The guitar is an instrument that has played a prominent role in music throughout history, from its early days as a simple stringed instrument to its modern form as an electrified and versatile musical tool. In this post, we'll take a journey through the history of the guitar, tracing its evolution from ancient times to the present day.
The earliest known ancestor of the guitar is the ancient stringed instrument called the tanbur, which dates back to at least 3300 BCE in Mesopotamia. The tanbur had a long, thin neck and a rounded body with a flat top, and was played with a plectrum. Over time, similar instruments were developed in other parts of the world, including the oud in the Middle East and the lute in Europe.
The guitar as we know it today began to take shape in the Renaissance period, around the 15th century. The first guitars were small and portable, with four strings made of gut or silk, and were played with the fingers rather than a plectrum. They were often used to accompany singing, and were popular among troubadours and minstrels.
In the 16th century, the guitar began to be used more widely in Spain, where it was known as the vihuela. The vihuela was a larger instrument with six strings, and was played in a variety of styles, including strumming and fingerpicking. It was also used in church music, and was sometimes played in ensembles with other instruments such as the harp and the flute.
During the Baroque period in the 17th and 18th centuries, the guitar underwent further development. It became more refined and sophisticated, with a wider range of notes and a more complex sound. The most famous composer for the guitar during this time was the Italian musician Francesco Corbetta, who wrote a number of pieces for the instrument.
In the 19th century, the guitar became even more popular, particularly in Spain and Latin America. It was used in a variety of musical styles, from flamenco and classical to folk and popular music. The guitar was also used in orchestral settings, and became a fixture in the music of composers such as Isaac Albéniz and Manuel de Falla.
In the 20th century, the guitar underwent a revolution with the advent of electric amplification. This allowed guitarists to play louder and with more distortion, and gave rise to new styles such as rock and roll and heavy metal. The electric guitar also led to innovations in guitar design, such as the solid-body guitar pioneered by Leo Fender and the semi-hollow body guitar used by jazz musicians.
Today, the guitar continues to be one of the most popular and versatile instruments in the world. It is used in a wide range of musical genres, from classical and jazz to rock and pop, and continues to evolve with new innovations in design and technology. Whether you're a beginner learning your first chords or an experienced player pushing the boundaries of the instrument, the guitar remains an endlessly fascinating and rewarding musical tool.
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Guitar Teacher, Vocal Coach, CD productions and Songwriting Courses in Potchefstroom
At MLM Studio, every student is unique and is treated accordingly. We help students to discover and develop their personal potential, enabling them to perform better in their schoolwork and studies. This means that they develop self-confidence, self-discipline and self-pride.
We help students to understand the instrument, so that they can learn to play songs themselves, as well as to develop their own songwriting talents, and we also help them to develop their singing talent. The teaching method is adapted to accommodate and support each student's abilities. There are no exams played, and it is not a requirement that you be able to read music.
Because the guitar is an instrument that is easily transportable, the focus is on what we call 'social guitar playing'. (nice singing and playing at the barbecue, etc.) Students choose their own songs to play, i.e. what they like and feel comfortable with. It serves as motivation to master certain technical and theoretical skills as quickly as possible.
The option also exists to provide a student with 'backing tracks', to play along with at home. We can also record each student on CD, which he/she can give to someone special as a gift. This survey is free. Classes are offered individually or in groups.