History and Influences of the Guitar Essay

History and Influences of the Guitar Essay

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History and Influences of the Guitar
My paper will be discussing the history, culture, and influences of guitar throughout the ages. This will be going back to the time of the lute and rebec as they were all early forms of string instruments related to the guitar family. This is going through the beginning of the instrument’s time, throughout the different time periods, elaborating on its significance in music.
The guitar is a well-known instrument and staple in the music industry in all genres of music. Through the twang of country and ripping solos in rock, the guitar is usually the glue of any major piece of music. To see how the guitar has become a key factor in music and a symbol of Americana we will have to look at the history. The guitar was not always as significant as it has come to be in the 21st century. Its sister instruments were introduced in the 12th century, but the guitar, itself cannot be traced back earlier than the 15th century. “The guitar, another old instrument dating back at least to the Middle Ages, probably originating in the Middle East.”(Machlis p. 52). One can see the similarities through the early musical accompaniments. “The beginnings of the European guitar are unknown. Scholars disagree as to whether the guitar, like the lute, was introduced to medieval Europe from the Middle East, or if it was indigenous to Europe” (Bouqet Web). The guitar is present until the 15th century, but before then its sister instruments will begin the string instruments’ roots.
Guitar-like instruments began only being used for accompanied, impromptu parts for secular music. This was seen throughout in the minstrels and troubadours that used them to travel from town to town performing. “Some of the early guitar-like st...


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...e big band era of the 1930s; the Gibson Super 400 was widely imitated. In 1952, Gibson introduced its first solid-body electric guitar, the Les Paul which became its most popular guitar to date— designed by Ted McCarty and Les Paul” (Hall).

Some modern day guitar gods are John Mayer, John Petrucci, and Paul Gilbert. These men have kept the legend ongoing with the technicality of playing guitar. John Petrucci and Paul Gilbert are electric guitar gods who focus on the mechanics of playing, creating new innovating skills to master hard songs. John Mayer is a personal favorite who has a prominent sound in the secular world of music with his slow electric and acoustic sounds.
This will be shown through some of my sources including the music recording of the Baroque Music for Guitars. Overall, the general idea is the evolution of the guitar, itself, as an instrument.


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