‘Soundboard Scholar’ Dives Deep Into Guitars

Here at CG we’re big fans of Soundboard, the Guitar Foundation of America’s quarterly mag about the classical guitar world, edited by Robert Ferguson. Well, we wanted to give a special nod to an offshoot of Soundboard that was introduced last fall and which you might not have heard about: Soundboard Scholar, subtitled ‘A Peer-Reviewed Journal of Guitar Studies,’ is an unapologetically academic publication which, according to the editor of the inaugural 2015 issue, Thomas Heck, is designed to “encourage, recognize, and publish research of the highest caliber related to the guitar.”

Here is a list of what you’ll find in that first issue: “The Guitar as an ‘Open-Air’ instrument in the Romantic Era,” by Panagiotis Poulopoulos, which deals with a number of forerunners of the so-called “modern” guitar from the late 18th and early 19th centuries; “Fernando Sor on the Move in the Early 1820s,” By Erik Stenstadvold, which zeroes in on the great composer/guitarist’s work during 1822–23; contemporary guitarist John Schneider’s tremendously detailed and copiously illustrated piece called “The Microtonal Guitars of Harry Partch,” about the utterly idiosyncratic American composer and builder of unique guitars (the latest issue of Classical Guitar, Summer 2016, features a fascinating piece about John Schneider and his interest in microtonal guitars) ; Ricardo Aleixo’s in-depth examination of “An Uncatalogued Piece by Fernando Sor?”; a facsimile of Emil Heerbrugger’s “Grand Grecian Military March,” originally published in the 1830s; and an update from editor Heck on “Guitar Research Resources.”


So if you’re interested in the latest scholarship on the guitar, want to go way deep into a few choice subjects, and are not intimidated by footnotes, you owe it to yourself to check out Soundboard Scholar. It’s an important new publication for our field. You can order a copy from the Guitar Foundation. This first issue also tells how to submit articles for future issues.

Here’s a bonus video treat: George Sakellariou playing “Three Sor Studies” on a 1970 Miguel Rodriguez guitar at Guitar Salon International’s Santa Monica, California, headquarters.