Historic Makers of the Granada School

Historic Makers of the Granada School

Alfonso Checa (Baza, active 1935-1978)  

Born in 1914, Alfonso Checa Plaza was a guitar maker from Baza, a town in the province of Granada, who opened his workshop in 1935.  During his life he was a renowned maker, and had won a first prize medal for his guitars at the International Exposition in Madrid in 1953 as well as first prize later in an exposition in Ronda. He trained his sons Jose and Vicente Checa, Vicente Perez Checa, Antonio Ruiz, and Pedro Martínez Peñalver. Pedro Martinez Peñalver started with him as an apprentice in 1962, and took over his workshop after his death in 1977. As Baza is a small provincial town, Checa made guitars for other makers, notably for Gerundino Fernandez, Jose Ramirez, Luis Aróstegui, and Benito Ferrer.

Augustine Caro Riaño (Granada, active c. 1800s-1820s)

Augustine Caro Riaño was active in Granada in the first quarter of the 19th century. He was a watchmaker by profession, but built guitars in his spare time.

Photo courtesy of Spanish Guitar Shop.

Manuel de la Chica (Granada, b. 1911- 1998)

1969 Manuel De La Chica

Manuel de la Chica was a Granada maker who was born in 1911. Like many guitar makers, Manuel de la Chica began as a cabinet maker. He did this work until the late 1930s, when he decided to build guitars. Already familiar with tools, woods, and having studied a little about acoustics, without any apprenticeship, he began to copy the guitars of Santos Hernandez.  In time, however, he began to evolve his own designs. He felt that if you understand how sound travels, then you can improve a guitar's volume and tone. His technique wasto study how sound waves travel through the guitar. He claimed that the secret to making a great guitar was to take maximum of the vibrations that begin at the bridge and stop at the height of the sound hole. Although he achieved fame as a guitar maker, as a luthier Manuel built not only classical and flamenco guitars, butbandurrias, laúdes, bandurrins, laudins, laudons and guitar basses. Among his disciples are Antonio Lopez of Paris,  Francisco Manuel Diaz of Granada, and Pedro Maldonado of Malaga. Manuel de la Chica retired in 1973 due to poor health. He died in 1998. His instruments were played by Andrés Segovia, Celedonio Romero, Luis Sanchez, Manuel Cano and Sebastian Maroto.

José Contreras(Granada active. c. 1730-1779)

José Contreras, nicknamed "El Granadino," was born in Granada near the beginning of the eighteenth century. He appears to have done his apprenticeship in Italy building violins in the style of Guarneri. He also made guitars. Sometime around 1740 he moved to Madrid where he continued to work until his death in 1779.  

Antonio Duran (Granada b. 1940 -  d. 2007).

Antonio Duran was born in Granada in 1940. He began working when he was ten, first in an insurance office, then in a pasta factory,  later as a wood worker. So it was that he started working in the Casa of Eduardo Ferrer, first as a maker of castanets, then as an apprentice learning the art ofguitar making. He eventually married one's of Eduardo Ferrer's daughters. In 1957, he suffered an unfortunate accident while working which cost him his right arm. In 1958, he opened his own workshop. For his classical guitars, he uses Ferrer's system. His flamenco guitars, however, are built with a very different system. He builds more classical than flamenco guitars, primarily because there is greater demand for the former. A number of guitar makers have worked under him, including Juan Lopez Aguilarte, Antonio Velazques Reinosa, and Rafael Moreno Aguilar. The latter two continued their apprenticeships under Eduardo Ferrer. Agustin Carmona and his son also work in Antonio Duran's shop. His son, Eduardo Duran Ferrer, has followed in his footsteps as a builder.

Benito Ferrer(Granada, b. 1845-d. 1925)

Benito Ferrer was born in 1845 in Orihuela, Alicante. Benito's father was from Granada, and was an road engineer who had spent some time in that province.  Benito's father died when he was very young, and the family returned to Granada. He was in the third year of medical school, and engaged to be married, when the family fell on hard times. His mother died in a cholera epidemic that swept through Granada, and he was left not only as the sole provider for his younger siblings, but without any visible means of support, and without a profession. Things looked very bleak. He was forced to quit school, break off his engagement, and find work.  He found work with a notary--but his wages were hardly sufficient to support himself, let alone his eight siblings. To earn extra cash, he played bandurria-- which was his great love; and,  from time to time, he helped D. José Ortega build instruments. Without money to spend on a better bandurria, he decided to build a one for himself to play.  It turned out so wellthathe was soon flooded with orders, and so began his profession. Benito opened his workshop in 1875.  Inhis workshop a host of luthiers learned their art as his apprentices-- Nicolas Ortega, José Castaño, as well as his nephew Eduardo Ferrer. Although Benito Ferrer is perhaps best remember for giving Andrés Segovia a classical guitar at the difficult beginning of his career, seeing that the poor young lad hadn't the money to buy it, and was spending his days practicing on instruments lent to him by friends; however, he is remembered by the family as a man of good humor, a prankster at times, but a saint who never married, and sacrificed his own happiness to raise his siblings. And, even after they married, he continued to help them, buying clothes, shoes, etc. for his nephews. He died in 1925. Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero

Eduardo Ferrer Castillo (Granada, b. 1905- d. 198?)

Eduardo Ferrer was born in 1905. When he was about ten or twelve years old he entered his uncle Benito Ferrer's shop as an apprentice, he also attended seminar school for a time, thinking he might like to become a priest, but changed his mind. When his uncle died in 1925, Eduardo took over his shop. His life was one long adventure: from the time as an apprentice when he earned nothing, to the during the war when he sold a guitar for twenty pesetas-- which seemed to be a fortune. As a luthier, his work followed closely that of his uncle. Although he tried various experiments, he kept returning to the tried and true traditional methods of Benito Ferrer and Antonio de Torres. It was his opinion that they had explored all there was to explore, and there was nothing new to invent. His importance as a luthier, however, also was as a teacher. Almost all of the guitar makers currently working in Granada either apprenticed with him or learned their art from those who did. His apprentices include José Castaño and Milan continue their studies with him after his uncle's death; Juan López who died during the war, Miguel Robles, Manuel Fernández, Francisco Manuel Díaz, Manuel López, Antonio Marín, his own son José Ferrer, and many more. He also helped train classical guitar makers in Japan, he spent 3 months each year between 1966-1968 in Japan showing Yamaha workers how to build guitars.

José  Ferrer (Granada, b. 1926-d. 1976)

José Ferrer, the son of Eduardo Ferrer, was born in Granada in 1926. From the time he was a child, he was surrounded by guitar making-- and cut his teeth in his father's workshop. During the war and post war, he was forced to work at other things-- business was bad. Few Spaniards had money, and a guitar was the last thing that would have occurred to them to spend what little they had. This being the case, José decided to move to Barcelona and make professional castanets. He stayed in Barcelona for seven years. And, while there he became acquainted with Enrique Sanfeliu, a disciple of the great luthier, Enrique Garcia who convinced José that he should return to guitar making. After leaving Barcelona, José moved to Palma de Mallorca, staying there ten years. In 1974, he returned to Granada, and set up shop. Unfortunately, only two years later, he died, July 1, 1976.

Antonio Llorente (Granada, active c. 1830s)

Antonio Llorente was a luthier in Granada in the early 19th century. He had his shop on calle de Solarillo de Santo Domingo, 7. He trained his son, Enrique Llorente, who took over his shop after his death.

Enrique Llorente (Granada, active 1860s-1900s).

Enrique Llorente, the son of Antonio Llorente, was a Granada maker, active during the latter have of the nineteenth century. His workshop was located on the calle de Solarillo de Santo Domingo, 7.

S. Malgareyo (Granada, active c. 1915).

S. Malgareyo was a guitar maker active in Granada circa 1915. 

Bernandino Milan Suárez (Granada active c. 1890s-1940s)

Bernandino Milan Suárez was a guitar maker who worked for the Casa Ferrer in Granada. He also built some guitars under his own name between 1899-1909 when he had a shop on calle Elvira. He seems then to have gone to work for Don Benito Ferrer,  as a master craftsman in his shop, and when Don Benito died in 1925, he continued working in the Casa Ferrer under Eduardo for many years. Late in life in he again established his own workshop, but died only two or three years afterwards without family.

Photo Bernandino Milan  Suárez guitar courtesy of Spanish Guitar Shop.

 

 

 

Manuel Martinez de Milan (b. Canales, 1923-d. Granada 1957)

Manuel Martinez de Milan was born in 1923 in Canales. As a child in Canales, he worked as a shepherd. When he came to Granada, he apprenticed in the Casa Ramos as a cabinet maker. He then went to work in Tijola-- and it was there he began to build musical instruments. From Tijola he went to Madrid, and there worked in a furniture factory until, with his compadre Miguel Robles, they established a workshop in El Rastro.  Around 1957, he suddenly abandoned his family, and went to France, and there in his forty's he died.  After his death, Francisco Fernández who appears to have studied with him took over his shop.

José Ortega (Granada, active 1860s-1900s)

José Ortega was a Granada guitar maker active during the latter half of the 19th century. His workshop was located on Mesones, 4. He seems to have been Benito Ferrer's teacher. 

Nicolas Ortega Ruiz (Granada, b. 1861 d. ??)

Nicolas Ortega Ruiz, the son of José Ortega, was born in Granada in 1861. He worked with his father and brother, and later with Benito Ferrer.

José Pernas (Granada, active c. 1830s-1870s)

José Pernas was a Granada maker, and reputedly trained Antonio de Torres. Some doubt, however, exist as no documentation exists showing Torres was in Granada during the time he was supposedly studying with José Pernas.

Miguel Robles (Granada, b. 1902- d. 1970).

Miguel Robles was born in Granada in 1902.  When he was 14 or 15, he began wood work in the shop of Abelardo Linares. Already familiar with wood, when he was about 18 or 20 years old, he apprenticed with Benito Ferrer. In 1932, he went to Madrid and found work in the shop of José Ramirez II, and for 6 or 7 years worked there until they had a falling out. He worked for Santos Hernandez for a time as well. He then returned to Granada and established his own shop on calle de la Colcha. After the war, José Ramirez, realizing that Miguel Robles departure had been costly, went to Granada to beg him to return. A few years later, Miguel again returned to Granada, only to return to Madrid in mid-1950s to establish a shop with his compadre, Manuel Martinez de Milan, in the Rastro. After several years, Miguel again returned to Granada to establish a shop on the calle Elvira where he died in 1970. He built more flamenco than classical guitars. His instruments were played by Manuel Cano, Manuel Martin Liñan, and the Mexican trio Los Panchos. During his life he trained Manuel Martinez de Milan, Francisco Guardia, and Pedro Maldonado.

Nicolás and Antonio del Valle (Granada, active 1840-1860s)

Nicolás and Antonio del Valle, brothers, were guitar makers in Granada duringthe middle of the nineteenth century, with a workshop on the calle Elvira, 54.

Rafael Vallejo(Baza, active c. 1790)

Rafael Vallejo, a guitar maker from Baza, in the province of Granada. In 1792 he received a royal commission to build a guitar for King Carlos IV of Spain. This guitar is preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Historic Guitar Makers of the Almería School

Joaquin Alonso (Almería, active c.1876)

Joaquin Alonso was a guitar maker active in Almería towards the end of the nineteenth century. He briefly apprenticed with Antonio de Torres sometime between 1870 and 1873. His label proclaims that he is the disciple of Torres. He had his shop on the Calle de la Alcazaba.

Juan Castillo (Almería, active c 1900).

Juan Castillo was a guitar maker in Almería active at the turn of the century. He had his shop at Calle Granada, no. 12.

José Pedro Damián Cruz Giménez (Almería, b. 1912-d.1989).

Jose Pedro Damián Cruz Giménez was born in Almería. He learned his craft from Juan Iglesias González, but seems to have been only a part-time builder, and supplemented his income doing other wood crafts.

Andrés García(Almería, b. 1807, active c. 1840-1850s).

Andrés García was born in Almería in 1807. He apparently was a carpenter who also built guitars.

Juan Miguel Gonzalez Abad (Almeria b. 1906 d. 1989)

ABAD GONZALEZ, Miguel (Almería, 1906 - Almería 1989). was the son of stonemasons from Pechina, at age ten he apprenticed as a cabinet maker in the Silvia workshop located on the  plaza of Santa Rita. Drawn to guitar construction, even while nworking as an apprentice, he regularly visit the workshop of the Hermanos Moya and indirectly, began learning about guitar guitar construction. He built his first guitar at the age of 17. In 1922, due to an accident that left one leg was crippled, he was forced into a trade that didn't require him to be on his feet, and opted to become a guitar maker, and builder of related instruments. Given the precariousness of the economy at the time, he made his first guitars with scrap woods, antique furniture, packing crates, etc. As his economic situation improved, he began to use cypress, rosewood, mahogany, walnut and sycamore, among other hardwoods. Between 1946 and 1950, documents show that he bought some materials from the Telesforo Julve workshop in Valencia Miguel Gonzalez Abad's workshop was located in the Bairro Alto. Later on he opened a music store with his two sons, Juan Miguel and Diego González, called Casa Gonzalez on Murcia street, where they sold guitars, laudes, bandurias, mandolins etc. As a builder, Miguel Cojo, popular nickname given him after his accident, specialized in classical and flamenco guitars,  as well as mandolins. In 1973 he was awarded a silver medal and a certificate as National Master Craftsman. His guitars found an international following, and found a wide market outside of Spain, particularly in Mexico, England and France. He was active until the 1980s, being rated as the link in the Almeria making guitars between Hermanos Moya and Gerundino Moya Fernández. His son, Juan Miguel Gonzalez he learned to make guitars with his father and is considered one guitar makers in Spain today.

Antonio Jiménez de Soto (Almería, active c. 1850s)

Antonio Jiménez de Soto was a luthier active in Almería around the middle of the nineteenth century.

José López Beltran (Almería, b. c. 1847, active c. 1900-1910)

José López Beltrán was born in the parish of San Sebastian, Almeria in 1846 and died sometime after 1906. He seems to have assisted Antonio de Torres (1817-1892) during the last few years of his life. This guitar's label reads "José López Beltrán/Unico Discipulo/de/Don Antonio Torres/Teatro Apolo/Almeria Anno 18[94]" (penned in)

Juan Moya Castillo (Almería, b. c.1875- d. 1937).

Juan Moya Castillo was born in Almería around 1875, and was the son of Miguel Moya Redondo, and learned his craft from his father. Antonio Torres had a very close relationship with the Moya family, and with Miguel Moya Redondo in particular, authorizing him to call himself a "disciple of Antonio de Torres" on his labels.  Juan Moya would have grown up with Don Antonio de Torres, and no doubt benefited from his instruction as well. His own guitar are strongly influenced by those of Torres.  Juan earned his living making cabinets and guitars. He married Francisca San Juan Pardo, and they had six children. In 1910 they are recorded as living on the Calle Caravaca in Almeria. They had a son, Sebastian, who became a cabinet maker, but does not appear to have made guitars. Juan had a workshop at La Palma 33, and advertised on his labels that he made guitarras, bandurias, and guitarros (a folk instrument descending from the baroque guitar). Juan Moya Castillo died around 1937.

Andrés Moya Martinez (Almería, b. 1861 active c. 1880-1930)

Andrés Moya was born in Almería in 1861. He was the son of Melchor Moya Redondo.  Like his brother Juan, he was trained by his father and became a respected guitar maker. The Moya Hermanos had their shop at Granada 25, and continued making classical and flamenco guitars, bandurrias, and laúdes till about 1930.

Juan Moya Martinez (Almería, b. 1859 active c. 1880-1930)

Juan Moya Martinez was born in Almería in 1859. The son of the luthier Melchor Moya Redondo, a friend of Antonio de Torres.  Juan was trained by his father, and was active in Almería from 1880 to the 1930s. In 1895, his guitars won a first prize medal in a regional exhibition. The Moya Hermanos had their shop at Granada 25, and continued making flamenco and classical guitars, bandurrias, and laúdes till about 1930.

