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Lutherie: Art or Science?

Lutherie: Art or Science?

by R.E. Bruné

Originally published in American Lutherie #1, 1985

Aside from the eternal “How do you bent the sides” question asked by non-makers, the most frequent point of curiosity seems to be that of other makers: “What do you think of the Kasha guitar?” I am somewhat surprised at this.

Firstly, it doesn’t really matter what I think of the Kasha model. I don’t build it, and I would think this fact says enough. The second point is that the Kasha model and theories have been around for enough years (nearly twenty if I’m correct) that, were there merit in the model, it would have been almost universally adopted by makers and players by now. It took less than twenty years for the conservative makers of Spain to adopt the design ideas of Torres, for by the time of his death just before the turn of this century, nearly every Spanish maker with the exception of José Ramírez I was using his model. The reason for this nearly overnight conversion is obvious; the models of Torres were clearly superior to anything else available, and the musicians quickly accepted them. In fact, the makers who didn’t adopt his patterns went out of business.

In contrast, one does not see musicians today playing the Kasha model. I know of no professional classical guitarists playing them, and in the nearly twenty years I have been involved in the guitar world, I have never been to a concert where a Kasha model guitar was played. Yet it seems there has hardly been an issue of the G.A.L. Quarterly without some article or reference to the Kasha model as if it were definitive, and desirable.

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