The main goal of the Leonardo Guitar Research Project (LGRP) is to study, demonstrate and communicate the possibilities of building acoustic and classical guitars from non-tropical woods.
Together with our partners we aim to develop a knowledge platform concerning the use of alternative non-tropical wood species in guitar making.
LGRP is funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European commission
Context of the project
- Economic situation
Many of the exotic tropical woods are now protected and their trade restricted under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). For the luthier it means that these woods, which have been traditionally used in guitar making, are becoming rarer and ever more expensive. For those tropical woods still available, care needs to be exercised to ensure that they are from a legitimate source as, despite certification processes such as that of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), much of the available tropical wood is illegally harvested. // read more
- Need to study alternatives
Because of the decreasing availability and increasing cost of tropical woods there is a need to find economically viable alternatives. Against this background the LGR-Project started up a research program to study the possibilities of using species of local non-tropical woods that are not normally used in acoustic and classical guitar making. The program consists of building guitars from both tropical and non-tropical woods and assessing them for performance and acceptance in a series of comparative tests. This work is carried out by an international team of 3 lutherie schools and 4 entrepreneurial luthiers, working in co-operation with external experts (forest management experts, environmental organisations, universities, and other researchers). Together we aim to develop a knowledge centre surrounding the use of alternative non-tropical wood species in guitar making.
- Environmental value
If this research programme can demonstrate that locally grown sustainable non-tropical woods can be used as viable alternatives for the traditional tropical woods used in guitar making, the effect could be more than just providing luthiers with a broader range of affordable tonewoods. Any move towards sustainable local tonewoods could have important environmental benefits through reducing demand for tropical rainforest woods, and by reducing transportation miles. // read more
- The organisation
LGRP is a non-profit organisation funded by the European Commission
LGRP is a partnership between 3 European lutherie schools and 4 independent luthiers.
- The programme
1- Research on sound preferences. 2 - Execute comparative workability tests for tropical and non-tropical wood species. 3 - Defining terms used in guitar making. 4 - Explore history of non-tropical woods in guitar making. 5 - Developing a knowledge platform. 6 - Supply development of non-tropical woods. 7 - Communication and dissemination Learn more about these programme topics
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The LGR-Project guitars, were discussed, exhibited, played and tested during: - TheCordefactum Guitar Festival, 2014, May 30,31, June 1, Hingene - Belgium. - The Tampere Guitar Festival, June 2014, Tampere - Finland - The Gitaar-Bouwers-Meeting, Oct 2014, Barneveld - Netherlands - The Holy Grail Guitar Show, Nov 2014, Berlin - Germany - The Holy Grail Guitar Show, Oct/Nov 2015, Berlin - Germany - The Holy Grail Guitar Show, Oct/Nov 2016, Berlin - Germany - The first Salon de la Guitare 5,6 Dec 2015 à la Belle Villoise, Paris, FR - The annual Musicora event in Paris in February 2016, Paris, FR - APLGSymposium, August 27, 2016, Le Mans, France
FINDINGS An overview of the research findings can be seen here.
FUNDING Our first project was approved and funded by the Leonardo da Vinci programme of the European Commission. The second LGR-Project, approved since July 2014, is funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the EU-Commission
TEAM The LGRP-team consist a knowledge centre: CMB (B),
three Luthery Schools: CVO (B) - IKATA (FIN) - NEWARK COLLEGE (GB) and four Luthiers: Rémi Petiteau (F) Lorenzo Frignani (I) Thomas Holt Andreasen (E) Chris Larkin (IRL) read more