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I'm surprised there's no history section. It seems like that should be the foundation of an article which is, after all, about the profession/art of a luthier. How it is now it just kind of tells you what a luthier is in the briefest terms then lists a bunch of brand names... Not encyclopedic at all —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:29, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

old italian makers[edit]

The "old italian" violin makers should have a distinctint mention.. actually they invented the instrument, they set up a method of building it, shape and measure that remained unchanged until today. At least Stradivarius and Amati. To be honest, how can you mention Scott Cao and not at leat 100 violin makers that worked or that are working in Cremona, North Italy, today? And how can you mantion Scott Cao and not mention for example MAggini (XVII century), school of Brescia, or Poggi (school of Bologna, last century)...whose violin are evaluated several hundres of thousand euros.. I have nothing against Cao, he is an example... the problem is that we have always to mention somebody from nowadays (better if american), even if he not really deserved it. Pierpaolo Dondio

this page is inaccurate[edit]

This page is innaccurate. It provides a definition that isn't specific enough, and then lists people that only make certain types of stringed instruments as luthiers. Someone who only makes guitars, or who only makes violin family instruments or otherwise are not luthiers. A luthier is a crafstman capable of making any stringed instrument whatsoever. Even pianos, which are not bowed or plucked(Unless you're playing 'Banshee'). The word 'luthier' comes from 'Lute'. The first stringed instrument. Someone who only makes guitars is a guitar maker, not a luthier. A luthier is required to know how to make every stringed instrument, or intend to learn how to be an apprenticing luthier. Phillip and David Petillo are examples, while guitars are their most requested instrument, and they make them for many famous musicians, they are capable of and do infact make stringed instruments of all kinds. They've been requested to do repair work on Napolean's Harp(although that's actually for the marquetry, they're marquetrarians as well) and at the moment have in their shop an upright bass that they are repairing made by Stradivarius's sole apprentice. So this definition and list of luthiers both need to be revised as people who are capable of making all types of stringed instruments. - Uvirith

  • Do you have any sources for your assertion that someone who makes only one type of stringed instrument is not a luthier? My Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines Luthier as "a maker of stringed instruments, spec. of the violin family." Note that Wikipedia is not necessarily concerned with what some people's view is of a correct definition, but with the most common use of a term. I am prepared to be convinced, although it seems that most guitar-makers, violing makers, etc., call themselves luthiers and no one seems to be taking them to task or suingthem for false advertising. Luigizanasi 21:13, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

No one accuses numerous people of false advertising, I know a gentleman who makes guitars whose advertising document calls his guitars more rare than a stradivarius, because he hasn't made as many guitars as Antonio Stradivari has made violins. There is little system of authority in the artisan fields, but the definition is simply one who can make all stringed instruments. I'm aware of wikipedia's purpose, and as such, the revision should be that the actual definition is someone who has skills in making every stringed instrument, but a common usage is an all-encompassing term, however, the article should contain a decent respect to its origional definition. - Uvirith

Most dictionary entries agree with the Shorter Oxford, including Webster and Britannica. Luthier is an all-encompassing term especially in English although it does not refer to anything other than stringed instruments. A luthier does not make pianos nor French horns.

Please sign your posts on talk pages even if not logged on. But I agree. A luthier is one with skills in making and/or repairing any sort of string instruments, even (shock horror) electric guitars. Not everyone agrees, of course. The latest Oxford Companion to Music has no article on Leo Fender, and the article on Electric Instruments doesn't mention the guitar. I guess they don't consider it a musical instrument... (;-> Andrewa 10:14, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

In common practice, the term luthier is used to generically describe anyone who makes scraped(bowed)or plucked stringed instrument. That is the only requirement that has ever been intimated to me. After identifying oneself as a luthier in general, the maker may then indicate a particular specialty such as violin-maker or guitar-maker. Equate it, if you will, to the genus being "Luthier" and the species being a more exact description of the maker, in my case - violin-maker/restorer. In fact, because the stringed-instrument industry is completely unregulated by any group, office, government edict, or official body, it is only necessary for someone to build one stringed instrument before lawfully declaring themselves a luthier and they need not learn their craft through apprenticeship or other schooling. Additionally, the French pronunciation of luthier is often perceived as arrogant or condescending among luthiers and so the English pronunciation is the more common. Himmelmann00 18:42, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

