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Guitar History - Essay

Guitar History


The guitar is a fretted, stringed instrument, and is a member of the lute family. It originated in Persia and reached Spain during the twelth-century, where its versatility as both a solo and accompanying instrument were established. The theory of the guitar was discovered in the early centuries. They found that the sound of a bowstring could be enhanced by attaching a resonating chamber -most like a tortiseshell- to the bow. From the bow came essentially three main types of stringed instruments: the Harp family, which was the sound of plucked strings indirectly transmitted to an attached sound box. The second was the Lyre family, which was strings of a fixed pitch are attached to ...

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in the middle and far east, deriving from gut, is the Arabic word for four, and tar, the Sanskrit word for string. The earliest European guitars did have four courses of gut strings. A
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course is a pair of strings tuned in unison. These early guitars were distinguished from lutes by body sides that curved inward to form a waist and by four courses of strings. Some but not all early guitars had a flat back, while lutes always had a flat back. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance the lute was the dominant fretted instrument. The lute with was pear-shaped and had five or more courses of strings was generally regarded as a higher class of instrument. By 1546 the guitar had gained enough popularity to merit the publication of a book of guitar music. By this time guitars had added another course, and modern tuning had come into existence. Chord positions were the same as they are today. The frets of the early guitars were made of gut and tied around the neck. This made ...

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strings were anchored by bridge pins, replacing the method of tying strings to the bridge. By the 1820s most of the fingerboard extended all the way to the soundhole. As rapidly as the guitar changed so did its acceptance. By the 1800s the Lute had all but disappeared.

One of the best known makers of this new-style of guitar was Johann Georg Staufer of Vienna. Staufer and another maker Johann Ertel in 1822 designed a fingerboard raised off the top of the guitar, and experimented with different fret metals, settling on an alloy of brass,copper,silver, and arsenic.

The first half of the 19th century was a time of great experimentation for the guitar. And ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 1/8/2005 04:42:22 PM
Category: American History
Type: Free Paper
Words: 2166
Pages: 8

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