Papers presented at the colloquium in Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, 12-15 September 2022:

Romaric Martin (by Zoom): La récréation des muses, a guitar periodical in Paris 1799-1803.

Damián Martín-Gil: Collections of Music for Voice and Guitar Published in Paris during the

Second Half of the Eighteenth Century: What Can We Learn from their Analysis?

Sarah Clarke: Pelzer and The Giulianiad

Jelma van Amersfoort: Aspects of the cistre

Samantha Muir: Exploring the 4-course repertoire

Gerhard Penn: Reflections on Mauro Giuliani’s Guitar Concertos

Erik Stenstadvold: Reflections on the biography of Matteo Carcassi

Nicoletta Confalone: Luigi Legnani

Christopher Page: The Banker’s Daughter 

Note: For reasons beyond their control, James Westbrook and Richard Savino were unable to deliver the papers they had proposed. 

Papers presented at the virtual colloquium  Saturday 25 September 2021:

Nicoletta Confalone: ‘A comparison between the Rossiniane by Mauro Giuliani and the Belliniane by Emilia Giuliani’

Sarah Clarke: ‘Giulio Regondi and Catharina Pratten: Child Prodigies, Concertina Players, and Guitarists’.

Damián Martín Gil: ‘B.D.C., The Mysterious Author of a Method for Guitar (Paris, 1773)’

Taro Takeuchi: ‘Editing the four-course guitar music in the Osborn Ms’.

Luis Briso de Montiano: ‘Dionisio Aguado – Last will and testament’

Kenneth Sparr: ‘Daniel Fryklund’s Writings and Collections Concerning Plucked Instruments’

Gerhard Penn: ‘Guitar Compositions by Leonard Schulz in the Repertoire of Giulio Regondi’

Jelma van Amersfoort: ‘The Great Transformation of the Guitar Concert’

Oleg Timofeyev: “Horseshoeing the Flea’:  Andrey Sychra’s Transcriptions of Works by Sor, Molino, and Lhoyer’

Papers presented at the virtual colloquium  Sunday 17 January 2021:

Damián Martín: ‘The True Identity of Don ***. A Mystery Solved’

Sarah Clarke: ‘Ferdinand Pelzer’s Periodicals in the Appleby Collection’

Jukka Savijoki: ‘Chamber music for guitar of the first decades of the 19th century’

Samantha Muir: ‘Mrs Oakley: a snapshot of a 19th century machete player’

Nicoletta Confalone: ‘Emilia Giuliani’.

Papers presented by the Cohort for guitar research in 2019

A meeting of the cohort for Guitar Research was held In the Board Room, first floor, the Faculty of English, 9 West Road, Cambridge, on 13-15 April, 2019. The papers delivered were:

Erik Stenstadvold: ‘The new Sor edition’

Reggie Lawrence: ‘Envisioning Editions for the Guitarists of Tomorrow’

Gerhard Penn, Harald Stampa: ‘Leonard Schulz (1813 – 1860) – New Concert Pieces Discovered’

Taro Takeuchi, ‘A 5-course guitar by Jean Henri Naderman (Paris, 1772)’

Sarah Clarke: ‘Augusta Hervey – Lady of the Ladies’ Guitar and Mandoline Band’.

Augusta Hervey (1846-1927) and her first cousin Lady Mary Hervey (1845-1928) started their ‘Ladies’ Guitar and Mandoline Band’ of aristocratic women in 1885 in London which performed at charity functions until the close of the century. This presentation considered Augusta’s life and career as a pianist, guitarist and writer.

Jelma van Amersfoort, Jan van Cappelle: ‘A 1760 five-course guitar, made in Amsterdam, by Gosewijn Spijker’

A five course guitar, made in 1760 in Amsterdam by Gosewijn Spijker (c.1706-1781) was found in the collection of Dutch castle Duivenvoorde a few years ago. It is probably the oldest surviving guitar made in the Netherlands. Jan en Jelma have been working together to research the instrument’s provenance and the turbulent life of its maker. Together they have performed a detailed analysis of the instrument, which has led to the construction of a playable and historically accurate replica.

Luiz Mantovani: ‘Ferdinand Rebay and the Reinventing of Guitar Chamber Music’

Ferdinand Rebay (1880-1953) was a pioneer among the non-guitarist composers who started to write for the instrument in the 1920s. However, in spite of having composed more than 150 guitar works, he is today undeservedly obscure. This paper examines his more than 30 sonatas or sonata-structured works, most of which is made of chamber music for combinations that range from duos to a septet. The goal is to situate Rebay’s chamber sonatas within the guitar repertoire, understanding it as a unique Viennese chamber-music branch of the so-called “twentieth-century guitar renaissance”.

Nicoletta Confalone: ‘Emilia Giuliani, an artist poised between paternal emulation and real originality’

Emilia Giuliani, born into art, is a typical guitarist-composer in the first half of the nineteenth century: first she was a child prodigy, then an extraordinary and highly admired virtuoso, according to the journalistic chronicles, and at the same time an author of music for her instrument.

In her compositions her father Mauro’s teaching is evident, which sometimes becomes a true quotation, but more often it appears as an original and excellent instrumental sensitivity, which makes her capable of finding new writing solutions, perfectly aware of the guitar’s character. Moreover, Emilia was a woman, and in the first half of the nineteenth century, a woman who is capable of being a professional musician is almost a chimera, with only one exception; singers. Finally, Emilia, in spite of herself, had a life fit for a novel, short and difficult, and perhaps the dimension of the novel is the one that can do justice to her, making her an emblematic example of the difficulties being a woman and a guitarist in that era.

Samantha Muir: ‘Evoking and Revoking the Rustic Idyll: The Machete of Madeira in the 19th Century’

Nineteenth century travel literature on Madeira by British and American writers gives a rare and colourful insight into the machete – a small, four string guitar ‘particular to the island’. In spite of social and economic hardship Madeira was repeatedly portrayed as a ‘Paradise in the Atlantic’ inhabited by happy, machete playing peasants. My paper looks at how evoking the rustic idyll was used to enhance the appeal of Madeira in literature largely aimed at invalid tourists. This, however, was a limited view of the machete.

As evidenced by for example the music of Candido Drumond de Vasconcelos (1846) the machete was also used as a classical instrument. The extent to which it was played and known remains a topic for study, but from letters by the Phelps family of Madeira it is known that in Madeira he taught the young Clara Phelps, who went on to perform as an amateur machete player in England.

Christopher Page: ‘Chabran’s Compleat Instructions of 1795’

Bernard Lewis, ‘Luigi Sagrini: a Forgotten Hero of the Classical Guitar’

Cla Mathieu ‘Miguel Llobet and the performance practice of the early 20th century’

The Catalan guitarist Miguel Llobet (1878-1938) was arguably the leading classical guitarist in the first decades of the twentieth century. This paper discusses Llobet’s involvement in the early-music scene in pre-WWI Paris and questions of performance style in one of his recordings of music by Bach. Ideas from Albert Schweitzer’s influential book J.S. Bach: le musician-poète (1905) provide a theoretical background for the empirical analysis.

Damián Martín, ‘D. Joly. Guitarist or Violinist?’

In 1819 an obscure guitarist named D. Joly published in Lille (France) a method that included several astonishing approaches of guitar technique mainly for the right hand, such as a new system to play the scales, a system to prepare the thumb when not playing, and even examples of the use of the little finger of this hand playing notes. The research shows altogether new information and theories about the life of this guitarist connecting him with musicians and events of this period.


Papers presented in 2018

Luis Briso de Montiano, ‘Some Spanish (?) guitar techniques as seen by some French (?) guitarists’

Taro Takeuchi, ‘An interesting Georgian lute by Michael Rauche, 1767’

Richard Savino, ‘A collection of realized 17th century continuo parts for baroque guitar, recently discovered in Spain’

James Westbrook, ‘Beyond Six Strings: nineteenth-century attempts to increase the compass of the guitar’

Gerhard Penn, ‘A walking tour with Mauro Giuliani in Vienna – locations, persons, events’

Erik Stenstadvold, ‘The early editions of Sor’s music: problems of authenticity’

Kenneth Sparr (Special Guest) ‘Barthélemy Trille Labarre ‘professeur de guitar et compositeur – Élève d’Haydn”

Jelma van Amersfoort, ‘Teaching and Learning the Guitar in the Netherlands (1750-1810)’

Sarah Clarke (Andrew Britton Fellow): ‘Who taught the Guitar in Nineteenth-Century England?’

Christopher Page, ‘The Peninsular War of 1807-1814 and the vogue for the guitar in Regency England’

Thomas Heck, ‘Collective Thinking at the Service of Guitar Iconography: How Does ARTSTOR help?’


Participants of the 2018 colloquium. Standing from left to right: Luis Briso de Montiano, Taro Takeuchi, Gerhard Penn, Erik Stenstadvold, Jelma van Amersfoort, Margaret Whitehouse, Kenneth Sparr, Christopher Page, James Westbrook, Paul Sparks, Richard Savino. Seated: Thomas Heck, Brian Whitehouse, Sarah Clarke.


After the concert: Richard Savino, baroque guitar, Jelma van Amersfoort, six-course guitar, Taro Takeuchi, Georgian lute, Paul Sparks, mandolin.