After re-reading the article, I have some misgivings about listing any particular makers as iconic 20th century bowed-instrument makers. I may be nitpicking, but I think we are too close to the last century and that there were and are too many qualified makers to call attention to a handful whose instruments, while probably deserving of the accolade, have yet to stand the dual tests of time and popular demand. In fifty or a hundred years, we will have gained a truer perspective of the contributions of the 20th century makers. Himmelmann00 18:49, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Himmelmann's comments are quite acurate. In actual practice the trade of lutherie tends toward specialisation. Uveriths comment reflects a particular bias within the lutherie community, not the reality of a luthiers work. It is very complex field, after all even the division into two main disciplines, while informative, is fairly arbitrary (a hurdygurdy is not "bowed" in the ordinary sense and double bass is often plucked). It would be worth changing the article as Himmelman suggests to at least make it clear that luthiers are not piano makers.Darrell Wheeler 11:48, 10 April 2007 (UTC)darrell wheeler

removing commercial links?[edit]

I just re-organized the long list of external links, placing maker's sites & sites that sell supplies to luthiers last. If no one objects, or if no one does it first, I will shortly remove all the maker's sites & supplies links, as they are really just a sort of advertisement and not encyclopedic information. J Lorraine 06:16, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Done. J Lorraine 05:27, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

did a cleanup of the article[edit]

I just did a major edit to this article which can be summarized as:

  1. Added a couple of articles to the bowed luthier section, which is my area of expertise.
  2. Removed dead internal links from the "laundry lists" I guess they're called.
  3. Descibed the origin of the word Luthier with references and created a division of the subject.
  4. Moved violin related links from list to text and added references.
  5. Added a couple of articles to the strummed luthier section.
  6. Moved the guitar related links from list to text and added references.
  7. Removed most external links, leaving the Smithsonian link as reference for the bowed luthiers.

Still remaining:

  1. Add more and better references.
  2. Expand text for both categories of luthiers, especially the strummed luthiers category.
  3. Provide one or two important external links for the strummed luthiers category

Mbartruff 04:23, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for this. I still see the following issues:
  • There is a huge list of links to intruments to which the profession applies. This shouldn't be necessary; Wikipedia has better ways of providing such information, such as categories or "list of" articles.
  • The lists of famous luthiers make up the majority of the article, and it would make sense for this section to be expanded rather than using the current format, which is rather compact (with only one or two sentences per period).
  • Some style issues; the intro need not be self-referential ("the remainder of this article"), and many sentences lack context; the article should flow rather than simply being a collection of facts.
  • The suggested reading list is out of place here and should be on Wikibooks as it contains prescriptive rather than descriptive material.
Chris Cunningham 15:20, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

John Birch[edit]

Hello, I have been writing an article for the Wiki about the English luthier, John Birch. It can be seen here: I have had to do a lot of correspondence to get the necessary info, but the Wiki has strict rules about original research. I have posted the email correspondence here, at, but this may not be enough. All the books I've ever seen give the same information, that he was an English luthier who made guitars for celebrities. Does anyone have any magazine interviews or any books that give him more than a passing glance? Thanks, Paulkstadden 04:53, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Cleanup talk[edit]

This article appears to consist primarily of lists. I'm not sure what to do about that, but it does seem to be a problem. Dfeuer 01:39, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I mean especially look at guitar section. It looks like a text version of ad pages on some guitar magazine. I have to get back on this soon to see if I can can some how make it a bit more article like. My idea is that I think each section should be more fluid. For example, maybe it can start with a real brief history of that musical instrument (and I mean really really brief. After all, it's about luthiers, not musical instruments themselves), mentioning a few really notable luthiers whose design and construction method really influenced later generation (for example, in guitar section, a short or so paragraph about Torres and then emergence of classical guitar into more main stream stage, mention Segovia and role of Hauser, impact of those two in the guitar scene, and then the baby Hauser generation (meaning how Hauser's design set the standard for contemporary guitar design and influence), all the while mentioning a few who kind of skipped Hauser and directly influenced by Torres design (Romanillos, etc). Perhaps in the last part of that, mention a few notable ones whose design are radically different from traditional construction, like Smallman and his lattice bracing design which sort of became a design and style by itself and has very little relationship to traditional guitar makers. So kind of like integrating the role of luthiers and development of musical instruments into brief, yet concise manner without having to write a full blown page about history of musical instruments. Also lute and guitar section, while I believe they can be separated, I don't think there is any problem having guitar section referring back to luthiers in the lute section if relevant. While they are not the same instrument, in a way it might be even possible to have guitar section pick up from where lute section left off. It's just an idea. Polarrrbear (talk) 10:04, 18 December 2007 (UTC) • contribs)
Well, its more than a year and a half down the track and this article still needs a lot of work. Over the weekend, I'll begin with the lede by cleaning up the clumsy writing style. Unfortunately I don't know much about the development of the classical or flamenco guitars, but I can contribute quite a bit about notable luthiers who have contributed to the development of steel stringed instruments. --Zanthorp (talk) 14:03, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Maybe, maybe not[edit]

