“The history of music is mortal, but the idiocy of the guitar is eternal.” – Milan Kundera
Throughout years one musical instrument with strings has undergone many transformations to be known as what modern world today call, the “Guitar”! It is an ancient musical instrument and its existence can be traced back to more than 4000 years, although the exact time is still debatable. There are many theories about the invention of guitar and its ancestry. Mostly it is claimed that guitar was invented by the Greeks, this is mainly due to the fact that Greeks had a musical instrument known as Kithara. Kithara was a stringed instrument. It was also suggested that guitar was developed from lute, but in 1960 researcher Dr. Michael Kasha proved that these statements were incorrect.
Around the same time in Egypt, there was an instrument “Har-Moses”, it had three strings and a plectrum suspended from the neck by a cord. It was perceived to be one of the oldest instruments that resembled a guitar. “Guitar” the word was introduced into English from Spanish word guitarra in the 1600s. During the Middle Ages, gitter or the word gittern was used in England. Both guitarra and gitter came from the Latin word cithara, which in-turn came from the Greek word kithara.
By early nineteenth century, we could start talking about the modern six strings guitar. While it was Antonio Torres, a Spanish guitar maker who increased the size of the body, altered its proportions giving shape to modern classical guitar, in around 1850. And it was 1931, when George Beauchamp and Adolph Rikenbekerom created the first electric guitar. Since then it has taken the music instrument industry like a storm. Play rock, blues, jazz or pop music using an electric guitar.
By the end of 21st century, we all know what a guitar is, and we love playing this wonderful musical instrument. Acoustic guitar and Electric guitar are the two most common types of guitars available in the market, but there are more including bass guitar, 12 string guitar, 7 and 8 string guitar, etc.
Acoustic guitars produce the sound themselves, you don’t need an amplifier or any other device to play this type of guitar. Acoustic guitars are also called Dreadnaught guitar, folk guitar, flat-top guitar or steel string guitar (because of the kind of strings being used). The sound that this type of guitar produces is bright, brassy, deep and forceful which gives sheer pleasure to everyone’s ear. The guitar’s body is made of wood and the sound is produced by the vibration of the strings while the hollow wooden body acts like an echo chamber. While an electric guitar has to be plugged into an electric amplifier for any noticeable sound to be heard as the sound is produced by the amplifier and not the guitar itself. Most of the electric guitars have a solid body; no sound holes, and uses steel strings. The strings used in an electric guitar are markedly thinner than the acoustic guitar, as the sound is produced by the amplifier.