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How to use a guitar to learn about different cultures and histories

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-05-15      Origin: Site


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Do you like guitar? Do you want to own your own guitar? Do you know that the guitar is not only a musical instrument, but also a carrier of culture and history? In this article, we will take you inside the world of the guitar, explore its origins, development and diversity, and make you feel the charm and value of the guitar.

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The origin of the guitar

The guitar is an ancient and elegant instrument, its history can be traced back to 4000 years ago. Many ideas have been put forward about the ancestor of the guitar. Some say that the guitar developed from lute, while others say that it evolved from Kithara in ancient Greece. At this point, research by Michael Kasha of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in the 1960s showed that the guitar is not actually a descendant of the Lute, because the lute is the result of an independent line of development, and although it shares a common ancestor with the guitar, But it had no effect on the development of the guitar.

The common ancestor of guitar and Lute can be traced back to Nefal in ancient Egypt two or three thousand years ago BC, and various ancient plucked instruments in ancient Babylon and Persia. The earliest stringed instruments known to archaeologists were the Tanburs. People in prehistoric times made sound boxes out of tortoiseshell shells and gourds, and made bowl-shaped harp out of a curved stick and one or more pieces of gut or silk thread. The Tanburs World Museum also has many Harp (Harp) of ancient Sumerian, Babylonian and Egyptian civilizations in its collection. Around 2500-2000, more advanced harps began to appear, such as the exquisitely carved 11-stringed instrument with gold decoration found in the tomb of Queen Shub-Ad. Empress Shub-Ad's harp Tanbur is defined as "a long-necked stringed instrument with a small egg-shaped or pear-shaped sound box body, a rounded arch or rounded back, usually with wood or animal skin resonating panels, and a long, straight neck." The Tanbur may have evolved from the bowl harp, as the neck was straightened and lengthened to allow the strings to be held down by fingers during playing, allowing more notes to be played.

This Egyptian gravestone painting and stone carving proves that the harp and Tanbur were separated into different forms and played together in ensembles between 3,500 and 4,000 years ago. Egyptian frescoes, Thebes, 1420 BC Archaeologists have also found many similar remains in the ruins of ancient Persian and Mesopotamian cultures. Many of these instruments have existed in almost constant form in recent times, as testimony to the folk instruments of the region, in what is today the Sass in Turkey, the Tamberisa in the Balkans, the Senar in Iran, the Panchita in Afghanistan and the Buzuki in Greece, among others.

At 3,500 years old, it's the oldest guitar-like instrument we see today, and it belonged to the ancient Egyptian singer Har-Mose. He is buried near his Tambur, where his employer Sentm was the architect of Queen Hatshepsut, crowned in 1503 BC, and built the famous temple of Hatshepsuts. Har-Moses' "guitar" has three strings and a plectrum suspended from the neck by the strings. The box was made of exquisite cedar wood with panels made of rawhide. Today, you can see it in the Cairo Archaeological Museum. Har-Mose “Guitar”

So, what exactly is a guitar? In order to distinguish a guitar from other members of the Tanbur family, we need to first determine what a guitar is. Dr. Kasha defines a guitar as "a long, character-looking neck, a sound box with a flat wooden panel and a back panel, and a curved side of the body." The oldest evidence of these instruments with all the basic features of the guitar is found in a stone carving at Araka Huyuk in Turkey -- a 3,300-year-old Hittite "guitar" with a long neck, a flat panel, a (probably) flat back, And the curved sides of a body very similar to today's guitars.

And Root's predecessor was Al'ud, Oud, a sound the Moors brought to Spain. The rest of the Tanbur family stayed in Arab countries and went down a different path of development, not quite as dramatic as that of the guitar branch, but with some changes in the ratio of neck to body. Europeans added spines to the neck of the Oud, calling it "Lute" which comes from the Arabic "Al'ud" (literally "wood"), via the Spanish name "laud". So, the difference between a Lute and an oud, which is a precursor of the Lute, is that the lute has a rute on its neck and the Oud doesn't. The Oud or Lute is defined as "a short-necked plucked instrument with many strings, a large pear-shaped body with a high arched back and a head at a large Angle to the neck". Oud Lute So, by definition, the difference between the two is very clear. Both are descendants of Tanbur, but they went in two very different directions. One has a curved box with flat sides, a straight neck and a straight head, and the other has a pear-shaped back arched shape, with the neck and head also curved at large angles.

