|Christian Frederick Martin|
|Monday, 23 August 2010 15:52|
Born: January 31, 1796, Markneukirchen, Germany
Died: February 16, 1873, New York
Notable because: Designed the flat top acoustic guitar and established principles that are now accepted standards in acoustic guitar design.
C. F. Martin was a luthier who specialized in guitars.
Born in Markneukirchen, Germany to a family of cabinet makers, Martin became an apprentice of the guitar maker Johann Georg Stauffer of Vienna, Austria.
As a result of a dispute between the Cabinet Makers Guild, of which Martin was a member, and the Violin Makers Guild, Martin moved to the United States in 1833. On arriving in New York City , he set up shop at 196 Hudson Street on the Lower West Side. Martin’s first workshop housed a small production setup in the back room, and a retail music store up front. This shop was the forerunner of C. F. Martin & Company, which is still family-owned and operated, whose current CEO is CF Martin's great-great-great grandson, CF Martin IV as of 2007[update].
At the insistence of his wife, Ottilie Lucia Kühler (daughter of the Maschinentischler [machine carpenter] Karl Kühler of Vienna), Martin moved the guitar shop in 1838 to Nazareth, Pennsylvania where it is still located.
Martin's guitar construction and design innovations produced a model of flattop guitar that is still in use today
While records of the period were sketchy, it would appear that the young Martin was a gifted apprentice, as he was named foreman of Stauffer's shop shortly after his arrival. After marrying and bearing a son, he returned to his homeland to set up his own shop. Shortly after launching his business in Markneukirchen, Martin found himself caught in an acrimonious dispute between the Cabinet Makers Guild and the Violin Makers Guild.
Accepted business practices in the early days of Martin's retail and manufacturing operation were far removed from today's methods and reflected a simpler society. Barter was common in the retail trade. C. F. Martin's personal records contain numerous entries of trading musical merchandise for everything from a case of wine to children's clothing. New York City's teeming Lower East Side was a harsh environment that was a world apart from the pastoral Saxony where Martin and his family grew up. Correspondence between Martin and his close friend and business associate, Henry Schatz, revealed that he never felt truly at home in New York and longed to move. In 1836, Schatz moved to the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, purchasing a 55-acre tract near Nazareth. When C. F. Martin's wife paid a visit to Schatz and his family, she developed an instant affinity for the tranquil Pennsylvania countryside. Upon returning to New York, she exerted what must have been considerable influence and prompted her husband to make the big move to Nazareth. Thus, in 1838, Martin sold his retail store to another music dealer by the name of Ludecus & Wolter and purchased an eight-acre tract on the outskirts of Nazareth. He had obviously found what he wanted, for he spent the remainder of his life there.
The early Martin guitars were totally hand-crafted products, made on a one-by-one basis, and there was little standardization. However, there were a few features that commonly incorporated in most of C. F. Martin's instruments. Until the mid-1840s, Martin guitars were characterized by a headstock that had all the tuning keys on one side. Martin acquired this design from his teacher in Vienna, Johann Stauffer. The headstock design with all the tuning keys on one side was discontinued by Martin and went unused until Leo Fender resurrected the design in 1948 with his Telecaster guitar.
Manufacturer: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Amazon Price: $15.49
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Editorial Review: In 2017, which marks the 500th anniversary of Protestantism, we remember and celebrate the important events that started the Reformation. One of the most significant but largely forgotten affairs is the introduction and explanation of Reformed worship by Martin Bucer in Grund und Ursach (Ground and Reason) published in the city of Strasbourg in 1524. This present volume is the first English book edition with a faithful translation from German to English of Grund und Ursach, a contextual commentary, and an extensive bibliography by the late Dr. Ottomar Cypris. According to Hughes Oliphant Olds, Grund und Ursach “is one of the most significant documents in the history of Reformed worship.” Martin Bucer's Grund und Ursach influenced the liturgies of Calvin in Geneva, Knox in Scotland, Cranmer in England, and many others in the Protestant and Reformed tradition.
