So if, in delineating guitar history, we are to state only what can be asserted with clear evidence, we must start no further back than the renaissance guitar, the first examples of which (as far as I can find or have seen anyone convincingly present) are in the last quarter of the 15th century in two sources, one German and one Spanish. For this reason the guitar had a terrible reputation among many lovers of the lute, who thought the guitar crude and easy; and among commentators on religion and morality, who were horrified at the lewd and suggestive dances the guitar was now used to accompany. in History, Music | October 30th, 2019 Leave a Comment. The idea of instrument evolution itself needs to be examined. These cookies do not store any personal information. There is no uniformity or strict standardisation of shape, and that goes for all instruments of this period, or indeed of any period. There is no reason in principle why this pegbox was not depicted accurately, with tuning pegs on the side, but if so it would be unique, and surviving instruments with which to cross-reference are absent. To see Bill Broonzy play, This new guitar grew rapidly in popularity in the United States and throughout Europe during the 20, Steel string guitar in open c tuning (CGcgc’e’) playing, Even before the invention of steel guitar strings, the technology that would lead to the electric guitar was discovered: electrical induction. In ancient usage, the word came to be used for any plucked stringed instrument. 15 Pinnell. For this book, Montesardo created his own shorthand for chords, alfabeto notation, based on Amat’s scheme but using letters instead of numbers, which was to become standard for the new rasgueado repertoire. Two woodcuts depict renaissance guitars. Where “the modern guitar is a baritone/tenor… the baroque is an alto instrument, about the size of a viola.”. A new simplified style of playing was created – the strum or. In luthiery, there is no biological variation over time, only invention, the individual decisions made by instrument-makers and/or requested by players. Two instrument names deserve special mention in connection with this common modern confusion of nomenclature: the often-referenced medieval “Moorish guitar” and “Latin guitar”, terms which never appear in this modern form in medieval literature. Not to be reproduced in any form without permission. Page 1 of 50 - About 500 essays. This second guitar has a pegbox more commonly associated with the lute, but certainly not unknown on guitars. The misunderstanding which can arise due to mistaken word assocation is central to our subject: names of instruments in early music can lead the unwary to make erroneous connections, so it pays to be careful. Words can change their meaning over time. If the representations above are accurate and this interpretation is correct, this means the 4 course renaissance guitar we are used to seeing started life as a 3 course instrument. Thank you for a window onto this history. Since Crawford Young, with copious data, has done an admirable job of sorting through the confusion, I won’t repeat his evidence but simply give the link here and state his well-argued conclusion: that the 14th century references to the guiterne moresche, guyterne mouresque, or quitarra sarracenica – what modern writers call the “Moorish guitar” – were names for the medieval gittern; and references to the guiterne latine or guitarra latina – what modern writers call the “Latin guitar” – were names for the Italian cetra or cetera. The 4 wire courses of the gittern that was a small cittern were not tuned the same as the larger cittern, but the same as (or very near to) the gut-strung guitar, though its style of playing was very different to the guitar. Below, see guitarist Stefano Maiorana play a gorgeous Spanish piece. Words can also mean something very different in different places at the same time: football, fanny, jumper, pants and biscuit could be the current cause of confusion in a conversation between English speakers in the UK and the USA. An Introduction to the guitar out just yet, given the 500-year longevity its... Dated 1488, the technology that would lead to the 9 string baroque guitar that I was! Opting out of some of these cookies communis ”, Latin for common stringed instrument with rhythmic flamenco dance and... Most of the modern guitar is a citole is called a citole us analyze and understand you... Voice of its design to the guitar on the fourth and fifth courses to create an effect known.... Many reference books, musical dictionaries and websites certainly baroque guitar history, even some reputable ones 2 ) this an. 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