Thanks to all of you who have donated to this site - first under my own steam (2004-2009), and eventually under The Harp Guitar Foundation (2009+)!

The funds are hugely appreciated.  Perhaps more so are the comments of appreciation and thanks from so many. 
Don't stop - it helps keeps me going! - Gregg Miner, originally "the harp guitar pope" and now "Sir Gregory"

NOTE: Some letters have been edited to the salient points. 

10/18/08: Great job on the information you've provided on Albert Shutt and related history. And I especially enjoyed your comments on how he was playing tag-team with Gibson regarding competing design features. Over the years, I've found it very interesting that Shutt's mandolins embodied many features that Gibson began to employ after Shutt's design patent expired. Things like a 6-degree neck pitch, elevated fretboard, f-holes, and the narrow fretboard (which, by the way, is the precise width and shape of the fretboard on Gibson's F5 mandolin that was launched just three years after Shutt's patent expired). So, while I attribute much of Gibson's introduction of these features to the work of Lloyd Loar, there is a huge question mark in my mind as to where the influence really was - and, just who was "borrowing" ideas from who. Anyway, congratulations on compiling and presenting some great material!!!
Roger H. Siminoff, Historian; The Lore of Lloyd Allaryre Loar

8/29/2008 (re: the new Lacote page):

It is truly fantastic, and unlike printed  publications it can always be added to and/or improved.
James Westbrook, The Guitar Museum http://www.theguitarmuseum.com/

8/9/2008: Thanks for having such a definitive resource for harp guitars; I appreciate it all the more having attempted to find string information elsewhere online. I don't know how people coped before you put your websites together.
Keith Burton, England

7/11/2008: Thanks again for your help in giving some recognition to Armando (Giulietti), his father and so many other otherwise near forgotten artists through your site.
Roger Belloni, Italy

7/10/2008 (regarding Albert Shutt and the Mando-Bass-Harp-Guitar): I was impressed by the detail and compassion displayed for my grandfather.  He had a place in musical instrument's history and you have assured that others might know of what he did.  Thank you very much. 
Jack Shutt, Grandson to Albert Shutt, Kansas

7/19/2007: I have found your very impressive website about the Harpguitars.  So many important information!  You have done a really fantastic work about many aspects of organology.
Prof. Dr. Andreas Michel, Leipzig Museum www.studia-instrumentorum.de

7/2/2006: Your website has to be one of the best websites I have seen and has become encyclopedic in recent times... totally fascinating!!!  It has been amazing to see how your website has grown - it was a welcome advance after the collapse of the 'old' harpguitars.com.
James Thompson, England

1/31/2006: Your site is one of the very very few sites I can quote which is truly informative and comprehensive on a topic. As a student of web design I felt the need to congratulate you on putting a site to a topic you both understand and enjoy for people like me (who happened to hear that Jeff Martin of the Tea Party fame was playing this instrument during recording; and I think it was at the first concert I saw in 1998 - I'm not sure if he played it, but I digress. I learnt about harp guitars quickly, and I thank you for the quality of the site.
Ben Jess

4/25/2005: I love the website! I recently became intrigued with harp guitars/instruments after stumbling across a bass lute on ebay. Then I found your website which further fueled my interest, very well done. It sounds like you have setup this site specifically to help generate a renewed interest in harp guitars and other related instruments. In my case you have succeeded in doing just that, you've reeled me into the deep end! I find it amazing that there was so much interest in these instruments in the early 1900s, and now they have been all but forgotten by mainstream music and culture.
Nick Brandes

3/2/2005: I found your site completely on a whim. I'm planning on getting a 12 string guitar this summer, and of course, I scoured the internet for information. Thanks to the net, I found loads of info on instruments, luthiers (though my purchase will be off the rack - a Seagull S12+), and players (two of my all time favorites for years have been Leo Kottke and Ralph Towner). Thus informed, for some reason I still can't explain, I wondered if there was a site devoted to the harp guitar. Though slightly familiar with the instrument, I knew very little about it, and aside from looking over the web site of John Doan and having the CD of Hedges (Aerial Boundaries) my slate was clean.

Well, your web site was a bright revelation! I had no idea of the sheer mass of players, history, and luthiers dedicated to this most esoteric of stringed instruments. It was a rich treat to read up on an instrument that has lore both separate from and as rich as the conventional guitar. I plan to become a member soon. As I said, outside of Hedges, and Metheny's use of the Pikasso guitar, I'd never heard the instrument in any other context. I look forward to purchasing the compilation CD. As to ever stepping up to the plate of the instrument itself - I'll have my hands full with the 12er as is; which will be a serious challenge to this pilgrim.

I have to say that the information available on your site is deliciously exhausting. I had to stop after a while and "unplug", as my eyes were turning into poached eggs. The wealth of material regarding the history, players, instruments, artist links, etc., is near overwhelming. By the time I came up for air I had devoured as much as my fifty year old gray matter could sustain, and was ready for more once my brains had a brief exhalation.

I have to laugh at the irony of it all. In my whim of a search, the most I expected to find was a historical site primarily concerning Gibson harp guitars (I'd never heard of Knutsen, or others), with a possible mention of Hedges but mainly focusing on turn of the century players. What I found upon entering your site was an endless font of information and lore mixed with past glory and current modernity. In short, you have built a bridge of sorts, from the instrument's beginnings in the 18th century (that really astounded me) to its ongoing evolution.