Melchor Moya Redondo (Almería, b. 1827- d. 1891)

Melchor Moya Redondo was born in Almería in 1827.  Melchor was also the brother of Miguel Moya.  In 1845, Melchor opened a workshop in Almería. Like many guitar makers, he seems to have started his working life as a carpenter. He had two sons, Andrés and Juan, who he trained. He died in 1891. He was a friend of Antonio de Torres.

Miguel Moya Redondo (Almería, b. c. 1846- d. c. 1915)

Miguel Moya Redondo was born in Almería in 1827. Miguel was also the younger brother of Melchor Moya.  In all likelihood, he learned his craft from his elder brother. He seems to have died around 1915. He was also a friend of Torres, and seems to have been chosen by the family to finish a number of guitars left partially complete when he died.

Emilio Peralto (Almería, active c. 1930).

Emilio Peralto was a regionally renowned guitar maker in Almería circa 1930. In addition to guitars, he built bandurrias, laúdes, and other plucked instruments.

Joaquín Ruíz (Almería b. 1804 active 1840s)

Joaquín Ruíz was born in Almería in 1804. Like many guitar makers, he also worked as a carpenter. He is remembered as talented guitar maker active in Almería in the first half of the nineteenth century. 

Juan Ruíz, (Almeria, active c. 1815).

Juan Ruíz was a guitar maker in Almería active c. 1815. It seems likely that he may be the father of Joaquín.

Antonio De Torres Jurado (Almería 1817-1892)

Antonio De Torres Jurado (1817-1892) is as revered among guitarists as Stradivarius is revered among violinists. His work established the shape, design, and construction of the modern guitar. Antonio de Torres was born in San Sebantian de Almería, June 18, 1817. He was the son of Juan Torres, a local tax collector, and Maria Jurado. As was common, when he was 12 he started an apprenticeship as carpenter. In 1833, a dynastic war broke out, and soon after Torres was conscripted into the army. Through his father's machinations, young Antonio was dismissed as medically unfit for service. As only single men and widower's without children were draftable, his family pushed Torres into a hastily arranged marriage to the 13 year old daughter of a shopkeeper. And, in 1835 Antonio wed Juana María López. Children soon followed: a daughter in 1836; and another in 1839, a third in 1842 who died a few months later. His second daughter also died. And, in 1845 his wife died at the age of 23 of tuberculosis. These were difficult years for Torres, he was often in debt, and looking for more lucrative forms of employment.

Some time around 1842, Torres appears to have gone to work for José Pernas in Granada, rapidly learning to build guitars. He soon returned to Sevilla, and for a time shared with Manuel Guitierrez Martinez and Maria Gomez at calle Cerrageria 36 (which became Cerrageria 7 when the street was renumbered in 1869). He subsequently moved to Cerrageria 32, which with the renumbering became Cerrageria 25). Although he made some guitars during the 1840s, it was not until the 1850s on the advice of the renowned guitarist and composer Julían Arcas, that Torres made it his profession, and he began building in earnest. Julían Arcas offered Torres advice on building, and their turned collaboration Torres into an inveterate investigator of the guitar construction. Torres reasoned that the soundboard was key. To increase its volume, he made his guitars not only larger, but fitted them with thinner, hence lighter soundboards that were arched in both directions, made possible by a system of fan-bracing for strength. To prove that it was the top, and not the back and sides of the guitar that gave the instrument its sound, in 1862 he built a guitar with back and sides of papier-mâché. (This guitar resides in the Museu de la Musica in Barcelona, unfortunately it is no longer playable).  Another of his experiments --perhaps a better description would be a display of his craftsmanship-- was a guitar made like a Chinese puzzle that could assembled without glue, and disassembled would fit in a shoe box.

Torres was a secretive man, and so had no disciples, but  in a letter to his friend Juan Martinez Sirvent explained: "my secret is one you have witnessed many times, and one that I can't leave to posterity, because it must with my body go to the grave, for it consists of the tactile senses in my finger pads,  in my thumb and index finger that tell the intelligent builder if the top is or is not well made, and how it should be treated to obtain the best tone from the instrument."

In 1868, Torres married again, wedding Josefa Martín Rosada. Shortly after, Torres met Tarrega for the first time. Tarrega then a kid of seventeen had come to Sevilla from Barcelona to buy a Torres from the maker of Julían Arcas' instrument. Torres offered him a modest guitar he had in stock, but on hearing him play, offered him a guitar he had made for himself a few years before. About 1870, Don Antonio then in his 50s closed his shop in Sevilla, and moved back to Almería where he and his wife opened up a china and crystal shop on the calle Real. About five years latter, Don Antonio began his "second epoch" as he refers to it on the labels of his guitars, building part-time when not busy in the china shop. After the death of his wife, Josefa, in 1883, Torres began to devote increasing amounts of time to building making some 12 guitars a year until his death.

Torres guitars are divided into two epochs. The first, belonging to Sevilla from 1852-1870; the second, being the years 1871-1893 in Almería. The guitars Torres made so superior to those of his contemporaries that their example changed the way guitars were built, first in Spain, and then in the rest of the world. Although they are not particularly loud by modern standards, they have a clear, balanced, firm and rounded tone, that projects very well. His guitars were not only widely imitated and copied, but as he never signed his guitars, and only numbered those from his second epoch, over the years many fakes Torres have been made, some made by well-know and expert makers.

Historic Makers of the Barcelona School

Bautista Alcañiz (Barcelona, active c. 1890-1930)

Bautista Alcañiz was born in Valencia, and formed part of the firm of Ribot and Alcañiz of Barcelona that was active at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.

Basil, Nicolás (Barcelona, active c. 1926-30s)

Nicolas Basil established himself on the Calle del Arch  Nou de San Ramon del Call, 11 in 1926. He seems to have been one of the makers who like Enrique Sanfeliú was influenced by Enrique Garcia. The headstock of 1933 Nicolas Basil show here pays tribute to Garcia, and is described by its owner has having a similar "campanitas" sound. The rosette is similar to ones used by Sanfeliú. 

Cassas lived in Barcelona, and was active in the first half of the nineteenth century. Although Cassas first name has not come down to us, the Royal Conservatory of Brussels has an instrument of his in its collection.

Agustín Altimira-Codina (Barcelona, b. 1805, active c. 1837-1880 d. 1884)

Agustín Altimira-Codina was a luthier in Barcelona born in 1805. He making both violins and guitars between 1837 and 1880. He studied violin making with the French luthier Etienne Marie Breton (1827-1895) who in 1850 came from France to take charge of Altimira's workshop,  and worked with Agustín until 1874. Agustín had his workshop first on the calle de Escudiller where Fernando Sor lived as a child.  In 1860, he moved to La Plazuela de San Francisco. His early guitars were heavily influenced by the Mirecourt school in France, and so made no use of fan bracing. In later instruments he used fan bracing. In 1878, he exhibited a highly decorated guitar at the Paris Exposition, winning a silver medal. Altimira's guitars were influenced by Torres and Arias. He died in 1884.

Enrique Coll (Barcelona active c. 1940s)

Enrique Coll was a guitar maker of classical and flamenco guitars active in Barcelona during the 1940s. He was trained by Francisco Simplicio. He had his workshop on the calle Caspe, no. 35. 

Nicolas Duclos (Barcelona, active 1744-1781)

Nicolas Duclos was a French luthier who was moved to Spain and was active in Madrid and Barcelona between 1766-and 1781. In addition to violins, he made mandolins and guitars. 

Francisco Pedro España (Barcelona, b. 1793, active 1820-1877. d. 1877)

Francisco Pedro España was born in 1793 in San Juan les Fonts in the province of Gerona.  About 1820, he studied with the French luthier Thérèse from Mirecourt with whom he continued to work until 1835. He seems to have been a very successful luthier who ran workshop that employed a number of luthiers. In addition to violins, violas, cellos, double basses, and even pianos that bear his label, he made highly decorated guitars made from exotic woods.

Juan Estruch Pipó (Barcelona active 20th century)

          Juan Estruch Pipó, a Barcelona luthier, is the grandson and successor of Juan Estruch Sasate.

Juan Estruch Rosell (Barcelona active late 19th century)

Juan Estruch Rosell was the founder of the Estruch dynasty of guitar builders. He opened his shop in Barcelona in 1880. He was the father of Juan Estruch Sasate, and grandfather of Juan Estruch Pipó. From 1898 to 1922 they built under the name Hermanos Estruch, and had a series of workshops. In 1898-01 they were at Calle Ancha 50; they moved to Calle Ancha 30 in 1902

Juan Estruch Sasate (Barcelona b.1895 - d.1970)

          Juan Estruch Sasate, a Barcelona luthier, was the son and successor of Juan Estruch Rosell.

Juan Fenoy (Barcelona, active 1930s)

Juan Fenoy was trained by Miguel Simplicio.  He produced Torres copies, not to defraud, but to prove he was as good luthier as Antonio de Torres.

Bienviendo Fleta (Barcelona, b. 1882- d. 1971)

Bienviendo Fleta was the eldest of three Fleta brothers. He was born in Huesca, but was influenced by his brothers Francisco Manuel (1890-1981) and Ignacio (1897-1977) to become a luthier. He joinedhis brothers Francisco Manuel and Ignacio in Barcelona after they opened a workshop in 1915. He was trained by Francisco Manuel. 

Ignacio Fleta (Barcelona b. 1897 d. 1977).

Ignacio Fleta --the youngest son of a cabinet maker--had two brothers who also became luthiers: Bienvenido (1882-1971) and Francisco Manuel (1890-1981). The family was from Huesca in the province of Teruel. Although Ignacio picked up his love of woodworking from his father who was a cabinet maker, he was drawn to music and began playing guitar at the tender age of eight. However, it was his brother, Francisco Manuel, who was the first to apprentice as a luthier. In 1907, his father sent Francisco Manuel to Barcelona to apprentice with Benito Jaume (1860-1934), a violin maker. Francisco Manuel worked with Benito Jaume for three years. Subsequently, he studied with Etienne Marie (1867-1935), a Spanish born member of the famous French family of luthiers in Mirecourt who lived in Barcelona. From Etienne, Ignacio learned the real art of making fine stringed instrument. When Ignacio was thirteen, his father sent him to Barcelona to learn the art of instrument making from his brother, Francisco Manuel. In 1915, Ignacio and Francisco opened a workshop in Barcelona on the calle Valldoncella. Bienvenido soon moved to Barcelona, and joined the firm, also apprenticing with his brother, Francisco Manuel.  Ignacio learned not only the basics of guitar construction from Francisco Manuel, but how to make other stringed instruments as well. Drawn to music, Ignacio studied cello, showing great aptitude for the instrument.  His love for the cello led him to go to France to seek further training in the workshop of Philippe Le Duc.  In 1927, he returned to Barcelona and opened his own workshopon the calle de los Angeles. As he made other stringed instruments, building cellos as well as bass-viols, he did a lot of work for Pablo Casals. In 1932, he moved his shop to its present location on calle de los Angeles. Between 1939-1945, the musical society "Ars Musica" commissioned him to reproduce a collection of old instruments including-- violin, gothic harp, vihuela, lute, and a modern guitar. This collection helped establish Fleta reputation as a great luthier. In 1955, Ignacio heard Andrés Segovia for the first time, and was so moved that he decided to solely devote himself to building guitarsfrom then on.  In 1957, Ignacio built the first of three guitars for Segovia--and with these rapidly moved to corridors of world fame. Because Ignacio only made some 16 guitars a year, soon his waiting lists had become so long that it was virtually impossible to obtain a guitar from him directly.  Among many, the list of guitarists who owned Fleta's includes Alexandre Lagoya, Eduardo Falu, Alberto Ponce, andJohn Williams. Ignacio died in 1977, but not without successors-- having worked for many years with his two sons Francisco born in 1925, and Gabriel born in 1929.  The Fleta brothers took over their father's workshop, and continue to make the same high quality instruments. Now in their seventies, the brothers no longer accept new orders

Francisco Manuel Fleta (Barcelona b. 1890-1981)

Francisco Manuel Fleta was born in Huesca in 1890.  He made his first violin at the age of 15. Recognizing his son's interests and talents,  his father arranged for him to apprentice with Benito Jaume (1860-1934), a violin maker in Barcelona. Francisco Manuel studied with Benito Jaume for three years, and later continued to perfect his skills studying with Etienne Marie (1867-1935). In 1915, he opened his own shop in Barcelona. Francisco Manuel trained his brothers Ignacio and Bienvenido. Like Ignacio in the mid-1920s, Francisco Manuel also went to France to study with Philippe Le Duc. Francisco Manuel's violins and cellos are modeled on those of Stradivarius, but in addition to these stringed instruments, he also built guitars and contrabasses. 

José Massí Forner (Barcelona, d. 1991)'

José Massí Forner was a Barcelona guitar maker. He died in 1991.

Juan Maria Garcia (Barcelona c. 1900)

Juan Maria Garcia (Barcelona c. 1900)

Juan Maria Garcia (Barcelona c. 1900)

Juan Maria Garcia seems from the style of this guitar to have been active in Barcelona in the late 19th to the beginning of the 20th century. His label reads JUAN MARIA GARCIA / Fabrica de Guitarras y Bandurrias / BARCELONA / Plaza de San Pedro No 403.

Francisco Istrell (Barcelona, active c. 1685)

Francisco Istrell was a luthier who made guitars in Barcelona circa 1685.

José Massague (Barcelona, b. 1690- d. 1764)

José Massague was born in 1690 in Barcelona. He belonged to a carpenter's guild in Barcelona,  but also made guitars and violins.  His workshop was on the calle de Escudillers. He worked as an independent maker from 1725 until his death in 1764.

Francisco Matabosch (Barcelona, active c. 1750-1800)

Francisco Matabosch was a luthier active in Barcelona in the second half of the eighteenth century.

Joan Matabosch (Barcelona, active c. 1790s-1820s)

Joan Matabosch was a Barcelona maker active at the beginning of the 19th century, and was probably the son of Francisco Matabosch. The only guitar of his known to have survived is in the Museu de la Musica in Barcelona. It is dated 1815. Matabosch was among the important guitar makers in the late eighteenth century Spain. Fernando Sor's first guitar was built by Matabosch. Dionisio Aguado also mentions in his memoirs that among his collection of instruments that he owned was a fine, well-made guitar by Joan Matabosch.

Salvio Morbey (Barcelona, active c. 1880)

Salvio Morbey was a luthier in Barcelona in the late part of the nineteenth century. He built very ornate guitars typical of the period. 

Ramón Parramón Castany (Barcelona, b. 1880-1956) and Jacinto Pinto (d. 1956)

Ramón Parramón Castany was born in Montesquiu, Barcelona in 1880. He opened his workshop in Barcelona in 1908. In 1920, Jacinto Pinto joined Ramón's workshop. Jacinto was a luthier who had studied with Laberte and Magnié in Mirecourt, France and had spent several year with the Etablissements Couesnon in Paris. Despite the label R. Parramón, after 1921 all the firm's instruments were in fact made by Jacinto Pinto. In addition to violins and other bowed instruments, they made guitars as well as reproductions of early instruments. Ramón died in 1955 and Jacinto died in 1956. 

Pedro Pérez (Barcelona, active c. 1900s)

Pedro Pérez was a luthier in Barcelona active at the beginning of the twentieth century. He had his shop on the calle Gobernador No. 3, piso 4.

Jaime Ribot (Barcelona, active c. 1900-1920)

Jaime Ribot (Barcelona, active c. 1900-1920)

Jaime Ribot was a luthier in Barcelona at the beginning of the twentieth century who shared a workshop with Bautista Alcañiz on the calle Ancha until 1920. In addition to classical and flamenco guitars, he also made bandurrias.

Juan Ribot (Barcelona, active c. 1910s)

Juan Ribot was the son of Jaime Robot, and trained by his father. He was an excellent luthier, but unfortunately he was still a young man when he died in 1918. 

