Louisiana Musical Instruments

Louisiana Musical Instruments Project

This project identifies and documents the state's musical instrument builders and repairers and explores the relationship between instrument makers/repairers, music stores, and musicians. Instrument building traditions include, but are not limited to, fiddles, accordions, fretted instruments, bows, frottoirs, triangles (t-fers), bouzoukis, and drums. Instrument repairing also includes brass, woodwinds, and others. Both acoustic and electric instruments are included as well as related equipment, such as amplifiers for accordions and fiddles.

Traveling Exhibit

This traveling exhibit explores the state's musical instrument builders and repairers and their relationships with music stores and musicians. The traveling exhibit consists of three pull-up banners and is intended to travel to libraries and other small venues throughout Louisiana. Click here for the exhibit and how to bring it to your Louisiana community.

The Louisiana Musical Instruments Exhibit

Existing Documentation On Louisiana Instruments

Below are essays on the Folklife in Louisiana website and other sources that address musical instruments in Louisiana.

Innovation, Tradition, and Change in Louisiana Musical Instrument Making and Repair - Holly Hobbs

Reminiscences of a Cajun Accordion Builder - Marc Savoy

Introduction and Use of Accordions in Cajun Music - Malcolm Comeaux

Keeping It Alive: Marc Savoy and Ward Lormand - Accordion Making - Sheri Dunbar and Maida Owens

Delta Pieces: Instrument Builder Hilton Lytle: "I've Always Worked with Wood" - Susan Roach

Making Music: The Art of Hand-built Stringed Instruments - Susan Roach

Yule, Ron. 2007. My Fiddling' Grounds. Lafayette, LA: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Pp. 327-338.

Sounds of A Culture - Allons by LafayetteTravel (Cajun and Creole instruments)

Steven "Ses-I Ras" Sheard: Wood Carver, Drum Maker - Daniel Atkinson

Mike Mattison, Professional Piano Tuner - Douglas Manger

Zeagler's Music Store, Instrument Repair - Jocelyn and Jon Donlon

"From Chanky-Chank to Yankee Chanks: The Cajun Accordion as Identity Symbol" - Mark DeWitt 2012 pp. 44-65 in Simonett, Helena, ed. The Accordion in the Americas: Klezmer, Polka, Tango, Zydeco, and More! Urbana: University of Illinois Press.