Guitar Societies & Journals
Guitar societies have often played a significant role in laying the groundwork for historical and biographical research, because they so often publish news of their activities—the concerts and festivals they sponsor, etc.—in newsletters and magazines. Nowadays they also frequently maintain Web sites, where one can read about which guitarists are performing or have performed where, what they played, and so forth.
Today there are dozens of serious classical guitar societies doing the important work of concert/festival sponsorship and reportage. Most of them are city-based and well represented online. One of the best international indexes to the various guitar societies' home pages on the Internet is linked to the GFA Web site, under "Membership" —>Find a Guitar Society, which takes you to the classicalguitar.org list of guitar societies. It is organized by country or by state/province, then by city.
Guitar Magazines & Journals
Magazines and journals aimed specifically at furthering interest in the guitar have been in existence since the 1830s. The first, The Giulianiad (1833-35), was named in honor of Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) and published by such London-based guitar personalities as Ferdinand Pelzer and Felix Horetzky. Few copies of that work are known to exist; one is at the British Library, another at the Guildhall School in London.
A good example of how periodicals can serve as source material for the history of the guitar is found in Jeffrey Noonan's doctoral thesis, "The Guitar in America as Reflected in Topical Periodicals, 1882-1933" (Washington Univ., 2004). Among its indexes is "Guitar music published in the BMG periodicals," pp. 639-701.
With the online access to cataloging information about guitar magazines that is available today, it has become easy to generate a very large checklist of periodicals devoted to the guitar. For example, one can access the advanced search page of WorldCat online, do a Subject search of "guitar--periodicals," and retrieve about 200 samples of online cataloging of guitar periodicals done by the largest network of libraries in the world, OCLC—surely a good starting point. The list of more or less serious classic guitar magazines that appears below, based largely on OCLC records. Thanks also to Marco Bazzotti and his colleagues for Italian periodical coverage given at the site justclassicalguitar.com.) These references may be of use especially to those researching the social history of the guitar, or curious about its popularity. But please remember, when dealing with guitar magazines, that:
- Most of them have been personality-driven rather than sponsored by a society. They have rarely outlasted their founding editors, whose personal preferences are usually evident in the tone of the periodical. A delightful example of such a magazine, now seemingly impossible to locate as a complete run in any library, is the once widely-read Guitar News, edited by Wilfrid Appleby (Cheltenham, UK, 1951-ca.1978?). A more idiosyncratic example would be Chelys (1976-79), edited by Walter Spalding.
- Only one guitar periodical so far lays claim to being refereed: Guitar Forum (2001-); all the rest have (or have had) unique editors as gatekeepers.
- Most guitar magazines, starting with The Giulianiad, have included pieces of guitar music (notation) along with articles and news. Dorman Smith and Laurie Eagleson undertook to index many of the pieces hidden away in these journals with their publication, Guitar and lute music in periodicals: an index (Berkeley, CA: Fallen Leaf Press, 1990)—a work long out of print but still useful for the older periodicals.
- The Internet appears to be rapidly surpassing printed periodicals as the everyday "go to" place for news, and at times even for substantive historical studies. See the Guitar Forums & Discussion Groups Online page for an orientation to serious guitar-research-related developments on the world-wide Web.
Titles are listed in chronological order by the date of the first issue. The guitar magazines still being published today are coded in blue below.
|1833-1835||The Giulianiad. London. Thirteen issues survive in the British Library: vol. 1 (1-6), vol. 2 (1-6), and vol. 3 (1).|
|1884-1902||S.S. Stewart's Banjo, Guitar and Mandolin Journal. Philadelphia: Stewart & Bauer (irreg.) The Sibley Music Library (U. of Rochester) has digitized and mounted online as a series of .pdf files a nearly complete run! It is a fascinating publication, with photographs, text, and music. |
|1894-1924||The Cadenza. Boston: American Guild of Banjoists, Mandolinists and Guitarists (monthly).|
|1896-1934 ||Il Concerto, giornale di musica per mandolino e chitarra (Bologna, Comellini). (Information provided by justclassicalguitar.com .)|
|1900-1933||Der Guitarrefreund, organ of the Internationale Gitarristische Vereinigung (IGV). Initially named Mitteilung (May-July 1900), it changed to Der Guitarrefreund (Sep 1900-1933?). The STATENS MUSIKBIBLIOTEK in Stockholm, which hosts the Boije Collection of guitar music, has recently made available, at Gerhard Penn's suggestion, a digitization of its nearly complete run of Vol. 1-18 (1900-1917) of this journal. Be prepared to download 97MB (717 pages) if you click this link: http://www.muslib.se/ebibliotek/boije/pdf/Boije%20965.pdf. To see the Musikbeilagen (music notation supplements), go to the Boije-Collection online, click the letter G for "Guitarrefreund Musikbeilagen," scroll down and you will find a part of them under Gitarristische Vereinigung ... (Boije 966 - Boije 1013), another part under Der Guitarrefreund Musikbeilage ... (Boije 965:1 - Boije 965:29). |
|1903-1973||BMG, Banjo, Mandolin, Guitar. London: Clifford Essex Music Co. (monthly).|
|1904-1906||Gitarist, ed. V. A. Rusanov. Moscow: Kushnerev (in Russian).|
|1904-1909||Mitteilungen der Freien Vereinigung zur Förderung guter Guitaremusik. Absorbed by Der Gitarrefreund (see 1900-1933).|
|Il Plettro, periodico mensile - Bolletino dei mandolinisti e chitarristi. Milano: Alessandro Vissari & M.A. Amadei. Appeared during early 20th c., and was revived briefly from 1938 to 1942 or -3. (Information provided by justclassicalguitar.com.)|
|1908-1933||The Crescendo. Boston: American Guild of Banjoists, Mandolinists and Guitarists (monthly).|
|1919-1933||Die Gitarre, ed. E. Schwarz-Reiflingen. Berlin: Verlag Die Gitarre / Bund Deutscher Gitarren- und Lautenspieler (monthly).|
|1921-1927||Zeitschrift für die Gitarre. Vienna: ed. Josef Zuth (8x/yr.) Last volume (VI) was entitled Musik im Haus.|
|1924-1926||Gitarristische Mitteilungen aus Österreich. Vienna: s.e.(Ten issues appeared).|
|1926-1928||Österreichische Gitarre Zeitschrift. Vienna: Lienau, ed. Jakob Ortner (quarterly).|
|1933-1942 ||La Chitarra, rivista di cultura musicale, ed. Benvenuto Terzi (Bologna, monthly). (Information provided by justclassicalguitar.com.)|
|1942-1943 ||Mandolin & Guitar, Research Articles / Kenkyu Shiryo, ed. Morishige Takei (Tokyo, monthly from Jan. 1942 to Nov. 1943). (Information and complete facsimiles provided by Robert Coldwell on his Digital Guitar Archive Web site.)|
|1946-||Guitar Review. New York, Soc. of the Classic Guitar. Iirregular; the last known issue, no. 136, was published in 2009. Augustine Strings was the last known publisher, superseding the Society of the Classic Guitar.|
|1947-1957 ||L'Arte Chitarristica, rivista di cultura mumsicale, ed. Romolo Ferrari (Modena, Berben). (Information provided by justclassicalguitar.com.)|
|1947-1969||Die Zupfmusik. Göppingen, Germany: Deutscher Mandolinen- und Gitarrenspieler-Bund. Former title was Mandolinen-Orchester. Succeeded by Zupfmusik, Gitarre (1970-1983), and then Zupfmusik-Magazin (1984-2002).|
|1948-1953 ||Il Plettro italiano, periodico mensile di cultura musicale, ed. Antonio Misto (Bergamo,monthly). Aimed at mandolinists as well as guitarists. (Information provided by justclassicalguitar.com .)|
|1948-1965 ||Chitarra e musica, notiziario mensile dell'Associazione Chitarristica Italiana, ed. Bio Boccosi (Ancona, monthly). It continued to appear 1965-1980 as an annex to Strumenti e musica. (Information provided by justclassicalguitar.com .) |
|1951-1978?||Guitar News, ed. Wilfrid Appleby. Chelttenham, UK (monthly). Not cataloged in OCLC.|
|1957-1964||Guitare et Musique, Revue bimestrielle. Paris, FR (bi-monthly). Cataloging info from Bayerische Staatsbibl.|
|1967-||Guitar Player. San Francisco, CA, etc.: Miller Freeman Publications, etc. (monthly; highly commercial in scope and content). www.guitarplayer.com.|