Enrique Sanfeliú Leonor (Barcelona, active 1930s)

Enrique Sanfeliú Leonor (Barcelona, active 1930s)

Enrique Sanfeliú Leonor (Barcelona, active 1930s)

Enrique Sanfeliú was born in Valencia in 1882. As a child he showed a talent for woodwork, and entertained himself making little guitars which he gave to other children. Drawn to the guitar, he studied with Manuel Loscos, a disciple of the great guitarist Tárrega. His studies rekindled his desire to make guitars, and so he moved to Barcelona to pursue his dream. There he entered into an apprenticeship in the Casa Estruch, but also began to frequent the workshop of renowned Enrique Garcia and watch him work. Garcia for his part-- although he could have easily refused to share his art with an apprentice from the shop of a competitor-- with generosity of a great spirit, advised and instructed the eager Sanfeliú. And Sanfeliú. for his part, remained forever grateful and proud to have received such counsel

José Serratosa Blanch (Barcelona, active 1880s-1930s)

José Serratosa Blanch was born in Tarrasa in the province of Cataluña in 1855. As a youth he apprenticed as a carpenter, but being temperamentally studious, he was drawn to the challenges of making flamenco and classical guitars. In 1890, he moved to Barcelona and opened a workshop where he continued working for the next forty years. Among his inventions was a guitar that had a detachable neck. 

Francisco Simplicio Hernandis (Barcelona, 1874-1932)

Francisco Simplicio was born in Barcelona in 1874. As a youth he apprenticed as a cabinet maker in the Casa Masriera y Vidal, and later with Francisco Vidal, a workshop that produced fine furniture, and soon earned the position of a master craftsman with this firm. Francisco worked as a cabinet maker for some eighteen years. Around 1919, a series of labor disputes between owners and workers that led to a lock out, Simplicio was forced to seek other employment. Based on their longstanding friendship, Francisco was able to find work in shop of Enrique Garcia, who one of many fine luthiers to come out of Manuel Ramirez's shop. Simplicio under Garcia tutelage soon became a master craftsman. When Enrique Garcia died in 1923, he left his shop on Paseo San Juan 110 to Francisco. In 1929, Simplicio exhibited some of his guitars at the International Exhibition in Barcelona, winning a gold medal.  During his life he produced around 340 instruments. Although Simplicio took pride in being the disciple of Enrique Garcia, he was also an innovative maker in his own right. Perhaps, the best known of his experiment was a guitar with a double sound hole placed on each side of the fingerboard. By moving the sound hole from its usual position, he sought to increase the vibrating surface, and thus enhance both volume and tone. He died in Barcelona in 1932. He trained Enrique Coll and his son, Miguel Simplicio, who took over his father's shop after his death.  

Photo courtesy of: " Il Fronimo",

Photo courtesy of: " Il Fronimo",

Photo courtesy of: " Il Fronimo", nr. 113 - Genuary 2001, "Francisco e Miguel Simplicio, in arte liutai" by D. Milanese and U. Piazza.  This extensive article may be ordered at: http://www.fronimo.it/

Miguel Simplicio (Barcelona, b. 1899d. 1939)

Photo courtesy of: " Il Fronimo", nr. 113 - Genuary 2001, "Francisco e Miguel Simplicio, in arte liutai" by D. Milanese and U. Piazza. 

Photo courtesy of: " Il Fronimo", nr. 113 - Genuary 2001, "Francisco e Miguel Simplicio, in arte liutai" by D. Milanese and U. Piazza. 

Miguel Simplicio, the son of Francisco Simplicio was born in 1899, and was trained both by his father and Enrique Garcia. During his father's life they worked closely together. After his father's death, he took over his workshop, and quickly gained an international reputation, particularly in Latin America. During his lifetime, his guitars sold for fabulous prices in Argentina.  Although he is credited with the production of some 150 guitars under his own label, it seems he had a hand in much of his father's production. He died of stomach cancer in 1938 at the age of 39. He trained Juan Fenoy. 

This extensive article may be ordered at: http://www.fronimo.it/

Juan Valenzano (Barcelona, active c. 1771-1825). 

Juan Valenzano was a luthier active in Barcelona at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Born Giovanni Maria Valenzano, this Italian born luthier was somewhat of a vagabond. From his labels we know that he lived for times in Italy, France, and Spain. Sometime between 1771 and 1805 he move from Padua to Valencia. In 1809, he moved to Barcelona, then to Montpellier in 1813, to Marseille and Nice in 1815, then to Trieste and finally to Rome where he died in 1825. He also used the following names in his guitars and other instruments: Johannes Maria Valenzano, Johannes Valenzano, Johann Valenzano.

Historic Guitar Makers of the Cádiz School

Josef Sebastián Benedid Díaz (Cádiz, active 1760-1836)

Don Josef Benedid, a luthier from Cádiz, was born February 10, 1760. In 1791, he married Ana Diaz, and they had nine children, at least three of whom, José, Joaquín, and Mateo followed in their father's footsteps. Don Josef was one of the most important makers of the Cádiz school, and among the early users of fan bracing. He is also believed to have been the teacher of the elder Pages. He had a series of workshops: calle San Francisco 66; Plazuela del Paillero; Calle de la Portería; calle San Augustín 85; Campo de Capuchinos 10, and was living on calle Laurel when he died October 20, 1836.

José Benedid (Cádiz b. 1827 - d. Havana 1899)

José Benedid 

José Benedid 

José Benedid was born in Cádiz in 1828, the son of Don Josef Benedid (1760-1836). He was trained by his father, but moved to Cuba, where he continued building guitars much in the same style of those of his father's. He died in Cuba in 1899. The is a guitar of his in the Musée de la Musique in Paris which gives his Havana address as calle de la Obropia, no. 8.

Mateo Benedid Díaz (Cádiz, b. 1800 - d. 1878)

Mateo Benedid, was born in Cádiz in 1800,  a son of Josef Sebastian Benedid Diaz (1760-1836) and was trained by his father. He married María de los Dolores Mendoza Sosa in 1825,  He had his shop on the calle San Agustin, No. 76. He died on Juanary 15, 1878.

Joaquín Benedid Díaz (Cádiz, b.c. 1814 - d. 1854)

Joaquín Benedid Díaz was born about 1814 in Cádiz. He was a son of the guitar maker, Josef Sebastian BenedidDíaz, and learned his craft from his father. A couple of addresses are associated with him: calle de la Cruz Verde, 139 (1836); afterwards calle de la Palma, 139. He appears not to have married, and died at the age of forty in 1854.

Andrés Benítez (Cádiz b.c. 1675 - d. 1759)

Andrés Benítez was born in Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz around 1675. He was a guitar maker, and taught Francisco Perez his craft. He was living on the calle del Bestuario when died April 11, 1759 at the age of 84.

Francisco Bonichi y Sala (Cádiz b. 1827- d.1892).

Francisco Bonichi, nicknamed Don Poncho, was born in Cádiz in 1827. Beginning his working career as a carpenter, he seems to have drift into guitar making in the mid-1850s. From 1858-1873, he had his workshop at calle la Palma, 5, and then until his death in 1892 at calle Ruiz de Bustamante, 5. 

Manuel Bonichi y Sala (Cádiz b. 1826- d. after 1881)

Manuel Bonichi y Sala was born in Cádiz in 1826, and was the elder brother of Francisco. Like Francisco, he started as a carpenter. Circa 1866-68, he joined his brother and they probably shared his workshop at calle la Palma 5, and seems to have continued to work with his brother at his workshop on calle Ruiz de Bustamante 5 probably until his death sometime after 1881. He does not seem to have married.

Diego Costa (Cádiz, active c. 1715)

Diego Costa was guitar maker in Cádiz active at the beginning of the eighteenth century. According to his label his shop was on the calle Casta, No. 21. 

Diego Costa Benjumeda(Cádiz, b. 1817 - d. after 1860).

Diego Costa Benjumeda was born in Cádiz, July 24, 1817 and worked as a carpenter until he married the daughter of the master guitar maker,  José Maria Guerra in 1839. Apprenticing with his father-in-law, by 1843 is appears as a guitar maker working with José Maria Guerra at in workshop on Cuna Vieja 181. In 1844, he set up his own workshop at calle de Cobos 74 where he worked until 1852. He probably died after 1860.

Antonio Castro López (Cádiz, b. c. 1851-d.?) (active 1860s)

Antonio Castro López was born in Cádiz in 1851, and was the son of Francisco de Paula Castro, from whom he received his training, and by 1866 seems to have joined his father's workshop on calle de Santa Elena 13, and continued to work there until his father's death in 1867. It is not know where he went afterwards.

Francisco de Paula Castro (Cádiz, b. c. 1812-d.c.1867)

Francisco de Paula Castro

Francisco de Paula Castro

Francisco de Paula Castro seems to have worked in Cádiz in the middle of the 19th century. His guitars are typical of the Cádiz school. Several address are associated with this maker. From 1844-46, he was at calle Jesús, 100; in 1856-1857 at calle San Rafael 9,  1866-1867 at calle de Santa Elena 13. He seems to have died in 1867. He had three sons who he trained and followed him into the profession: Jose, Julio, and Antonio.

José María Castro López  (Cádiz, b. 1844 -d. after 1880) active 1860s-1880.

José María Castro López was born in Cádiz in 1844, a son of the guitar maker, Francisco de Paula Castro. He was trained by his father and worked in their workshop at Santa Elena 13 until his father's death in 1867. From 1875-1879, he had his own workshop at calle de la Torre, 52, and was making guitars and bandurrias.

Julio Castro López (Cádiz, b. 1847 -d. ?) active 1860s

Julio Castro López was born in Cádiz in 1844, a son of the guitar maker, Francisco de Paula Castro. He was trained by his father and worked in their workshop at Santa Elena 13 with his brothers untiltheir father's death in 1867. Afterwards, it is uncertain what he did.

Federico Dañino Wanden-Dike (b. 1816, Active cerca 1850)

Federico Dañino Wanden-Dike (b. 1816, Active cerca 1850)

Federico Dañino Wanden-Dike (b. 1816, Active cerca 1850)

Federico Dañino Wanden-Dike was born in Cadiz in 1816. He seems to have worked as a carpenter, and day worker, and is known from this guitar from the 1850s in the Carol Van Feggelen collection. He had his shop at calle Flamencos, 197 in Cadiz.

Dionisio Guerra (Cádiz, b.c. 1755 - d. c. 1805)

Dionisio Guerra was a guitar maker active in Cádiz during the second half of the eighteenth century. Several addresses are connected with him. He appears to have had a workshop on the calle del Veedor, in 1780on the Calle de San José, in 1801 at the calle San Bernardo 45. In 1806, his widow was living on the Calle de San José. Dionisio trained his younger brother Josef, as a guitar maker.  Although Dionisio was a member of the Cádiz school, he was not among the early users of fan bracing.

Francisco Guerra Flores (Cádiz, b. c. 1828-d. after 1865)

Francisco Guerra Flores 

Francisco Guerra Flores 

Francisco Guerra Flores was born in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Cádiz around 1828, and was a son of José Maria Guerra Rodríguez. In 1835, the family moved to Cádiz .He seems to have apprenticed with his father, but may have worked with his brother-in-law, Diego Costa, who was working in the 1840s with his father. Several addresses are associated with him. He was with his father at calle del Pasquín 11 (1839)  and at the Cuna Vieja, 181 (1844-1845) where Diego Costa was also living. During this period he also worked as at carpenter. In fact, he does not seem to have started building under his own label until after 1850. In 1850 he lived on the Calle de San Juan, 73; and in 1851 had a workshop on calle de Jardinillo, 103. In 1855, he moved his workshop to calle Cobos 74, but it moved again in 1856 to calle Bilbao, 1. In 1865, he again moved his workshop to calle Marqués de Cádiz.

 A guitar of his built in 1852 is listed in the collection of Felix Manzanero. (Photo Courtesy of Felix Manzanero)

José Maria Guerra Rodríguez (Cádiz, b.c.1794-d. after 1851)

José Maria Guerra

José Maria Guerra

José Maria Guerra was born in Cádiz in 1794. He was the son of José Guerra Pina, a guitar maker. He probably apprenticed with his father, but probably build under his own label until after his father died c. 1830. He seems to have lived for a period in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, but in 1835 moved back to Cádiz. Several addresses in Cadiz are associated with José: Calle de Pasquin, 11 (1839); Calle de los Blancos (1844); Calle de la Cuna Vieja, 181 (1844); Calle de Veronica 80 where he had his workshop from (1844-1847), then at Veronica 20 (1848-49), then at Veronica 156 (1850). In 1851, his workshop was at Calle San Miguel, 40. He had six children, of which Manuel, and Francisco appear to have become guitar makers, another daughter married Diego Costa, another guitar maker.

Josef Guerra Pina (Cádiz, b.1770 -d. after 1829 ).

Josef Guerra Pina 

Josef Guerra Pina 

Josef Guerra Pina (whose first name was also spelled Joseph or José) was born in Cádiz on May 12, 1770. He was the younger brother of Dionisio Guerra by some 15 years, and learned his craft from his brother, the master guitar maker in his workshop on the calle de Veedor. In 1812, he had a workshop on the calle de San Joseph, 94. Sometime around 1816 he moved to Jerez de la Frontera were he lived next at least 1826. In 1829, he appears again to have returned to Cadiz, although he maintained a residence in Jerez de la Frontera. He was the father of Jose Maria Guerra Rodríguez, who followed in his footsteps. The label the guitar show reads Josef Guerra me hizo en Cadiz Calle S. Josef, Año de 1798. (Photo courtesy of Ramond Attard)

Manuel Guerra Flores (Cádiz b.c. 1827-d. 1899)

Manuel Guerra Flores was born in Cádiz around 1827, and was a son of José Maria Guerra, a guitar maker, and doubtlessly his teacher. In 1835, the family moved back to Cadiz, and continued living with his parents until about 1850. In 1851, we find him working with his brother, Francisco at Calle de San Juan, 73. By 1858, he seems to have gone out on his own, and had his workshop at calle de los Balbos, 42. In 1862, we find his workshop at calle de Comedias, 5. He in 1863, he appears to have rejoined his brother, Francisco at Bilbao 1. In 1867, he briefly had a workshop at Plaza Nieves 4, and then, probably following the death of his brother returned to Bilboa 1, where he worked until he died in 1899.

Antonio Pagés López (b. Osuna, Sevilla 1762 - d. ?? Cádiz)

Antonio Pagés López, a son of Juan Pagés, was born in Osuna, Sevilla in 1762. In 1774, the family to Cádiz. He worked with his father until at least 1794 in his workshop at calle Arco de Garaicoechea, no. 45. He later opened his own workshop on the Real Isla de Leon, (San Fernando, Cádiz).

Francisco Pagés López(b. Osuna, Sevilla 1773 - d. after 1835 Havana?)

Francisco Pagés López, a son of Juan Pagés, was born in Osuna, Sevilla in 1773. In 1774, the family moved to Cádiz. In 1793, he married Francisca Josefa Benedid,  the daughter of the master guitar maker, Mateo Benedid. He seems nevertheless to have continued working in his father at calle Arco de Garaicoechea, no. 45. until at least 1801. He seems to have immigrated to Havana, Cuba. In 1804, we find him at calle de San Ignacio, no 70, Havana. In 1815 he was in the Real Cuidad de San Fernando; in 1835 he was again in Havana, at his old address.

Joaquín Pagés López (b. Cádiz 1779 - d. 18??)

Joaquín Pagés López, a son of Juan Pagés, was born Cádiz in 1779. Trained by his father, and worked in his father's workshop at calle Arco de Garaicoechea, no. 45. until at least 1810. In 1811, he married María de la Concepción Teresa Butrón and opened a workshop at Bulas Viejas, 122. In 1819, we find him at callejon del los Descalzos.

Joséf Pagés López (B. Osuna, Sevilla 1762, d. Cádiz, 1830)

Joséf Pagés López, a son of Juan Pagés, was born in Osuna, Sevilla in 1762.  In 1774, the family moved to Cádiz.Traned by his father, he probably worked in his father's workshop at calle Arco de Garaicoechea, no. 45. into the 1790s. By 1801, however, he had opened his own workshop at calle de la Armagura, no 13. Around 1816, he moved his shop to Calle de Sacramento, 177. The year he died his workshop was at Calle del Solano, no. 8, but this may not have been his last workshop, as his widow continued to run his guitar shop at calle de la Carne 4 after his death in 1830.

Joseph Pagés  (b.Ecija 174?- Cádiz d. after 1819)

Joseph Pagés, brother of Juan Pages, was probably born in Ecija, Sevilla, and seems to have been the first to go to Cadiz, probably around 1760.  A leading member of the Cádiz school,  Joséf also was among those experimenting with and developing fan bracing. Starting with systems of three braces, like the early guitars of Sanguino and Benedid, his later instruments used five. The Pagés are mention by the composer Dionisio Aguado has among the makers he would recommend.  He was active from the 1790s to 1819.

Juan Pagés  (b. 1742-d.1821, Cádiz, active c. 1775-1821)

Juan Pagés, a brother of Joseph Pagés, was born in Ecija, Sevilla, in 1741. In 1760, he moved to Osuna to open a guitar workshop, and to marry Gregoria María Lopez. Around 1774, Juan moved his family to   Cádiz and opened a workshop at calle Arco de Garaicoechea, no. 45.  Among the leading members of the Cádiz school, he was an early experimenter with fan bracing beginning with a system of five braces, he later moved to using seven braces. He trained four sons, Antonio, Joseph, Joaquin, and Francisco. The Pagés are mention by the composer Dionisio Aguado has among the makers he would recommend. He died in Cádiz August 4, 1821.

Frederico Peirano (Cádiz, b.c. 1833 d. ??)

Frederico Periano was born in San Fernando, Cádiz, around 1833. He seems to have been apprenticed at an early age to Juan Perfumo, as he was listed in 1844, as living with this maker. He seems to have begun to build guitars under his own label in middlethe nineteenth century. He had a shop on the Calle de Allien, no 170; and another label from 1853 gives his address as calle de la Torre, no 25.

Juan Perfumo Masnea (Cádiz, b.c. 1800- d. 1860)

Juan Perfumo Masnea was a notable luthier from Cádiz active in the first half of the nineteenth century. He was born in Cádiz around 1800, and began his working career as a carpenter, by 1839, however, he had opened a guitar workshop at Calle la Cruz Verde, 14, block 11. He had workshops at several addresses.  From 1844-1847 he was at calle Flamencos, 194. In 1855, he was at Calle Flamencos 195, In 1856, his workshop was at calle Cortés 1, His guitars were popular an found international favor-- examples of his work found their way to such different places Argentina and Japan. He downed at sea on March 31, 1860.

Francisco Pérez Rosales (b. Carmona C1713 -d. 1791, Cádiz, active c. 1760s-1790s)

Francisco Pérez Rosales was born in Carmona, Sevilla in 1713. He apparently apprenticed at age 12 or 13 with Andrés Benítez (1675-1759), a Cádiz guitar maker. By the time in married in 1745, he seems to have established himself as a guitar maker. From 1760 until his death, he had a workshop at Calle San Francisco, 42.  He was also among the early users of fan bracing which are found in his guitars as early as the 1760s. 

Enrique Recio Gibilán (Cádiz, b. 1832-d.1865)

Enrique Recio Gibilán was born in Cádiz August 24, 1832. He was a son of the guitar maker, José María Recio Beltrán,  He was trained by his father, and worked his father's workshop until he married, Olimpia Padilla in 1855. After his marriage he moved to the calle San Bernandino, but his wife died only two years later. In the 1858, he was sharing a workshop with his brother José at San Leandro 4, but when he remarried, Adelaida Ramos Recio, his first cousin, in 1860 the following year he moved his workshop to the Calle Comedias 5. In 1863, he moved it again to the calle Villalobos 8. He died October 21, 1865. Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero.

Francisco María Recio Beltrán (Cádiz, b. 1810 - d. after 1866)

Francisco María Recio Beltrán was born in Cádiz, April 19, 1810. His father, José Recio Perini was a carpenter. Nothing seems to be know about his formation as a luthier, but it is probable that his elder brother made the transition and then taught him. When he married Josefa María Caballero Moscoso, he had a master's carpenter's shop at callejon de Peñalva, 155. In 1844, he was living on the calle del Herrón. From 1850 to 1854, he was living at Plaza de Viudes, 101, but in 1859 moved to no 25 on the same street. Between 1864-66, he appears to have shared aworkshop wiith his nephew, José, at calle Flamencos 7.

José María Recio Beltrán (Cádiz, b. 1806 - d. after 1858)

Francisco María Recio Beltrán was born in Cádiz, April 19, 1810. His father, José Recio Perini was a carpenter. He seems to started his career as a carpenter. In 1827, he married Josefa Gibilán Espejo from Jerez de la Frontera. In 1856, we find him at Plaza Jesus Nazareno. By 1841, he was listed as a guitar maker and he was living at Capuchino 128,  A series of addresses are associated with him; in 1844-45 he was living at calle de San Leandro 77, and had a workshop between 1844-46 at calle Torre. In 1847, he moved his workshop to Palma de la Viña. From 1850-1855, he had his workshop and was again living at San Leandro 77. Photo courtesy of David LaPlante

José María Recio Gibilán (Cádiz, b. 1830c-d. after 1865)

José Recio Gibilán was born in Cádiz Oct, 1 1830, and was a son of the guitar maker, José María Recio Beltrán,  He was trained by his father, and worked his father's workshop at calle de la Palma 77, until he married María de la Pastora Prat in 1851. After his marriage he opened a workshop at calle Santa Elena, 330. In 1856, he moved his workshop to Calle San Leandro 4. Widowed around 1858, his brother Enrique, also a widower, joined him. The two men shared this workshop until 1860 when Enrique remarried. In 1864, José's shop was at Plaza Nieves, 5; and in 1865 it was located at calle Flamencos 7.

Historic Guitar Makers of the Casasimarro School

Historic Guitar Makers of the Casasimarro School

Alfonso Ancelmo Alarcón (Casasimarro, b. 1744 d ??).

Alfonso Ancelmo Alarcón is considered to be the founder of the Casasimarro school of guitar making. He had been a school teacher, but during visits to Granada he became fascinated by the guitar, and abandoned his profession to become a luthier, and founded a dynasty of guitar makers in Casasimarro.

Juan de Maria Alarcón (Casasimarro, b. 1776- d. 18??).

Juan de Maria Alarcón was born in Casasimarro in 1776. He was probably the son of Alfonso Ancelmo Alarcón, and his father's only disciple. He had two sons that he trained, Pedro Julian Alarcón Escudero and Victoriano Alarcón Escudero.  

Juan de Mata Alarcón Briones (Casasimarro, b. 1824- d. 1885).

Juan de Mata Alarcón Briones was born in Casasimarroin 1824.  He appears to have been the great grandson of Alfonso Ancelmo Alarcón. He taught Juan Felipe Alarcón Gascón who probably was his son, but was also trained Lorenzo Navarro Navarro andFelipe Fausto Leal Proveda who may have been his son-in-law. Although he died in an epidemic in 1885, all the guitar makers currently active in Casasimarro trace their linage to or through him. 

Isidro Alarcón Briones (Casasimarro, b. 1828- d. 1885).

Isidro Alarcón Briones was born in Casasimarro in 1828. He was trained by his father, Pedro Julian Alarcón Escudero. He had two sons that also became guitar makers under their father's tutelage, Amalio Alarcón Parreño and Primativo Alarcón Parreño. Isidro died in the epidemic of 1885. 

Pedro Julian Alarcón Escudero (Casasimarro, b. 1801-d. 1881).

Pedro Julian Alarcón Escudero was bornin Casasimarro in 1801. He was the son of Juan de Maria Alarcón and was trained by his father. He had two sons who followed him in the profession. Juan de Mata Alarcón Briones and Isidoro Alarcón Briones. He died at the age of eighty in 1881.

Victoriano Alarcón Escudero (Casasimarro, b. 1814- d. 1888).

Victoriano Alarcón Escudero was born in Casasimarro in 1814. Like his elder brother, Pedro Julian, Victoriano was trained by his father. Victoriano had two son's he trained as luthiers: Juan Maria Alarcón López and Juan de Mata Alarcón López. Victoriano died in 1888.

Juan Felipe Alarcón Gascón (Casasimarro, b. 1847- d. ??).

Juan Felipe Alarcón Gascón was born in Casasimarro in 1847. He was the son of Juan de Mata Alarcón Briones and was trained by his father. 

Juan Maria Alarcón López (Casasimarro b. 1849 d. 1881)

Juan Maria Alarcón López was born in Casasimarro in 1849. He was the younger son of Victoriano Alarcón Escudero and like his brother Juan de Mata Alarcón López he was trained by his father. In 1881, he died at the age of thirty two.

Juan de Mata Alarcón López (Casasimarro b. 1848 d. 1913).

Juan de Mata Alarcón López, the eldest son of Victoriano Alarcón Escudero, was born in Casasimarro in 1848. He was trained by his father. In turn, he trained his son, Victoriano Alarcón Parreño. He died in 1913. 

Amalio Alarcón Parreño(Casasimarro b. 18?? d. 1885).

Amalio Alarcón Parreño from Casasimarro, was likely one of Isidoro Alarcón Briones sons. At any rate, he was trained by Isidoro. He died in the epidemic of 1885 that took Isidro and his brother Primativo.

Primativo Alarcón Parreño(Casasimarro b. 18?? d. 1885).

Primativo Alarcón Parreño, from Casasimarro, was in all probability the son of Isidoro Alarcón Briones, and was the brother of Amalio Alarcón Parreño, Like Amalio he was trained by Isidoro. He also died in the epidemic of 1885 that took Isidoro and his brother.

Victoriano Alarcón Parreño(Casasimarro b. 1882 d. 1944).

Victoriano Alarcón Parreño was born in Casasimarro in 1882. He was probably the son and disciple of Juan de Mata Alarcón López. He was also the last of the Alarcón family building guitars under their name, and with his death in 1944, this dynasty came to an end. 

D. Blas Carrillo Alarcón (Casasimarro, b. 1836-d. 1919).

Don Blas Carrillo Alarcón was born in Casasimarro in 1836, and is the founder of the Carrillo guitar dynasty, now in its fourth generation. He was trained byJuan de Mata Alarcon Briones, who may have been a kinsman, as his maternal name was Alarcón, although not exactly with Juan's blessings. Blas learned how to make guitars by spying on Juan. He worked as a groom for Juan, but Juan was a secretive man who worked behind locked doors. After he finished his chores at night, Blas would spy through the key hole, and observe Juan making guitars. One day, he broke the lock and went into the shop to observe all the details of guitar making that he still was unsure of, and although he lost his job on this account, once he had been able to make these observations, he was able to begin making guitars.  In addition to guitars, he made bandurrias and laúdes. He trained his son, Vícente Carrillo López, who took over his workshop at his death at the age of 83.

Vícente Carrillo Cantos (Casasimarro, b. 1926- d. 1971).

Vicente Carrillo Cantos and his father, Vicente Carrillo López

Vicente Carrillo Cantos and his father, Vicente Carrillo López

Vícente Carrillo Cantos was the son of Vícente Carrillo López. Like his father he was born in Casasimarro, and was trained as a luthier by his father-- making guitars, bandurrias, contraltos, laúdes, laudónes and other instruments. In 1962, he took over his father's workshop and expanded it into a large Ramirez style workshop, employing as many as 16 luthiers, among whom were Juan Mondéjar, Antonio Bernal, José Maria Escriano, Eufemio Casas, and Teófilio Escobar. He trained both José Leal Mejías and his brother Tomas Leal Mejías. When he died in 1971, Vícente Carrillo Cantos was only 45. Upon his death, his widow Gabriela Casas Fornier who had learned to make guitars from her husband took over the shop.

Vícente Carrillo López (Casasimarro, b. 1881-d. 1962).

Don Vícente Carrillo López the son ofD. Blas Carrillo Alarcón was born in Casasimarro in 1881. His father, then, 45 was already a successful maker, and Vicente grew up surrounded by guitar making. Learning the art from his father, D. Vicente took over his father's shop upon his death in 1919. He, in turn, taught his son, Vícente Carrillo Cantos.

Pablo Casas Cebrian (Casasimarro, b. 1896 -d. 1959)

Pablo Casas Cebrian was born in Casasimarro in 1896. He was trained by Victoriano Alarcón Parreño. He was also an intimate friend Vicente Carrillo López. He died in 1959. 

Felipe Fausto Leal Proveda (Casasimarro, b. 1832- d.1897).

Felipe Fausto Leal Proveda was born is Casasimarro in 1832. He was the son-in-law of Juan de Mata Alarcón Briones and received his training as a guitar maker from his father-in-law. He had two sons Gregorio Leal Alarcón and Juan Leal Alarcón both of who apprenticed with their father. He also trained his kinsman Juan Leal Gomez. He died in 1897.

Gregorio Leal Alarcón (Casasimarro, b. 1867 - d. 1955).

Gregorio Leal Alarcón was born in the tiny town of Casasimarro in the province of Cuenca in 1867. He was trained by his father Felipe Fausto Leal Proveda. Although Domingo Prat (1934) lists him as a guitar maker, he seems to have earned his living more as a carpenter, and consequently built very few guitars. He trained Pablo Casas Cebrian. He died around 1955.

Juan Leal Alarcón (Casasimarro, b. 1869 - d. 1944).

Juan Leal Alarcón was born in Casasimarro in 1869. Like his elder brother Gregorio Leal Alarcón, he received his training as a guitar maker from his father, Felipe Fausto Leal Proveda. He died in 1944.

Juan Leal Gómez (Casasimarro, b. 1837 - d. 1895).

Juan Leal Gómez was born Casasimarro in 1837. He was trained by his cousin, Felipe Fausto Leal Proveda. He died in 1895. 

Lorenzo Navarro Navarro (Casasimarro b. 1839 - d. ??).

Lorenzo Navarro Navarro was born in Casasimarro in 1839. He was one of several guitar makers trained by Juan de Mata Alarcón Briones.

Historic Guitar Makers of Córdoba

Miguel Rodriguez Beneyto (Córdoba 1888-c.1975).

Miguel Rodriguez Beneyto (Córdoba 1888-c.1975).

Miguel Rodriguez Beneyto (Córdoba b. 1888 - d. 1975).

Miguel Rodriguez Beneyto was born in Córdoba in 1888. In his early teens, he began playing string instruments including the guitar and bandurrias. His interest in music soon led him to make instruments. Although it is widely claimed in print that he apprenticed with Rafael Casana, a luthier who had been trained by José Ramirez, the family apparently denies this. When he was about 18 years old, Rodriguez set up his own workshop on the calle Barberos. About three years later,  he moved his shop to the calle San Fernando. In 1939, he again moved his workshop to its ultimate location on Alfaras. In 1933, Manuel was joined in his workshop by his 12 year old twin sons, Rafael and Miguel Jr. In time, the instruments from the workshop were made collaboratively. Rodriguez was a fastidious craftsman.  For example, he kept wood from each guitar he made so that should it ever need repair, he could repair it with the same wood with which it had been made. Among the stories that Juan Montero Aguilar (a guitar maker in Córdoba who knew him) told me is that on one occasion Don Miguel to visit him with one of his sons, and was admiring the very clean work Juan was doing on the interior of a guitar he was building. His son wondered aloud "Why bother, no one will see it?" to which the elder Rodriguez replied, "the maker can see it, that's enough." Miguel Sr. died in 1975. Rafael tragically died at the age of 44. Today the Rodriguez classical and flamenco guitars are highly sought-after and continue to soar in price. It is my understanding that Miguel Jr. died recently.

