Guitar: The Shape of Sound

Phaidon. Feb. 2023. 158p. ISBN 9781838665586. $59.95. MUSIC
There was a time not long ago when 90 percent of all guitars in the U.S. were made domestically, as factories in Chicago, Michigan, and California mass-produced untold numbers, fueled by the excitement of the British invasion of the 1960s. The guitars Guilfoyle (The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire) presents here are no ordinary instruments, but rather a refined selection of iconic examples by renowned makers of stringed musical instruments from all over the world. This survey spans over three centuries, from Antonio Stradivari’s violins, the electric lap steel guitar known as the Rickenbacker Frying Pan, and Gibson’s Les Paul Log electric guitar design, which incorporates a block of pine, all the way up to modern innovators such as Millimetric and Cowbrand Design. Filled with captivating, detailed full-color photographs throughout, this aesthetically pleasing work doesn’t attempt to delve deeply into the minutiae of any given guitar’s design. Instead, it serves as an outstanding overview of the instrument’s history and an excellent starting point for further research for those so inclined.
VERDICT A feast for the eyes that is sure to pull at the heartstrings of any guitar fan.
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