Attempting to make the guitar louder in order to adress the needs of active musicians on stage or in the streets in the days before electronic amplification was available, John Dopyera developed instruments based on the principle of a cone driven by the bridge or part transmitting the string pressure onto the center ot that cone. While the instruments soon became outdated as amplifying devices they already had found their way into the hearts of musicians and listeners alike because of their unique sound. The family of instruments in the lineage of the first Dopyera guitars are called “resophonic guitars”. Our music features two of these instruments, one of them being a Dobro – an instrument class who’s name is derived from Dopyera’s name. These are instruments that have made their way into the standard instrumentation of a bluegrass band despite the fact that they are a rather young development compared to – let’s say – classical instruments. The dobro in our setting is a Wechter Sheerhorn Koa Elite.
John Dopyera initially had built guitars based on the resophonic principle that would be played like ordinary guitars. Their bodies were made of tin alloy and chrome plated. Some models had one aluminium cone built in, annother model three smaller ones. They are distinguished as “single cone” and “triple cone” models. These models, still avaliable today soon became common among blues and ragtime musicians. One of the best known artists using them until today in a traditional and at the same time new and unusual way is Mark Knopfler. Our setting comprises a National Style O made in a way this instrument has been built since 1928.