Archives Collection
FINGERSTYLE GUITAR SEMINAR AND CONCERT                                        94-084

Physical description:

2.0 L.F. manuscripts including

21 audio tapes (TCD-0195A/I. TTA-0195A/L.)

180 black and white photographs and negatives

40 color photographs and negatives

1 folder printed material


17 February 1995.
21 March 1995.
14 June 1995.


These audio tapes were produced by Center audio specialist Bruce Nemerov. The photographs were taken by Tom Jimison of the Middle Tennessee State University Department of Photography and the University's Photographic Services.

Agency history:

On 17 February 1995 the Center for Popular Music and the Music Department, Middle Tennessee State University presented a program titled "150 Years of Musical Tradition and Innovation". This presentation consisted of an afternoon seminar exploring the history and development of fingerstyle guitar and an evening concert showcasing a wide range of musical styles.

Speakers at the afternoon seminar, titled "Roots and Branches of American Fingerstyle Guitar", included guitar historian Douglas Back, Montgomery AL; ethnomusicologist David Evans, University of Memphis; and folklorist William E. Lightfoot, Appalachian State University. Performers at the evening concert, titled "Historical and Contemporary Fingerstyle Artistry", included Douglas Back, Dr. William Yelverton of the Music Department; Virginia Piedmont guitar stylist John Jackson; Kentucky stylist Eddied Pennington; Mississippi delta stylist Lonnie Pitchford; and contemporary virtuoso and composer Leo Kotke.

On 14 June 1995 commentator Noah Adams of the National Public Radio program "All Things Considered" interviewed Center audio specialist Bruce Nemerov about the presentation.

Scope and content:

This group consists primarily of digital cassette tapes (TCD-0195A/I) and analog working masters (TTA-0195A/L) of the seminar and concert and of the Nemerov interview. Also included are 40 black and white photographs of the two events taken by Tom Jimison of the MTSU photography faculty and 140 black and white and 70 color contact prints taken by MTSU Photographic Services. The latter includes some shots of a jam session by Eddie Pennington and several friends before the concert.

The folder of paper records contains flyers and other advertisements for the events; a program produced by Center director Paul Wells which includes an introduction to American fingerstyle guitar and notes on the speakers and performers; and

copies of clippings about the event from the MTSU student newspaper Sidelines.

That folder also includes a letter 21 March 1995 from Bruce Nemerov to Art Silverman, senior producer of "All Things Considered" and an audio log of a tape and other notes made by Nemerov in preparation for his interview. In his two page letter Nemerov eloquently describes the convictions and philosophy behind the symposium and the concert, primarily a desire to demonstrate that American vernacular music whatever style belongs not to one ethnic or cultural group but is created out of the interaction between varied groups which characterize American life. (N.C. Nemerov did not retain a copy of the taped music examples documented in his log; the interview is TTA-L.)

Audio tape logs of the tapes made by audio specialist Bruce Nemerov follow.


Manuscript and print collections are filed by accession number with other manuscript groups. Audiovisual materials are filed first by format, then by tape number in the audiovisual archives.

The photographs are filed under "Fingerstyle Guitar Seminar and Concert" in the Center subject iconographic file.

Related materials:

Press kits for each performer sent to Center Director Paul Wells and used in the preparation of the program notes have been transferred to the Center biographical files; photographs received with these kits are filed in the biographical photograph file. Administrative records generated by these two events remain with the Center office files.

Audio specialist Bruce Nemerov produced two sets of tapes from the seminar and program: master digital cassettes (TCD-0195A/I) made at the time of the event and working master reel to reel analog tapes (TTA-0195A/L) made later in the lab. The two sets of tapes do not correspond one to one because of varying lengths between the two formats. The log sheets which follow are cued to the analog tapes which are the preferred working master. However the logs do show off-sets between the analog and digital (Rdat) cassettes.