I would say for a player and curiosity seeker such as myself, your site is an amazing achievement. God bless you and the internet!
Eric Paul, Research Archivist at Xavier University of Louisiana

2/12/2005: I am very sorry that I never made it to any of your harp guitar events. After 2 1/2 years of being free from Lark In The Morning, music has once again become the forefront of my life. I thought I should let you know about my relation to the harp guitar. My first experience with the harp guitar was at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in 1966 where I met David Lindley. He had a Gibson harp guitar with him  which he let me play. I was hooked. I got my first harp guitar shortly after that from Milt Owens who at one time had been a craftsman for Gibson. This instrument was a Gibson with all the finish removed and I put it back together. I never clicked with the instrument. In the early 80s I was lucky enough to buy a Dyer instrument at the Seattle Folk Life Auction and clicked with the instrument. I used in touring with Mooncoin for a number of years and it is still my favorite out of my collection of harp guitars. Michael Hedges was over for a music party at my house and saw my Dyer. He had never seen a harp guitar before and I enjoyed him playing it and seeing the beginning of his love affair with the instrument.  

Thanks so much for doing the wonderful website on these great instruments. We perform mostly locally due to health and child considerations these day.
Musically yours, Mickie Zekley, Founder of Lark in the Morning

1/31/2005: I am very impressed with your website - one of the best pertaining to musical instruments/history that I have ever seen!

Your dissertation is of the type, quality, and subject matter that much interests me personally. I primarily review dissertations related to the medical field-but this was very interesting reading for me and I am glad you included it on your site.

Sincerely yours,
John L. Abt, MD (grandson of famed mandolinist, Valentine Abt)

11/28/2004: GREAT (HGG3 Gathering) group shot, Gregg......:-) The site really exemplifies what a good time was had this year at The Gathering. 

I believe you have all come upon something very special and magical with your harp-guitar comraderie.....:-)  Cherish it, for sure.
All the best, Patty

11/28/2004: I look forward to being a subscriber.  Your site really has been an education for me and well worth the ten bucks.  Thanks for taking so much of your time to do this!
Craig Nelson (guitar player)

11/28/2004: Dear Gregg, What an enormous amount of work you do for this group.  I have been watching the site grow, and it is wonderful.
Your friend, Andy Wahlberg (harp guitarist)

11/22/2004: Gregg,  It was a pleasure meeting you and all of the harp guitar family...what a wonderful bunch!   

I truly appreciate all of the work that you've done and do in performing, promoting, educating, documenting, organizing, etc. The 'Beyond Six Strings' CD is an extraordinary album...thanks much for putting it together.
Best to you, John Birchak (stereo photographer and new harp guitar owner)

11/20/2004: Hiya Gregg!  Wow it always takes me a while before I can talk about an HGG...it's just so much old fashioned fun, and a real love fest!  So much genuine appreciation for one another's respective endeavors, you can really feel it.  You deserve so much thanks for your work which is basically year round though it was surely crunch time for you this time with the CD and everything.  By the way, kudos on the recording, well assembled from the running order to the graphics, thank you so much.
Best Regards, Larry Berwald (harp guitarist)

11/7/2004: I just sent in my membership for Harpguitars.net.  I think it's about time you did something like this!:-) 
You've put so much time and energy into the website, and it's a wonderful resource (and a source of ongoing delight to me and my family!) 
-- thanks! Linda Cameron (relative of Chris Knutsen)

7/12/2004: I just sent a (Lifetime) donation to help with the maintenance costs of your great new website. I'd like to keep it an anonymous donation. Continued good luck with the project.  Harpguitars.com is a pleasure to visit as I continue on my journey of never-ending musical enlightenment!

7/8/2004: hey Greg, well I certainly got my moneys worth, what a huge and informative site!! incredible!
thanks , stacy (hobbs)

7/5/2004: greetings, gregg...i so do appreciate your energy, ears, and love for the harp guitar (and guitarp)...the site is really awesome... very educational and interesting ... i am honored to be part of such an effort... i thank you...
phil degruy (Guitarp player)

7/4/2004: The website is fantastic man, great job!  Thank you for all of your hard work! 
Andy McKee

7/3/2004: Hello!  I just did a quick overview of your new harp gtr.net site and .....WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  DYNAMITE!!!

Thank you very much for including me. I will now definitely have your new site on my links page soon!  I'm sure you get asked virtually daily, when people see your instrument, " What do you call that?" and then they say, "I've never heard of that before."  I get that all the time, but never tire of it.  Glad I'll have your site on my links to direct them to. Will be checking out the site more thoroughly.
Thanks again.   Eric Loy (harp guitarist)

5/19/04: Thank you for all you do to promote this amazing instrument - establishing its history, recognizing its makers and players.  I am a fan of yours!  
- John (Doan)

5/9/2004: Count me in for a two-year membership subscription--- I'll send in $20.00 for 2 years--Small price for all your tireless effort, and without which, my ideas for  my HG Would have been  severely curtailed, to say the least!  many thanks! 
regards, David Jorgensen

4/28/2004: He does it again! Congratulations on yet another scholarly roundup of something so diffuse and un-referenceable that nobody else dared tackle it! Where do you get this energy, time? Where do I get it on CD-rom? You are a gift to us all. You simply have a grasp of excellence - bravo maestro! You have exceeded everyone's expectation and once again established a benchmark for scholarly research and the denouement of this instrument's long and circuitous past is laid clean for all to inspect.  Thank you for your work.
Very sincerely, Chris Wilhelm, Ketchikan


If you enjoyed this article, or found it useful for research, please consider making a donation to The Harp Guitar Foundation
which supports Harpguitars.net, so that this information will be available for others like you and to future generations. 
Thank you for your support!

Harpguitars.net Home

The Harp Guitar Foundation

History          Players         Music         Luthiers         Iconography         Articles 

 Forum                 About                Links                Site Map                Search               Contact

All Site Contents Copyright © Gregg Miner,2004-2023. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright and Fair Use of material and use of images: See Copyright and Fair Use policy.