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How do luthiers learn their craft and teach their tradition?

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How do luthiers learn their craft?

All of the luthiers at the Holy Grail Guitar Show had to learn to make their first guitar but what are the sources of guitar-making knowledge and how are the practical skills learned? For the last two years, Joss has been researching how guitar-makers learn and teach their craft. At the HGSS, he will discuss the results of a survey of guitar-makers from across Europe, focusing on their education, training and experience. He will also talk about what he has found from interviews with over 30 guitar-makers and his on-going study of guitar-making at Newark College, UK. In doing so, he will refer to the efforts of amateurs and DIY culture in the 1950s, the later development of college courses, and the professionalisation of guitar-making since the 1970s.

Dr Joss Winn is a Snr. Lecturer in the School of Education, University of Lincoln, UK. He also makes nylon-string guitars in his spare time.
http://josswinn.org/tag/lutherie

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How do luthiers learn their craft and teach their tradition?

  1. 1. How do luthiers learn their craft and teach their tradition?
  2. 2. • A bit about me and why I do research on guitar- making • The focus of my research • The first decade of classical guitar-making in the UK (1948-1957) • The role of amateurs and autodidacts • My survey of classical guitar makers in the UK and recent EGB survey • Guitar-making at Newark College • Links to further information and my contact details @josswinn josslwinn
  3. 3. RESEARCH QUESTIONS • How has classical guitar- making in the UK been transmitted since the early 20th century? • What role has autodidacticism played in the development and maintenance of the tradition? • What has been the role of colleges? What are the current risks and challenges that such institutions face? • What is the contemporary experience of lutherie students on accredited courses?
  4. 4. RESEARCH DESIGN • Historical: Documentary evidence (DIY books, guitar magazines, college archives, programme specs, etc.) • Biographical: Survey of classical guitar makers in the UK (population = 101, response = 61). Interviews with UK luthiers (30) • Institutional: Case study of Newark College BA Musical Instrument Craft (monthly visits (13 so far) for observation and 15 staff/student interviews)
  5. 5. Wilfrid M. Appleby (1892 – 1987) A. P. Sharpe (1906 – 1968) Terry Usher (1909 – 1969) J. K. Sutcliffe Early advocates of classical guitar-making in Britain Kay Appleby
  6. 6. 1954 Hofmeester plan of Torres FE26
  7. 7. Clifford A. Hoing (1903 – 1989) Eric V. Ridge A. P. Sharpe and Marco Roccia (1902-1987) ‘Make Your Own Spanish Guitar’ (1957) ‘The Birth of a Guitar’ (1956-7) ‘Making a Guitar’ (1955)
  8. 8. CLASSICAL GUITAR-MAKERS SURVEY INTERVIEWEES
  9. 9. SURVEY OF CLASSICAL GUITAR-MAKERS (UK) Population=102, respondents=61 (confidence level of 95%, margin of error 8%)
  10. 10. 0 10 20 30 40 Good Proficient Basic I do not play To what extent do you play the guitar? Percent 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Yes No Is lutherie your main occupation? Percent 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 25 - 34 35 - 44 45 - 54 55 - 64 65 - 74 75 - 84 Age Range Percent *All respondents were male 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Managers, directors and senior officials Professional occupations Associate professional and technical… Administrative and secretarial occupations Skilled trades occupations Process, plant and machine operatives Elementary occupations Father's Occupational Group Percent
  11. 11. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Mostly self-taught Formal apprenticeship Worked periodically with experienced… Adult education classes Government training scheme Short course Art college foundation course Further education college/polytechnic University Other training What types of education are relevant to your work as a luthier? Percent 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Yes No Do you have a specific musical instrument making qualification? Percent 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 What formal qualifications do you have? Percent 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Entirely Mostly Somewhat A little Not at all To what extent are you self-taught? Percent
  12. 12. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 A great deal A lot A moderate amount A little Not at all To what extent have you learned from the study of other instruments? Percent 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 A great deal A lot A moderate amount A little Not at all To what extent has your guitar making benefitted from guitar players' feedback? Percent 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 A great deal A lot A moderate amount A little Not at all To what extent have you learned lutherie from the Internet? Percent
  13. 13. 0 10 20 30 40 50 Yes Given advice No Other Have you ever taught someone to make a guitar? Percent 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 01-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-100 How many hours a month do you teach lutherie? Percent 0 5 10 15 20 25 01-05 06-10 10-20 20+ How many people have you taught to make guitars? Percent
  14. 14. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Has taught Given advice Not taught Other Teachers with instrument making qualifications No instrument making qualification Has instrument making qualification 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Entirely Mostly Somewhat A little Not at all To what extent are teachers self-taught? Yes Given advice but did not teach the entire process. No Other 0 5 10 15 20 25 Yes Given advice but did not teach the entire process. No Other Who has taught guitar making? Main occupation Not main occupation
  15. 15. EGB SURVEY MARCH 2020
  16. 16. Is lutherie your main occupation? Yes No 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 25 - 34 35 - 44 45 - 54 55 - 64 65 - 74 Age Range 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 01-05 06-10 11-20 21-50 51-100 101-200 300+ How many guitars have you made? 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Mostly self-taught Formal apprenticeship Worked periodically with experienced… Adult education classes Government training scheme Short course Art college foundation course Further education college/polytechnic University Other training What types of education are relevant to your work as a luthier?
  17. 17. TEACHING AND LEARNING CLASSICAL GUITAR- MAKING AT COLLEGE
  18. 18. NEWARK COLLEGE • Previously Newark and Sherwood College. Merged with Lincoln College in 2007. • Lincoln College: 10,000+ students • Newark campus: 850+ students • BA Musical Instrument Craft: 93 students, 15 teaching staff, 4 technicians • Guitar pathway: 12 students, 3 tutors, 1 technician • Diploma replaced by BA degree in 2017 (Hull). Now in third year.
  19. 19. MODULE CREDITS PATHWAY SPECIFIC / CORE Historical and Contextual Studies 20 P Anatomy and Design of Musical Instruments 20 P Basic Techniques (Construction, tuning and repair) 40 P Making Specialist Tools 20 C Workshop Practice 20 P MODULE CREDITS PATHWAY SPECIFIC / CORE Applied Acoustics 20 C Problem Solving 10 C OPTIONAL MODULES: Guitar Making Techniques 20 P(c) Basic Repair Techniques 20 P(c) Advanced construction techniques (Classical) 20 P(c) Advanced construction techniques (Steel String) 20 P(c) Finishing Techniques 20 P(c) Making Specialist Tools 10 C MODULE CREDITS PATHWAY SPECIFIC / CORE Business Practice 20 C Advanced Craft Techniques 20 C Professional Standards Test 20 C Final Major Project Preparation 20 C Final Major Project Realisation 40 C
  20. 20. • Joss’ blog https://josswinn.org/tag/lutherie/ • Joss @ Instagram https://www.instagram.com/josslwinn/ • My experience with Roy Courtnall https://makingmasterguitars.org.uk/journal-introduction/ • Classical guitar-making bibliography https://josswinn.org/2018/05/25/making-classical-guitars-a- bibliography/ • Classical guitar-maker map (UK) http://bit.ly/cgluthiers If you make guitars, please complete the EGB Survey! https://unioflincoln.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0UMgckGi3K8v9hr Please email me if you would like further information about any aspect of my research Dr Joss Winn jwinn@lincoln.ac.uk http://staff.lincoln.ac.uk/jwinn

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