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Review: The Flamenco Guitar

Review: The Flamenco Guitar

David George

Society of Spanish Studies

Madrid, Spain, 1969

Out of print (1999)

Originally published in American Lutherie #12, 1987 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000



Do not let the title of this book fool you. Although it is being reviewed in American Lutherie, this is not a “how-to-build” book. The making of a flamenco guitar, from the tree to the French polishing, is very well described by Manuel Reyes of Cordoba, but in very general terms.

Particularly enjoyable to the flamenco enthusiast is a short history of the elusive and mysterious music of the Gypsies of Southern Spain, called flamenco. This book will also be interesting to some classical guitarists who at one time or another have had the urge to try a bit of flamenco, and perhaps it will help to clarify a few mysteries about what flamenco is or is not.

To the nonflamenco guitarist, all flamenco guitarists seem to be part of a cult. Perhaps this is because of all the Gypsy lore and legends and the way of life associated with the art of flamenco. Personally, the only way I can explain this cult thing is that because of flamenco’s East Indian, Middle Eastern, and North African origin, it is immediately different to Western ears.

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