A Brief History of the Guitar

Published: 23rd July 2008
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If you want to learn and master guitar because you simply love playing the instrument then it is not necessary for you to know about the guitar history. Infact you need not touch the historical aspect at all if you simply want to learn & master guitar playing, because the two things are not connected in any way at all. However, if you love the instrument itself, and the charisma associated with it, then you would indeed want to know more about the evolution of the instrument of your choice. 

Describing the history and origin of guitar is not a simple task by any means. The history of this magical musical instrument dates back to some 4000 years ago. In fact, guitar is probably a modernized version of identical instruments that originated some 5000 years back, have been in existence in many cultures and been used extensively throughout the world since then. 

Guitar and other such similar musical instruments can be categorized as stringed instruments. As per archaeological evidences, the earliest known stringed instruments were bowls, harps and tanburs. During early days, stringed instruments were primarily visual depictions that had a very simple design. There has been no real evidence regarding their existence nor there were any continuous musical notes written for them. It was during the late medieval or early renaissance period that the world witnessed the origin of a stringed instrument that can be compared with the modern day guitar. During this period, guitars were either four-course or five-course. However, these instruments produced music that had a richer sound than a modern day six-string guitar. Gradually, six string instruments came into existence during the 18th century and became widely popular. Gaetano Vinaccia is considered to be the first person to have made the earliest version of modern acoustic guitar. Finally it was in the year 1936 that George Beauchamp received the first patent for making an electric guitar. 

Even the word "guitar" has an interesting history. As per language experts, "guitar" is an adaptation of a Spanish word called "Guitarra" which was further adapted from a Greek word "Kithara". By going further deep into the linguistic history, some experts even consider the word "guitar" to have an Indian origin where "guit" means music and "tar" means chord or string. In fact, there are various stringed musical instruments such as "sitar" that have the root "tar" in their names. 

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