Luthier is the maker of the instrument. What do we call the maker of the strings? I know there is a word for this but can't find it. Anyone? Kaiwhakahaere (talk) 03:14, 23 September 2009 (UTC)


This page needs a lot of work. I think it should be a basic definition of what a luthier is (if we can agree on one), and then link to seperate pages with the History of Violin Making, History of Guitar and Lute Making etc. and link to the already existing lists of makers (i.e. }}[[Category:Luthiers]]}}). This page also needs careful watching to prevent self interested makers popping themselves in there. I am tempted to delete not just the links in this list but the entire articles, for example, of Jim Fleeting, Francesco Bissolotti, Dean Zelinsky, Douglas Cox, Vasile Gliga, Johann Goldfuss, Stefan-Peter Greiner, Jonathan Beecher. Robert Nelson and Richard Alexander and Harry Dean are links to lists of people with that name, none of whom seem to be luthiers of note.Chickpeana (talk) 18:19, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

A number of members here are not luthiers of note. --Maestronet (talk) 18:59, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
What makes the difference between "of note" and not?
  • Number of instruments made?
  • Market price of instruments by this maker?
  • Instruments in the hands of notable players?
  • Testimonials from famous players?
  • Awards presented by reputable judging bodies?
  • Magazine articles written about the maker?
  • Books written about the maker?
  • Scholarly publications written by the maker?
  • Other luthiers trained by this maker?
For example, Douglas Cox has made several hundred instruments, which command five figures (US $) and yet Chickpeana is "tempted to delete not just the link[s] in this list but the entire article[s]" of this known maker. Maestronet, if you named names, it would help the discussion along. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 01:48, 28 December 2009 (UTC)


How would people feel about break out a lot of the lists into an article called List of Luthiers? RJFJR (talk) 17:22, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

I would suggest List of luthiers, but otherwise go for it. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:39, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Is "luthier" the right word?[edit]

See this diff.

In my experience, "luthier" is commonly used in written English, hence the large number of Google hits. When someone says "luthier" out loud, usually with an anglicized pronunciation, I take it as a sign that they have done more reading than talking about it. From people who know their way around the business, I am more accustomed to hearing "violin maker" or simply "maker" or "builder" or, in the sense of one who repairs or restores such instruments, "repairman." It seems to me that the following statement is true but unverifiable:

even instrument makers don't use "luthier" 

Having said that, I would be overjoyed to see a reliable source to confirm it. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 17:39, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

All my classical music colleagues as well as myself use this word, and pronounce it correctly.--Galassi (talk) 20:31, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I consider "classical music colleagues" to be a subset of English speakers, perhaps even a minority. Are any of them violin makers, natively speaking English? Without wishing to get into a whizzing contest here, there are a number of words (such as homage in recent American broadcast English) which have a perfectly valid English pronunciation, different from the original. I will never say "LOO thi er" is incorrect, only anglicized, and possibly not always the best choice for effective communication.
Until a reliable source shows up, this facet of the article is fine as it stands, yes? __ Just plain Bill (talk) 19:09, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Galassi, please stop removing well-sourced information. Apparently you do not understand WP:ENGVAR - please read it! The sources provided clearly show that US violinmakers do not use the word "luthier".
Apparently you and your classical music colleagues speak UK English, so that says nothing about US English. Just as ridiculous is showing Google hits - just because there are lots of hits for "luthier" does not mean it's used in the United States.
All my U.S. classical music colleagues as well as myself use "violinmaker" and we never use "luthier", but most know how to pronounce it correctly, which you obviously do not. You even removed the link to the Oxford online dictionaries' pronunciation, which proves your pronunciation is at least so rare (and it's probably also incorrectly indicated in IPA) that most pedants and snobs would call it wrong.
In your zeal to censor mention of US usage, you also keep removing other information. It seems i'll have to ask other US music professionals to help protect this page from your destructive and unconstructive edits.
Just plain Bill, of course "luthier" is the "right" word, but not in all kinds of English. It's not "wrong" in US English either; it's just that it's never used in US English, even by instrument makers and classical professional musicians. There is nothing wrong with having an article called luthier, but we need to explain that some native English speakers call it something else.
My edit never said even instrument makers don't use "luthier" - my edit summary left out "US", but it was clear this was meant because the edit itself said it. --Espoo (talk) 21:41, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I agree that "luthier" is much less commonly used than "maker" or "violin maker" in spoken US English. (Same applies to describing builders of other string instruments.) With that said, I am not sure that this "truth with skimpy sourcing" is weighty enough to be mentioned in the lead paragraph. Absence from a dictionary can hardly be considered a reliable source.

