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6:41 AM

Acoustic Guitars: A Short History

During the middle ages, you found guitars of different shapes, design, soundboxes, some with three, four, and five strings, even curved sides. Some claims to fame have the Spanish or Hawaiians, contributing to our modern people�s favorite instrument.

The Moors and European influences, on the shape of the oval soundbox with holes to optimize vibration and channeling of sound have to deserve some mention here as well.

There are also traced and evidence, documents and samples of four double-string guitars, similar to lutes, dating back to the 15th century, with a 16th century addition, namely a fifth, double-string added into the mix and harmony.

During the 1700�s Italy reigned supreme for guitar-making, with the Spanish adding a 6th string in the late 1800�s.

With global transportation and travel in the early 1900�s a reality now, word, music and popularity spread. Models with broadened body, increased waist curve, thinned belly, improved internal bracing, single string courses and machined head replaced wooden tuning pegs.

Whether inspired, altered, adjusted or modified, the guitar carries within it the voices and sounds of history and ancient times. Medieval, renaissance instruments, like the gittern, lute, wood-carved and lovingly hand-made, still inspires craftsman and artisanship in the making of guitars. The hand-made models typically being more expensive, even double in price than the mass-produced instruments.

Spain gave us the vihuela as a pioneer for our modern guitar, a four string guitarra, made its way into the heart of the people, more-so than the lute, later adding two more streings for depth, range and dynamic complexity.The oldest six string built back in 1759 in Italy, inspired the later-form mandolin.

Today concert, classical guitar, contemporary, ultra-sleek and modern-made guitars are readily available and quite affordable. Offering greater volume, more vibrations and longer sustain, even Multi-string classical guitars (6, 7 or 10 strings). So, regardless of the originator, first design, idea, application time or context, the guitar has come a long way and from the very first strumming, has earned a place in the heart of the people, humanity. Even to this day, there is nothing more soothing and unifying that a strumming guitar to feed the soul!

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