For those of you who buy instruments made of rosewood please have a look at the latest National Geographic Magazine . There’s a report on Madagascar and the illicit rosewood trade. It really put in perspective what we are giving up in the world to have our exotic woods. Some of you may argue that this is about illegal harvesting and poaching and that you may buy from a certified legal source. The problem is as the reporter states, corruption and indifference makes it hard to discern what is legally taken and what is not.

Anyone reading this feel free to comment what your reaction was . I welcome an open dialogue on this most important matter.

Addendum: If you read any of the guitar forums you’ll see that many builders have realised what an ecological disaster this is fostering
To read what some builders are saying try this :

On the other hand there are other forums where the readers have suggested that in light of the the ban on Madagasscar  Rosewood  they should buy up whatever is available ASAP. Nothing like a ban to spur more more self serving behaviour…

2 Responses to “Rosewood!”

  • I actually read that article. Considering how sustainable and less expensive woods are reported to have possibly superior tonal qualities, I find it disappointing that many manufacturers and luthiers haven’t quickly adopted them. Bubinga is reputed to be as good as Brazilian Rosewood or, at the very least, comparable to Indian Rosewood. Lacewood supposedly imparts the tonal qualities of aged Mahogany. The figuring on both species can be dazzling.

    I’d love to see someone build a superior instrument using these alternative tonewoods. I’d also love to see well-known artists start playing them to draw the public’s attention. Shortly after a flamenca negra was shoved into the hands of Paco de Lucia for an onstage performance, other flamenco guitarists started wanting guitars with rosewood backs and sides.

  • I also read that article, and was shocked by it - what a waste! I am building a lute from FSC (recycled) Indian rosewood. I considered the “recycled” as being a positive thing.

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