MacGregor gang were holed up and making their final stand in the basement after the shootout with G man, Walksaboutverse and Cecil Sharp's agents, we found this note.

'We done it. Its a fair cop. People in England was happily singing from exercise books wiv a finger in their lughole, but we infiltrated getting the youngsters off on a concoction of cheap Spanish guitars and skiffle music. Before long they were on to the hard stuff - Harmony Sovereigns and Levins. Our evil plan worked....'


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: TinDor
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 10:02 AM

Interesting thread but I'll say a distinct british Folk guitar style didn't exist prior until the influences of the American Folk Revival.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 08:24 AM

In a contribution to this post, I mentioned that the comedian Max Wall accompanied his singing with some rather nice guitar playing. I was delighted to hear Alan Titchmarsh include Max Wall's 'My Little Tune' on his programme yesterday evening - probably the first time I've heard it in 50 years. I'm pretty certain that the short guitar solo at the end of the song was by Max himself.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 02:14 PM

Just thinking of the writings of Thomas Hardy - himself a musician - fiddles play a part, and the West Gallery instruments, of course, but I cannot readily recall any mention of a guitar in his works.

Anyone else?
    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 01:59 PM

I would vote for the fiddle as well.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 01:29 PM

Fond as I am of the concertina (I play anglo myself), I think the most widely established instrument in the folk music of the British Isles is probably the fiddle, which holds a central place in the traditions of all the component countries.

Looking just at England, I think I'd also have to include melodeon ahead of the concertina. But if you went back a few hundred years the answer would be bagpipes (as it still would be in Northumberland).

However, apart from a few examples I mentioned earlier, I don't think the guitar really found a place until the folk revival, influenced by American folk.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 09:40 AM

That was gonna be my guess. How early is the English Method concertina mentioned?

Don


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 07:20 AM

the english concertina.
The only instrument invented by an English man, and now used extensively in British folk music,by playes such as Dick Miles, SteveTurner , LouKillen, Alistair Anderson, KeithKendrick,it is particularly well suited for song accompaniment and playing northumbrian pipe music


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 09:37 AM

Aside from the voice, what is the great and definable folk instrument of The British Isles?

Don


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 04:02 PM

Don - as much of the discussion above seems to say, I don't think the guitar ever really became part of the traditional folk arsenal in the UK!. Except for being taken up in the 50s and 60s, I don't think it was in widespread use.

I think there are reasons the guitar wouldn't make great inroads into traditional music. The early gut strung guitars would be very quiet instruments - before Segovia discovered Ramirez' guitars, which were loud enough to play in a small concert hall, the classical guitar was pretty much a salon instrument suitable only for very intimate recitals. It wouldn't have the volume to compete with eg flutes or violins or brass instruments. I think it needed the steel strung guitar to make it an instrument suitable for noisy environments. And the steel-strung guitar appeared relatively lately: Martin didn't build them before 1900 and the early ones were custom made, it wasn't until 1922 that it was in their standard catalogue. (There were other companies making flat-top guitars from late 19C). According to Tom and Mary Ann Evans The Guitar From Rock To Renaissance the less expensive Harmony and Stella guitars became popular with blues player in the 1920s/30s, and I think less expensive may be the key here (though the quality was meant to be good).

The same source gives Martin's output as 5,500 in the mid-1950s rising to 20,000 in the early 1970s. They claim "While the flat-top guitar became established in country and folk music during the 1920s and 1930s, its real growth in popularity did not come until after the Second World War. The folk boom of the late 1950s through 1960s, which was reinforced by the use of acoustic guitar by some rock and pop stars, had a dramatic effect on the guitar...During the 1960s the popularity of the acoustic flat-top became truly international".

My own opinion is that anything recognisable as an English folk guitar style came of out of the late 50s/early 60s folk revival. (I can still remember hearing Steve Benbow on the radio - early/mid-60s - and thinking it was the first time I'd heard the guitar played (as opposed to just simple chords) as an accompanying instrument to folk music; it impressed me deeply (and I did get to occasionally play in a band with him many years later)).