Miguel Rodriguez Serrano (Córdoba, b. 1921- d. 1998)

Miguel Rodriguez jr. was the son of Miguel Rodriguez. At age 12, Miguel and his twin brother, Rafael, began their apprenticeship with their father. In 1945, Miguel married Rafaela Alamo Urbano, and they had two children, Miguel and José. Miguel's brother, Rafael died in 1965, so following his father's death in the mid-1970s, Miguel Jr. took over the workshop.

Rafael Rodriguez Serrano (Córdoba, b. 1921- d. 1965)

Son of Miguel Rodriguez, from the age of 12 Rafael was trained by his father--along with his twin brother, Miguel. Unfortunately, Rafael Rodriguez died tragically in 1965. 

José ("Pepe") Rodriguez Alamo (Córdoba, b. 1941- d. 1996)

José Rodriguez Alamo, know as "Pepe," was the son of Miguel Rodriguez Serrano.  Although his brother, Miguel, choose an industrial career, he continued in the family business, and was not only an active guitar maker until his death in 1996, but also a professor in the conservatory of music in Cordoba.

Historic Guitar Makers of the Madrid School

Alonso (Madrid, active c. 1830s)

Alonso was a guitar maker in Madrid circa the 1830s.

Alfonso Benito (Madrid, active c. 1930s-1940s)

Alfonso Benito was a master builder in the shop of José Ramirez II, and according to José Ramirez III, Alfonso and his father were his principle teachers.

Lorenzo Alonso (Madrid, active c. 1758-1796)

Although we do not have a birth date for Lorenzo Alonso, in 1758 he opened a shop on the calle Carmen in Madrid. In 1761, he was appointed as head of the guitar makers guild in Madrid, and granted examination papers to his son, Pedro Alonso, then three and half years old. As a luthier, he also made violins, cellos, etc. He seems to have closed his workshop on the calle Carmen in 1788, and died in 1796. He seems to have risen to prominence and  is mentioned in Fernando Sor's Method pour la Guitare. (Photo courtesy of Felix Manzanero)

Pedro Alonso (Madrid, 1758- ?)

Pedro Alonso was a luthier active in Madrid around the middle of the eighteenth century.

Agustín de Andrés (Madrid b. 1870active c. 1900)

Agustín de Andrés was active in Madrid until thebeginning of the 20th century. Between 1903 and 1905 he had a workshop in Madrid on D. Manuel Fernández y Gonzalez. According to Romanillos (2002:18-19) in 1905 he was working with Manuel Rodríguez Pérez and Julián Gómez Ramírez. By 1908, like Julián Gómez Ramírez, he had moved to Paris where he had his shop on the Rue de Pateaux, No. 7. Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero.

Vicente Arias, (Madridb. 1833 - d.1914)

Vicente Arias was born in Alcazar de San Juan, Ciudad Real in 1833. He seems to have begun building guitars around 1860.  Emilio Pujol relates that around 1878-1879, Arias was commissioned by Francisco Tarrega to make a small guitar for him that he could carry under his cape to use to strengthen his fingers out of sight. He continued making guitars right up until his death in 1912.  He is generally credited with being the only luthier in the 19th century whose instruments rivaled those of Antonio de Torres in the elegance and constructional quality. Like many makers he had a series of shops. In 1889, he is recorded at Paloma 12. In trade guides 1898-1990, he is listed at Paloma 14. In 1903, we find him at Alamo 3, Madrid. Between 1908-09, his shop is listed on the calle Santa Isabel, no. 20. He 1910, we find him again at Alamo 3; in 1912 at Alamo 10. He died in 1914.

Marcelo Barbero (Madrid, b. 1904-d. 1956)

Marcelo Barbero was born in Madrid in 1904. Marcelo was trained by José Ramirez II, and  gave José Ramirez III his initial lessons in guitar building. When Santos Hernandez died in 1943, Marcelo went to his widow to see about taking over her husband's old shop. She employed Marcelo Barbero first to finish some guitars that Santos was unable to complete, and then to build for her. MarceloBarbero trained Arcángel Fernández. When Barbero died, his son Marcelo Jr. began an apprenticeship with José Ramirez, however, he left after a couple of years. Marcelo's widow, then asked Arcángel Fernández to trainher son. Marcelo Jr. continues to work with Arcángel Fernández. (Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero.)

Modesto Borreguero (Madrid b. 1893-d.1969)

Modesto Borreguero was born in 1893, and at age 12 entered the Manuel Ramirez shop on Calle Arlaban as an apprentice, working alongside of Santos Hernandez and Domingo Esteso, among others. Following the death of Manuel Ramirez in 1916, Borreguero was planning to open his own shop, and even had labels printed, but when his Manuel’s widow asked him to continue on, he did, along with Hernandez and Esteso. After a few years, Hernandez and Esteso left to open their own workshops, however, Borreguero continued working for Manuel’s widow until the shop closed around 1923. Even after, his labels touted the fact the had worked for Manuel Ramirez, Antiguo oficial de M. Ramirez. In 1924, Modesto married, and opened a workshop on Duque de Fernan Nuñez, No. 5. However, these were hard times, and during the civil war he lost his shop, and his wife died, leaving him with two children. Struggling on, he moved his shop several times. In 1945 he open a new workshop on Zurita 27 where he worked until 1948, and began to gain a reputation as a luthier. In 1948, he rented space in the workshop of Hernandez and Aguado, who were furniture restorers at the time, at Ribera de Curitdores No 9. Inspired by watching Borreguero build guitars, they too began building guitars. In 1952, Borreguero moved his workshop to Desengaño No 4, and began to build exclusively for the music store Casa Garrido. There he also took on the training of Vicente Perez Camacho, who went on to become a noted luthier. He also taught a young Felix Manzanero how to French polish, a skill that allowed Manzanero to enter Jose Ramirez III workshop as an apprentice. Felix remember’s him as being “somewhat of a bohemian” and being “a generous man, who enjoyed drinking, and so was often broke.” His son Enrique Borreguero (b. 1925) also went to work for Ramirez. Modesto Borreguero retired in 1963, and died in 1969. 

Agustín Campo (Madrid active c.1840)

Agustín Campo was an important luthier in Madrid circa 1840. He collaborated with the guitarist/composer Dionisio Aguado in making improvements to the design of his guitars that were taken up by other members of the Madrid school.

Benito Campo (Madrid, b.1798-d.1857)

Benito Campo was born in Logroñom La Rioja in 1798. He seems to have worked sometimes as a carpenter, but was also guitar maker with a shop on Majaderitos, 16. He married the daughter of Manuel Muñoa in 1827. He was a trusted friend of Dionisio Aguado, who named him in 1849 to be the executor of his will. He trained one son José Toribio Campo. Photo courtesy of Spanish Guitar Shop.

Antonio Carracedo (Madrid, active c. 1860)

Antonio Carracedo was a luthier in Madrid active circa 1860, he produced a guitar with a modern plantilla; that is wider in the lower bout, fan braced, raised finger board, and a modern bridge. The guitar pictured was made in 1865 and features Lacotte type machine tuners. Photo coutesy of Francisco Arias Garcia-VIllabla

Rafael Casana (Madrid, active c. 1900s)

Rafael Casana apprenticed under José Ramirez I. He latter settled in Córdoba where he seems to have trainedMiguel Rodriguez. Rafael, however, was apparently an unstable man, and according to Ivor Mairants, ended up committing suicide in 1905.

Faustino Conde (Madrid, 1913-1988)

Faustino Conde Salamana was born in Villalba de los Alcores in 1913. He began his apprenticeship with his uncle, Domingo Esteso Lopez (1882-1937),  when he was only 13. When Domingo Esteso died in 1937, Faustino and his brothers Mariano and Julio Conde took over their uncle's workshop in Madrid, continuing to work for their uncle's widow until her death in 1960 building under the label Vda Sobrinos de Esteso (Widow and nephews of Domingo Esteso). The Conde brothers continued building under the label Sobrinos de Domingo Esteso into the 1970s when they took the name Hermanos Conde (the Conde Brothers). Faustino died in 1988. The original Esteso-Conde shop currently is run by Faustino's widow, Julia Conde Pastor.

Julio Conde (Madrid, b. 19?? - d. 1995)

Julio Conde was one of the Conde brothers, and nephews and successors of Domingo Esteso. He died in 1995.

Mariano Conde (Madrid, b.191? - d. 1989)

Mariano Conde, a nephew of Domingo Esteso, and one of the Conde brothers who worked for Domingo's widow, and after her death in 1960, inherited the Esteso workshop. He later left and set up his own workshop. He died in 1989.


Manuel Contreras (Madrid, 1926-1995).

Born in Madrid in 1926, Contreras began his working life as a cabinet maker, and reportedly even tried his hand as a bullfighter. In 1959, he joined the Ramirez workshop as a senior journeyman. It was Contreras who made the first José Ramirez guitar Andrés Segovia bought in 1960. After three years with Ramirez, Manuel opened his own guitar workshop in the center of Madrid.  He soon earned a reputation as one of the finest and most innovative luthiers in Spain. Among his innovations is the “double top,” a guitar in which a second top is mounted between the braces of the back, improving boththe tone and the volume of the guitar. In 1983, Contreras designed a radically different guitar without an upper waist or sound hole for the Uruguayan guitarist, Abel Carlevaro. The assumption being that by enlarging the surface area of the top, the volume and tone would improve. The guitar has also an extra back and sides inside body to isolate the box from the damping effect of the player's body. Instead of a sound hole, there are slits that around the edge of the top, between the sets of sides through which the sound emerges. I have played this model in his shop, and indeed it has better volume and tone, but is a very heavy instrument. His most popular models, however, are built in the Spanish tradition. They are large, long scale instruments, with fan braced tops, based on the successful Ramirez formula. Contreras died in 1994 of cancer, but his shop continues to build the same models under the direction of his son, Pablo Contreras. 

Juan de Carrión (Madrid, active c. 1600-1620)

Juan de Carrión was a luthier to the Spanish Crown in Madrid at the beginning of the 17th century.

Domingo Esteso Lopez (Madrid, 1882-1937) 

Domingo Esteso Lopez was born in San Clemente in the province of Cuenca in 1882. He was one the guitar great makers of the early 20th century based in Madrid. In the 1890s, he began as an apprentice in the shop of Manuel Ramirez, working along side such greats as Santos Hernandez and Modesto Borreguero. When Manuel Ramirez died in 1916, he continued to work for Manuel's widow for about a year. In 1917 he opened his own shop on the calle Gravina, where he was joined by his nephew, Faustino Conde in 1926. After his death in 1937, Faustino and his two brothers, Mariano and Julio, took over the shop, building under Vda y Sobrinos de Domingo Esteso (Widow and nephews of Domingo Esteso. Following the widow's death in the 1960s, they became Hermanos Conde, sobrinos (nephews) of Domingo Esteso. 

Antonio Carlos Garcia (Madrid, active c. 1860)

Antonio Carlos Garcia was a maker of guitars and bandurrias active in Madrid circa 1860. The parlor guitar shown was made for the English market where according to its label the Alban Voigt & Co. was Garcia's exclusive distributor in Great Britain and the colonies. This guitar has a three piece top, back and sides of Rosewood from Brazil. Mother-of-pearl is inlayed into ebony of the rosette.  The construction of this small instrument (590mm scale), is unusual in that it makes no use of fan bracing. Despite this, its tone and volume are surprisingly big.

Enrique Garcia Castillo (Madrid, 1868-Barcelona 1922)

Juan Garcia (Madrid active c. 1860s - 1910s.)Enrique Garcia was born in Madrid in 1868. Although he was the son of a guitar maker, Juan Garcia, in 1883 he began an apprenticeship with Manuel Ramirez, and continued to work for him for many years. In 1893, his guitars won first prize at the Chicago World Fair. In 1895, he left the Ramirez shop and moved to Barcelona where he opened a workshop on the calle Aragon No. 309. In 1899, he moved his shop to the calle Aragon No. 455. In 1902, he again moved his shop to its ultimate location on the Paseo de San Juan No 110. Enrique Garcia quickly gained an international reputation, and his guitars were particularly in demand in Latin America. By 1912, he was shipping most of his guitars to Latin America. In Barcelona, he had one disciple Francisco Simplicio. Garcia made some guitars that so closely resembled those of Antonio de Torres that their labels have been removed and passed off as Torres guitars.  He died on October, 31, 1922.

Juan Garcia was a luthier active in Madrid in the later half of the 19th century, and father of Enrique Garcia, and gave his son his initial training. He died in 1914.

Antonio Gómez Rodriguez (Madrid, active. c. 1930)

Antonio Gómez Rodriguez was a luthier in Madrid active circa 1930.

Julian Gómez Ramírez (b. Madrid- 1879- d. Paris, 1943)

Julian Gómez Ramirez was born in Madrid in 1879. About 1892, he began an apprenticeship with Agustín Andrés. By 1910, however, he was working as a journeyman in the shop of José Ramirez I.   Althoughnot related to Ramirez, the Ramirez family claims him as a disciple of Ramirez I. According to Robert Bouchet, Julian told him he had worked for Manuel Ramirez before coming to Paris around 1914.  He remained in Paris until his death in 1943. Julian Gómez Ramirez was befriended by Robert Bouchet (1898-1986), and was a frequent visitor in Julian's tiny, dark and jumbled workshop, and credits Julian with inspiring him to become a guitar maker. Despite the working conditions in his shop, Julian Gomez Ramirez produced guitars of genuine quality. Among the players who owned his guitars was the concert guitarist Ida Presti (1924-1967).

Photo of Julian Gómez Ramirez with permission of James Westbrook "Guitars Through the Ages: Craftsman to Performer, 2002"

Francisco González(Galicia, b. 1820 -d. 1879)

Francisco González Estéve, born inCórgomo, Orense in 1820, was an engineer who took up guitar making. In fact, he is credited with makingthe first car in Spain. Made before the internal combustion engine, it was a lever operated vehicle. He is also generally given the honor of being the founder of the Madrid school, this despite the fact that he was not a native of Madrid, but had moved there in 1835 or 1836. Nor was he the first, guitar maker in Madrid. There was already a flourishing Madrid schooldeveloping. The honor certainly is appropriate for being the most influential, for he trained José Ramirez I, who in turn taught his brother, Manuel Ramirez, and it is two these two brothers that almost every maker in Madrid traces his lineage. Francisco, however, was also recognized in his own time as a fine maker. In 1867, atthe Universal Exposition in Paris, he was awarded a bronze metal for his guitars. He had a series of shops. From around 1849-1855, he was at Calle de los Estudios de San Isidro. He then moved to Calle Toledo, 40. In 1863, he was at Calle Latonerones, 1. By 1864, he on the calle Carrera de San Geronimo, No. 15, near the Puerta de Sol, the shop he continued to occupy until his death in 1879. His son-in-law, Enrique Romano Papell took over the shop when he died. Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero.  

Marcos Antonio González(Madrid, b.c. 1736, active c. 1760s-1800s d.1809).

Marcos Antonio González was a guitar maker who settled in Madrid in 1766 on the Calle Majaderistos. He trained trained his son, Manuel Narciso González. He also trained the brothers Juan and Manuel Muñoa. Manuel married his daughter and eventually took over the workshop. He had his workshop on the Calle Angosta de Majaderitos.

Manuel Narciso González(b. Madrid 1781,  active c. 1800s-1840s, d. 1847)

Manuel Narciso González was born in Madrid in 1781. He was trained by his father, Marcos Antonio González, and was a brother-in-law of the Juan and Manuel Muñoa. When his father died, Manuel took over his father's workshop on Calle de Majaderitos. He was appointed a the guitar maker to the Royal Chamber in 1830-- a fact recorded on the label of his guitars thereafter.

