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The “BRAHMS GUITAR” derives its name from Paul Galbraith's own arrangement of Brahms' Variations on an Original Theme Opus 21A for piano, which he transcribed originally for the 6-string guitar. Worried by a certain incompleteness in the bass and the fact that his left hand was stretched to its limits for much of the piece, he thought about increasing the range of the guitar (not a new idea, for even in the 19th Century guitarists played and wrote for the 7-string guitar, which carried an extra bass string strung below the traditional six) and felt that one extra string, tuned to a low A (a fifth below the low E string) yet also flexible enough to stand tuning up to a low C, would be sufficient to give the sense of “completeness” in the bass that he was looking for.

Following a discussion with his friend, the Italian guitarist Stefano Grondona, it was suggested that in order to increase the available range within one position, and therefore also reduce the stretching, an eighth string could be placed above the high E string, tuned a fourth above to a high A. This would also balance the instrument, as the additional strings would effectively surround the (unaltered) traditional six strings.

Realising the potential of such an arrangement, he approached David Rubio, the English luthier, who was extremely enthusiastic from the moment the idea was mentioned, but recognised the undoubtedly difficult challenge of adding an extra octave range to an already perfectly balanced instrument without sacrificing tonal quality. Rubio' s inspired solution to the problem of designing such an instrument was based on the Renaissance model of the “Orphereon” which was unique amongst fretted string instruments in that it gave a staggered, rather than uniform, length to the strings, which was achieved by using a slanting bridge and nut, opening up in length towards the bass, with the frets “fanning out” over the complete length of the fingerboard.

Rubio' s prototype was an outstanding success: the two outer strings sounded like “normal” guitar strings and integrated beautifully with the original six. The whole instrument was amazingly full and rich in tone over its entire range, and very natural to play because of some fine adjustments to the width between the strings and thus to the overall width of the neck. During performance, it is supported by a metal spike, similar to that of a cello, which rests on a wooden acoustic box.

Paul Galbraith believes that the development of the Brahms Guitar, with its extended range, sound quality and the freedom of movemet.

갈브레히스 홈에 갔다가 그의 8현 기타에 대한 이야기가 있어서
여기 올립니다.....신정하님의 소개로 홈주소를 알게됐답니다.


English luthier David Rubio built Galbraith’s eight-string guitar. The top is made from Bosnian spruce with a very straight grain. Rubio used Brazilian rosewood for the back and sides and ebony for the fingerboard.
Rubio solved technical problems posed by the additional strings by studying the ophereon, an extinct renaissance instrument which had a slanted bridge to provide longer string length for the bass notes and shorter length for the trebles. The varied string lengths give the lowest bass string a little more tension and the high treble string a little less than a straight bridge would.
The guitar has a very futuristic appearance with its bridge slanting upwards on the treble side and the nut slanting downward on the treble side. The frets are not parallel but fan outward from about the fifth fret.
An endpin protruding from the bottom of Galbraith’s guitar mounts onto a rectangular resonator box which is slightly smaller than a cello body. The box increases both the volume and density of the instrument’s sound. A Brazilian craftsman made the box from spruce and Brazilian rosewood. Rubio later cut two "F" holes into its face. Galbraith sits in a high chair straddling the box, resting his feet on footstools.
Galbraith uses a J. D’Addario string for the low A. Special fine windings reduce finger noise. For the high string, Galbraith has used fishing line .71 mm thick. This blends with the other trebles which are Savarez carbon fiber strings. Galbraith says the guitar has a quick response and that the outside strings (first and eighth) tend to be pretty stiff while the inner strings are less tense.

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