Posted on

Meet the Maker: Byron Will

Meet the Maker: Byron Will

by Jonathon Peterson

Originally published in American Lutherie #31, 1992 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume Three, 2004

Why are you building harpsichords and how did you get started?

I studied climatology for two years at the University of Wisconsin. I was really interested in long-range weather forecasting. However, you cannot be a climatologist and not work with computers. Now I think that computers are great, but this was the dark ages of 1970. I hated key-punch cards, writing programs, rewriting programs, sorting cards, and computer rooms, but a lot of the upper-level classes I was taking required this work.

I found myself taking more and more music classes, and I started taking harpsichord lessons with one of the music professors. I really enjoyed it. I love the music of the Baroque Period, and I became more and more interested in the harpsichord. After a semester I switched majors to music history and literature, and I studied harpsichord.

During that time I built a small harpsichord from a kit so I’d have something to practice on at home, and I really enjoyed that. It was an early Zuckermann kit. Not a slab – (straight) sided one; this was after David Way took over. It was a Flemish II or something.

Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article

This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page.

If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.