FRETS.COM Illustrated Glossary

A really easy bit of etymology
© Frank Ford, 9/6/98 Photos by FF

In the world of fretted instruments, any decoration around a circular or oval soundhole is called a "rosette."

Why "rosette" you ask? It's a simple diminutive.

The decoration found covering the soundholes of instruments belonging to the lute family is called a "rose."

Here's a lute rose:

The classical guitar usually has an inlaid rosette made of many little colored wood pieces laid up as a mosaic:

In the world of steel string guitars the most distinctive rosette is the Martin ring design, which dates from before the Civil War:

This one is a Martin 0-28 with a Koa top from about 1927.

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