The Vihuela de Mano and The Spanish Guitar

The Vihuela de Mano and The Spanish Guitar: A Dictionary of the makers of plucked and bowed Musical Instruments by José Romanillos Vega and Marian Harris Winspear. 654 pages with 28 appendixes. Hardbound $199.95.

   In 1999 Jose wrote to me, asking that I provide the dimensions of two instruments: a 1846 Juan Perfumo from Cadiz and a c. 1880's Salvio Morbey from Barcelona. In 2002 I also offered a business card of Ignacio Fleta from the 1920's with an address previously unknown. One day I was checking the ink check marks in a 1st edition Rene Vanne Universal Dictionaire des Luthiers, that I acquired in purchasing the archive of Ricardo Muñoz in December 1999. All of a sudden this business card fell out, and I was stunned and later that evening I sent the scanned image to some colleagues.

   This wonderful dictionary of Spanish born luthiers has over 1,500 entries from the last 800 years. The most remarkable aspects are the biographical information taken from the birth and baptismal records from the churchs throughout Spain. Who was at what baptism, and when, this has it all. Some of my favorite parts were the correspondence of Teleforo Julve with the luthiers he supplied entry level guitars, bandurrias, lauds and more. Below the photos of the book is the author in his own words about his work that took 15 years to complete.

   In more than fifteen hundred entries in this first dictionary about Spanish guitar makers readers will find five hundred years history of musical instrument making in Spain. Dynasties of makers can be followed, the places and streets where they lived and worked and the social conditions of the times. In the twenty-eight appendices (the original version in Spanish is also given) information can be found about the Ordinances and regulations of the craft Guilds of instrument makers; details of the construction of vihuelas de mano and guitars; the names of the masters and their apprentices; their personal appearance; the working conditions; indentures of apprenticeship; certificates of examination; inventories of workshops giving the tools and implements of their craft and woods used; prices of materials and instruments. References and an extensive bibliography are given for those readers interested in further research. This will be an indispensable reference book for instrument makers, historians,musicologists, museums, instrument collectors, auction houses, dealers and guitar enthusiasts looking for a source of information about the history and development of the vihuela de mano and the Spanish guitar.

The title is:

The Vihuela de Mano and the Spanish Guitar

A Dictionary of the Makers of Plucked and Bowed Musical Instruments of Spain

(1200-2002) String Makers, Shops, Dealers & Factories

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