History of the Guitar

  • Richard Mark French

Stringed instruments almost certainly predate recorded history. Anthropologists believe that the bow and arrow was perhaps the first machine made by early man and stringed instruments may have followed shortly afterwards [1, 2]. Stringed instruments have appeared in various forms and in many different cultures throughout recorded history. However, the story of the guitar is a recent one.

Development of the Classical Guitar

Early versions of the guitar appeared at least as early as the Baroque period (roughly 1600–1750) and Antonio Stradivari is known to have made guitars [3]. Figure 1.1 shows a modern reproduction of a baroque guitar with a 10 strings arranged in five pairs called courses.


Early 20th Century String Tension Stringed Instrument Sheet Music Tonal Quality 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Mark French
    • 1
  1. 1.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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