World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000548247
Reproduction Date:

Title: Luthier  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Eleven-string alto guitar, Classical guitar making, Classical guitar, Experimental luthier, List of guitars
Collection: Lutherie, Woodworking
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


A luthier ( )[1] is someone who makes or repairs string instruments generally consisting of a neck and a sound box. The word luthier comes from the French word luth, which means lute. The term originally referred to makers of lutes and is now used interchangeably with any term that refers to makers of a specific, or specialty, type of stringed instrument, such as violin maker, guitar maker, lute maker, but excluding makers of instruments such as harps and pianos, where strings are secured to a frame, and which require different skills and methods of construction.

The craft of making string instruments, or lutherie (sometimes spelled luthiery), is commonly divided into two main categories: makers of stringed instruments that are plucked or strummed and makers of stringed instruments that are bowed.[2] Since bowed instruments require a bow, the second category includes a subtype known as a bow maker or archetier. Luthiers may also teach string instrument making, either through apprenticeship or formal classroom instruction.

Workshop of a luthier in Cremona


  • Plucked strings 1
    • Lutes 1.1
    • Guitars 1.2
  • Bowed strings 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Other sources 5

Plucked strings


Important luthiers who specialized in the instruments of the lute family (lutes, archlutes, theorbos, vihuelas etc.):

The varnishing of a violin

and in modern times:


Two important luthiers of the early 19th century connected with the development of the modern classical guitar are

  • Historical Lute Construction by Robert Lundberg, Guild of American Luthiers (2002) ISBN 0-9626447-4-9
  • The Complete Luthier's Library. A Useful International Critical Bibliography for the Maker and the Connoisseur of Stringed and Plucked Instruments. Bologna, Florenus Edizioni 1990. ISBN 88-85250-01-7
  • Guild of American Luthiers
  • Guitar Museum Classical Guitar Museum, (UK)
  • Guild of Argentine Instrument Makers
  • Luthier Interviews archive of Luthier Interviews.
  • The Consortium of Violinmakers "Antonio Stradivari" CREMONA
  • Luthiers Forum A large online lutherie community. Educational.
  • Contemporary violin makers from China and Taiwan

Other sources

  1. ^ Oxford Dictionaries
  2. ^ "Arts, Music, Instruments, Stringed".  
  3. ^ The Guitar (From The Renaissance To The Present Day) by Harvey Turnbull (Third Impression 1978) - Publisher: Batsford. p68 (Ponormo) and p70 (Georg Staufer) - Chapter 4 (The Development Of The Instrument)
  4. ^ Gruhn, George. "Rickenbacker Electro Spanish Guitar". Retrieved 2006-11-04. 
  5. ^ Hill, W. Henry Hill, Arthur F. Hill and Alfred E. (1963). Antonio Stradivari: His Life and Work, 1664–1737 (New Dover ed.). New York: Dover. p. 27.  
  6. ^ Pio, Stefano (2004). Violin and Lute Makers of Venice 1640–1760. venezia, Italy: Venice research. p. 383.  
  7. ^ Bartruff, William. "The History of the Violin". Retrieved 2006-11-03. 


See also

The Jérôme-Thibouville-Lamy firm started making wind instruments around 1730 at La Couture-Boussey, then moved to Mirecourt around 1760 and started making violins, guitars, mandolins, and musical accessories.

The early 19th century luthiers of the Mirecourt school of violin making in France were the Vuillaume family, Charles Jean Baptiste Collin-Mezin, and Collin-Mezin's son, Charles Collin-Mezin, Jr.. Nicola Utili (also known as Nicola da Castel Bolognese) (Ravenna,Italy. March 1888 – May 1962) beside traditional lute works experimented the making of "pear shaped" violins.

Important luthiers from the early 18th century include Nicolò Gagliano of Naples, Italy, Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi of Milan and Giovanni Battista Guadagnini who roamed throughout Italy during his lifetime. From Austria originally, Leopold Widhalm later established himself in Nürnberg, Germany.

Luthiers born in the mid 17th century include Giovanni Grancino, Carlo Giuseppe Testore and his sons Carlo Antonio Testore and Paolo Antonio Testore, all from Milan. From Venice[6] the luthiers Matteo Goffriller, Domenico Montagnana, Sanctus Seraphin and Carlo Annibale Tononi were principals in the Venetian school of violin making (although the latter began his career in Bologna).[7] The Bergonzi family of luthiers were the successors to the Amati family in Cremona. David Tecchler who was born in Austria later worked in both Venice and Rome.

Da Salò made many instruments and exported to France and Spain, and probably to England. He had at least five apprentices: his son Francesco, a helper named Battista, Alexander of Marsiglia, Giacomo Lafranchini and—the most important—Giovanni Paolo Maggini. Maggini inherited da Salò's business in Brescia. Valentino Siani worked with Maggini. In 1620 Maggini moved to Florence.

Gasparo Duiffopruggar of Füssen, Germany, was once incorrectly credited as the inventor of the violin. He was likely an important maker, but no documentation survives, and no instruments survive that experts unequivocally know are his.

Gasparo da Salò of Brescia (Italy) was another important early luthier of the violin family. About 80 of his instruments survive, and around a hundred documents that relate to his work. He was also a double bass player—and son and nephew of two violin players: Francesco and Agosti.

The purported "inventor" of the violin is Andrea Amati. Amati was originally a lute maker but turned to the new instrument form of violin in the mid 16th century. He was the progenitor of the famous Amati family of luthiers active in Cremona, Italy until the 18th century. Andrea Amati had two sons. His eldest was Antonio Amati (c.1537,1540–1607), and the younger, Girolamo Amati (c.1561–1630). Girolamo is better known as Hieronymus, and together with his brother produced many violins with labels inside the instrument reading "A&H." Antonio died having no known offspring, however Hieronymus became a father. His son Nicolò (1596–1684), was himself an important master luthier who had several apprentices of note including Antonio Stradivari[5] (probably), Andrea Guarneri, Bartolomeo Cristofori, Bartolomeo Pasta, Jacob Railich, Giovanni Battista Rogeri, Matthias Klotz and possibly Jacob Stainer.

Bowed instruments include: cello, crwth, double bass, erhu, fiddle, hudok, mouthbow, nyckelharpa, hurdy-gurdy, rabab, rebec, sarangi, viol (viola da gamba), viola, viola da braccio, viola d'amore and violin.

An engraver's impression of Antonio Stradivari examining an instrument.

Bowed strings

The American luthier Adolph Rickenbacher.[4] A company founded by luthier Friedrich Gretsch and continued by his son and grandson, Fred and Fred Jr., originally made banjos, but is more famous today for its electric guitars. Vintage guitars are often sought by collectors.

of Germany developed a form that evolved into the modern steel-string acoustic guitar. Christian Frederick Martin that is still in use today. classical guitar is credited with developing the form of Antonio Torres Jurado [3]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.