History of Guitar-Origination
When we say history of guitar,the first thing we want to learn is the beginning of history. But it is almost a “mission impossible“.For it is thousands of years ago when the first music instrument appeared in human history and wood material is easily damaged.
However, there’s still some clew for us to have an idea of time-line of music instrument’s development. Percussion instrument is the first music instrument appeared， then wind instrument. String instrument is the last one appeared,but the most important one. This is the beginning of history of guitar.
The earliest string instrument developed from hunting weapon,that is bow. Today, some tribes in Africa still use bow as a string instrument.As pursuing of plentiful music performance, string instrument developed follows two directions. One is to increase number of bow or string, piano is the typical of such development. Another is to change length of string by finger or tools to achieve a new tone, violin,mandolin,guitar,etc., are typical music instruments of such development.
Most of historians take Nefer,a string instrument of Egypt of 2000B.C to 3000 B.C as ancestor of guitar.The earliest string instrument which has the same inward bending body as guitar, is in the sculpture of city gate sites of Hittie. The instrument is so called Hittie Guitar. “8-shaped” body shares the same resonance character with guitar.This also makes guitar different from other string instruments.This is,we say,the ancestor of history of guitar.
In 13th century of Spain, two types of guitar appeared: Guitarra Morisca with oval body and metallic string and Guitarra Latian with 8-shaped body and sheep intestine string.The two types had different music style. Guitarra Morisca is more wilde and Guitarra Latian is more classic and soft.
After long and dark mid-century, guitar had its first prosperous development during Renaissance. In 16th century, performance of 4 pair of complex string guitar and Vihuela achieved to an high level.Both of the instruments were popular and be a palace instrument. Relatively, 4 pair of complex string guitar was more popular.From 17th century to early 18th century, it was times of Baroque. Vihuela vanished, 5 pair of complex string guitar took place of 4 pair of complex string guitar.In late 18th century, 5 pair of complex guitar gradually vanished, 6 pair of complex string guitar also finished its history task soon. Around year 1800, new 6-string in history of guitar appeared. Because of clear sound and convenient adjustment,etc., it is rapidly developed in Europe. Guitar’s golden times is coming.
This is brief introduction of history of guitar.