Brief History Of The Guitar Just What It Says Brief History And History Of Major Composers And Guitar Music

1024 words - 4 pages

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GUITARIn ancient times hunters found that by holding their bows to their mouths and plucking the string they could make all sorts of boinging sounds; who would have thought that now five thousand years later, what began as a simple hunting bow would evolve into an instrument as widely played and recognized as the guitar.While many argue that the guitars roots lie in Spain, the evidence shows that when the Moores invaded Spain in 711 A.D., they brought with them a stringed instrument called the rebec (an ancestor of the guitar). Also crusaders returning to England and Gypsies wandering west from Persia during the twelfth century brought with them versions of the lute, a small stringed instrument with a rounded back, and vihuela. Both of these instruments are ancestors of the guitar.Going even further back, most historians believe that the guitar originated in Egypt nearly five thousand years ago. It stayed in Africa where it was called the okongao or cora(and is still played today, by several tribes, in the original "bow" form). Until it was later transplanted to Europe.The Greek God Apollo, the God of Archery as well as music, which is interesting as the guitar evolved from the bow, is a prominent figure in the history of the guitar. In one myth, Hermes climbs out of his cradle to steal the cows of Apollo. On the way home, Hermes kills a turtle and builds a guitar from the shell. Hermes then plays the guitar, which Apollo hears. Apollo then follows the sounds of the guitar until he finds Hermes. According to the myth Apollo agrees not to kill Hermes in return for the turtle shell guitar.Other early guitars were made by stringing wires across clay pots, strings between bowls, or even made from melons. But the guitar as we know it didn't take its current shape until it reached Europe. There it took the shape of a woman: softly rounded shoulders that flow smoothly into a thinner waist and then to another gently rounded curve at the bottom. The allusion of the guitar being shaped like a woman appears often in history. This is not surprising as the female body was so widely celebrated. The Spanish saying, "La mujuer y la guitara, para usarlas hay que templarias'" or," to use a woman or a guitar, one must know how to tune them," is a fine example of the ties between women and the guitar. There is also the sculpture "of the silver bow", where the bowstring of Apollo is stretched out over the vibrant body of a woman.The size and shape of the traditional "classical" guitar used today have been traced back to Spain in the 1800's. Antonio Torres Juardo was the first to create the lighter thinner and easier to play version of the guitar.One of the most influential guitarists, a man who was responsible for the guitar's fame as a solo instrument was Andres Segovia. Segovia, born in 1893, began teaching himself the guitar at age 12 and by the early 1930's was famous the world over. Segovia's skill was largely responsible for famous...

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