The Flamenco Guitar Dissertation

Andy Davidson

(…After making a flamenco guitar I realised that there is very little information available at present on the historical and cultural development of the instrument, or on its construction.
This spurred me to carry out the research for this dissertation and to bring together information on the roots of the flamenco art form, the flamenco guitar-playing technique, the
development of the instrument within its cultural and historical contexts and the construction procedure of a flamenco guitar. I travelled to the city of Granada in Spain to interview four guitar makers there. I found them to be very helpful and have included these interviews, transcribed and translated, in the appendix. The original recordings of these interviews are to be found on the accompanying cassette.
-The first part of the dissertation deals with the art form of flamenco as a whole (this includes dance, song and guitar), the events which led up to its birth, its evolution over the nineteenth
and twentieth centuries and its place in society today.
-The second part is a study of the flamenco guitar-playing technique and some of the musical structures used in the music.
-The third part deals with the guitar itself; its evolution from the sixteenth century vihuela de mano to the present day; the guitar makers who developed it into its present form, and the
design and characteristics of the instrument.
-The fourth part is a comparison table of the interviews I carried out with Spanish luthiers earlier this year, with the key points of the interviews shown. I recommend reading the whole
interviews in the appendix as they contain a wealth of information.
At present there is very little written work on the subject to my knowledge. The book Guitar Cultures’ touches superficially on guitar making culture in Spain today; the Spanish luthier
who is mentioned in that book I also had the pleasure to interview. The article Andalusia and the Modern guitar throws some light on the matter of distinguishing between the flamenco and classical guitar but is somewhat limited in its historical scope. The Flamenco Guitar4 gives a colourful and poetic view of the instrument within its cultural context at the time when it
was written in 1969, but little research into its history. I feel the information contained in the following pages will prove useful to anyone wishing to make or learn to play the flamenco guitar or to learn about flamenco art…)

The Flamenco Guitar Dissertation

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