The History of Classical Guitar

According to an oft-quoted phrase we are all adolescent intellectuals without history. So it makes sense to explore the noble history of classical guitar, which has travelled a long way only to carve a niche for itself in the world of music globally.

This history would be incomplete without naming the legendary guitarist Luther Antonio de Torres (1817-1892) who made significant changes in the construction of the newly framed modern version these guitars. He is also considered as the founder of the modern classical guitar school.

This unique history can be traced back to the Near East. The archaeologists found its representation in myriad forms in the excavations of Babylonia. Also referred to as a Spanish guitar, classical guitar heralds from the family of instruments called chordophones. They have been a part of the ancient musical tradition for over 100 years.

Spanning over four centuries history classical guitar has been a subject of great debate and controversy. Many earlier instruments also contributed a great deal in shaping its history. Many great players and composers also contributed to an amazing extent in shaping up this amazing journey of this popular instrument.

The popularity of the guitar was on the downslide with the emergence of the piano in the middle of the 19th century. Francisco Tarrega (1852-1909) initiated a whole new style of playing which added a new definition to the entire history of the classical guitar.

Some of the earlier instruments, which shaped the history are as follows

Renaissance guitar
Baroque guitar

The size and shape has been the same over 100 years.The modern version of the ancient guitars has evolved over the following few sources

The Lute
The Vihuela
The Renaissance five-string guitar.

Some of the legendary names associated with the field of guitar are as follows

Gaspar Sanz
Fernando Sor
Mauro Giuliani
John Williams
Julian Bream

The most accepted convention these days is to use the fingertips to play on the guitar. However, in the bygone era it was the prevelant custom to use flesh over nail to play the guitar.

Some of the renowned players who preferred using fingertips over nail include-

Fernando Sor
Francisco Tarrega

Since, there is more space between the strings on a typical classical guitar it is easier to handle it for amateurs. Some of the cardinal features of this popular instrument are as follows-

It uses nylon strings.
It generally makes use of a rich colour palette.

Hogging the musical scene globally classical guitars are a player’s delight. With changing times it has undoutedly evolved a lot. Technologial advancements may have given guitars a backseat with newer instruments like synthesizers hogging the limelight these days. But, still the old guitar has retained all its alluring charm and reigns supreme over other classical instruments which have made the entire musical journey all the more enticing for the listeners through ages.