History Of Guitar


Everyone listens to it, wants to learn it, and enjoys it. Say hello to the evergreen kid on the block – the guitar! The stringed instrument has been the nucleus of the music industry for the longest time now. Be it folk or metal music, its centrality has remained constant.


But when it really starts strumming its tunes the world? Well, the guitar’s history can be traced back to more than four thousand years ago. Some say it’s the updated version of the ‘lute’, an ancient device that was used in traditional forms. Others place it in the ‘kithara’ family, a Greek instrument, or as we know it today – the harp. Archeologists also discovered the ‘tanbur’, a stringed instrument from the Egyptian world. But it’s safe to say that the guitar was well known by the 1500s.


The name guitar originates from the Sanskrit word ‘tar’ meaning string,  the Spanish word ‘quitarra’, and the Old Persian word ‘chartar’ meaning four strings. By the time the 17th century came around, it had become the 6-string instrument that we all love. Now while people are aware of acoustic and electric guitars, the instrument comes with a wide range of variations.


In Europe and Latin America, everything From contrabass to treble and with varying numbers of strings is played. The twelve-string guitar has six double courses placed in standard tuning. The Hawaii Guitar is laid across the knees of the player instead of being propped upright. And, of course, the famous electric guitar – used mostly in rock but not unheard of in jazz and other genres. With the advent of amplification, it became possible to do away with the soundbox altogether. 


But be it any kind of music and how many ever more modifications, what started in the 16th century is still being played in the 21st century. So it is safe to say that the guitar is here to stay.