A History of Acoustic Guitars

Here are a few awesome books that I have found about the history of acoustic guitars and a few acoustic guitar companies.

A History of Martin Guitars



Starting with the early days in New York circa 1833, the fabled story of the Martin acoustic guitar comes to life in the long-awaited revision of the seminal Martin history book. Originally published in 1987, this new edition is completely updated and redesigned by well-known industry experts. Hal Leonard




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A Martin acoustic guitar is the beloved instrument of millions of fans and famous players worldwide. Starting with the early days in New York circa 1833, this fabled story comes to life in the long-awaited revision of the seminal Martin History book. Originally published in 1975, this new edition is completely updated and re-designed by well-known industry experts. Part of a two-book set, The History: Book 1 covers the people, the places, and the stories of an American icon. Richly illustrated, this book covers the story right up to the fifth-generation president Chris Martin IV. Because the original and revision authors had complete access to authorized archives, this version is the most accurate and detailed reference on the topic. Leading up to the re-vitalization of the 1990s and the remarkable sustenance of its legacy, hundreds of photographs and documents effectively show the people and the guitars that made the company famous.

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Martin Guitar Book

The Martin is considered the finest acoustic guitar in the world, a distinction it has held for more that 160 years. Martin guitars have been played by performers Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, Judy Collins, and Johnny Cash, as well as hundreds of thousands of other professional and amateur musicians. In C.F. Martin and His Guitars, 1796-1873, Philip Gura chronicles the career of Christian Frederick Martin from his humble start as an importer and repairman of musical instruments in New York City in the 1830s through his move to Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and the founding of C.F. Martin & Company. Gura is the first historian to thoroughly study the Martin company records dating back to the 1830s: Letters, account books, inventories, and other documents. Using this rich archive, Gura establishes how a German immigrant from Saxony's guild tradition became the finest American guitar maker of his time and created a uniquely American business that successfully eclipsed its competition. As Gura shows, Martin's success was based on his successful navigation of the rapid economic expansion and industrialization of his time. The many sketches and hundreds of photographs illustrate how Martin adapted his artisanal craft to modern industrial methods, maintaining quality while meeting increased demand for instruments. Gura traces the network of suppliers who provided Martin with his raw materials and explores the advertising and other methods Martin employed to build a market for his goods. After Martin's death in 1873, the company continued to grow. It thrives today under the leadership of a sixth-generation Martin, producing instruments that are still the most sought after and collectable in the world.

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The must-have book for guitar lovers and collectors that captures the history and heritage of the Martin Guitar Company-since 1833 the single-most important guitarmaker. Hundreds of full-color and vintage photographs illustrate the story of the various classic instruments and the performers who have made Martin the instrument of choice.




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Acoustic Guitar Book

Here is the story behind the renowned C. F. Martin and Co., the American guitar maker that has built some of the finest acoustic guitars in the world for almost two centuries. This book details virtually every Martin guitar produced right up to the present, including 2004's one-millionth guitar. More than 100 color photos show Martin's designs, which have heavily influenced acoustic guitar manufacturers.



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Martin guitars are internationally revered, collected and played by performers, singers, songwriters and by legions of avid collectors and enthusiasts. This book features more than a hundred of Martin's most desirable guitars, including instruments belonging to Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Joan Baez, Sting and Eric Clapton. Dick Boak enthusiastically outlines his experiences as liaison in these collaborations. We also get a sneak preview of Martin's millionth instrument, due in 2004. Dick Boak is the head of artist relations and publicity at C.F. Martin & Co., collaborating with artists in the design of their Limited Edition and Signature Models. A prolific artist, luthier and musician in his own right, he is a founder of the Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans, and has organized numerous national instrument-making symposiums.

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A History of Gibson Guitars

Finally back in print! The must-have book on Gibson's killer acoustic guitars, now updated. From the 1920s to the present, Gibson and its flat-tops have been synonymous with American music. Whether the music you listen to is from the North or the South, the country or the city, it is likely that a Gibson guitar was involved in creating it. Through more than 200 photos and detailed text, this book chronicles the development and evolution of Gibson's fabulous flat-tops, showing why these guitars have been the choice of so many great musicians, professional and amateur alike, over the last 70 years.



