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The Historical Origin of the Guitar
The guitar is very popular and magnificent musical instrument, but let’s try to find out its origin. In many sources, you can find the information that the guitar was invented in ancient Greece. However, this is a mistake. The Greeks had the instrument called a Kithara and it was a stringed musical instrument. Indeed the Kithara was something like lyra or harp and had nothing common with the guitar. You could also see a lot of Egyptian ancient paintings of musical instruments that are alike the guitar, but apparently, they were just a religious subjects and weren’t played. Now we can say that the guitar is not an ancient instrument.
Many people believe that lute is an ancestor of the guitar and they are actually right. Troubadours of dark times and the Renaissance liked the lute. It has four strings that would be plucked. Its body was oval and the back was rounded, but lute wasn’t a loud instrument. Lute didn’t have the treble strings and the flat back of the instrument as the guitar does.
One more ancestor of the guitar is vihuela. Vihuela was invented in Spain in the 15th century. It had the treble strings and smaller body. Therefore, in some way, we can say that lute and vihuela are “father” and “mother” of the guitar.
About one hundred years late, in 16thcentury somebody whose name we will never know decided to mix these two musical instruments together. The first models of this new musical instrument were very crude.
Only at the end of 18th century, we can talk about the modern guitar. We don’t know for sure where it appeared in France or in Italy, but it was the instrument almost similar to the one we know today, with six strings. Also in the 18th century, José Pagés and Josef Benedid began to add an-shaped struts inside the body of the guitar in order to amplify the sound. In addition, such thing as the “floating arm technique” came about.
Antonio de Torres Jurado was a very significant person in the guitar’s evolution. He made the body bigger and improved on the fan shape of the struts. As a result, a guitar could be played with an orchestra.
In the 20th century, there were some changes and improvements. For example, the old catgut strings were replaced by metal and nylon strings.
The guitar is an easy instrument to learn and it became very popular especially in South America. Nowadays there are a lot of different types of the guitar and it is a very popular musical instrument which is used in many genres.
The guitar is very popular and magnificent musical instrument, but let’s try to find out its origin. In many sources, you can find the information that the guitar was invented in ancient Greece. However, this is a mistake. The Greeks had the instrument called a Kithara and it was a stringed musical instrument.