Milton is a lecturer at the University of Surrey, a Professor of Guitar at the Royal College of Music and a regular contributor to Total Guitar magazine. He has presented internationally including the Smithsonian Institute, the Science Museum, The British Library, the Institute of Music Research and the Royal Musical Association.
Many of his lectures, tutorials and lessons are available here and continually updated.

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2 replies on “Teaching”

Dear Milton,
Have just read your thorough article on the A432 debate. Excellent analysis and debunking of yet another New Age enthusiasm. Thank you.
In the firm belief that beauty is in the eye (or in this case the ear) of the beholder (behearer?) I am using the A432 frequency as a reference note for my two guitars.
One is a small pre 1900 French(?) Parlour guitar which I re-built with a new Back, Fingerboard, bridge and Neck; the other a full size Rosewood back, sides and neck with spruce top guitar I made for myself using the Schnieder/Kasha top bracing of the 1982 Journal of Guitar Acoustics design.
Both are (to my ear) very resonant with balance and clarity. Being strung with steel strings, both sound boxes are loaded and have good projection, amplitude and sustain.
I have, in an amateur way, researched guitar design for more than 40 years as a repairer and builder.
I recently started to look at the issue of top loading in relation to produced amplitude, projection and sustain.
I have seen the use of cymatics applied to top vibration node production, which is a fascinating technology for designing top bracing patterns and tonal production. Pretty patterns produced are visually interesting I suppose, but the practical application of cymatics for top table design is, I suppose, a rarely considered field. I hope I’m wrong on that supposition.

As a guitarist have you delved into the design and loading of top tables in guitar construction? If yes, what have you found and could you point me towards it, please?

Yours truly, Gordon Campbell

Thanks Gordon,
The interrelationship between instrument design and tuning reference is very interesting. One can indeed build instruments ‘for’ specific tuning frequencies. Although I’d suggest that the difference of playing an instrument designed for one frequency at a 31 cents discrepancy is subtle at best (although possibly noticeable). However it will be just one subtletly among many including string gauge/type, nail/pick shape and of course playing style! In fact many guitarists happily tune strings (usually down) far more that 31 cents and enjoy the sound, so I’m not completely convinced of the import of such precise instrumental building concepts, but remain open!

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