English guitar, Russian guitar, 7-string guitar, guitar in Poland, Józef Elsner


Polish sources related to the guitar in open-G tuning are a little-explored area of guitar scholarship — one, however, well worthy of introduction. We can distinguish two groups of such sources, according to the period and the type of guitar intended: the first group consists of publications and manuscripts for the English guitar from the first two decades of the nineteenth century; the second consists of publications for the Russian seven-string guitar from the first four decades of the twentieth century. These two instruments were cultivated in Poland contemporaneously with the Spanish guitar. The Spanish guitar, however, garnered a significantly larger number of publications, both in the first half of the nineteenth century and in the first half of the twentieth century, and these publications have attracted some discussion in English (as in the two volumes of selected works by Jan Nepomucen Bobrowicz, edited by Robert Coldwell and Krzysztof Komarnicki, published by DGA in 2005 and 2008). By contrast, information about sources of Polish provenance for the English guitar and the seven-string guitar is difficult to find even in Polish literature, let alone in foreign publications. The purpose of this text, therefore, is provide an overview of these sources and to make them more accessible to international scholars.


  • February 22, 2023. On page 5, §1, the word "image" has been replaced with "description."

Five arias by Winter for English guitar.pdf (2565 kB)
Winter's Five Arias, arranged for English guitar (1803)

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