Ancient Music

The Gourd Guitar


    In the Apalacian Mountains of my childhood people who desired something first thought of making it themselves, usually using whatever materials were at hand. This led to packing-crate dulcimers and ciger-box violins and of course, gourds.

    Over the years I have worked on gourd mandolins, gourd ukuleles, and gourd guitars. This one was inspired by seeing a picture of a Moorish guitar with a particularly beautiful fan shaped tuning head. The gourd does not give the instrument very much volume but the tone is very rich and mellow and the asymetry adds to it artisticly. This makes it a very nice back-porch instrument. The back side of the neck is carved in a twisted rope pattern and a round arm dips out from behind the head to support the top ball. In the original photograph the ball was carved as a head and face but that was beyond my skill and patience at the time. Maybe yet?...

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