The History of the Guitar

It’s pretty hard to find where in history that music began it has always been a fundamental part of culture.  Instruments in history are a little easier to find their origins.  It’s interesting to wonder who came up with the idea of the guitar and what they were thinking at the time.  There have been variations of stringed instruments around for hundreds of years.  What did the first guitar look like; the craftsmanship that went into making it must have been exquisite.  Let’s have a look back in time to the history of the guitar.

The history of the guitar

The earliest mention of the guitar goes all the way back to the 8th century where it was originally called a tavern instrument.  Of course these guitars were a whole lot different than what you can expect to see today.  Speculation is that the original guitars came from Spain, but we can only go back as far as the 15th century in the history of guitars.  The guitar arrived here in America with the original Spanish settlers.  Most people didn’t even take the guitar seriously as an instrument until later in the 16th century.  The original guitar only had 4 strings it wasn’t until the 17th century did guitars have 6 strings.  The mid 1800s showed the guitar being more widely used in music concerts and in shows.  Steel string guitars didn’t make an appearance until the 19th century and that’s when guitars started looking more like what you see today.  Here is a look at the guitar throughout history.

Modern guitars

In the 19th century guitars were firmly established and they were a part of everyday music.  Manufacturers started sprouting up and creating all different types of guitars.  Acoustic and electric were the two staples of guitars being made, though there are dozens of variations of each styles.  In the 1930s Gibson start building the flat top, arch top and electric guitars.  Blues musicians love the arch top with its steel strings.  Electric guitars grew in popularity among jazz and rock musicians who loved the amplified sound.  You can credit the electric guitar for much of the evolution of modern music.

In modern music the guitar is arguably the most important instrument in the band and the manufacturing of guitars is a billion dollar industry.  Guitar collectors pay some serious cash for famous guitars and limited edition productions.  The guitar has changed music completely and there are few other instruments with the same impact on music as the guitar.  While music will continue to evolve with time, and the guitar will continue to play an important role.

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