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Arts and Crafts

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The History Of Guitars

Stringed instruments have been around for many, many centuries and can be traced back as far as at least 4000 years ago.

The six-stringed guitar as we know it on the other hand, has been around for a little over 150 years. It came into existence in the middle of the 19th century to be precise and is said to have evolved from combining the cithara which the Romans brought to Spain around 40 AD and the oud which was introduced in the same country by the Moors in the 8th century.

This would also explain the name of our modern instrument. It is mentioned that the name kithara turned into the Spanish word 'quitarra' and eventually into 'guitar', but other resources claim that the name stems from the ancient Sanskrit word 'guitar' in which the word 'tar' means 'string'.

It was common for these popular instruments to have four strings up until the Renaissance. Around this time, another string was added by Italian instrument makers who eventually added a sixth one in the 17th century.

The instrument still didn't look and sound anything like its modern version though. The guitar took its shape some time around 1850 when in Spain the maker Antonio Torres altered its proportions, enlarged the body, and introduced the 'fan' top bracing pattern.

These changes substantially increased sound, volume, and looks, which appealed to a large audience and musicians alike and resulted in the guitar we are so familiar with at present.

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