Mick


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 12:44 PM

Don - not too sure about expense. Whole point of Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield, from which I quoted above 16 jan 03·18PM, is that he was poor and could not afford much more than his parishioners — but much is made of his daughter playing the guitar (which seems to mean guitar, not some other instrument), to accompany her own & her brother's singing. She 'thrummed' it, presumably = where we would say "strummed", which suggests to me a sort of folkie 3-chord trick rather than anything classical. That is mid C18 [1766]. Perhaps that might contribute also to your 'timeline' query.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 12:06 PM

"KP - the Scottish guitar you refer to, as with the earlier posting references to Pepys, is an art music use, not a traditional music use."

Hi Mick,

When in the timeline between Samuel Pepys and now, roughly 1650 to 2010, would what we will allow to be a guitar have become part of the British Folk Arsenal? Is there a date that musicologists accept as the introduction of the first true guitar to common use by the general population?

I'd imagine that guitars were very expensive items and largely unaffordable until the 1880's and even then still pretty expensive.
If we allow that common usage didn't happen until 1899 is that time for the guitar to be established as a traditional instrument in the British Isles?

Don


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST,KP
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 11:55 AM

Mick,
I think you are correct in what you say that the guitar was aimed at the art music context. However there are some traditional tunes in Bremner's book and certainly some on the Rob McKillop site and CD's. One interesting example is 'Roslin Castle' which a) may be by James Oswald or b) may be traditional. And 'parlour songs you would use to entertain guests at home' is getting close to folk music, perhaps? (Aaargh, if I'm not careful I'll start yet another 'what is folk thread?', so I'll shut up now.)

McKillop makes the tunes sound as if they were always meant for the guitar - beautiful phrasing and emphases.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: M.Ted
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 11:17 AM

Sorry, it was IanC, not KP that equated the two.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 09:55 AM

KP - the Scottish guitar you refer to, as with the earlier posting references to Pepys, is an art music use, not a traditional music use. While traditional tunes may have been arranged for the various instruments it was an art music setting, just as classical composers have done down the ages with folk tunes.

Pepys employed a travelled Rome-educated guitarist from the Spanish Netherlands, by the name of Cesare Morelli. He taught music to the household and took part in musical evenings and there are several manuscripts of his available now, but of settings of art songs.

Similarly in the 19thC there were several arrangements of popular songs printed for guitar, but again they were art settings for classical guitar (I have a collection of these which includes for example Cherry Ripe, Home Sweet Home and Bayly's Welcome Me Home(Gaily The Troubador..)). These were the sort of parlour songs you would use to entertain guests at home.

But offhand I don't know any references to the guitar being used in what we would think of as a traditional music setting (not that they may not exist).

Mick


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: M.Ted
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 08:00 AM

KP--citterns are not guitars, and not much like them. If you think they are, you've never seen one, played one, or tried to tune one.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Betsy
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 08:04 PM

Just as an aside, to all you guitar-minded people, there is a thread running at the moment regarding John James - go to Murray's posting and there is an interesting "blue clicky" - I thoroughly enjoyed it .


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST,KP
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 05:03 PM

In in answer to the original question - the place where there was a long established guitar tradition seems to have been Scotland. Bremner published a tune book in 1770, with tunes both 'composed' and 'trad'. There were a variety of instruments from cittern-type to things which we would recognise as similar to small Spanish guitars. The person who has researched and promoted this music most in recent years is Rob McKillop. There are some lovely tunes in mp3 form on this page:

The Scottish Guitar


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 11:05 AM

As mentioned above Max Wall a comedian with a great line in comedy dance and walks (long before John Cleese) played guitar "A nice Martin" as Malcom Price described it to me after he had done a gig somewhere when Max was also present.
If my memory is correct Max Miller "The Cheeky Chappy" also played guitar on occasion in between his off-colour (for the time)jokes. There might even be a film clip of him doing so.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 11:03 AM

