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Guitar Societies

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 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 is based largely on OCLC records -- professional cataloging. (Thanks also to Marco Bazzotti and his colleagues for Italian periodical coverage given at the site 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Only two guitar periodicals so far have claimed to be refereed: Guitar Forum (2001-) and Soundboard Scholar (2015- ); all the rest have (or have had) unique editors as gatekeepers.
  3. Most guitar magazines, starting with The Giulianiad, have included pieces of guitar music (scores) 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.
  4. 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. Contributions by Jan de Kloe are marked (JdK); those by Robert Coldwell are marked (RC).


. Published exclusively online. Here is the link to the first issue.
1833-1835 The Giulianiad. London. Thirteen issues survive in the British Library: vol. 1 (1-6), vol. 2 (1-6), and vol. 3 (1).
1883-1884? Internationale Guitarre-Zeitung, Organ des Internationalen Guitarre-Vereins. Leipzig, 1883 (Jg.1) - 1884(Jg.2?). (Thanks to Andreas Stevens for this citation.)
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 .)
1900-1933 Der Guitarrefreund, organ of the Internationale Guitarristische Vereinigung (IGV). Initially called the Mitteilung des Internationalen Guitarristen-Verbandes (May-July 1900), it changed to Der Guitarrefreund (Sep 1900 - Nov./Dec. 1909), then to Der Gitarrefreund  (1910 - 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: To see the Musikbeilagen (printed music supplements), go to the Boije-Collection online, navigate to this page. You will find the under the heading "Guitarrefreund Musikbeilagen." Some of the score supplements are filed under Gitarristische Vereinigung ... (Boije 966 - Boije 1013), while others are under Der Guitarrefreund Musikbeilage ... (Boije 965:1 - Boije 965:29).
1903-1973 BMG, Banjo, Mandolin, Guitar. London: Clifford Essex Music Co. (monthly).




Гитаристъ (= Gitarist, The Guitarist) ed. V. A. Rusanov. Moscow: Kushnerev (in Russian). Started with 12 issues, then later 6 issues per year. Continued by Музыка гитариста (= Muzika gitarista, Music of the Guitarist), 1907-1911. Ed. by Aleksey Afromeyev, Tyumen. Monthly. Continued by Аккордъ (= Akkord, The Chord). Ed. by Afromeyev. Tyumen. Only 11 issues known, the final being from 1918. (JdK)
1904-1909 Mitteilungen der Freien Vereinigung zur Förderung guter Guitaremusik. Initially a tri-lingual newsletter in English, German, and French! The complete run is digitized and online at the Statens Musikbibliothek Stockholm. (Thanks to Andreas Stevens for this citation.)



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
1908-1933 The Crescendo. Boston: American Guild of Banjoists, Mandolinists and Guitarists (monthly).
1916-1923 Mandolin and Guitar (in Japanese). Morishige Takei, ed. Tokyo. (RC)
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.) The last volume (v. 6) was entitled Musik im Haus.
1924-1926 Gitarristische Mitteilungen aus Österreich. Vienna: s.e.(Ten issues appeared).
1924-1941 Mandolin Guitar Kenkyu (=Mandolin-Guitar Studies). Morishige Takei, ed. Tokyo. (RC)
1925-1929? Гитар и гитристи (Gitar i gitaristi = The Guitar and Guitarists), ed. by Vladimir Mashkyevich & Miron Papchenko. Grozny. Earlier issues may have existed, and 2 issues survive from 1930(?). (JdK)
1926-1929 Österreichische Gitarre Zeitschrift. Vienna: Lienau, ed. Jakob Ortner (quarterly). Three volumes were published.
1927-1929 R.M.G. Revue Musicale des Mandolines et Guitares. Tokyo. (RC)
1927-1941 Armonia (in Japanese). Chuzaemon Sawaguchi, ed. Sendai, Japan. Web site. Reappears after WWII. See 1954-1959. (RC)
1933-1942 La Chitarra, rivista di cultura musicale, ed. Benvenuto Terzi (Bologna, monthly). (Information provided by
1942-1943 Mandolin to Guitar Kenkyu-shiryo (= Mandolin & Guitar, Research Articles, in Japanese) / 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.)
1945-1951 Bulletin of the Philharmonic Society of Guitarists. London, Nos. 1-33. Continued by the "Classic Guitar Journal." See 1951- (below).
1946-2009 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
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 .)
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 .)
1950-1961 Constantijn Huygens (named for a Dutch 17th-c. composer). Ed. by Ries de Hilster. Hilversum, NL. Monthly. (some copies in the Jan de Kloe collection)
1950-1965 Der Gitarrefreund. Mitteilungen der Gitarristischen Vereinigung München. München: (Jg.1) 1950-(Jg.16)1965. Intended to take up where the previous run left off, 1900-1931. (Thanks to Andreas Stevens for this citation.)
1951- ? The Classic Guitar Journal. Published by the Philharmonic Society of Guitarists. Also had the title "Journal of the Philharmonic Society of Guitarists." Nos. 34 and onward were published, at least up to No. 37. (Jan de Kloe provided this information based on his holdings.)
1951-1967? Kithara. Ed. by Dick Visser. Laren, North Holland. 6 issues per year. (Some copies are in the JdK collection)
1951-1973 Guitar News, ed. Wilfrid Appleby. Chelttenham, UK (monthly). No. 119 (Jan-Mar 1973) was the final number. Not cataloged in OCLC.
1954-1959 Armonia (in Japanese). (Continues editions of 1927-41.) Isao Takahashi, ed.
1955-? Guitar no tomo (= Guitar Friend, in Japanese) There is a modern journal of the same name that may be a continuation of the original one. (RC)


Guitare et Musique, Revue bimestrielle. Paris, FR (bi-monthly). In 1966 name changed to Guitare, Musique, et Chansons Poésie. Cataloging info from Bayerische Staatsbibl. and  D. Guillemyn, who provides these details: No. 1-10 called Guitare; No. 11-39 Guitare et Musique; No. 40-56, Guitare et Musique plus at the end of the copy, another cover called Chansons upside down. No. 57-66, Guitare & Musique, Chansons, Poésie;N° 1 to 13 New series and new format: Same title (Guitare & Musique, Chansons, Poésie). (N° 66 is also the N°1 of this new series). The magazine was the emanation of the "Académie de Guitare de Paris" and the movement called "Plein Vent". The end occured with the death of Gilbert Imbar who was the "Wilfrid Appleby" of this movement.

1967- Guitar Player. San Francisco, CA, etc.: Miller Freeman Publications, etc. (monthly; highly commercial in scope and content).
1967- Gendai Guitar. Tokyo: Gendai Guitar Co (monthly, in Japanese). See
1967- Gitarr och Luta, in the beginning named SGLS (Svenska gitarr- och lutasällskapet). Published quarterly by the Svenska gitarr- och lutasällskapet. In Swedish. (Thanks to Kenneth Sparr for this citation.)
1970-1983 Zupfmusik, Gitarre. Göppingen, Germany: Deutscher Mandolinen- und Gitarrenspieler-Bund. Former title was Die Zupfmusik; succeeded by Zupfmusik-Magazin (1984-2002).
1970-1984 Gitarre Unabhängiger Informationsdienst für Gitarrespieler, Gitarrelehrer und Liebhaber der Gitarre. München: 1970 (Jg.1, Heft 1) - 1984(Jg.15, Heft 58/59). (Thanks to Andreas Stevens for this citation.)
1972- il 'Fronimo' rivista di chitarra e liuto. Milano, Edizioni Suvini Zerboni (quarterly).
1972-1984 Guitar, the Magazine for All Guitarists. London: Musical News Services (monthly).
?1973-1976? Kithara Informatie-map. Ed. by Dick Visser. Laren, North Holland, monthly? (some copies in the JdK collection)
1973-1979 Creative Guitar International. Edinburg, Tex., Mockingbird Press [edited by Jerry Mock] (3/yr.). A complete digitization of this journal is online at here.
1974- Soundboard. Guitar Foundation of America (quarterly). Soundboard Scholar, the annual peer-reviewed journal of guitar studies, began appearing with issue #1 in 2015.
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).
1979-2006 Gitarre + Laute. Köln, Gitarre + Laute Verlagsgesellschaft (bimonthly).
1979- Gitarre-aktuell. Hamburg: Gitarre-foundation Hamburg. Peter Meier, editor (quarterly).
1980-2003 Guitar World. New York: Harris Publications (monthly).
1982- Classical Guitar. Gateshead, UK: Ashley Mark (monthly). Published initially by Maurice Summerfield. Sold in 2015 to String Letter Publishing (Richmond, CA, USA). It is currently published quarterly.
1982-2002 Les Cahiers de la guitare. Kremlin-Bicêtre, France: Danielle Ribouillault (quarterly). Title changed to Les Cahiers de la guitare et de la musique, 1992-2000, and finally Cahiers de la guitare (2000-2002).
1983-1987 Bulletin de l'Institut européen de la guitare. Marseille: L'Institut (4x/yr., irreg.).
1983-1987? Journal of the Japan Guitar Society. Ken Hamada, President; Jun Sugawara, Editor in Chief.
1983-1988 Nova Giulianiad - offizielles Informationsorgan der Internationalen Gitarristische Vereinigung. Freiburg: Orlando Verlag (quarterly).
1984-2002 Zupfmusik Magazin [Plucked-instrument-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.
1986-1989 Guitar Canada. Toronto: Guitar Society of Toronto (eight issues were published).
1990- Acoustic Guitar. San Anselmo, CA: String Letter Corp. (monthly).
1990-2000 Guitar Journal. Leeds: European Guitar Teachers Assoc. (irreg.), superseded by Guitar Forum. See
1990-2004 Guitar Magazine. London: Northern & Shell (monthly).
1991- Seicorde [six-strings]. Milan: Michelangeli (quarterly + CD)
1995-1998 Staccato - Zeitschrift für akustische Gitarren. Köln, 1995 (Jg.1) - 1998 (Jg.4). (Thanks to Andreas Stevens for this citation.)
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.
1999- Guitare classique, pour tous les niveaux. Frequency: approx. every 3 months. URL: The most direct link to the BNF cataloging record seems to be this: In French. Often includes AV supplements.
2001-2003 Guitar Forum, ed. Jonathan Leathwood for the European Guitar Teachers Assn. Refereed journal. Superseded Guitar Journal. (irreg.). 
Two issues were produced, in 2001 and 2003
2003- GuitART International. Smyrna, GA: Guitart International, (quarterly; it is the English version of the Italian journal GuitART, 
2003- Concertino. Hamburg, Germany: Bund Deutscher Zupfmusiker (quarterly; concerned with guitar, mandolin, and lute, especially in ensembles). See also
2006-2009 Guitar Dream. In Japanese. The website originally announced a plan 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) was the last one shown online. The original "homadream" website has vanished.
2007- Brazilian Guitar Magazine - Revista Eletrônica do Violão Brasileiro,, online, by-product of 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).
2012- История гитары в лицах (=The History of the Guitar as Reflected in its Personalities), mainly in Russian, but at times with parallel texts in their original languages, edited by Victor V. Tavrovsky, Kharkov, Ukraine. Exists only in PDF format. Web site indicates 6 nos. issued in 2012, with more appearing in 2013. Free downloads or online reading.
2015- Soundboard Scholar. Guitar Foundation of America (annual). Peer-reviewed journal of guitar studies, edited by Thomas Heck. Commenced in August 2015. Annual.
2016- EGTA-Journal: Die neue Gitarrezeitschrift. Published online by the European Guitar Teachers Association - Germany, in German, edited by Fabian Hinsche. Commenced in November 2016. Here is the link to the first number.


Visitors are invited to send suggestions for additions and corrections to Thomas F. Heck.

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