April 19, 2000
Andres Segovia Quick Biography
Andres Segovia was born on February 21, 1893 in the Andalusian city of Linares,
Spain. His father was a prosperous lawyer and hoped that one day that his son would join him
in his work. Andres' father, trying to build a wide cultural background for his son, began to
provide Andres with musical instruction at an early age. He thought him how to play the piano
and the violin, but Andres did not seem to be too enthusiastic about either instrument. When
he heard the guitar at one of his friend's home being played his interest in music it self had
begun. Even though his parents disapproved of him playing the guitar, Andres still continued to
play the instrument. Andres applied his previous acquired musical knowledge to his study of the
guitar. Because of this Andres developed his own technique, he had discovered quite early that
certain piano exercises were beneficial in strengthening the fingers for the guitar. He believed
that the guitars rightful place was in a concert stage, but at this time the guitar was considered
unsuitable in place like a concert stage (Cumpiano, William).
Andres Segovia's Impact on The Guitar
Because of Andres Segovia, the history of the guitar changed forever. Andres
Segovia's performances also helped make guitar makers like Manuel Ramirez, and Herman
Hauser become famous themselves. His expertise also helped the Yamaha corporation, but
his greatest impact was as a teacher. To study with the great Segovia was considered one of
the finest honors of a classical guitarist. Segovia felt that he was the person to bring the guitar
to an unseen level of fame. He had an encounter with Jose del Hierro, who had heard him play
at the shop of Manuel Ramirez and told Segovia to take up the violin instead, but Segovia told
Del Hierro that it was too late for him to take up another instrument and that the guitar of
tomorrow needed him. Segovia's first concert quality guitar was from the shop of Manuel
Ramirez built by Santos Hernandez in 1912. He got the guitar in preparation for his concert at
the Ateneo, Andres needed a guitar that could be used in a concert. The guitar he had was
made by a famous maker, but was only a student model which was made from cheap wood
He went to the store to look for something to play on a "rent to own" basis. At that
time nobody would ask for a guitar to be rented, it was mostly pianos that were rented. Segovia
then tried out the guitar and Ramirez listened to Segovia. Ramirez was convinced that Segovia
was a great muscian and gave him the guitar for free. As time went on Segovia needed a new
guitar. In one of Segovia's concerts, Segovia met Herman Hauser. Segovia discussed about
what qualities he was looking for in a guitar. Twelve years later in 1937 Hauser presented the
new guitar. The guitar was known as "The Segovia model." Today many makers have made
their own versions of that guitar. Years later Segovia got involved with the Yamaha corporation.
Yamaha talked to Segovia for the design of their highest grade guitar, it was called the GC71.
The guitar included a reduced angle between the head and neck, which would produce a mild
tone a new branching pattern to increase bass response. The finest woods were also used for
this guitar, Rumanian spruce for the top and Brazilian rosewood for the back and sides.
Because of the detail and the endorsement of Segovia, the guitar is on the market for about
$10,000 in US funds. Because of Segovia showcasing Ramirez, Hauser, and Yamaha guitars
those brands have been ingrained in the history of the...
Cited: Andres Segovia. 5 Apr. 2005. Wikipedia Encyclopedia. 18 Apr. 2005. .
Cumpiano, Wlliam. . -1 2005. Andres Segovia. 16 Apr. 2005. .
Downes, Olin. "Segovia 's American Debut." New York Times. 9 Jan. 1928: .
Lorimer, Michael. "Andres Segovia-The Teacher." 1970. 17 Apr. 2005: .
Zondag, Curtis. Segovia and The 20th Century Guitar. -1 2005. . 49 Apr. 2005. .
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