The classical guitar in Australia: Foundations

Ellis, Angelina M. (2000) The classical guitar in Australia: Foundations. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Drawing upon data from published and unpublished sources, this thesis examines the classical guitar in Australia during the years spanning European settlement to the early 1970s. The significant factors, events and individuals that shaped the early history of the instrument in this country have been documented and examined, and form the central focus of this investigation. This study begins with an examination of the origins of the guitar in Australia during colonial times. Following this, against the background of international events and influences, the lean years of classical guitar activity in Australia between 1900 and 1945 are examined. The study then focuses on the rise of classical guitar activity that occurred in this country after the Second World War, and in particular the work pioneered by Len Williams and guitar societies throughout Australia.
In this study a special focus has been given to the 1960s: a decade that witnessed a flourishing of classical guitar activity throughout Australia. The latter part of this thesis investigates the critical developments and shifting attitudes that led towards the acceptance of the classical guitar as a serious instrument of performance and academic study in this country. The conclusion of this study identifies and examines three major periods of activity, highlighting the geographical, cultural and educational factors that have influenced the history of the classical guitar in Australia during its formative years.Finally, recommendations are made for further study into Australian classical guitar culture after 1970, and in particular the specialist and high growth areas of guitar composition and guitar construction
The classical guitar in Australia: Foundations

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