Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

February 17, 2004

U of G lecture to explore science of guitars

University of Guelph botanists/musicians and a music store owner are teaming up to present a lecture called “The Botany of Guitars” Feb. 25 from 3:30 to 4:20 p.m. in Room 124 of the Richards Building. Admission is free and open to the public, but room capacity is limited.

Botany professor Doug Larson, who builds guitars in his spare time, is delivering the lecture as part of his first-year “Plants and Human Use” course. Larson said he saw the potential to include demonstrations with instruments of different qualities and invited his musician friend and colleague Lewis Melville and the owner of Folkway Music, Mark Stutman, to help him with the lecture.

“We will try to link seamlessly subcellular anatomy to wood structure, physics, acoustics and beautiful music,” said Larson. “The team will talk about the structure and characteristics of wood and how these properties influence the production of sound in a guitar.”

Instead of simply explaining what makes a beautiful-sounding guitar or a below-average instrument, Larson decided it would be more fun to play an assortment of instruments to see if lecture participants can hear the difference in sound quality. The parts of a guitar and their role in sound production will also be discussed. “There will be lots of cool guitars on stage and maybe even a couple of funky tunes,” said Larson.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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