Middle Tennessee State University’s Center for Popular Music’s “American Guitar” lecture series returns Thursday, Oct. 5, with a screening of clips from 2023 documentary “Heirloom: Guitar.”
The event, free and open to the public, begins at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Business and Aerospace State Farm Room S102. A discussion with the film’s writer and director, Daniel Putkowski, and Center Director Greg Reish will follow.
“Heirloom: Guitar” chronicles the progression of the steel string guitar from a relatively quiet instrument played in small venues and parlors to becoming the universal sound of modern music played in international arenas.
Putkowski, an author and filmmaker, used music from top musicians Bryan Sutton, Riss Palmer, David Grier, and others to provide a history of the guitar in genres from bluegrass, blues, folk and even pop.
He also chronicled the step-by-step process a luthier uses to build a custom guitar from start to finish.
Reish, a professor of musicology at MTSU’s School of Music, said as soon as he heard about the project, he wanted to get involved.
“The idea of interweaving an approachable history of the steel string guitar in American music with interviews of some of its greatest current players and a chronicle of an heirloom quality instrument being built, just sounded perfect for this moment,” he said. “The final result was even better than I had imagined.”
“Heirloom: Guitar” was released earlier this year and is available on Amazon and iTunes.
Off-campus visitors attending the event should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at http://www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php. A searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.
The Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University is one of the world’s oldest and largest research centers devoted to the study of American folk and popular music. Established in 1985 as a state-sponsored Center for Excellence, in 2009 it became a unit in the university’s College of Media and Entertainment.