Classical Musical Instruments/The Guitar

Stringed Classical Music Instruments

The Guitar

What were some of the stringed  classical musical instruments which greatly  impacted the classical period (1750 – 1820 approx.) and beyond?

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  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Double bass
  • Lute
  • guitar
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We begin with the  guitar.                              

“The guitar is a musical instrument classified as a string instrument

with anywhere from  4 – 18 strings,  usually having six.”

Eko 12-string guitar
Eko 12-string guitar

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Types

We can divide guitars into two broad categories – acoustic and electric.

Then, there are three main types of acoustic guitars – the classical guitar (nylon string), the steel-string, and the archtop guitar.

Classical Guitar                     

Rosewood classical guitar
Rosewood classical guitar

Warm and responsive, these guitars are built with great care and sensitivity, allowing the player full freedom of expression. These guitars are usually made from European spruce and Indian rosewood, along with traditional Spanish construction.

“Finger-picking technique

Often played as a solo instrument, the classical guitar uses – what is  known as a  comprehensive finger-picking technique.  This technique is also used in the tradition of country, folk and bluegrass guitar playing in the United States.


A Brief History

Some mystery  surrounds the earliest origins of the guitar.

What is known is that a guitar-like instrument called the vihuela or viola da mano was developed in Spain during the  15th century.  A  4-stringed instrument, similar to the vihuela, was played by the common people and  became very popular abroad. By the end of the century, a fifth string had been added, and these instruments merged into what became known as the Spanish guitar. 

The six-stringed guitar, as we are accustomed to  evolved around the year 1800.  Around this time, however, pianos were introduced, and the guitar went into rapid decline.


Master Of Guitar Makers                                

Antonio -de-torres
Antonio -de-torres

Enter Antonio de TorresA Spanish carpenter who began making guitars around the year 1840. Thinking out of the box, he is credited with

  • revolutionizing the sound of the guitar by creating a much larger body than before
  • strengthening and enhancing the guitar’s tone and
  • enhancing its beauty and character
Respected as the  undisputed master of guitar makers, Torres’  designs are still emulated to this day.

Sources:  Wikipedia-the free encyclopedia and guitar-maker.com    

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I would be grateful for  any  comments or suggestions  you may have and will also try to answer any questions.

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