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Popular Engineering, Guitar Workshop Returns

Submitted by on February 15, 2017 – 1:11 pm

The early stages of a guitar….a signed guitar soundboard.

Last march, when Northern Essex Community College engineering professor Juan Oscar Azaret crafted a one-night workshop weaving together physics, engineering, and the classical guitar, he worried it wouldn’t draw an audience.

When more than 100 faculty, students, and community members filled the Hartleb Technology Center on the Haverhill campus, he knew he had found kindred souls.

The North Andover resident is hoping to attract those musical allies with a second one-night workshop titled “Those Mysterious Existences: Art, Science, Lutherie, and the Classical Guitar” on Wednesday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hartleb Technology Center, 100 Elliott St. on the Haverhill campus.

This event is free and open to the public.

Engineering Professor Juan Oscar Azaret.

An engineer of 35 years, Azaret is also a classical guitarist and luthier (someone who makes or repairs string instruments) and a long time board member of the Boston Classical Guitar Society. Multitalented, Azaret has a multi-faceted appreciation of the classical guitar and believes others can too.

“This idea that the classical guitar and the sound it produces can be of interest to students of varied disciplines was the catalyst for these events. The evening is designed around the idea of “the art and science of the classical guitar,” Azaret says, “through performance, perception, design, and acoustics.”

“This project will provide a vehicle for students in each of these fields to appreciate certain foundations and applications of their studies as they relate to each other,” he says. “We want them to be interested in the academics of it, but entertained as well.”

The program will include performances of classical guitar works by Robert Ward, a professor at Northeastern University and Brookline Music School and concert

Classical guitarist Bob Ward will perform during the one-night workshop.

guitarist. The focus will be on the music and how “beautiful and approachable music” is created on a classical guitar as well as how guitars are created. Partially constructed guitars will be available to show the anatomy of the instrument.

The second half of the night will be dedicated to examining sound. Specifically the science and engineering that creates the sound. Participants will be able to “see” sound through the use of a spectrum analyzer, oscilloscope, and vibrating string lab set-ups in an interactive audio visual presentation.

A guitar is born…gluing the back bracing.

“It will link the instrument, the performer, the music, and the listener,” he says.

This presentation is funded, in part, through a new Academic Innovations Mini-Grant which was created by the college to encourage curriculum innovation.

Students from NECC’s physics, engineering, and music classes will be in attendance, and the public is invited to attend.

For additional information contact Juan Oscar Azaret at