Tag: museum

historical instruments

Mandolins, Pandurinas, Mandolones and Colachons – Catalog of the…

On the archive.org website I have found two books showing the musical instruments collection of a museum in Cöln (Cologne).

The second volume of the catalog describes the plucked instruments. For this article I have selected the mandolin family and extracted the pictures. The quality of those pictures  is not the best, but they are very interesting anyway.

Musikhistorisches Museum von Wilhelm Heyer in Cöln : Kleiner Katalog der Sammlung alter Musikinstumente, verfast von Georg Kinsky

Pictures of mandolins, pandurinas, mandolones and colachons

Klick on any image to open the gallery – from there you can download the pictures in a higher resolution.


Additional Information:

Doppelmandoline in the Museum für Musikinstrumente der Universität Leipzig

Mailänder Mandoline

A gallery of guitars from this book is available in my other blog gitarrenbank.de:


Smithsonian Folkways – Folklife Festival – Bluegrass and more

Recently I have been listening to some resources from the Smithsonian websites, especially the radio programs.

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities.

A set of radio programs with many interesting recordings is available at:


This includes a Bluegrass radio witha set of recordings of some of the important bands:

The Folkways collection contains some of the most influential early American bluegrass recordings and features such giants as Red Allen and Frank Wakefield, Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, the Stanley Brothers, and The Country Gentlemen. Listen here to these influential artists and experience this dynamic American roots tradition.

In the Smithsonian Folkways youtube channel you can also find some bluegrass recordings like this:

If you are a teacher you can also make use of the freelesson plans and other resources for teaching, like the following

Bluegrass Music: A Toe-Tapping Exploration of an American Art Form
Grades: 3-5
Students will be introduced to American Bluegrass music and Appalachian songs through singing, listening and conversation. A number of songs will be compared leading to a conversation the characteristics of Traditional American music.

I did also listen to the Festival Radio that  is available on the Smithsonian Festival site: http://www.festival.si.edu/ which also includes some great bluegrass performances from the Smithsonian Folklife Festivals.

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival was first held Juli 1 – 4, 1967 and has been a big success. Since then the festival took place every year. It is a festival of all folk arts including music and dance, craftsmen like carvers, blacksmiths, potters or quilters, and folk artists of all kinds.

You can find scans of the interesting programs of the festivals since 1967 on the archive.org website:


This is an excerpt from the program of the first festival:

July 1-4, 1967 

America's grass roots culture provides abundant material 
for the four-day Festival of American Folklife presented by 
the Smithsonian Institution on the National Mall over the 
July 4th weekend. More than doubling previous peak attendance 
at the Smithsonian for this holiday weekend, the first program 
in July, 1967 attracted 431,000 spectators, according to 
National Park Service figures. The exceptional public response 
to this first event has lead the Smithsonian to establish the 
Festival as an annual Independence Day tribute to our folk 

Fifty-eight traditional craftsmen and thirty-two 
musical and dance groups from throughout the United States 
demonstrated and performed at the first open-air event. 
Mountain banjo-pickers and ballad singers, Chinese lion 
fighters, Indian sand painters, basket and rug weavers, New 
Orleans jazz bands and a Bohemian hammer-dulcimer band from 
east Texas combined with the host of participants from many 
rural and urban areas of our country to weave the colorful fabric 
of American traditional culture.

This is the playlist of the most popular youtube videos of the Smithsonian Folkways youtube channel:

Most Viewed Smithsonian Folkways Videos

Additional Information

Smithsonian main website: http://www.si.edu/

Smithsonian Folkways Website: http://folkways.si.edu/

Website Smithsonian Festival: http://www.festival.si.edu/


The Sabionari Guitar and the Tuscan Violin – Two…

The instruments built by Antionio Stradivari are world famous. Most of those instruments are found today in museums or collections, others are played by some of the best musicians today.

Today I would like to present two of Stradivaris instruments – the Sabionari guitar and the Tuscan violin.

The Sabionari Guitar

The guitar name Sabionari guitar has been restored in 2011 and is now in a playable condition. It has been brought back to Cremona where is has been built centuries ago. The Stradivari Foundation will show this instrument and organize concerts where the guitar can be heard.

The Sabionari Guitar will be entrusted to the Stradivari Foundation in Cremona. The Foundation through the network Friends of Stradivari will let the world know this precious guitar and its sound. Friends of Stradivari will organize expositions and auditions in the Stradivari Museum in Cremona and in Europe.

On the website http://www.sabionari.com you can find interesting information about the instrument and its history, including a beautiful album with pictures of the restored guitar:


The Tuscan Stradivari Violin

In the Internet Archiv I have found a scan of a littel booklet about the Tuscan Strad which has been published in 1889 in London:


In the booklet you can find information about the history of this violin which has been built by Stradivari in 1690.

It does also contain the following three beautiful paintings of the Tuscan Strad:




Today this instrument is in the posession of the Museo di Strumenti Musicali dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome:


In the collection of this museum you can also find 12 beautiful mandolns – just use the search function and search for “mandolino”. For each of the instruments you will find pictures which can be zoomed in to show the details of the instruments.

see also: http://mandoisland.tumblr.com/post/26487683978/some-great-historical-violins-by-stradivari-amati

aaa to be reviewed

“Guitar Heroes,” an exceptionally interesting exhibition at the Metropolitan…

It’s the Craftsman, Not the Singer or the Song


Guitars built by John D’Angelico, James D’Aquisto and John Monteleone are shown in an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Read about this exhibition in the New York Times:

“Guitar Heroes,” an exceptionally interesting exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has nothing to do with the video game that enables nonmusicians to imagine themselves playing like rock stars. The heroes here are three craftsmen known for producing some of the most sought-after jazz guitars of the last seven decades: John D’Angelico (1905-1964), James D’Aquisto (1935-95) and John Monteleone (born 1947).

Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York

Part one of the exhibition shows the developement of lutherie in Italy with many historical instuments including a guitar by Antonius Stradivari, mandolins by Vinaccia, Presbler and Manello, lutes by Tieffenbrucker and violins by Amati and Stradivari. The second part of the exhibition shows mandolns and guitars by the three luthiers John D’Angelico (1905-1964), James D’Aquisto (1935-95) and John Monteleone (born 1947).

There is also a very interesting special homepage about the exhibition with great pictures, videos, interviews and additional informations – do not miss!


1945 D’Angelico Excel Non Cutaway – Norman’s Rare Guitars

Three Videos with John Monteleone – Playlist:

Thread in the Mandolin Cafe with more pictures taken by Jim Garber at the exhibition: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?70016-Guitar-Heroes-Show-at-the-Metropolitan-Museum