Hernández y Aguado (Madrid, active 1950s-1970s)

Manuel Hernández was born in 1895 in a village near Toledo, but his family moved to Madrid when he was eight years old. At the age of 14 he began to work as an apprentice in a piano workshop where soon after he was allowed to work in the area where the main bodies of the piano were constructed, and the attendant acoustic problems solved. Victoriano Aguado was born in 1897 in the city of Madrid. He also grew up in Madrid and was employed as a French polisher at the same piano workshop. There, the two became friends and when the business closed in 1941, they decided to set up a workshop which would specialize in the restoration of pianos and antique furniture. Aguado was an enthusiastic guitarist and Hernández had a love for music combined with his skilled craftsmanship which eventually led to collaboratively making a couple of guitars. They were inspired by the guitar professor Sainz de la Mata at the Conservatorio de Madrid and they learned much by watching Modesto Borreguero at work - he was once a pupil of Manuel Ramirez. After favorable response to their instruments they decided to convert the entire workshop over to guitar production. By the end of their first year as full-time luthiers, they had a waiting list of seventy customers. By 1975 when Hernández died, over 400 guitars had been produced. Although Aguado retired from guitar-making in 1970, the post 1970 guitars were made by Hernández and his son-in-law, Jesus Belezar. The tradition of guitar construction so firmly established in Spain during the last 100 years has been maintained there by a number of modern master makers including Hernández y Aguado. Their partnership is considered one of the most successful in guitar-making history.

Santos Hernández Rodríguez (Madrid, 1873-1943).

Santos Hernández was born in Madrid in 1873. When he was ten he began an apprenticeship making vestments and ornaments in a shop that made religious paraphernalia. Unhappy with this vocation, he apprenticed to Valentin Viudes, the son. After a short time, he left Viudes shop and went to work for José Ortega in Granada. But, he soon returned to Madrid and worked for Saturnino Rojas and in the prestigious shop of Francisco Gonzalez, then being run by the son. In 1893, Santos was drafted and was assigned to a artillery unit during the five years of his military service. He was sent to Cuba to fight during the Spanish-American war. On leaving the army in 1898, he seems to have set up his own workshop on the Calle Nicolas Salmerón. About 1905 he was hired by Manuel Ramirez as his foreman to replace Enrique Garcia, who had moved to Barcelona. Santos seems to have been the luthier who was most involved in building the guitar Manuel Ramirez gave Andrés Segovia in 1912. When Manuel Ramirez died in 1916, Santos continued working for his widow until 1920. In 1921, Santos opened his own shop in an alley, La Aduana, in the center of Madrid, building both classical and flamenco guitars. Santos was secretive about his arts, and refused to taken on disciples. Santos Hernández guitars were played by such notable classical guitarists as Luis Sánchez Granada, Regino Sainz de la Maza, Quintin Esquembre, and such flamenco players as Ramon Montoya, Niño Ricardo, Sabicas, Esteban de Sanlúcar, Manolo de Huelva, Manolo de Badajoz etc. After his death in 1943, his widow continued to run his shop, employing Marcelo Barbero to make guitars.

Francisco Ibarrola (Madrid, active c. 1900-1910s).

Francisco Ibarrola was a luthier in Madrid active at the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1914, he had a shop on the calle Santa Barbara.

Pedro Jiménez (Madrid, active c. 1900-1920s)

Pedro Jiménez, a luthier in Madrid in the early part of the twentieth century had a shop on the calle General Ricardo. In 1918, he moved his shop to the calle Mayor. 

Cleto López (Madrid, active c. 1885)

Cleto López was a guitar maker active in Madrid in the late nineteenth century.(Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero).  

Josef Martinez (Madrid, active c. 1800)

Josef Martinez was a luthier active in Madrid at the beginning of the 19th century. An example of his work is in the collection of Felix Manzanero, and according to Manzanero is among the best sounding guitars in his collection.

(Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero).

J. Manuel Martinez de Milan (active c. 1952)

Juan Manuel Martinez de Milan was active in Madrid in the 1950s. The guitar shown here was made in 1952. The label which sports his picture reads J. Manuel Martinez de Milan / Constructor de Guitarras / Rodas 11, Interior 13. Telefono 2810?? / Madrid / No. ?5 [handwritten]  Año 1952 [penned in].(Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero). 

Juan Moreno (Madrid, b. 1792 active 1820s-1830s d. 1836). 

Juan Moreno was born in Madrid in 1792, by the 1820s he had established himself as a guitar maker with a shop on Calle Ancha de Majaderitos, 10. He escaped doing military service because he had poor vision in his right eye. In 1829, Juan built a guitar which according to Dionisio Aguado, led the movement which changed guitar construction in Madrid from the French style transverse bracing and fingerboard flush with the top, to a Spanish system using fan bracing and a raised fingerboard. He died, unmarried, in 1836.

Antonio Muñoa (Madrid, active c. 1820)

Antonio Muñoa was a luthier in Madrid active circa 1820. The nephew of Juan Muñoa, Antonio was trained by his uncle. Dionisio Aguado praised his work in his Method (1820) saying that the few guitars he has made show promise of his developing his uncle's abilities. 

Juan Muñoa (Madrid, 1783-1824)

Juan Muñoa was born in Pradoluengo in 1783, and like his elder brother probably learned guitar making with Marcos Antonio González.  Manuel and Juan later moved to Madrid, and they were active at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth century in Madrid. Juan died in Madrid in 1824. Juan Muñoa made a guitar for Dionisio Aguado that this guitarist and composer praises in his Colección de Estudios (1820) as being the optimal guitar.

Juan Muñoa II, (Madrid active mid-19th century)

Juan Muñoa II appears to be a son or grandson of Juan Muñoa active in Madrid in the mid-19th century. An example of his work dated 1870 is in the collection of Felix Manzanero.(Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero).  

Manuel Muñoa (Madrid, 1779-1815)

Manuel Muñoa was born in Pradoluengo in 1779, and probably learned guitar making with Marcos Antonio González. He move to Madrid with his brother, Juan Muñoa, and they were active at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth century in Madrid. Manuel died in Madrid in 1815. He had his shop on the calle Majaderitos. 

José Nieto (Madrid, active c. 1872)

José Nieto was a luthier active in Madrid at the toward of the nineteenth century.

Asencio Ortega (Madrid, b. 1799 d. 1844)

Asencio Ortega was the son of Silverio Ortega, a luthier. Although trained by his father, he wasn't the luthier his father was. Asencio was best know for his violins, but also built some guitars. 

Mariano Ortega (Madrid, b. 1790 d. 1865).

Mariano Ortega was the son of Silverio Ortega, a luthier. Mariano was trained by his father, but wasn't the luthier his father was. Nevertheless, he built both violins and guitars, and had a long active career in Madrid. 

Silverio Ortega (Madrid, b. 1765- d. 1846)

Silverio Ortega was a luthier in Madrid in the second half of the eighteenth century. He was born in Orusco in the province of Madrid in 1765 and apprenticed as a luthier with his uncle Vicente Assensio, a priest. He built and repaired instruments for the Royal household and Royal chapel from 1782 until his death in 1846. He was the father of Mariano Ortega, and trained his son. 

Serafín Pec (Madrid active c. 1890)

Serafín Pec was a guitar maker in Madrid active at the end of the nineteenth century. An example of his guitars is in the collection of Felix Manzanero.(Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero).  


José RamirezI (Madrid, 1858-1923)

José Ramirez Planell wasborn in Madrid in 1858. His father was a master carpenter who worked for a developer in the Salamanca district of Madrid. When he was just 12, he was apprenticed to Francisco González (1818c-1880c). From all accounts, it was a long and arduous apprenticeship that began with menial tasks, but slowly as these were mastered progressed to more complex ones, until the responsibility for complete instruments was given him.  In 1882,  José opened his own workshop in the Rastro ofMadrid, on Cava Baja-- a street that runs along what was the moot around the old city, and in 1890 moved toConcepcion Jerónimo 2where the Ramirez shop remained for over a hundred years. In 1897,  José Ramirez was awarded a gold medal for his guitars at the Logroño exposition.  Like his teacher, José specialized in large, shallow flamenco guitars with arched tops. José not only trained included brother Manuel Ramirez Planell (1864-1916), but Julian Gomez Ramirez who later practiced his art in Paris, Antonio Viudez who migrated to Buenos Aires, and Rafael Casana. The Jose Ramirez III also claims that he taught Enrique Garcia. José Ramirez, of course, also trained his son, José Ramirez II (1885-1957), who took over the business after his father's death. He died in 1923. (Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero).

José Ramirez II (Madrid, 1885-1957)

José Ramirez de Galarretawas born in 1885 in Madrid. At a tender age he began his apprenticeship with his father, also learning to play the guitar.  Against his father's wishes, when he was twenty he joined a folk troop for a Latin American tour as a guitarist, going by the name Simón Ramirez. After visiting Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, he decided not to return to Spain, but to remain in Buenos Aires. There he married, and there his first son, José Ramirez III,  was born. It was not until two years after his father's death in 1923 that José  IIreturned to Spain to take over the family business. He soon established himself as a master luthier. In 1929 his guitars were awarded a gold medal at the Latin American Trade Fair in Seville-- a fact that he soon incorporated into his label. During his long career, José Ramirez II trained not only  and his own son, José Ramirez III, but Marcelo Barbero (1904-1955). He died in 1957.

José Ramirez III (Madrid, 1922-1995)

José Ramirez IIIwas born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1922, and was only three when his father returned to Spain to take over the workshop on Concepción Jerónimo 2 in Madrid. Apprenticing with his father, through the difficult times of the world depression and Spain Civil War,  José III soon proved to be a tireless investigator of the instrument, and an able business man. Under his supervision, the workshop grew not only into a major enterprise, butJosé III recruited and trained a host of apprentices--many of whom worked in his shop for years, and many of whom have since become famous luthiers in their own right: Paulino Bernabé, Felix Manzanero, Manuel Contreras, Manuel Rodriguez, Ignacio M. Rozas, Manuel Caceras, Miguel Malo Martinez,   José Romero, and José Ramirez IV to name but a few. José Ramirez III is also generally credited with the introduction of cedar as a tone wood.  During the 1960s, as high quality German spruce became hard to find, and increasingly expensive,  José III discovered and promoted western red cedar by building his both his 1a and 2a models with cedar tops, and by convincing great artists to use them. When Segovia began playing a Ramirez in the 1960s, it became the guitar that every aspiring guitarist wanted.

Manuel Felipe Ramirez Planell (Madrid, 1864-1916)

Manuel Ramirez was born in Alhama de Aragón in the province of Zaragosa in 1864. His father, Jose Ramirez de Galarreta, was a master carpenter who worked for a developer in the Salamanca district of Madrid. His brother José apprenticed with Francisco Gonzalez and then taught his younger brother, Manuel. Around 1890, Manuel decided to go out on his own. Initially, he thought of emigrating to Paris as had José's pupil, Julian Gomez Ramirez (no relation). His brother José helped him make preparations, but instead he soon opened a workshop on the Plaza de Santa Ana. José felt betrayed, and the rift this caused was so deep that they never spoke again. Business, however, was slow and so Manuel always somewhat of a restless Bohemian character, he also worked for a time as an electrician for the Madrid Electric Company, leaving his shop in the hands of his disciple, Enrique Garcia. In 1897, Manuel moved his shop to the Calle Arlabán, No. 10 where he remained until 1912, moving then to No. 11.  Manuel who also made violins became an official Luthier of the Royal Conservatory of Madrid.  He also won a medal at the Chicago Fair in 1893 for his work. Manuel trained a generation of great luthiers: Enrique Garcia, Santos Hernandez, Modesto Borreguero, and Domingo Esteso. Manuel is also remembered for his gift of a fabulous guitar to a young Andrés Segovia in 1912. Manuel Ramirez died in 1916, and his shop was taken over and run by his widow. Out loyalty to Manuel, Santos Hernandez and Domingo Esteso continued to work for his widow her until her death in 1921.

1900 Manuel Ramirez played by Maya Rafajlovic

Francisco Rey (Madrid, 19th century)

Francisco Rey was a guitar maker active in Madrid during the nineteenth century. 


Alfredo Rodriguez (Madrid, c. 1900)

Alfredo Rodriguez was a guitar maker active in Madrid c. 1900. He is not related to Manuel Rodriguez Perez. (Photo Courtesy of Felix Manzanero.)


Manuel Rodriguez Perez (San Fernando Island, Cadiz, b. 1887 - d. Madrid 1958)

Manuel Rodriguez Perez was born in San Fernando Island Cadiz in March 4, 1887. His father, Manuel Rodriguez Marequi, was a flamenco guitarist. In 1905, Manuel apprenticed with Agustin Andres in Madrid. Around 1908, his father took the family to live in Paris, and where Manuel found work with Julian Gomez Ramirez, remaining there until the start of the war in 1914. Returning to Madrid, he went to work for Jose Ramirez I, as a varnisher. After Ramirez I died, his son took over the shop, and Manuel continued to work for Ramirez II, until he was replaced by a varnisher from Valencia in 1930. Between 1930 and 1939, Manuel varnished for Santos Hernandez, Saturnino Rojas, and Modesto Borreguero. In 1939, he was rehired by Ramirez II, bring with him his 13 year old son, Manuel Rodriguez Fernandez, as an apprentice. Manuel continued to work for Ramirez until he retired in 1953.

Manuel Rodriguez Fernandez (Madrid b. 1926 - d.  Madrid 2008)

Manuel Rodriguez Fernandez (born 1926) was the son of Manuel Rodriguez Perez. He began his career at age 13 when his father, returned to work for Jose Ramirez II after the civil war. Rising through the ranks at Ramirez, Manuel soon became a master craftsman. In 1955, he established his own workshop in Madrid. In 1959 he decide to move to Los Angeles, where he opened a shop on Willshire Boulvard, and rapidly established a wide following. There his two sons, Manuel Rodriguez Moreno and Norman were born in 1962 and 1965 respectively. In 1973 the family moved back to Madrid, and established a shop. Manuel continued to build fine handmade guitars, but to serve the growing demand for high quality student instruments, in 1991 he established a factory that soon earned an international reputation. His sons, followed him into the family business, both becoming outstanding luthiers in their own right. Although Manuel died December 25, 2008, he left his company in his sons' capable hands.

Saturnino Rojas (Madrid, b. 1859-d. 1937 active 1880-1935).

Saturnino Rojas was a guitar maker in Madrid in the second half of the nineteenth century and early part of the twentieth century. He was a contemporary of F. Gonzalez, Ramirez, Santos Hernandez, and Domingo Esteso, and seems to have been an accomplished luthier of guitars, bandurrias, and laúdes. According to the Madrid guitar maker Manuel Rodriguez Sr, who was a good friend, Saturnino opened his shop on the calle Atocha no. 115 well before 1890, and was the first teacher of Santos Hernandez.  He never married, but instead lived in a flat above his workshop with his sister. When he retired in 1936, Marcelo Barbero and Manuel Rodriguez negotiated with him for his workshop, but nothing came of it, he died in 1937. (Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero). 

Enrique Romans Papell (Madrid, b. cerca 1850. - d. 1927)

Historic Guitar Makers of the Malaga School

Antonio de Lorca Garcia (Cartagena 1798-Málaga 1870).

Antonio de Lorca Garcia was born in Cartagena in 1798 and died in Málaga in 1870. He was the founder of a family of guitar makers that included his son Antonio de Lorca Pino, and grandson Antonio de Lorca Ramirez. The family trained numerous makers, and so is considered the most influential and important group of Malaga guitar makers in the 19th century.(Photo courtesy of Spanish Guitar Shop).

Antonio de Lorca Piño (Málaga, active late 19th century d. 1909)

Antonio de Lorca Piño was the son of Antonio Lorca. He took over his father's shop when the elder Lorca died in 1870. As a luthier, he not only trained his son, Antonio de Lorca Ramirez, but also trained Juan and Rafael Galán. His shop was a meeting point for guitarists and builders of his day, and visited by Antonio de Torres and Julian Arcas among others. Antonio Lorca Piño died in Málaga in 1909.