When I hear someone who does not "know their way around the business" use the word, it is usually not a precious affectation, but a good-faith attempt to be accurate, based on the prevalence of "get thee to a luthier" type advice seen in online fora. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 01:20, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

I just made an edit that I hope is a compromise edit that does not negatively affect the readability of the article. I changed archetier for the English "bow maker" since we have a page for that on Wikipedia. Lutherie just redirects to Luthier so I just clarified it. I updated the pronunciation guides to be consistent, as well.--Paradoxian (talk) 01:44, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, and hopefully my changes are explained enough in the edit summaries, but i'll explain more here if necessary. --Espoo (talk) 11:49, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
The absence of a word from a handful of builders' sites does not constitute a reliable source, in my opinion.
I hope I have made my stance clear earlier: in many contexts other English words are generally used to describe the individuals and their activity, even though "luthier" is accurate. Still, the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. I have already said that I favor finding a source, but am not sure the "nobody really says 'luthier'" business belongs in the lead paragraph.
I notice that several other editors have been invited to participate here, so I'll wait a day or few before making any change in the article. Time for sweet reason and cool heads, sez I. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 16:06, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Agreed; absence of the word does not invalidate its use. If you think North America is inaccurate, just replace the "North America" in my original sentence with "United States". I'm not sure why we need to discourage people from using the word "luthier" in the US; we merely need to point out that generally, violinmaker is used. (The multiple pronunciation key is my mistake, I should have realized that both pronunciations are the same.) --Paradoxian (talk) 17:24, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

"Lutherie" is used in written English[edit]

Here. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 21:44, 23 December 2010 (UTC) LUTHIERY is the established spelling — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Moving the Article[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: RESULT. It was a small mistake + confusing and not moving it to Luthier (woodworking), the disambig is created instead as of Andy Dingley saids it. DigiPen92 (talk) 05:02, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

LuthierLuthier (woodworking) – I totally think that this page needs to be moved since there is about three other Luthiers existed: Luthier (horse), Les Luthiers, and the playable mage character from Fire Emblem Gaiden in Alm's route named "Luthier" that he reappears in Fire Emblem: Awakening on the Gaiden SpotPass and a few DLC chapter such as Lostbloodline 2 (which he wasn't added in Wikipedia yet). DigiPen92 (talk) 22:10, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Ok then, and the other two Luthiers links that shows Luthier (horse) and Les Luthiers that were listed in the top of the page, would they considered to be replaced with the Luthier disambig link since the Disambig page is created?DigiPen92 (talk) 22:30, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Andy Dingley. In ictu oculi (talk) 01:05, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose though I wouldn't mind you creating a redirect from the proposed title. Not all luthiers work with wood anymore, some of them work with carbon fibre or fibreglass nowadays. -- (talk) 05:03, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose – I'm not a fan of marginal primarytopic claims, but this one does not seem marginal. The nom gave no reason to think that it's not primary. The common meaning of a common noun is generally taken as primary unless it's obscure or has strong competition, but that doesn't appear to be the case here. Dicklyon (talk) 06:52, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the same reasons already stated above, primarily the common meaning of a common noun is certainly the primary topic. The proposed move would be akin to moving Pencil to Pencil (writing instrument) in order to move Pencil (disambiguation) to Pencil. Wilhelm Meis (☎ Diskuss | ✍ Beiträge) 17:04, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
Ok guys, I'm just closing this down, it was a little mistake and a little confusing and I'm still to new about for disambiguations in Wikipedia.DigiPen92 (talk) 05:02, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

"except harps"?[edit]

First sentence: "A luthier (/ˈluːtiər/ LOO-ti-ər)[1] is someone who makes or repairs string instruments (except harps)."