You can see clips of comedian Max Miller with a guitar, and the 5 Sherry Brothers - of whom the late Sam was the guitar player. These were extant on the halls from the 30s to the 50s - but whether they're better labelled "variety", rather than the older "music hall" is arguable. I have a large-ish collection of music hall records dating from the early 1900s to the very early 30s, and I can't recall a performer with a guitar among them. There may, of course, have been a guitar of some sort in the orchestra pit in the bigger halls - and might this have been a tenor guitar, perhaps?


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 10:19 AM

So the, I can read that you are looking for a purely British style rather than whether it was played at all in English folk tradition.

What is the evidence of the Guitar in the English music hall?

Don


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: IanC
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 05:36 AM

From Chaucer:

A merry child he was, so God me save;
Well could he letten blood, and clip, and shave,
And make a charter of land, and a quittance.
In twenty manners could he trip and dance,
After the school of Oxenforde tho,
And with his legges caste to and fro;
And playen songes on a small ribible; (fiddle)
Thereto he sung sometimes a loud quinible (treble)
And as well could he play on a gitern. (guitar)
In all the town was brewhouse nor tavern,
That he not visited with his solas,
There as that any garnard tapstere was. (barmaid)


:-)


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: bubblyrat
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 05:07 AM

Nobody ever does....and yes,you are....we don't....and I'm not at all surprised !!


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 04:34 AM

Pay no attention to me, folks - I'm getting old and forgetful... Never mind multi-tasking - can't even single-task these days.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jan 10 - 11:02 PM

Why, Will, several of us have mentioned Steve — incl me in my correspondence with you [11.33]. Don't tell me you didn't read every word!...


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Jan 10 - 06:54 PM

Steve Benbow gave Davy Graham some guitar lessons before he 'discovered' DADGAD


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 17 Jan 10 - 06:06 PM

I mentioned him, Will, at 11.14 AM Mudcat time. I still have one of his 1959 EPs.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Jan 10 - 05:46 PM

I'm surprised no-one's mentioned Steve Benbow - first album around 1957 - who was a big influence on Davy Graham - who was a big influence on Jansch, Renbourn et al.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 17 Jan 10 - 05:05 PM

I don't think there is a precedent in American guitar playing for the "British" style of Bert Jansch. Bert, of course, on his first album used a lot of American style pattern playing ( claw-hammer, as we used to call it back then) but Bert's use of that style was marvelous. There could be a precedent for the British folk guitar style in American banjo players with their use of dones and "folk" tunings.
Interestingly, a hundred years in the UK, the banjo would have been the favoured stringed accompanying instrument for any cultured person wanting to sing folk songs.


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Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Jan 10 - 05:02 PM

"Subject: RE: History of British Folk Guitar
From: GUEST,Tunesmith - PM
Date: 17 Jan 10 - 03:33 PM

Bert Jansch - more so than Davy, can be considered the father of English folk guitar - even though Bert is Scottish! It has been noted that Bert was starting to develop an British style (mid-sixties) while, at that time, Martin Carthy was still playing in a basically American style. Nic Jones, probably, represents the height of the English folk guitar development."
Bert jansch,Herbert Jansch (born 3 November 1943[1]), known as Bert Jansch, is a Scottish folk musician and founding member of the band Pentangle. He was born in Glasgow and, in the 1960s, he was heavily influenced by the guitarist Davey Graham and folk singers such as Anne Briggs. He is best known as an innovative and accomplished acoustic guitarist but is also a singer and songwriter.

He has recorded at least 25 albums and has toured extensively starting in the 1960s and continuing into the 21st century. His work has influenced such artists as Johnny Marr, Bernard Butler, Jimmy Page, Ian Anderson, Nick Drake, Donovan, Neil Young, and more recently Don Deere, and it has earned him a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2001 BBC Folk Awards.


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