Williams, Bernabe

Says here that guitarist John Williams bought a Bernabe guitar this summer.

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    The Guitar in America: Victorian Era to Jazz Age
    By Jeffrey J. Noonan
    University Press of Mississippi
    ISBN 978-1-934110-18-8, hardback, $50.00

    Book News for Immediate Release

    Victorians elevated guitar to center stage and propriety but lost its élan to jazz

    Jeffrey J. Noonan’s The Guitar in America: Victorian Era to Jazz Age (University Press of Mississippi) offers a history of the instrument from America’s late Victorian period to the Jazz Age. Covering a portion of musical history is largely neglected by scholars, Noonan traces the guitar’s transformation from a refined parlor instrument to a mainstay in jazz and popular music.

    The opening chapter traces the guitar’s use in this country from the Colonial era up to the 1880s. The narrative then follows the movement of America’s BMG (banjo, mandolin, and guitar) community, a late 19th century musical and commercial society that was dedicated to introducing these instruments into America’s elite musical establishments.

    Noonan based his work on close readings of surviving BMG magazines; the text details an almost unknown history of the American guitar from the 1880s to the 1930s—the heyday of the BMG movement. In the process, the author not only introduces the individuals (including numerous women guitarists) who led the movement and the music published in the magazines, but also examines new techniques and new musical instruments. Reproduced here are photographs and illustrations from the BMG magazines. These primary sources document the wonderfully bizarre instruments the mando-cello, the banjeurine, and the majestic harp-guitar that somehow never realized the popularity of the guitar.

    This volume opens a new chapter on the guitar in America. Noonan considers the guitar’s sophisticated past and documents the way banjoists and mandolinists tied their instruments to the guitar in an effort to raise their social and cultural standing. The Guitar in America also considers the BMG movement in America’s larger musical culture, examining the movement as a manifestation of the uneasy coupling of art and commerce in America’s musical life.

    JEFFREY J. NOONAN, associate professor of music at Southeast Missouri State University, has performed professionally on classical guitar, Renaissance lute, Baroque guitar, and theorbo for over twenty-five years. His articles have appeared in Soundboard and Nylon Review.

    For more information contact Clint Kimberling, Publicist, ckimberling@mississippi.edu
    Read more about The Guitar in America: Victorian Era to Jazz Age at: http://www.upress.state.ms.us/books/1067

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