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'Extra fine Guitars after the newest Fashion': Guitar- and cittern-making in the northern Netherlands, 1750-1800

'Extra fine Guitars after the newest Fashion': Guitar- and cittern-making in the northern Netherlands, 1750-1800
'Extra fine Guitars after the newest Fashion': Guitar- and cittern-making in the northern Netherlands, 1750-1800

Very little research has been undertaken into guitarmaking and playing in the Netherlands. Neither the 17th century nor the 18th has received much attention, though we know that the playing of guitars and similar instruments was an integral part of cosmopolitan cultural life. This article introduces a number of luthiers and their guitars-wire-strung and gut-strung-made in the Netherlands between c.1750 and 1800, a period when concert life began to flourish. In Amsterdam, Johann Swarts, Gosewijn Spijker and Benoit Joseph Boussu were active, while Johannes Cuijpers had his workshop in The Hague. Brief biographies of these makers are given, together with inventories of known instruments. The most remarkable find is undoubtedly the recently rediscovered large five-course guitar made by Gosewijn Spijker. Finally, there is a discussion of who may have bought these guitars-a Greek merchant's son, a French actress-and how the instruments would have been used.

Amsterdam, Baroque guitar, cittern, cosmopolitanism, Enlightenment, Guitar, instrument-makers
0306-1078
35-53
Van Amersfoort, Jelma
2b4c94f5-1662-4099-bfb2-d467761f01b0
Van Amersfoort, Jelma
2b4c94f5-1662-4099-bfb2-d467761f01b0

Van Amersfoort, Jelma (2018) 'Extra fine Guitars after the newest Fashion': Guitar- and cittern-making in the northern Netherlands, 1750-1800. Early Music, 46 (1), 35-53. (doi:10.1093/em/cay009).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Very little research has been undertaken into guitarmaking and playing in the Netherlands. Neither the 17th century nor the 18th has received much attention, though we know that the playing of guitars and similar instruments was an integral part of cosmopolitan cultural life. This article introduces a number of luthiers and their guitars-wire-strung and gut-strung-made in the Netherlands between c.1750 and 1800, a period when concert life began to flourish. In Amsterdam, Johann Swarts, Gosewijn Spijker and Benoit Joseph Boussu were active, while Johannes Cuijpers had his workshop in The Hague. Brief biographies of these makers are given, together with inventories of known instruments. The most remarkable find is undoubtedly the recently rediscovered large five-course guitar made by Gosewijn Spijker. Finally, there is a discussion of who may have bought these guitars-a Greek merchant's son, a French actress-and how the instruments would have been used.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 28 February 2018
Published date: 4 May 2018
Keywords: Amsterdam, Baroque guitar, cittern, cosmopolitanism, Enlightenment, Guitar, instrument-makers

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421501
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421501
ISSN: 0306-1078
PURE UUID: 346b85bf-7e2e-47c9-a7fa-0fa6502b8579

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Date deposited: 14 Jun 2018 16:30
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 14:20

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Author: Jelma Van Amersfoort

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