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History of the Guitar

During one of my lessons today, I was asked how long the guitar has been in existence. Well, I explained that the guitar has been around for a long time…in one form or another. And like most things, it has evolved to become what we know as the guitar today; so I suppose the question might be, at what point in its evolution would you want to call it a guitar? The guitar has had many predecessors which bear more than a passing resemblance; and of course, many of these instruments have fallen out of favour or been improved upon in the next stage of their evolution. The modern classical guitar as we know it has been around since the 19th century, thanks to Antonio Torres, a Spanish guitar maker who pioneered the modern design; and the solid body electric guitar has been around since the late 40’s when Leo Fender first produced a Broadcaster off the block…and not forgetting Les Paul who presented his solid body design to Gibson Guitars (called the ‘Plank’).

If we take the guitar’s evolution into account, then I think it’s safe to say that it has been around since the anicent civilisations. Having said that, it is believed that the Moors (Arabs, Moroccan) were responsible for bringing it to Spain originally; and Spain, of course, has played a bit part in the evolution of the Classical/Spanish/Flamenco guitars.

And long may its evolution continue as it will inevitably try to adapt to changing times and fashions.

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