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Review: Guitars: From the Renaissance to Rock by Tom Evans and Mary Ann Evans

Review: Guitars: From the Renaissance to Rock by Tom Evans and Mary Ann Evans

Reviewed by C.F. Casey

Originally published in American Lutherie #2, 1985 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000

Guitars: From the Renaissance to Rock
Tom Evans and Mary Ann Evans
Paddington Press Ltd. 1977
Out of print (1999)

Of all the popular (as opposed to strictly scholarly) histories of the guitar, this is in my opinion by far the best. Laid out in five broad sections (classical guitar, at 150 pages the longest; flamenco guitar; the guitar in Latin America; steel string acoustic guitar; and electric guitar), the book goes into considerable detail on the musical styles, composers and performers, social background, and styles of construction of the instrument. Regarding this last, luthiers will be especially interested in the “Gallery” section of each chapter, consisting of photographs, measurements, and very thorough descriptions of typical and exceptional instruments from each phase of the guitar’s history. In addition, there are visits to the workshop of classical guitar maker José Romanillos and the factory of the Gibson company.

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