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Vintage Harp Guitar music -  that is, historical music actually performed by historical performers - is incredibly rare, and little of it has ever been released on CD.  This page will offer both CD collections of historic music, and original 78 records as they are available.

More info & audio samples

Pasquale Taraffo: 
Una Leggenda della Chitarra
(A Legend of the Guitar)

2-CD set, booklets in English and Italian

In Stock

Harp Guitar Music is extremely proud to be the exclusive U.S. source for the ultimate Taraffo compilation!


Many years in the making, this new DOUBLE CD set features all the currently known 78 rpm recordings of Taraffo (including some never released), collected and preserved by the late Genovese expert Franco Ghisalberti.

A special 16-page English booklet created specifically for Harp Guitar Music is included, along with an 8-page Italian booklet.

Includes solos, duets and trios with other musicians - featuring classic Italian light opera and popular songs, and many of Taraffo's own compositions. 

Arguably the most historically important authentic harp guitar music of all time, this amazing collection of rare 78 recordings will astound anyone who thinks they play the harp guitar.  A true virtuoso, on a harp guitar with 8 chromatic sub-basses, Taraffo's style and technique has never been duplicated!  More>>>


Original 78 rpm Recordings

I am often asked the question “What kind of music was played on these instruments?”.  Specifically, the public is curious about music played on the hollow-arm or other American harp guitars of the 1900s through 1920s.  These records are one example, and the answer, while historically interesting, isn’t all that exciting.  While the music may be charming and an important part of America’s legacy, the harp guitar’s role is often a token one - with the notable exception of the Ossman-Dudley Trio recordings (every which one displays George Dudley's sub-bass playing to some extent).  While the floating sub-bass strings were designed to be played, in practice they were not always utilized.   Many professional guitarists from the turn of the century through the 1920s recording era were simply looking for the loudest stage instruments they could find – and harp guitars were a good choice (and it didn’t hurt that they were eye-catching as well).  Discounting the extra bass strings, harp guitars were often larger and louder than typical 6-strings, and the extra sympathetic resonance of those vibrating bass strings was thought to help beef up the sound a little further.   And so, while historians and the record label itself may accurately note the use of a “harp-guitar” on the recording, we only hear 6-strings being played.  We just have to imagine those extra strings vibrating “behind the scenes.”  Luckily, we have many historical photos of these more visually arresting performers to impart a better sense of the harp guitar’s role and impact a century ago.

More info & audio samples
Samuel Siegel (Mandolin) with R. H. Butin (Harp-Guitar): Sugar Plum 1909 recording of the popular American mandolinist.



(please email first to confirm and hold)


CDs & DVDs by Stephen Bennett, John Doan, Muriel Anderson, Andy McKee, Stacy Hobbs, Tom Shinness, Dan LaVoie, James Kline, Larry Berwald, Bill Dutcher, Gregg Miner, Pasquale Taraffo
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