So, Where was the Guitar Invented?
Good question! Like most musical instruments, the guitar was not really ‘invented’ as such but rather it ‘evolved’ into the amazing and widely used string instrument we know and love today. In its current form, the guitar has been around since the 19th century but the origins of the guitar go back much further than that date of course.
What came before the guitar in its current form?
So, to understand the true origins of the guitar we must first look at instruments that predated it – the guitars ancestors you could say!
If you think about it, the true wood to string instruments first ‘ancestor’ was the hunting bow, usually composed of animal tendon stretched to either end to form a primitive weapon and dated to around 10,000 BC.
Humans slowly started to understand that you could get a ‘sound’ from plucking the string on the bow and then that sound could be amplified and enhanced by adding a ‘sound box’ made from animal or fruit shells, such as tortoise and coconut.
From around 2000 BC, and around the Middle and Far East, these primitive instruments became more refined and had a ‘neck’ alongside the strings and sound box. This instrument, and variations, slowly progressed through the ages to slowly become what could resemble a guitar.
If you want to take a look at some of the best sounding guitars available – just check out our article here.
So the guitar was invented in the Middle and Far East?
Not quite! History of the guitar is a little blurry but researchers tend to believe that the instrument in its basic form cam from the Arab nations and Africa to Spain and probably from what we now call the lute.
During the Renaissance, which was a period of cultural, artistic, political and economic European ‘rebirth’, the lute grew in popularity and the design was adapted to become what we could be called the Guitarra (or guitar lute), with adapted strings and body enabling chords and music to be played specific to that instrument.
Who was the ‘Father’ of the modern Guitar?
Well, we can make am assumption that this was Antonio de Torres (1817 – 1892). This fine gentleman of Spain developed the modern guitar as we roughly know it today. Making the guitar body larger and with much thinner wood than the instruments that cam before it, such as the guitar lute. He also braced the inside ceiling of the guitar for better sound as well as developing the ‘fab’ system on the lower part of the guitar.
So, this Spanish chap invented the Electric Guitar too?
No. Obviously, that came much later on and way after Senor Torres! The electric guitar was invented in approximately 1932 and mostly used by Jazz guitarists of the time. Although simpler in design to the acoustic guitar the electric guitar obviously has many differences and forms compared to its acoustic cousin.
In the 1950’s and 60’s the eclectic guitar became an icon of pop culture and music – being able to bring life to music and songs like never before. It still is part of musical culture today, alongside the acoustic guitar of course.
There are many types of electric guitars, such as the solid bod and chambered body and some sell for extremely high prices such as classic Fenders but generally they can be bought for various amounts of money depending on the quality you need. Of course, they require an amplifier to get the most out of them!
Conclusion – The Guitar has History!
Indeed. There is so much more that could be added here but we think you get a rough idea of the history of the guitar in the current form and at least enough to encourage you to get out there and start playing!
As with all our posts – don’t be scared to add your thoughts below in the comments section. We always love to hear what you have to say or if there is anything we have missed off the question “Where was the Guitar Invented?” – let us know!