Topics: Guitar, Electric guitar, Steel-string acoustic guitar Pages: 2 (654 words) Published: May 26, 2013
The guitar is a very well known instrument and is a staple of western music. From acoustic to electric and even bass, with so many different guitars that have minor variations between them it is hard to imagine what would have led to such developments, since the predecessors of the guitar only marginally resemble current guitars. A large factor in the evolution of the instrument was society. Social influence ultimately led to the guitars we have today with guitars adapting to be able to fit the timbre of popular genres at the time.

The origins of the guitar seem to be related to an ancient Greek instrument called the “kithara” because of the fact that the name “guitar” was descended from the word “kithara". Despite this relation, the guitar does not seem to have much else in common with the kithara as the kithara is more closely related to a harp. There are conflicting theories as to where the idea of the guitar originated, but an early predecessor of the guitar created in the renaissance period (around the 13th century) was the “gittern”.

The gittern emerged in Europe and had different names among the European countries. The gittern was carved from wood and was shaped similar to a lute. It had three to four sets of two strings and was played with a quill as a plectrum (or pick). Frets, like in a guitar, were documented to be in Italian models of the gittern and were not in English or French models. The gittern was tuned differently in different parts of the world, as there were different genres that were popular in different places.

Moving on to the baroque period, the baroque guitar had more strings than the renaissance gittern. Moving on from three sets of two strings, the baroque guitar had five sets of two strings which allowed more versatile playing of a wider range of notes. The baroque guitar’s shape had also changed from its predecessor. The baroque guitar’s shape...
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