Antonio de Lorca Ramirez (Málaga, active c. 1909-1929)

Antonio de Lorca Ramirez, son of Antonio de Lorca, was trained by his father and took of his shop upon his father's death in 1909. With his death in 1929, the Lorca dynasty came to an end.

Fernando del Olmo (Málaga, b. 1806, active 1830-1850s)

Fernando del Olmo was born in Málaga in 1806. He was active from the 1830s into the 1850s.

Francisco Dominguez (Málaga active c. 1895-1957)

Francisco Dominguez from Málaga was trained by Antonio Lorca, beginning his apprenticeship with the latter in 1895, and eventually becoming one of his master craftsmen. Later, he established his own shop on the calle Torrijos, No. 52, eventually moving to Carreteria, 68. He advertised on his label that he made guitars, bandurrias, and laudes. He died in 1957. (Photo a 1955 Francisco Dominguez courtesy ofDavid LaPlante).

Juan Galán Caro (Málaga ?- ?)

JuanGalán Caro was a native of Málaga, and was a disciple of Lorca Pino. He had a shop in Málaga for some 35 years. He was the father of Juan and Rafael Galán Rodriguez, and gave them their training.

Juan Galán Rodriguez (Málaga, 1876- d. Buenos Aires, Argentina 19??)

Juan Galán Rodriguez was born in Málaga in 1876. He was the son of a distinguished guitar maker, Juan Galán Caro, and was trained by his father as was his brother Rafael Galán. In 1906, he left Spain and moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina where by the 1930s he had achieved great fame as a luthier. 

Rafael Galán Rodriguez (b. Málaga 1888- d. Buenos Aires, Argentina ??)

Rafael Galán Rodriguez was born in Málaga. Like his brother Juan was trained by his father. In 1908, he moved to Buenos Aires and remained active there for some decades. 

José Gallegos (Málaga, active c. 1850s).   

José Gallegos was a guitar maker active in Málaga about the middle of the nineteenth century.

Juan Guerrero (Málaga, active c. 1750)

Juan Guerrero was a luthier from Málaga active in the middle of the eighteenth century. 

Joseph Martinez (Málaga, active c. 1790s-1829)

Joseph Martinez was from Málaga. He was probably the father of Joseph Martinez and Manuel Martinez. He was very famous in his own time, and was mentioned by Fernando Sor in his Méthode pour la Guitare as being among the best guitar makers in Spain. (Photo courtesy of Spanish Guitar Shop).

Joseph Martinez (Málaga, active c. 1820s-1833.)

Joseph Martinez named after his father was the son of a luthier, and was trained by the elder Martinez. He was also the brother of Manuel Martinez. He died in 1833.

Manuel Martinez (Málaga, active c. 1810s- 1830s)

Manuel Martinez was the son of Joseph Martinez, the elder. Both Manuel and his brother Joseph were trained by their father.

Antonio Molina (Málaga, active c. 1890).

Antonio Molina was a luthier born in Málaga and active there toward the end of the nineteenth century. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he moved to Buenos Aires. 

Eladio Molina (Málaga, active 1860s-1880's).

Eladio Molina was a guitar maker active in Málaga in the later part of the nineteenth century. He built both classical and flamenco guitars. Only a few of his instruments are known to have survived. (Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero).

Salvador Ramirez (Málaga, active c. 1880-1900)

Salvador Ramirez, no relation to the family in Madrid, was born in Malaga. He was trained by Antonio de Lorca. Like many Spanish luthiers who left Spain around the turn of the century, Salvador emigrated to Buenos Aires some time around 1890, where he became a successful guitar maker with a shop on the calle Rivadavia, No. 436.  He was a highly esteemed maker of flamenco and classical guitars in his day, andis also remembered as the teacher of Francisco Nunez,  the founder the famous "Casa Nuñez" in Buenos Aires. (Photograph courtesy of Richard Bruné).

Rafael Roldán (Málaga, active. c.1790s)

Rafael Roldán was a luthier active in Málaga toward the end of the eighteenth century.

Carlos Sánchez (Málaga, active c. 1930)

Carlos Sánchez was a guitar maker active in Málaga circa 1930.

Historic Guitar Makers of the Sevilla School

Antonio Demas Montsalves (Sevilla, active c. 1905-1943)

Antonio Demas Montsalves was a guitar maker in Sevilla in the first half of the 20th century. He was apparently trained by Enrique Bergali Alonso who had his workshop at Calle Sierpes, 65 in Sevilla, and died about 1905, and Antonio inherited his workshop and continued in business there until his death around 1943. The shop was then taken over by Francisco Mellado Demans. Over the years the Casa Demas evolved into a music store dealing in classical and flamenco guitars and other instruments. In 1998, the Casa Damas S.L. was at Calle Sierpes 61.

Ramon Delclos(Sevilla, active 1914-?).

Ramon Delclos established his workshop in 1914, and made flamenco and classical guitars, bandurrias, and laudes. He had his workshop at Mendez Nuñez, no. 19 in Sevilla. After his death, his widow continued selling guitars with the label Vda de Ramon Delclos at this address.

Joseph de Frías (Sevilla, active c. 1775-1800)

Joseph de Frías was active in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. He seems to have lived in Sevilla, and probably late in his career in Cádiz. He was among the first makers to use fan bracing.

Ignacio de los Santos (Sevilla, active c. 1790s)

Ignacio de los Santos, a luthier from Sevilla he was active at the end of the eighteenth century. Unlike the instruments made in Cádiz, his instruments did not use fan bracing. His shop was at Calle Carpintería, 26, Sevilla.

Manuel Gutiérrez Martínez (Sevilla, b.1773-d.1857)

Manuel Gutiérrez Martínez was born in Sevilla in 1773. As his father was a silversmith, it is uncertain where Manuel learned his trade. Over the course of his long carrier in Sevilla Manuel had a number of workshops. In 1836 he had a workshop at Calle Cerrageria 46. In 1844, his workshop was at Calle Cerrageria 44. In 1845-46, it was at Calle Cerrageria 35. In 1847-48, he was at Ballestilla 10. In 1849, he moved to Cerrageria 36, a few doors away from no. 32,  where Antonio de Torres worked from 1856-1868. Manuel shared this shop with María Dolores Gómez Sánchez (b. 1805-d.1867), his apprentice and disciple who had joined his shop in the 1840s. Manuel never married, so when he died of asthma on the 25th of May, 1857, Maria Gomez, inherited this shop from her master, and continued to list Manuel's name in the trade guides until she retired in 1868, and sold the shop to Manuel Soto y Solares (b1839-d.1906).

Manuel Gutierrez chief claim to fame is that he was a close friend of Antonio Torres (b. 1817- d. 1892). According to Prat (1934:374) for a time when Torres was first becoming established in Sevilla, Gutierrez shared his workshop at calle Cerrageria 36 with him. Torres arrived in Sevilla in 1845. During this period, Torres was not a full time builder, but was being encouraged by Julian Arcas, a Spanish guitarist and virtuoso.  (Romanillos and Winspear 2001:176).  Torres probably shared Manuel's workshop sometime between 1849 and 1854, when Torres opened his own workshop at Ballestilia 11, moving then to Cerrageria 32.  

Although Jose Pernas (b.c. 1802 - d after 1866) is credited by some by some as Torres teacher, Romanillos believes it is doubtful that this Granada maker was his teacher. Romanillos notes that Torres guitars have much more affinity with guitars made in Cadiz and Sevilla than with those of Pernas. Romanillos, suggests that (FE 2) shows that Torres was still learning his art in 1854. An interesting question is whether Gutierrez may have taught Torres something of the luthier's art.  It is hard to assess just how much Torres learned from contact with other makers in Sevilla, "in particular with Manuel Gutierrez, it is probable that he was able to learn certain techniques to help him in his career" (Ramanillos 1995:20-21). 

Frank Wallace, a concert guitarist who has record with a 1854 Gutiérrez (Gyremusic CD), and has had a chance to compare it with the 1857 Torres (FE 07) in the Yale University Musical Instruments Collection, believes the elderly Gutiérrez must have shared his knowledge with Torres. Romanillos makes an interesting observation on the 1857 Torres (FE 07) in the Yale collection. He notes that Torres seems to have used an old neck that was originally made for a double course guitar, given that this guitar has a bull's horn headstock like Gutierrez used, it is possible that he got this neck from him. There are other indisputable similarities between these instruments. They are alike in size, shape and lightness of construction," with the exception that Gutiérrez' has a deeper body (over 100 mm!). "Both instruments have three-piece backs, five radial struts, a v-shaped shaft splice, and an almost identical headstock, in a shape reminiscent of bull's horns." Wallace also observes, "similar techniques were clearly used by Gutiérrez to refine the top of our guitar, whose thickness varies widely from 1.4-2.2 mm. Their sound is remarkably similar, in spite of the different woods for the back and sides (Gutiérrez, Brazilian rosewood; Torres, cypress). Both are rich, dark, full and complex in sound."

Alonso Merino (Sevilla, active c. 1900)

Alonso Merino was a maker in Sevilla at the beginning of the twentieth century. He had his shop at Calle O'Donnel 17, Sevilla from 1895-1896, then moved in 1897 to O'Donnel 13, and relocated in No. 18, on the same street in 1898 where he continued until at least 1903.  In addition to guitarras, his labels advertise that he made Bandurrias. One of this guitars built in 1900 is listed in the collection of Felix Manzanero. (Photo Courtesy of Felix Manzanero).

Diego Salazar y Soto (Sevilla, active c. 1830s-1860s)

Diego Salazar was born in 1807. He was trained by his father, Manuel Salazar, a guitar maker active in Sevilla around first quarter of the nineteenth century. Like many makers in Sevilla of the period, in the 1840s Diego seems to have had a shop on the Calle Carpintería at no. 47. In the 1860s, he seems to have moved to Calle Cuna 30, and was working with his son, Rafael Salazar Grajales until at least 1868.

Francisco Sanguino (Sevilla, active c. 1750s-1780s)

Although little is know about this maker, he seems to have been a famous maker in his own time, and his guitars are earliest known to use fan bracing. Five of his guitars are know to have survived, as well as two cellos. His work was important to the evolution of the modern guitar. It is probable that he trained the Pagés.

José Serrano (Sevilla, active c. 1840s-1850s)

José Serrano, a guitar maker from Sevilla was active in the mid-nineteenth century.  His guitars used a very simple system of fan bracing. His label gives his address as Calle Carpintería, no. 26, Sevilla.

Cristóbal Soto Sánchez (Sevilla, b. c. 1869, active 1890-1900)

Cristóbal Soto Sánchez was the son of Manuel Soto y Solares and was born in Sevilla around 1869. He seems to have been active as a guitar maker in the 1890s and worked with his father at Calle Cerrajeria No. 7. That he was not his father's successor suggests that he may have died before his father.

Joaquín Soto y Solares (Sevilla, b. 1843, active 1860s).

Joaquín Soto y Solares was born in 1843 and was the second son of Manuel María de Soto Castanón, and worked with his father at Calle Cuna 19.

Manuel María de Soto Castañón (Sevilla, b. circa 1800 -d. 1878)

Born around the beginning of the century, the son of Manuel María de Soto, a guitar maker also in Sevilla. He probably was trained by his father. Several address are associate with him in the 1830s, he seems to have been at Calle Carpintería No. 19. In the 1860s, he apparently was at Calle Cuna 19, but at his death he was at No. 41 on the same street. He had at least two sons who followed him as guitar makers: Manuel Soto y Solares and Joaquin Soto y Solares.

Manuel Soto y Solares (Sevilla, b. 1839- d.1906)

Manuel Soto y Solares was a luthier active in Sevilla during the second half of the nineteenth century. The Soto and Solares families seem to have been among the dominant families of guitar makers in the 19th century. Manuel's father, Manuel de Soto Castanón, was a guitarmaker, as was his father, Manuel de Soto. His maternal-grandfather, Manuel Solares Sánchez (b.1773 -d. before 1837) had been a guitarmaker. Manuel was trained by his father, as was his brother, Joaquin. He had his workshop on the Calle Cerrageria,  the same street whereAntonio de Torres also had his shop, being first at No. 36, which he took over when Maria Gomez, who had inherited this shop from Manuel Gutierrez, retired around 1868. When the street was renumbered in 1869, the address changed to No. 4. He was at Cerrageria No. 4 until at least 1875. When he next reappears in the historical record in 1890, he was at Cerrageria No 7.  Although Manuel's son, Cristóbal Soto Sánchez, followed in his footsteps as a luthier, it was his daughters, Francisca and Rosa de Soto who took over the business upon his death, the shop passed then to Manuel's grandson, José Tejada y Soto, who continued to advertise that he was the successor of Manuel de Soto y Solares until at least 1933.

According to some sources, (WIKI among them) Don Antonio Torres shared a shop with Manuel Soto y Solares at Cerragería 7 when he first arrived in Sevilla around 1854. This is obviously wrong as the shop was still occupied by Manuel Gutierrez and Maria Gomez. There was a period in the late 1860s when Torres was without a workshop of his own, and could have shared workspace with Manuel de Soto y Solares. Regardless of whether or not they shared a workshop, Manuel's guitars were heavily influenced by Antonio de Torres. 

In his book on Torres, Romanillos states that Torres and Manuel did some business together, and relates a rumor that when a guitar Torres made didn’t meet his level of expectations, he had Manuel sell it through his shop, either as an unlabeled guitar or under Manuel’s label. Doubtlessly, when Torres closed his shop and moved to Almería and opened china China in 1870, the continuing demand for Torres style guitars open the door Manuel Soto y Solares.

When Torres went into "retirement" between 1870 and 1883, the flamenco guitar as we know it was just beginning to emerge. What flamenco players wanted was the so-called “tablao” guitar, with a “domed” top and back. These were very domed (arched) instruments that originally evolved in Sevilla with Manuel de Soto y Solares, and migrated north to Madrid with flamenco players. Manuel made this style of guitar as so drew important clients, such as Juan Breva (1844-1918) who is known to have used a Manuel de Soto y Solares guitar made between 1870 and 1890. 

What is evident in the fifteen or so guitars know of Manuel de Soto y Solares is that he was a highly skilled artisan, familiar with Torres design and general construction methods. Perhaps this is why his guitars have survived and remain prized, where those of many of his contemporaries in Sevilla seem to have perished. (Photograph courtesy of Richard Bruné).

José Tejada y Soto. (b.c. 1890 active c. 1910-1930s)

José Tejada Soto, the son of Francisca de Soto y Sánchez, and grandson of Manuel Soto y Solares was born around 1890, and grew up in the shop at Cerrageria No 7. About 1911, the shop moved to the Calle Federico de Castro, No 59; and he worked there with his mother until he took over in 1917. He advertised he was the successor of Manuel Soto y Solares, and continued in business until at least 1933.

Historic Spanish Guitar Makers of the Zaragoza School

Emilio Fernández (Zaragoza active c. 1930)

Emilio Fernández was a luthier active in Zaragoza circa 1930 who built guitars and bandurrias.

Pedro Fuentes (Zaragoza, active c. 1860s)

Pedro Fuentes a maker from Zaragoza seems to have switched from the typical fair of the first half of the nineteenth century, to guitars that were clearly inspired by Torres. He was appointed a guitar maker to the Royal Chamber in 1858 and in 1860 presented a highly ornate guitar to the prince.

Basilio Marin Ferrer (Zaragoza, active c. 1890s-1910s)

Basilio Marin Ferrer was a guitar maker active in Zaragoza around the turn of the twentieth century. His shop was located on the calle Manifestación, No. 62. He primarily made modest, affordable instruments.

Historic Guitar Markers of the Valencia School

Alcaraz, Juan (Valencia c. 1850)

Juan Alcaraz was a luthier in Valencia around the middle of the nineteenth century active from 1843 to 1867.  In addition to guitars, he made cellos and contra basses.  

