Posted on January 5, 2010February 8, 2024 by Dale Phillips Review: Engineering the Guitar: Theory and Practice by Richard Mark French Review: Engineering the Guitar: Theory and Practice by Richard Mark French Reviewed by Bill Greenwood Originally published in American Lutherie #99, 2009 Engineering the Guitar: Theory and Practice Richard Mark French ISBN (hardback): 9780387743684 Springer, 266 pp. 2009 With Engineering the Guitar, the author introduces a new genre of musical acoustics textbook, aimed at a niche audience of mathematically literate students who are relatively new to the details of guitar structure and guitar building. The book assumes familiarity with basic physics and calculus that includes a modest background in differential equations and Fourier series, and presents some excellent applications of basic engineering analysis that will be appreciated by those who have taken a standard course in the strength of materials. The book parallels a unique course developed by the author at Purdue University, where a dozen engineering students all build identical classical guitars in the span of a single semester with the aid of computer-controlled machining. At the same time, the students are introduced to the basic physics of stringed instruments and to the engineering aspects of guitars. Although the target audience of college engineering students is rather narrow, the advanced level of the book and the refreshing examples generated by the author make it a useful and engaging reference for others who are interested in theory and measurements that relate to the structure and dynamic behavior of guitars. 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.