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Gibson's first "semi-acoustic" the ES-335, which was neither totally solid nor fully acoustic, is the guitar of choice used by many famous guitarists such as Andy Summers, Elvin Bishop, Lee Ritenour, Jay Graydon, Robben Ford, Freddie King, John McLaughin, Jimmy Page, Chuck Berry, Tony Mottola, Johnny Rivers, Jack Wilkins, Bono, Grant Green, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Alvin Lee, B.B. King, Emily Remler, Otis Rush, Pete Townshend, John Lee Hooker, and Larry Carlton. This book includes the complete history of the 335, the players, a beautiful color section, chronology, shipping totals and more. A must-have for every 335 player and guitar enthusiast or collector!


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From 1929 through 1961 Gibson, Inc. of Kalamazoo, MI produced over 30 brands of musical instruments that did not carry the Gibson name. Many of these brands may be familiar, with names such as Recording King, National and Washburn, while many others are brands that only a handful of avid Gibsonites will know, such as Werlein Leader, Grinnell, Truett, and many more.┬ÂThis book is a complete guide to all of the other brands Gibson produced, complete with detailed descriptions, photos and rare examples of existing instruments from collectors around the world. If you're hoping to find that diamond in the rough at the local garage sale, this guide will familiarize you with even the most obscure brands Gibson made for more than three decades.

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Centerstream presents this detailed look at the inner workings of the famous musical instrument manufacturer of Kalamazoo, Michigan before World War II. For the first time, Gibson fans can learn about the employees who built the instruments, exactly where the raw materials came from, the identity of parts vendors, and how the production was carried out. The book explains Gibson's pre-World War II factory order number and serial number systems, and corrects longstanding chronological errors. Previously unknown information about every aspect of the operation is covered in-depth. Noted historian Joe Spann


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A History of Guild Guitars

Book Guild guitars have been around since the early 1950s, and by the beginning of the '60s, the company had established a solid reputation for its electric and acoustic archtops, which are still widely regarded today. Despite this enduring popularity, little was known about the history of Guild. The Guild Guitar Book is the result of years of intensive research and countless photo sessions. It includes a thorough history of the company and its guitars, including serial numbers, specifications, original prices, and all the information needed to date Guild guitars. Features hundreds of photos, with a beautiful 40-page color section. Now Back in Print!


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A History of Acoustic Guitars

The Art & Craft of Contemporary Guitars

Feast your eyes on more than 300 of today's most creative, imaginative, and gorgeous hand-made guitars--all illustrated in full color and featuring information about the innovative artisans who created them. Meet guitar-making legends, such as C.F. Martin, Les Paul, and Leo Fender, who revolutionized the instrument's design. Discover why the past 25 years have seen an explosion of craftspeople who build guitars by hand, employing an attention to detail factories can't afford and using higher quality materials and more technical skill than in any previous era. Explore the various guitar styles used in a range of musical traditions, from blues to classical. Detailed information about each guitar's specifications, plus personal statements and anecdotes from the artisans about their work and techniques complete each entry. Rounding out the book is a Web directory and an index of luthiers. Players, craftspeople, collectors, and those who are simply fans of this popular instrument will find this volume irresistible!


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The Lives and Works of Master Guitar Makers John D'Angelico and James L. D'Aquisto



Acquired of the Angels documents the two most prominent guitar makers of the 20th century, John D'Angelico and James L. D'Aquisto. This book explores the lives, stories, and craftsmanship behind these American cultural icons. The expanded second edition offers greater insight and information.




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A History of Classical Guitars

Offering essays by the world's top experts in a full-color, coffee-table quality book, this is the first work to tell the complete story of the classical guitar and its repertoire, players and makers - from its 19th century European roots to modern international interpretations. This handsome softcover volume features lavish photography of classical guitars made by the best luthiers in the world. Additional essays cover use of the classical guitar in pop muisc, different playing and teaching techniques, the collectors' market, and the science of the guitar. It also features profiles of legendary artists such as Andr's Segovia, Julian Bream and John Williams, plus a full discography, a glossary, an index, a bibliography, and a guitar measurement chart.

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A History of Famous Luthiers




This text is a thorough study on the Spanish luthier, Antonia de Torres (1817-1892) who had a profound influence on the shape of the modern guitar.





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