W hat is “GRAN”?
It is the acronym for Guitar Russian Acoustically New.
GRAN guitar was invented 1987 by two Russian musicians, Vladimir Ustinov and Anatoliy Olshanskiy.
Thanks to the original construction of a newly developed acoustical instrument, – (patent PCT – RU94 00265) – the synthesis between classical guitar culture and folk and rock guitar traditions has been achieved.
The GRAN guitar is equipped with two sets of strings: six standard nylon and six light gauge steel ones. The steel ones are positioned 2-3 millimeters underneath the nylon ones, so that by varying a right hand’s position, performer can use nylon or steel strings only or both of them simultaneously creating astonishing variety of sonar coloration.
The GRAN guitar has drawn attention of various musical personalities:
Sir Paul McCartney, Russian composers Alfred Shnittke, Edison Denisov, Sofia Gubajdulina, Nikita Koshkin, American composers Steven Mackey, Sidney Corbett, German composers Hans Werner Henze, Manfred Stahnke and guitarists such as Julian Bream, John Williams, Christopher Parkening, Luisa Walker, Angelo Gilardino, Pepe Romero, David Russell, Alvaro Pierri, Roberto Aussel, Reinbert Evers, Eliot Fisk, Stepan Rak, Alexander Frauchi, Paco de Lucia, Carlos Santana, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, Ralph Towner.
The GRAN gathered a very positive reaction and is seen as an instrument suitable for plenty of different musical styles from baroque to classical and contemporary music, as well as jazz, folk and rock. This guitar opens new horizons not only for guitarists but for musicians in general. The palette of complex timbres available through the mixture of nylon and metal strings, the wide variety of coloration, and plethora of tuning possibilities should attract great interest of composers, arrangers and creative guitarists alike. This instrument is both an acoustical and, more importantly, a musical enrichment.