guitar, romantic era, open-air, outdoor music, outdoor music-making


In the first decades of the nineteenth century, playing music outdoors became a popular trend in Europe and North America. This largely reflected the Romantic ideal of coming closer to nature, whose allure played a significant role in contemporary education, literature, art, fashion, and music. By investigating a wide variety of written and pictorial sources, as well as surviving instruments in museum collections, this article discusses the development of the guitar as an “open-air” instrument as epitomised by the invention of guitar variants for use “on the go”. Moreover, the article sheds new light on the guitar’s connections to other portable wind and keyboard instruments, such as the csakan or the orphica, which were designed to provide musical accompaniment “al fresco”.

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