Amazon Price: $112.95
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Editorial Review: The second edition of Jews, Christians, Muslims: A Comparative Introduction to Monotheistic Religions, compares Judaism, Christianity, and Islam using seven common themes which are equally relevant to each tradition. Provoking critical thinking, this text addresses the cultural framework of religious meanings and explores the similarities and differences among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as it explains the ongoing process of interpretation in each religion. The book is designed for courses in Western and World Religions.
Manufacturer: Prentice Hall
Amazon Price: $99.20
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This book compares Judaism, Christianity, and Islam using seven common themes, which are equally relevant to each tradition. Provoking critical thinking, this book addresses the cultural framework of religious meanings. It explores similarities and differences among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as it explains the ongoing process of interpretation in each religion. A comparative view of monotheistic religions showing the manor in which each has influenced and responded to the others. Provides readers with an opportunity to appreciate how religious change takes place and how traditions are shaped and reshaped including popular religion. Combines a focus on specific themes (scripture, ritual, ethics) with a strong narrative about the historical developments of these themes. Lets the reader see the enduring aspects of each tradition alongside of the changes. A discussion of material culture is presented.. Including an analysis of art and architecture, food, dress, and the organization of space. Written in crisp, clear prose, with a non-technical, casual approach. Includes illustrations, maps, timelines, and glossary.
Manufacturer: Hal Leonard
Amazon Price: $50.00
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Editorial Review: (Guitar Reference). Inventing the American Guitar is the first book to describe the early history of American guitar design in detail. It tells the story of how a European instrument was transformed into one with all of the design and construction features that define the iconic American flat-top guitar. This transformation happened within a mere 20 years, a remarkably brief period. The person who dominates this history is C. F. Martin Sr., America's first major guitar maker and the founder of the Martin Guitar Company, which continues to produce outstanding flat-top guitars today. After emigrating from his native Saxony to New York in 1833, Martin quickly established a guitar making business, producing instruments modeled after those of his mentor, Johann Stauffer of Vienna. By the time he moved his family and business to rural Pennsylvania in 1839, Martin had absorbed and integrated the influence of Spanish guitars he had seen and heard in New York. In Pennsylvania, he evolved further, inventing a uniquely American guitar that was fully developed before the outbreak of the Civil War. Inventing the American Guitar traces Martin's evolution as a craftsman and entrepreneur and explores the influences and experiments that led to his creation of the American guitar that is recognized and played around the world today. To learn more about the history of the Martin guitar, click here to view the video and article from BBC, How Martin Guitars Became an 'American Stratavarius' .
Manufacturer: The University of North Carolina Press
Amazon Price: $60.00
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Editorial Review: The Martin is considered the finest acoustic guitar in the world, a distinction it has held for more than 150 years. Philip Gura chronicles the career of C. F. Martin from his humble start as an importer and repairman of musical instruments in New York City in the 1830s through his move to Nazareth, Pennsylvania and the founding of C. F. Martin & Company.
Gura is the first historian to study thoroughly the Martin company records dating back to the 1830s: letters, account books, inventories, and other documents. Using this rich archive, he establishes how a German immigrant from Saxony's guild tradition became the finest American guitar maker of his time and created a uniquely American business that successfully eclipsed its competition.
As Gura shows, Martin's success was based on his astute navigation of the rapid economic expansion and industrialization of his time. Martin adapted his artisanal craft to modern industrial methods, maintaining quality while meeting increased demand. After Martin's death in 1873, the company continued to grow, and it thrives today, producing instruments that are still the most sought after in the world.
With more than 175 illustrations, many of them in color, this book is a handsome and entertaining history of the nineteenth-century American music trade told through C. F. Martin's innovation and vision.
|Last Updated on Monday, 23 August 2010 16:03|