Joaquín Bargues (Valencia active c. 1900)

Joaquín Bargues was a guitar maker active in Valencia active prior to World War I.

Salvador Blanch (Valencia c. 1900)

Salvador Blanch was a well-known maker with a reputation for making pretty guitars who was active in Valencia prior to World War I. He also made a few violins.

José Boludo (Valencia c. 1900)

José Boludo was a guitar maker who was active in Valencia at the beginning of the twentieth century. 

Beltran Salvador Calatayud (Valencia c. first half 20th century)

Beltran Salvador Calatayud was of Basque origin, but plied his trade in Valencia in the first half of the twentieth century.

Ramon Castelló (Valencia, active c. 1930). 

Ramon Castelló, a luthier in Valencia, was among the most famous guitar makers of the Levant. In addition to classical and flamenco guitars, he also built bandurrias.

Salvador Gaspar (Valencia 1874-1942)

Salvador Gaspar was a luthier from in Valencia.  He was born in 1874 in Pueblo Nuevo del Mar, Valencia. He apprenticed with Salvador Ibañez, and began building under his own name in 1898. In 1908 he open a workshop first at calle Alta 58, later he move to calle Alta 54. In 1909 and 1910, his guitars won gold medals first at a regional and then at a national expedition. He died in 1942. He trained his son, Austin Gaspar Cebrian (1907-1992), who took over the shop when he died. In 1960, he moved the work shop to the calle Moro Zeit 2. When Agustin retired in 1984, his son, Vicente Caspar Guzman (b.1948), who Agustin had trained took over, and moved the workshop to calle Sanchís Bergón 20. About 2000, Vicente's son-in-law, Naza, joined the firm, and in 2010, they moved to workshop again to the calle Moro Zeit 2. Although the firm still makes a variety of strings instruments, it now makes more electric guitars than classical or flamenco guitars.

Salvador Ibañez (b. 1854-d. 1920) (Valencia, Firm active c. 1865-1933).

 

Salvador Ibañez, was born in 1854 and was a luthier active in Valencia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Salvador set up a factory in 1883. Salvardor Ibañez has been described as a man of determination who starting with a small workshop slowly built his business at the expense of his competitors into the largest guitar factory in Spain. By 1900, this factory produced 36,000 instruments a year, and employed 100 men and women workers. He had two sons, Vicente (d.1950) and Salvador (1887-1967), who took over the firm after his death in 1920. The business continued under his sons until 1933, when it was sold to Telesforo Julve Jordan. Vicente died in 1950; Salvador in 1967. During its existance address associated with the firm included (1865) Muela 23; (1870) Cubells 11; (1892) Ruzafa 8; (1896) Bajada de San Francisco 23, 27; (1897 Bajada de San Francisco 27 and Hospital 16; (1898) Bajada de San Francisco 23 and Padre Rico 6; (1929-1933) Padre Rico 6. Among those he trained or worked for him were Andres Marin and Salvado Gaspar. 

(For more detail see http://members.upc.nl/a.bogaard241/index_bestanden/TelesforoJulveResearch4.htm)

Telesforo Julve Jordán b. 1884- d. 1945  (Valencia, active 1909-1945)

Telesforo Julve Jordán was born in 1887 in Villarroya de los Pinares, Teruel, and died in Valencia in 1945. He was a luthier with a good reputation that was active in Valencia circa from the late nineteenth century into the 1930s. Like many luthiers of the period, he built classical guitars with a tornavoz. His shop was located on the  He was succeed by his two sons, Telesforo Julve Torres (1917-2000) and Juan Julve Torres (1923-1996). Teleforo Julve apprenticed with his uncle Andres Marin. In 1909 he set up a work shop at Arzobispo Mayoral, No. 11 with Francisco Armengol Barrera and Francisco Lloréns. In 1915, the company changed its name to Lloréns y Julve, and shortly after changed its address to Arzobispo Mayoral, No. 13. By 1917, the firm was simply Teleforo Julve, continuing at the same address until 1932. Existing labels suggest that they also had a shop from 1924 until 1944 at Mariana Pinada 4. From 1944 until at least 1974 their address was San Francisco 4.

(More great detail see: http://members.upc.nl/a.bogaard241/index_bestanden/TelesforoJulveResearch3.htm 

Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero.

Andrés Marin, (Valencia, active 1880s-1950s)

 

Andrés Marin was one of the most renowned makers in Valencia. He married the widow of Agustin Almonacid, who had a guitar factory at Calle Barcelona 17, becoming his successor, around 1882. The factory made guitars, bandurrias, laudes, mandolines, citterns, and a variety of other fretted instruments. According to his label, he had won medals for his guitars in 1882 and 1883. When he died his son, Andres Marin Collado, took over, and moved the factory to Turis, but maintained a retail outlet on the Avda. del Oeste in Valencia. The Spanish Civil war was very hard on the business. After his death, the factory limped along first under the direccion of his daughter, Lola Marin Soucase, and then under her son, before going bankrupt in 1952. Address associated with this firm include: (1882) Barcelonia 17; (1910) Barcelonia 17 and General Prim 19; (1930) Barcelonia 15 and 17; (1945) Bacelonia 17 was renamed Hermanas Chabat 17; (1953) Barón de Cárcer 35.

(For more detail see http://members.upc.nl/a.bogaard241/index_bestanden/TelesforoJulveResearch9.htm)

Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero.

Vicente Parres  (Valencia c. active 1889-1912)

In 1889, Vicente Parres was one of the partners who with Juan Ponce Parres establish the Salvador Sancho C.A. guitar factory at Carrera San Luis, 45. This company was disolved in 1905 when Salvador left for Argentina. In 1907 Parres is listed in the trade guides has having a guitar factory, Parres y Cía, at Carrera de Melilla, Traste 1, num 25, with offices at Caballero 55, bajo, Valerncia. Between 1908-19, the factory moved to Carretera de Millina 23, but also had a shop at Cabelleros 55. In the catelog of 1912, Juan Ponce is listed as being the successor of Parres y Cia.  A couple of examples are found in the Felix Manzanero collection. 

Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero.

Francisco Pau (Valencia, active late 19th century)

 

Francisco Pau was another member of the Pau family of makers active in the late 19th century. An example of one of his guitars made in 1880 is listed in the collection of Felix Manzanero.

Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero.

José Pau (Valencia, active late 19th century)

José Pau was a luthier from Valencia who in the late nineteenth century moved to Uruguay. 

Salvador Pau (Valencia, active c. 1830s-1850s)

Salavador Pau was a guitar maker in Valencia active in the middle of the nineteenth century. He had his shop on the Calle Bolseria. 

Manuel Pérez (Valencia, active  c. 1840s)

Manuel Pérez was a guitar maker active in Valencia circa 1840s.

Juan Ponce (Valencia, active c. 1889-1920)

Juan Ponce was a guitar maker in Valencia in the later part of the nineteenth century and early part of the twentyth century. In 1889, Juan Ponce Parres, Vicente Parres, and Salvador Sancho established a guitar factory, Salvador Sancho, C.A. This company was disolved in 1905, with the departure of Salvador Sancho for Argentina. In 1907 Vicente Parres opened opened a factory, presumably with Juan, Parres y Cia on the calle Caballeros, num 55, Valencia. In 1912, Juan began Vicente Parres successor, and his general catelog listed guitars made in the French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish styles, as well as bandurrias, laudes, citterns, and assorted other stringed instruments and flamenco accessories. This company is last mention in the trade guides in 1920, as having also a shop at Calle Salinas 10. One of his guitars is listed in the collection of Felix Manzanero. 

Luis Reig (Valencia, active c. 1840s-1860s)

Luis Reig was a guitar maker from Valencia active around the middle of the nineteenth century whose guitars were awarded prizes by the King of Spain. His guitars followed French tastes. The one in the Manzanero collection made in 1845 is elaborately decorated and shows the high quality of his work. His shop was on the Calle Bolseria along with other guitar makers. 

Alejandro Roca (Valencia, active c. 1850s)

Alejandro Roca was a guitar builder who apparently worked with his brothers and was active in Valencia in the first half of the nineteenth century.

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Salvador Sáncho Soler (Valencia, active c. 1889-1920)

Salvador Sáncho Soler (1874-1942) was a luthier from Valencia that was active at the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1882, at the age of 12, he seems to have apprenticed with Vicente Tatay Alabau. In 1889, he began the Company Salvador Sancho, S.C., in partnership with Vicente Parres Codoñer and Juan Ponce Parres, with a workshop at Carrera San Luis, 45. In 1905, the Company ceases, and Salvador goes with his brother to Argentina. A year later, Sancho was in Brazil. While his ventures in Brazil were so successful that there is a street in San Pao  named in his honor, in 1914 he returned to Valencia, and starts a new company making not only guitars, but seats, and wood panels--Salvador Sancho  Fábrica de Guitarras, Asientos y Tableros de Madera, located on Carrera de San Luis, 7. In 1920, Sancho stops making guitars, and concentrates on wood products. While he died in 1942, this wood products company still exists, and is one of the most important factories of its kind in Spain.

An example of one his guitars built in 1890s is listed in the collection of Felix Manzanero. 

Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero.

Ricardo Sánchís Nacher (Valencia, 1881-1960)

Founder of the Sanchis factory, Ricardo established a workshop in 1915 in Masanana in the Province of Valencia. His guitars were patterned after the school or  Salvador Ibáñez. However, he had close personal ties with Domingo Esteso and Manuel Ramirez as well.

Vicente Saurit (Valencia, active c. 1930)

Vicente Saurit was a luthier active in Valencia circa 1930 whose shop was on Pasaje Santa Lucia, no. 87. His guitars were noted from their exceptional voices. 

Sentchordi Hermanos (Valencia, active c. 1861-1905)

The Sentchordi Hermanos firm made a variety of guitars, bandurrias, violins, and other instruments in Valencia from 1861 until 1905. The shop was on the Calle de la Bolseria No. 5. and the two brothers traced their roots to Manuel Sentchordi (1700-1765).   

 

Manuel Sentchordi (Valencia, b. 1700 d. 1765)

Manuel Sentchordi was born in Valencia about 1700. He made both guitars and violins. Some of his guitars made in his shop of the calle Nazaret in the 1720s have survived. They are beautiful instruments that reveal his skills at doing inlays. His violins, violas, and cellos, however, do not show the same levels of skill.

 

Miguel Simón Moya (Valencia, active 1860s)

Miguel Simón Moya was a guitar maker active in Valencia circa the 1860s.

Vicente Tatay (Valencia, b. 1869 active c. 1889-1942)

 

Vicente Tatay was a guitar maker in Valencia. Vicente established his workshop in 1889. It was like most workshops of the era with the father teaching and supervising his sons so that some day they could take over the family business. The family business soon began to grow, and they had to hire extra help to meet the demand. They slowly began to look for ways to increase their production by mechanizing some aspects of building. Thus, slowly but surely their workshop was transformed into a factory. The firm Vicente Tatay founded has grown into a major factory producing some 40,000 instruments a year. Vicente Tatay retired in 1942, and the firm was taken over by his sons José and Vicente Tatay Tomás who formed a company Hijos de Vicente Tatay.

Photograph courtesy of Felix Manzanero.

Francisco Torres (Valencia, active c. 1930)

Francisco Torres was a guitar maker in Valencia who had his shop on the calle Recaredo No. 86. Active circa 1930, he founded a factory that exported guitars world wide.

Reference Works

Anon. (1979). Madrid School of Guitar Makers. Guitar & Lute Magazine. Issue No. 8: 22-23.

Adams, Henry. (1979). Interview: Jose Ramirez. Guitar & Lute Magazine. Issue No. 8: 14-16.

Bruné, R. E. (1980). Sound Board Bracing and the Development of the Classic Guitar. The Guild of American Luthier Quarterly. Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 12-24.`

Cano, Manuel (1991). La Guitarra: Historia, estudios y aportaciones al arte flamenco. Granada: Anel, S.A.

Carrillo Casas, Vicente. (1999).Personal communication.

Courtnall, Roy. (1999). Making Master Guitars. London: Robert Hall.

Evans, Tom and Mary Anne Evans. (1977). Guitars: Music, history, construction and players from the Renaissance to Rock. New York and London: Paddington Press Ltd.

Gimeno Garcia, Julio. (2007). El estilo español de construcción de guitarras. In Antonio de Torres y la Guitarra Andaluza. Ayuntamiento de Cordoba (Catologo realizado con el motivo de la expedición Antonio Torres y la Guitarra Andaluza).

Grondona, Stephano and Luca Waldner. (2001) La Chitarra di Liuteria: Masterpieces of Guitar Making. Italy: L'officina del Libro.

Leal Pinar, Luis F. (2004).Guitarreros de Andalucia: Artistas para la sonanta. Sevilla: Ediciones Giralda

Libin, Laurence et al. (1992). La Guitarra Española / The Spanish Guitar.  Museo Municipal Madrid, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Madrid: Opera Tres Ediciones Musicales.

Mairants, Ivor. (1980). My Fifty Fretting Years. Ashley Mark Publishing Co.

Manzanero, Felix. (n.d.) La Colección de Guitarras Antiguas de Felix Manzanero.

Milanese, Diego and Umberto Piazza. (2001). Francisco e Miguel Simplicio in Arte Liutai: Note di viaggio sulle loro tracce. Il Fronimo Rivista di Chitarra. Jan. No. 113, pp. 18-34.

Morris, John et al. (1997). The Classical Guitar: A complete history. London: Balafon Books, Outline Press.

Ortega, José. (1985). The Fine Guitar. Vista, CA: Vel-Or.

Pinto Comas, Ramon. (1988). Los Luthiers Españoles. Barcelona: Published by author.

Prat, Domingo. (1986).Diccionario de Guitarras. Columbus, Ohio: Ediciones Orphée Inc. [Originally published in 1934].

Ramirez, José III. (1993).Things about the Guitar. Madrid: Soneto.

Ramirez, Amalia. (2007). 125 Aniversario/Anniversary. Madrid: Graficas de Diego. (Text in Spanish and English).

Rodriguez, Jr. Manuel. (2003) . Art and Craft of Making Classical Guitars. Hal-Leonard, New York.

Romanillos, José L. (1987). Antonio de Torres, Guitar Maker - His Life and Work. London: Element.

Romanillos Vega, José L. and Marian Harris Winspear. (2002). The Vihuela and the Spanish Guitar. A Dictionary of the Makers of Plucked and Bowed Musical Instruments of Spain (1200-2002). Guijosa, Spain: The Saguino Press.

Rioja, Eusebio. (1976). Inventario de Guitarreros Granadinos. Granada: Gráficas Monachil.

Rioja, Eusebio. (1990). Homenaje a la Guitarra Cordobesa. Ediciones de la Posada. 

Sinier de Ridder. 2007. La Guitare Paris 1650-1950. Italy, Edizinoi Salabue. (Text in French, English, and Italian)

Summerfield, Maurice J. (1996). The Classical Guitar: Its evolution, players and personalities since 1800. [Forth edition] Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Ashley Mark Publishing.

Turnbull, Harvey. (1991). The Guitar: From the Renaissance to the present day. Westport, CT. The Bold Strummer, Ltd. [originally published 1974]

Westbrook, James (2002). Guitars Through the Ages: Craftsman to Performer. UK: Crisps Litho.

Westbrook, James (2005). The Century that Shaped the Guitar. UK: Crisps Litho.

Urlik, Sheldon. (1997). A Collection of Fine Spanish Guitars from Torres to the Present. Commerce, CA: Sunny Knoll Publishing Company.

Vannes, René. (1999). Dictionnaire universel des luthiers. Bruxelles, Les Amis de la musique, 1951-59.

Villar Rodríguez, José. (1985) La Guitarra Española. Barcelona: Clivis Publicaciones.

Guitar Makers Elsewhere in Spain

Josef Alcañiz, a guitar maker from Murcia, seems to have been active at the end of the 18th century, beginning of the 19th century.