Category: historical instruments

historical instruments

The Sound of the American Mandolin

The following video has recently been uploaded to youtube.

2018 North Carolina Heritage Award recipient Tony Williamson is a visionary musician, composer, musical instrument expert, teacher and mentor. He has played stringed instruments, most famously mandolin, for six decades and has been receiving awards and honors for his music for nearly 50 of those years. Never content to rest on his laurels, today Tony continues to perform live and travel internationally and has recordings with fresh new concepts in progress. In this documentary from 1995 Tony goes through the history of the American mandolin and plays quite a few examples of different instruments that demonstrate that history. Check out Tony’s website at

Tony Williamson starts with the earliest American mandolins – American bowlbacks, cylinder back, Lyon and Healy models. He then shows the whole line of Gibson instruments beginning with very early mandolins built by Orville Gibson. He plays many different instruments – mandolins, mandolas and mandocellos, mandolins with and without a Virzi Resonator and tells many interesting stories about construction, details and players.

A great video that you should not miss!

If you want to hear more music played by Tony Williamson – here is my long playlist:

Additional Information

historical instruments

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

On the 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

Guitar Method by Eduard Bayer - Cover historical instruments

Eduard Bayer – A Guitar Method of the 19th…

Recently I have made a scan of a guitar method by Eduard Bayer and added it to my score catalogue at

Eduard Bayer was a guitar virtuoso and composer of the 19th century. He played a special guitar with 10 strings, an early version of the harp-guitar. I have found the following video of a performance of the Souvenir d’Amour by Eduard Bayer played by Brian Torosian on a reproduction of a guitar like the one played by Eduard Bayer:

Brian Torosian performs Bayer’s Souvenir d’amour on 10-string Harp Guitar

Dr. Brian Torosian performs “Souvenir d’amour (Fantasie Brillante), Op. 22” by Eduard Bayer (1822-1908) on an R. E. Brune reproduction of a classic 1850’s Scherzer 10-string harp guitar at the 8th Harp Guitar Gathering November 13, 2010.
I believe this is the first-ever recording of this virtuoso harp guitar piece.
Video copyright 2010 The Harp Guitar Foundation
If you enjoyed this video, please visit and support our non-profit work.

Some notes about the life of Edward Bayer can be found in the famous book  “The Guitar and Mandolin” by Bone (click any image to open gallery):

The guitar method does also contain some notes and reviews (in German) – here is the cover and the notes from my scan of the guitar method – (click any image to open gallery):

Another source for information about Eduard Bayer is the book “Materialien zu einer Geschichte der Guitarre und ihre Meister mit Abbildungen von Eduard Fack. Berlin 1884.” (in German). The PDF is available from the  Website of the luthier Martin Hurrtig. (

Additonal Information

Website Brian Torosian

The guitar method by Eduard Bayer at musicaneo

Link collection about  Eduard Bayer

Free Sheet Music by Eduard Bayer in the Danish Royal Library:

Bayer, Eduard Sechs Ländler: für zwei Guitarren, Op. 37.

Bayer, Eduard Souvenir d’amour: fantaisie brillante pour la guitarre seule à 10 ou 6 cordes, Op. 22 / par Ed. Bayer

Bayer, Eduard Souvenir d’Ems: 6 Laendler pour deux guitarres, Op. 23. / par Ed. Bayer

Bayer, Eduard Le repertoire du guitarriste / composés par Ed. Bayer: morceaux modernes et non difficiles ; cah. 1

Bayer, Eduard Sechs Ländler: für zwei Guitarren, Op. 37


The Baroque Guitar – Rob MacKillop shows his Strumming…

Recently I have listened to many video clips from a great playlist that I have found – a playlist about the baroque guitar, the lute and other baroque instruments.

One of the many great videos that I have listened to was a clip by Rob MacKillop who first plays a tarantella piece and afterwards explains some of the strumming techniques that he uses. This music sounds very modern, especially with the strumming.

Obviously the popular music of this time has found its way to the compositions and arrangements by musicians like Gaspar Sanz who has set one of the greatest hits of that time – Canarios – for the baroque guitar.

Strumming Tips for Baroque Guitar

Somebody asked me how I strum, so here is a rough performance of the Terantela from the Coimbra MS and an explanation of what I’m doing. The original has only one line of chords: C G C G F E Am but I introduce it with the chords which underlie the punteado part: Am G C G Am E Am. Only the first punteado part is original, to which I added four other diferencias – basic stuff.

This is not the dainty repicco found in some publications, so whether it is ‘authentic’ or not, well, who can say?

This is the link to the complete playlist by youtube user lorod with more than 80 instersting video clips with many interesting pieces for the baroque instruments. Just listen to the music and let you be surprised!

Playlist Baroque Guitar and Lute

Baroque guitar and lute von user  lorod

Additional Information

youtube chanel of Rob McKillop: