I love playing the guitar. Music runs in my blood, and for many generations before me, my ancestors sang beautifully, so I have been told. My great-great-grandfather having been one of the people who opened up the Wild West was a singing man, and would often go to sing in the saloon after a few drinks. My own father sang in the Baptist Church Choir. You can thus see why I fell in love with the guitar, seeing as the music gene runs in my family.
Like many music lovers, I have collected many mementos along the way, and many musical instruments. One of the most prominent features in my home studio is the guitar. It is this instrument that I am going to tell you about today. Thankfully, I just gave my studio a fresh coat of paint a couple of weeks ago and I can say that this makes the guitar even more outstanding.
So where did the Guitar originate? This is a very old instrument, and history shows that the guitar was there for more than 4000 years ago. However, its ancestry cannot be traced exactly but there are theories as to how it came about. One of them proposes that the modern guitar came from the Greek kithara, and some theories even show that it came from the lute. However, both theories have been discounted. One theory that many experts go with is that the guitar would most likely have developed from the fretted and fretless lute and oud that were brought to Spain by the moors.
Ancient civilizations had guitar-like instruments
One of the likeliest quarters from which the guitar could have developed is the stringed instruments and the early predecessors are thought to be tanburs and harps. History and archeological digs have shown that from the very early days, man has been making harps out of various material. The ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and Sumerians would bring a better, more advanced harp which has been found in archaeological digs, some with gold decorations indicating that they belonged to royalty.
But harps and tanburs are not really very guitar-like in nature. The first real father of the modern guitar has been dated 3500 years old. History says that this guitar was buried with Har-Mose who was an Egyptian singer. This musician was an employee of Sen-Mut who was, in turn, an employee of Queen Hatshepsut. He was her chief architect and helped build her mortuary temple and it is still standing on the shores of River Nile.
In the Arab countries, the moors were making an instrument that was very similar to the modern guitar too. This was the oud and it was fretless and more advanced than the ancient guitars. The name oud came from an Arab name meaning wood and the instrument had a short neck and a fat body.
Maybe it came from Asia
The guitar could also have come from Asia, especially as the name guitar comes from the word tar, a Sanskrit word which means string. In Asia, many societies played stringed instruments and for most of them, their names ended in the suffix tar.