The Evolution of Guitars

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The guitar is one of the most famous instruments worldwide. It has been used for almost all types of music. The guitar has made many cultural impacts on society. There have also been drastic changes over history. They have changed looks, sounds, and overall style. How have guitars evolved over time? Before the guitar was even thought of, there were instruments that showed some similarities. The first stringed instruments were around about 4000 years ago. The first few instruments were called tanburs and bowl harps. These instruments are made by taking a tortoise shell and attaching a stick to it, usually a bent one. After that, a few gut or silk strings were run from the stick to the middle of the shell. One of the oldest guitar-like instruments is about 3500 years old. This instrument belonged to an Egyptian singer named Har-Mose. He owned a tanbur, but his had three strings instead of just one or two. It was also made out of rawhide and cedar (Guy). After years, instruments started looking more and more like the guitar. The first instrument that started to look like the guitar was around in the 1200s-1300s. It was found in Mediterranean Europe. Sources refer to this as this as the guitarra latina. Two of the earliest forms after the guitarra latina are the lute and the vihuela. The lute is a small instrument that is shaped somewhat like a pair. It had twelve strings and a very short neck. The vihuela is shaped more like a guitar. It is larger and also has twelve strings (Chapman). The evolution finally progressed so far that the modern day guitar that we know came around. The first one was created from 1800-1850. It is called the Spanish Court Guitar. This was the first six-string guitar. The body was made of rosewood, the neck ... ... middle of paper ... ...e the same as guitars and are also amplified (Wade-Matthews). Guitars are very different instruments than they once were. They have had many changes in shape, sound, style, and how they are made. Starting out as tortoise shells with a stick and some strings, they have now developed into acoustics, spread from Europe to the rest of the world, and turned out to be the crazy shaped, cool designed electric guitars of today. Works Cited Chabot, Paul. “A History of the Guitar”. Guitarsite. 1999-2014. Web. 5 May 2014. Chapman, Richard. The New Complete Guitarist. London: DK Publishing, Inc., 1993. Print. Guy, Paul. “A Brief History of the Guitar”. Guyguitars. 2001-2007. Web. 4 Apr. 2014. Wade-Matthews, Max; Thompson, Wendy. The Encyclopedia of Music. London: Hermes House, 2002. Print. Wendkos, Zach. “The Evolution of the Electric Guitar”. 21 May 2010. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

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