How widespread was the use of Aguado’s “Tripodium”, and are similar devices still used today?
Dionisio Aguado (1784-1849) developed his “Tripodium” (also referred to online as a “Tripodion” or simply tripod) to aid support, positioning and clear sound projection while playing classical guitar (see picture below).
How widespread was the use of this device?
Are similar devices still used much now? Tripodium are not commonly used by classical guitarists at this time. Most performers stick with a simple foot stool. What you have to remember is that in Aguado’s (and indeed Carcassi’s) time it was equally likely that you would be playing with bare fingers, than your finger nails. In fact, even in the 20th century using your nails was somewhat controversial:
Book: “THE ART OF CLASSICAL GUITAR PLAYING” by Charles Duncan
As nearly all classical guitarists today use their fingernails, the extra projection from the special stand is often not needed. I needn’t mention the modern convenience of microphones. Also, notice how much smaller the guitars of those times were. Certainly not the booming concert hall instruments we have today, but something more closely associated with intimate performances.
However, I’m sure some modern revivalists would love to use a Tripodium. If you are interested, we built one – it will be sure to turn heads, especially at a baroque music society.
Gil de Avalle’s exact reproduction of Aguado’s Tripodium and original Benito Campo 1840 guitar built following Aguado’s theories to be plaid on the tripodiun: