On 21 May 1933, by Professor
Romolo Ferrari’s initiative, the first Italian
Guitar Day was held in Modena.
The meeting took place in the Dopolavoro
The «Day» starts with Maestro Primo
Silvestri who welcomes the participants in the
name of the O.N.D. that he represents; he wishes
the best success to this first Italian Guitar
Day, praising the promoter and expressing the
desire for ever more similar events in the
Then Proffessor Romolo Ferrari takes the
stand, who in his brief introductory speech
illustrates the reason and the goals of the
event. Then he began the Order of the Day
«Classicness in Italian Art». – Everyone
agrees in deploring the unjustified abbandon of
Italian classic art and also recognizing the
need to put it back in the right light.
Following our classic school doesn’t need to
mean the exclusion of all the others as it
happens now for the Spaniards, who we criticize
for the excessive attachment to their own
customs and traditions. With this, the
convention retains as much as possible that one
must choose the best of every school without
paying attention to nationality; therefore, we
would like to more often see the name of some of
our classic masters in the first parts of
today’s concert programs.
On this topic, there are some questions
dealing with technique:
I. – The left hand thumb, used by
Carulli, Legnani, and Giuliani, forbidden among
the classics by Sor and the moderns by Mozzani
(who generalizes the use of the bar chord), is
only admitted in extremely rare cases.
II. – By now, the use of fingernails on
the right hand is generally accepted (at least
for the index, middle, ring) for a correct
pluck; the correct shape is left to the freedom
of the guitarist.
III. – The right hand thumb will be kept
at most without a ring; the use of fingernail is
IV. – The use of the footstool is
essential for those who want to maintain the
For these details, the
doesn’t form strict rules about adopting one
system or another, but advises a sort of
universal school that serves as the extract of
the best of the single schools. In other words,
every performer needs to choose from the
different trends what’s most appropriate to his
own technical and artistic abilities.
«Methods and their Application for the
Development of the Italian Art» – The Convention
completely approves the draft of a complete
course of study of the guitar put down by Proffessor R. Ferrari, reserving the right of
the teacher to modify it according to the
aptitudes of the student. It finds, furthermore,
the need to integrate the studies on the
instrument with knowledge, even in part, of the
musical sciences and of the History of music, in
particular that of the guitar.
«Guitar Music». – For transcriptions,
a limit is advised. Music for large orchestra is
obviously to be excluded from transcriptions.
Music for piano is preferable, and among these,
those that are more adapted to be transcribed
for guitar without altering the character.
Regarding originals, the maximum
liberty is given both for form and content.
«Guitar Technique». – The convention
retains that the best daily exercise for
technique, for whoever has completed a regular
course of studies, consists of scales and chord
Regarding the use of tremolo, moderation
is advised in order to not ignore the numerous
other resources of the guitar; this also goes
for harmonics, the unrestrained use of these can
only harm the just evaluation of the
possibilities of the instrument by a layman.
«Construction, Shape, Sizes and Voice of
the Guitar». – Regarding the shape of the
guitar, the Convention finds unanimously that it
must maintain its classic form. As a
consequence, it will have to have these
characteristics: six strings, vibrating length
of these 65 cm. (sixty-five – twice that of the
violin – 32 1/2); no mother-of-pearl fret
markers on the fretboard, at most on the side of
it on the 5th, 7th, 9th fret; thirteenth fret on
the soundboard. No attempt is permitted to
«nineteen-hundredize» the instrument or to
alterate the above mentioned form. It is
permitted, however, to attempt to augment the
volume or better the quality, either with
special woods or other means.
«Strings». – Regarding strings, for
soloists only those made of bound silk (4th,
5th, 6th) and gut (1st, 2nd, 3rd) are admitted,
and so excluding metal strings from every
«Current Events» – In this title, it is
particularly worth mentioning the promise made
by Dr. Riccardo Vaccari to found an exclusively
guitaristic periodical that deals with the
activity performed in this field throughout the
entire world, with the history of the guitar and
all the questions inherent with it in general,
and also publishes pages of chosen music.
At the end, Prof. Romolo Ferrari,
wishing for the guitar to be taken into higher
consideration and introduced in the Italian high
schools and Conservatories, invites all the
participants to work for the divulgation of the
Thanking everyone for their presence and
for the contribution made, the first part of the
«Guitar Day» closes.
The participants then return at 3 p.m.
in a large hall of the Casa del Fascio where the
second part of the program took place,
consisting of an accademy performed by a group
of participants themselves.
Here is a list of the performers and
Mr. Riccardo Vaccari - Study n.
5, op.48 by Giuliani – Serenata by Malats.
Edoardo Capirone - Study by Aguado.
Mr. Aldo Ferrari - Study by Sor.
Mr. R. Vaccari and Mr. L. Orlich - Two
duets: Tango by Albeniz (transcribed by E.
Pujol) – Allegro from the Sonata op.2, n.1 by
Beethoven (transcribed by L. Orlich).
Mr. Lando Orlich – «La fille aux cheveux
de lin» by Debussy (transcribed by the
performer) and a characteristic piece of his own
composition. He also presents a duet composed by
himself, performed with the collaboaration of
Mr. S. Piccinini who was asked an encore at the
end of the meeting.
Mr. Amedeo Savoldi - Feste Lariane by
Mozzani – Adelita by Tarrega.
Mr. Suzzi, Ansaloni, and Sassoli,
students of Mr. Vaccari, perform music by
Mr. Romolo Ferrari performs various
pieces including Gondoliere by Mertz, Caprices
by Legnani, pieces by Sor, Giuliani, Tarrega and
At the end, an Order of the Day is
With this act, the «Italian Guitar Day»
La prima giornata
chitarristica italiana, in «La Chitarra», I,
n. 2, 1934, pp. 13-15.