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Zachary Taylor is a de-tribalised Midlander, living in Aylesbury with his wife ‘Tricia.

He gained a Fellowship of the Midland School of Guitar whilst studying engineering to National Certificate level.


Following engineering training he gave up his industrial career at 23 to follow a musical vocation giving his first public performance on classical guitar with Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, 1959.

Zachary continued his study of the guitar in Madrid with several Masters of the instrument.
Following this he performed professionally on guitar and lute in England, Spain, France, Holland and USA.

His interest in the musicology and construction of the guitar and its ancestral relatives prompted its research leading to the making of representations of many early instruments. This led to the teaching of the subject of lutherie in universities and colleges in the UK and Spain. He regards as one of his greatest successes, that of teaching guitar-making to Spaniards!

Shortly after this he founded the Lignaphonics Laboratory at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for the study of acoustic science. This was during the 25 year's teaching of the guitar and lute as a visiting member of their music department.

Responding to the growing need for guitar tuition he established the Hertfordshire Guitar Academy in Watford, acting principal for 4 years.

Zachary has written fourteen books on lutherie and subjects related to posh woodwork, the first being ‘Make and Play a Lute’, 1983 and the last, ‘Marquetry and Inlay’, 2002.

He was invited to submit his work to the Art Workers’ Guild; was elected 1985, appointed Master 2001.

For a short period he became Music Director of “Playtime” for the Education department of BBC, during which he exercised his passion for composing. This extended into composing and directing music for stage productions of “The Royal Hunt of the Sun”, “The Good Woman of Szechwan”, “Hotel Paradiso” and “Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

On several broadcasts, he appeared, or was heard, conducting, playing and presenting ancient instruments including “An Organistrum for Santiago” The Saturday Feature for Radio 4.

Performed on theorbo in ‘Twelfth Night’ in Windsor Castle with Windsor Theatre Guild.

Directed and presented first performance for 700 years, on authentic instruments of his own making, of ‘The Play of Daniel’, a 13th century music-drama, at Harrow Mediaeval Barn.


  • Gave on-screen performance as a guitarist in the Peter Sellers’ film “Hoffman”
  • Acted and played guitar on stage in “Johnny Belinda” with Wednesbury Rep.
  • Researched and replicated ancient machinery; presented with Fred Dibnah (BBC 2 TV)
  • Made model of ancient wooden hoist shown on “Riddles of the River”, (Anglia TV)
  • Gave lectures on early Spanish musical instruments to Patrons of the V and A Museum
  • Reconstructed the Solo-organistrum from Peterborough Cathedral; BBC R4 2004
  • Broadcast programme for BBC Radio 4 on ‘Music’s Missing Link’ 2007
  • Appeared on 'Time Team' on his reconstructed lyre found in 7th century Saxon grave, 2004.
  • Broadcast ‘The Saxon Lyre’, on its construction and playing technique, Radio 4, 2006
  • Was presented to Princess Margaret on two occasions to discuss his work as a luthier
  • Contributed dozens of magazine articles on making instruments and prestigious woodwork
  • Was appointed chief judge of the National Woodworker Competition 1987 / 92
  • Formed “Rozata Consort of Ancient Music”, performed on Thames and Anglia TV
  • Gave lectures for British Museum, on the subject of replication of early instruments
  • Addressed conference in Spain on reconstruction of the lutes of the Portico de la Gloria
  • Performed in ‘Stage Band’ at Royal Opera House, including operas featuring Placido Domingo
  • Became a principal in instrument-replication project in Santiago de Compostela in 1990
  • Was presented to Queen Sofia of Spain in concert featuring some of his instruments
  • Gave several broadcasts, in Spanish, on Spanish TV and Radio 1991
  • Appointed guest lecturer on guitar making at Vigo University (Spain) 1992
  • From ‘92/‘94 edited the magazine “Woodworker”
  • Presented paper on Iconography, ‘Strings of Stone’, at London University
  • In 1996 gave demonstrations at woodworking exhibitions in USA; Boston, Pennsylvania, Chicago
  • Provided accompaniment to ‘Beowulf’, ‘Sir Orfeo’ and Pepyshow with ‘Farandol’, 2008/11
    (Many of the foregoing events overlapped concurrently)

    Zachary is currently operating a consultancy, designing and producing prototypes for production of early stringed instruments. In this connection he has supervised and advised on factory production in Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, India and Vietnam.

      In spare time (!) he is lecturing, writing, researching, making and demonstrating on his instruments.