Papers presented in 2017

Erik Stenstadvold ‘Some detective work in guitar scholarship’

Sarah Clarke ‘Guitar Players in an English Victorian Country House’

Taro Takeuchi ‘The Regency lute and its music’

Reggie Lawrence ‘The Almost-Invisible Elephants of the Guitar’

Gerhard Penn ‘Matteo Bevilacqua (1768-1821): Composer, Guitarist and Poet’

Samantha Muir ‘Machete de Braga of Madeira and the music of Cândido Drumond de Vasconcelos’

Jelma van Amersfoort ‘The Secret Life of Scores’

Paul Sparks ‘Clara Ross and the Forgotten Women Guitarists and Mandolinists of late 19c Britain’

Martín Damián Gil ‘Discussion entre les Carulistes et les Molinistes’

Miles Henderson Smith ‘The role of tacit knowledge in the process of voicing the classical guitar soundboard’

Jan van Cappelle ‘Antonio Stradivari guitar-maker’.

Nicoletta Confalone ‘In search of the lost guitar: Limits and actuality of the Schubertian Lieder’s Nineteenth-century transcriptions’


Discussion in the Old Library. Photo by Nicoletta Confalone


Guitar inspection. Photo by Nicoletta Confalone


Regency instruments. Photo by Nicoletta Confalone


Nicoletta Confalone, Gerhard Penn, Sarah Clarke. Photo by Jelma van Amersfoort.

Papers presented in 2016

Gerhard Penn, (a) ‘Vienna’s First Guitarists and Guitar Teachers, 1790 – 1807’ (b) ‘Mauro Giuliani’s Reception in Europe, 1820 – 1840’

James Westbrook, ‘Music Publisher Robert Cocks’ Involvement in the Guitar’

Jelma van Amersfoort, ‘Guitar and cittern making in the Netherlands in the 18th century’

Paul Sparks, ‘The mandolin in 18c Britain’

Erik Stenstadvold, ‘An unknown pupil of Sor: the life and career of Mariano de Castro’

Brian Jeffery, ‘The Spanish military guitar in the Peninsular War’

Luis Briso de Montiano y Ruiz de la Sierra, ‘New documents for the life of Dionisio Aguado’

Thomas Heck, ‘Historiography of the Guitar: Texts and Contexts’

Richard Savino, ‘The Sutro guitar manuscripts’

Vinciane Trancart (Andrew Britton Fellow), ‘The Guitar and Banal Nationalism during the Restoration in Spain’

Panagiotis Pouloupolos, ‘The Harp, Lyre, Lute, Cittern, and Guitar around 1800’

Christopher Page, ‘The guitar and the sofa’

Papers presented in 2014

Jelma van Amersfoort, ‘The English guittar in Holland’


Photo by Panagiotis Poulopoulos

Paul Sparks, ‘When did the mandolin and guitar first become a ‘natural’ pairing?’

 James Westbrook, ‘The kinds of Guitar Sor may have played and envisaged when he composed’

Erik Stenstadvold, (a) ‘Ornamentation in Sor’s music: notation, interpretation, improvisation’

(b) ‘Why did Sor leave London?’

Brian Jeffery, ‘The metronome markings in Sor’s article ‘Le Boléro’ and related matters’

Ken Hartdegen, ‘Sor’s fingering with special emphasis on his use of the right hand’

Ulrich Wedemeier, ‘Thoughts on Madame Pratten’

Christopher Page, ‘The Light Guitar: six strings on the move’

Andrew Britton, ‘Beyond Button’

Panos Poulopoulos, ‘Francesco Molino’s Pioneering Guitar Design’

Papers presented in 2013

Erik Stenstadvold, ‘The struggle for recognition – the guitar and the prejudices of the musical establishment’


Photo by Panagiotis Poulopoulos

James Westbrook, ‘Louis Panormo: ‘The only Maker of Guitars in the Spanish style’

Jelma van Amersfoort, ‘The notes were not sweet till you sung them: 19th century French vocal romances with guitar accompaniment’

Andrew Britton, ‘The Guitar and the Bristol School of Artists’

Paul Sparks, ‘Ladies’ Guitar and Mandolin Bands in Victorian England’

Panos Poulopoulos, ‘The origins of the viol-shaped guitar DM69731 in the Deutsches Museum’

Thomas F. Heck, ‘Guitarists al Balcone: The 17th-c. Musical Frescoes of Genoa’s Spinola Family Palaces’

Richard Savino, ‘Some recently discovered Spanish guitar manuscripts (c. 1790 – 1830) in California’

Christopher Page, ‘The guitar and the poor in late-Georgian England’

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