|1967-||Gendai Guitar. Tokyo: Gendai Guitar Co (monthly, in Japanese). See www.gendaiguitar.com/english.|
|1970-1983||Zupfmusik, Gitarre. Göppingen, Germany: Deutscher Mandolinen- und Gitarrenspieler-Bund. Former title was Die Zupfmusik; succeeded by Zupfmusik-Magazin (1984-2002).|
|1970-1986 ||NOTIZIARIO TECNICO PROFESSIONALE DELL´ACCADEMIA DELLA CHITARRA CLASSICA, ed. Vincenzo Degni (Milan). (Information provided by justclassicalguitar.com.) |
|1972-||il 'Fronimo' rivista di chitarra e liuto. Milano, Edizioni Suvini Zerboni (quarterly). www.fronimo.it.|
|1972-1984||Guitar, the Magazine for All Guitarists. London: Musical News Services (monthly).|
|1973-1979||Creative Guitar International. Edinburg, Tex., Mockingbird Press [edited by Jerry Mock] (3/yr.).|
|1974-||Soundboard. Guitar Foundation of America (quarterly).|
|1974-1983||Guitar and Lute. Honolulu: Galliard Press (bimonthly).|
|1974-1987||Guitarra Magazine. Chicago: Sherry Brenner, Ltd. (irreg.).|
|1976-1977||Chelys. Exeter, N.H. (monthly/quarterly).|
|1978-1979||The Electric Chelys. Exeter, N.H. (quarterly).|
|1979-2001||Gitarre + Laute. Köln, Gitarre + Laute Verlagsgesellschaft (bimonthly).|
|1980-2003||Guitar World. New York: Harris Publications (monthly).|
|1980-||Gitarre-aktuell. Hamburg: Gitarre-foundation Hamburg. Peter Meier, editor (quarterly). www.gitarre-aktuell.de. |
|1982-||Classical Guitar Magazine. Gateshead, UK: Ashley Mark (monthly). www.classicalguitarmagazine.com. |
|1982-2002||Les Cahiers de la guitare. Kremlin-Bicêtre, France: Danielle Ribouillault (quarterly). Title chaged to Les Cahiers de la guitare et de la musique, 1992-2002|
|1983-1987||Bulletin de l'Institut européen de la guitare. Marseille: L'Institut (4x/yr., irreg.).|
|1983-1988||Nova Giulianiad - offizielles Informationsorgan der Internationalen Gitarristische Vereinigung. Freiburg: Orlando Verlag (quarterly).|
|1984-2002||Zupfmusik Magazin [Plucked-music magazine]. Reutlingen: Bund Deutscher Zupfmusiker (quarterly). Succeeds Zupfmusik, Gitarre (1970-1983), and is superseded by Concertino (2003- ).|
|1986-||Chitarre [Guitars]. Rome: Edizione Lakota (monthly - irreg.). Steel-string & electric guitar oriented; Chitarre-classica "classical" supplement occasionally appears. www.chitarre.com.|
|1986-1989||Guitar Canada. Toronto: Guitar Society of Toronto (eight issues were published).|
|1990-||Acoustic Guitar. San Anselmo, CA: String Letter Corp. (monthly). www.acousticguitar.com.|
|1990-2000||Guitar Journal. Leeds: European Guitar Teachers Assoc. (irreg.), superseded by Guitar Forum. See www.egtaguitarforum.org.|
|1990-2004||Guitar Magazine. London: Northern & Shell (monthly).|
|1991-||Seicorde [six-strings]. Milan: Michelangeli (quarterly + CD) www.seicorde.it.|
|1997-2001||Gitara. Koszalin, Poland: Publ. by Krzysztof Nieborak (quarterly).|
|1997-2005||Swiat Gitary. Gdynia, Poland: Professional Music Press (monthly). Ed. by D. Domanski and Z. Dubiella.|
|2001-||Guitar Forum, ed. Jonathan Leathwood for the European Guitar Teachers Assn. Refereed journal. Supersedes Guitar Journal. (irreg.). www.egtaguitarforum.org|
|2003-||GuitART International. Smyrna, GA: Guitart International, www.guitart.net (quarterly; it is the English version of the Italian journal GuitART). www.guitart.it.|
|2003-||Concertino. Hamburg, Germany: Bund Deutscher Zupfmusiker (quarterly; concerned with guitar, mandolin, and lute, especially in ensembles). See also www.bdz-online.de. |
|2006- ||Guitar Dream. Seehomadream.com/eng/Magazine.htm. In Japanese. The Web site shows a strong effort to publish 5 issues of the magazine per year, starting in 2007 (nos. 3-9) and continuing in 2008 (nos. 10-14). But No. 16 (2009) is the last one curently shown online. |
|2007- ||Brazilian Guitar Magazine - Revista Eletrônica do Violão Brasileiro, brazilianguitar.net/magazine(free, online, by-product of brazilianguitar.net forum; irreg.). In Portuguese. |
|2007-||Roseta - Revista de la Sociedad Española de la Guitarra, is based editorially at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). Irregular, in Spanish. Its Web site shows so far these numbers and dates: No. 0(2007), 1(2008), 2 & 3(2009), 4(2010).|
Visitors are invited to send suggestions for additions and corrections to Thomas F. Heck.
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