The Guitar : A Noteworthy History

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Before you begin to learn to play the guitar, you might be curious to learn a little bit aboutthe instrument and where it came from. Although there have been stringed instrumentsaround for centuries, the guitar in its present form is a relatively recent innovation—and theelectric guitar has only really been with us since the 1950s.

Knowing about earlier guitarists and their styles of music will help you choose the kind ofmusic you’d like to play. Thanks to recordings, we can hear today the music of sixteenth-century lutenists and then (at the flip of a CD) listen to twentieth-century heavy metal. Allstyles are open to us—we simply have to learn that they are available.

Our journey begins in ancient Egypt, where we will see that guitar-like instruments werealready entertaining the Pharaohs.