I don't have the knowledge required to say whether that's right, but if it is... what's someone who makes harps called? A brief mention, or at least a "See also" link would be very handy. (talk) 23:33, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

I agree with this concern. In fact, I know a luthier building guitars and mandolin family instruments who occasionally builds harps also. I too would like to know why the article proposes this distinction between a luthier and a maker of harps.
With kind regards;
Patrick. ツ Pdebee.(talk)(guestbook) 14:37, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
@Aklein62: Dear colleague, Face-smile.svg
Please would you be kind enough to help us understand the clarification you added with your update on July 2015? It is clear from your user page that you have expertise in this area, and perhaps you might be able to cite a third-party reference as a source to corroborate your clarification? Thank you in advance for your helpful co-operation.
With kind regards; Face-smile.svg
Patrick. ツ Pdebee.(talk)(guestbook) 15:08, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
Colleagues, thanks for expressing your concerns. The term probably needs a better general definition. I don't have, for instance, the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians near me, which would probably have such a definition. The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music (London: Macmillan, 1988) says: "Luthier (Fr.; It. liutaio). Literally, 'lute maker', it has become a general term for a maker of violins or other string instruments. Similarly, the derivative 'lutherie' (lute making) has acquired the meaning of instrument making in general." – Now, that would probably speak for including harps. The problem is only that whenever examples are being cited of what exactly a luthier is making, it is violins (and that family of instruments incl. violas, cellos etc.), guitars, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, etc. which are instruments consisting of (basically) a neck and a soundbox. Examples are here, here, and here. Similarly, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary's definition is "one who makes stringed musical instruments (as violins or guitars)", see here. Never ever is there any mention of harps. In the absence of any really clear definition as to whether or not harps are included, I think it is wise to look at the examples that are given in these sources and see whether the harp would fit in that sequence. And it doesn't. A harp has a soundbox, but is has no neck. – Another way to look at it is the historical viewpoint. Historically, as far as I am informed, a harp maker in 18th-century France or Germany would often be a piano maker, too, but never a maker of 'lute-like' instruments with a neck and soundbox. It just requires different skills and methods of construction. If you look into the body of a grand piano you see a similar frame as that of a harp, lying horizontally. – So, that's the mixture of science and feeling that caused me to change the definition. My happiness doesn't depend on it. If a majority disagrees, reverse the change. – Aklein62 (talk) 16:34, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
@Aklein62: Dear colleague, Face-smile.svg
Thank you for your prompt and helpful reply. Please be assured that my initial query was motivated by a desire to understand rather than to revert. Therefore, your explanation made abundant sense to me and I would like to build on it; for example, by augmenting your contribution as follows:
A luthier (/ˈltiər/ LOO-ti-ər)[1] is someone who makes or repairs string instruments generally consisting of a neck and a soundbox, but excluding instruments such as harps and pianos, where strings are secured to a frame, and which require different skills and methods of construction.
The above is but an initial draft and probably needs further work, but it integrates some of the clarifications you have offered and might therefore help the reader understand the caveat you introduced on 2 July.
Of course, a further theoretical point could be made that a luthier specializing in folk instruments might still consider making smaller, portable harp-like (i.e. neck-less) instruments such as the zither, the autoharp, the hammered dulcimer and perhaps even the cimbalom. However, this point is probably so self-evident that we needn't worry about spelling it out. Also, I feel that our encyclopedia should not be too prescriptive in this case because, in the final analysis, any instrument maker decides what s/he wants to build; over the years, I have come across two luthiers (makers of guitars and mandolins) who also made harps that they sold (as opposed to building them as a non-commercial experiment).
Thank you for letting me know what you think, at your convenience, knowing that if you wished to expand the sentence in a similar way to the above draft, then I would support the caveat you introduced.
With kind regards; Face-smile.svg
Patrick. ツ Pdebee.(talk)(guestbook) 16:17, 22 August 2015 (UTC)


Hello Patrick (Pdebee.). Thank you. What you suggest makes perfect sense to me. Supported. Best regards, Axel – Aklein62 (talk) 10:05, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
@Aklein62: Hello Axel, Face-smile.svg
Thank you for agreeing with my suggestion. Since it was originally your caveat, would you like to do the honours and add the details in your own words? Or shall I simply copy the text I drafted above into the article? The thing is: I don't want to deprive you of the +1 that would be added to your edit count... Face-wink.svg
With kind regards; Face-smile.svg
Patrick. ツ Pdebee.(talk)(guestbook) 16:59, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Patrick, feel free to do the change. No need to refer to me. I won't have the time in the near future. And my edit count ... well, I am doing here what I think is necessary. I don't count edits! Cheers, Axel – Aklein62 (talk) 07:38, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
@Aklein62: Hello Axel, Face-smile.svg
Thank you for your reply and, yes, I'll be happy to apply the change. As for the edit count, I was only teasing you... Face-wink.svg ... but, in any case, thank you for your contributions to our encyclopedia.
 Done. Also re-structured the lead section, to make it flow better.
With kind regards; Face-smile.svg
Patrick. ツ Pdebee.(talk)(guestbook) 13:34, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

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