Welcome to the world of classical guitar history. Here, you will learn facts about the classical guitar history itself and also about the life of composers for it. On this web site, I will present information from the classical guitar's early beginning until the present day. An abstract will be followed by the full version of the history. Images of guitars at different times will complete the page.
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It is believed that the history of the guitar began in the ancient Near East (Babylonia). In Egypt and Rome, instruments had features that could be the predecessor of the guitar. The Guitarra Morisca was brought by the Moors in their conquest of Spain. However, the Guitarra Latina is thought to be the type that undoubtedly developped into the modern guitar. In the Middle Ages, the co-existence of three, four and five string guitars was noted. By the fifteenth century, the four-double strings instrument excelled in popularity. In the sixteenth century, it in turn was gradually replaced by the five double string guitar. Sixteenth century guitars are described as vihuela from the time of Luis Milan, Rizzio guitar from France, chitarra battente from Italia, some are still in existence. Composers for these instruments wrote mostly in tablature notation. Italy was the capital of the guitar world of 17th century. In France, the guitar became the instrument of the nobility but the Spanish school of guitar making did not begin to flourish until the end of the eighteenth century. Italians composers wrote a substantial number of works and, like the guitarists and even guitar makers, traveled widely. The most important factor in the development of the guitar was the addition of the sixth string during the middle of the eighteenth century. During the 19th century, changes in social conditions and improved means of transportation contributed to a growing knowledge of the guitar and enabled performers to travel widely. Guitar music flourished in nineteenth century Spain. A. Torres gave the basic form of the guitar in which it is now known. During 20th century, the revolutionary technological progress and the development of mass media communications and faster, more efficient modes of transportation are responsible for the tremendous popularity of the guitar.
Enter now in the full version of the history of the guitar
a video of 20 different guitars from 14th century to nowadays playing historic
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Copyright François Faucher 1998-2013