Peter Danner


This article is one of a series of five by Peter Danner on the history of the guitar in the United States from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. Written between 1977 and 1994, these articles first appeared in early issues of the GFA’s magazine Soundboard. They are reprinted here in tribute to Danner’s pioneering contribution to guitar research and to bring them to the attention of a new generation of scholars. The author has generously provided a newly written introduction to the series.

Below are links to each article in the series:


How I Got into This: Toward a Social History of the Guitar in America [2021]


  1. Notes on Some Early-American Guitar Concerts [1977]
  2. A Noteworthy Early-American Guitar Treatise: James Ballard’s Elements of 1838 [1981]
  3. The Guitar in Nineteenth-Century America: A Lost Social Tradition [1985]
  4. The Guitar in America as Mirrored in Cadenza (1894–1924) [1991]
  5. Return with Us Now: Featured Facsimiles [a compilation of facsimiles and introductions printed in Soundboard between 1978 and 1994]

Associated Files

The associated files below include a single, searchable PDF of the entire run of Cadenza. The second file is a zip file containing PDFs of each issue. These also have text search enabled. It should be borne in mind that the text recognition was done automatically and is not entirely reliable.

These PDFs were downloaded from the Digital Guitar Archive and then processed for text recognition with Adobe Acrobat.

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