So, where did the "guitar" come from? The word Guitar is believed to come from the ancient Sanskrit words for String and Tar. Sanskrit was developed from the ancient languages of Central Asia and northern India. So far, many stringed instruments have existed in Central Asia, and archaeological documents from the region show that these instruments have changed little over thousands of years. Many names end in "tar," with a prefix indicating the number of strings: Two= Sanskrit "dvi" = modern Persian "do" Dotar three= Sanskrit "tri" -- modern Persian "se" -- Setar, a three-stringed plucked instrument found in ancient Persia. four= Sanskrit chatur -- modern Persian char -- Chartar, ancient Persian ukulele, also known as tar. five= Sanskrit "pancha" -- modern Persian "panj" -- Panchtar, banjo. The origin of the Sitar in India has been widely debated. It was previously thought to have been modified from the Vina in South India, but according to various sources, the sitar is derived from the Setar, a three-stringed plucked instrument in ancient Persia. Over the centuries, this ancient Persian instrument, in India, has been developed into a completely new instrument according to the Indians' own aesthetic and cultural understanding. The sitar-playing Indian girls, Tanburs and Harp, spread around the world in the footsteps of travelers, traders and seamen. The arrival of the four-stringed lute Persian Chartar in Spain is only in Spain after some changes in the form and structure of the Chartar, giving rise to the formation of the complex string, which is no longer a single string, and in turn is called the Quitarra or Chitarra. Just now, we talked about the evolution of the guitar in terms of shape and name. How did the guitar evolve from four strings to five and six strings? As we've just seen, the ancestors of the guitar made their way from Egypt and Mesopotamia all the way to Europe. The most common of these early instruments were four (complex) strings. As we have just analyzed, the word "guitar" comes from the old Persian "chartar", which literally means "four (multiple) strings". Many of these instruments, with variations of three to five strings, can be seen in some medieval illustrated manuscripts, and continued from Roman times into the Middle Ages in painted church ornaments and carved on stone in cathedrals. Mediaeval psalter, c:a 900 CE.  Angels and Guitars, St. Stephen's Church, 1591.

Moorish and Latin guitars

Since the Renaissance in the 15th century, guitar, as a formal noun, has been recorded in the annals of musical culture. There were two types of guitars in fashion: the "guitarra morisca," brought by the Moors, which had a round or oval body with an arched back and metal strings; The other is the "guitarra latina," which has a figure-eight or pear-shaped body with a flat back and uses gut strings. Both guitars have four pairs of complex strings, meaning that each string is matched by a string of the same pitch or a similar pitch.

Baroque guitar

In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, a new type of guitar, the guitarra barroca, appeared in Europe. It is similar to the Latin guitar, but has a larger body, a wider neck, a V-shaped head, and the addition of a pair of complex strings for a total of five pairs. Baroque guitars were very popular at the time and became the favorite of many aristocrats and artists. It also gave birth to many excellent composers and performers, such as Sanz, Corbetta, Visay and so on.

One-string guitar

In the late 18th century, with the rise of piano, violin and other instruments, the baroque guitar gradually lost its position. In order to adapt to the changing times, the guitar also began a series of reforms. The first was the chitarra battente, invented by Italian Gaetano Vinaccia in 1779, which eliminated the double strings so that each string was independent, resulting in increased volume and clarity. The one-string guitar is also known as the "slapping guitar" because of the way it is played by slapping the strings with your fingers or the pick. The single string guitar became popular in Italy and Spain and influenced later guitar making.

Classical guitar

The second was the invention of the modern classical guitar (guitarra clasica) by Spaniard Antonio de Torres Jurado around 1850. It adds a bass string to the single string guitar, bringing the number of strings to six. It also improved the structure of the body, making it larger, lighter and thinner, and adopted fan pillars to enhance panel stability and resonance. The modern classical guitar is by far the most common type of guitar, and it is suitable for many styles of music, especially classical music.

Electric guitar

Finally, the electric guitar was invented by Americans George Beauchamp and Adolph Rickenbacker in 1931. It uses the principle of electromagnetic induction, which converts vibrations from the strings into electrical signals that are amplified through a megaphone to produce a sound. Electric guitar can produce a variety of special sound effects, such as distortion, reverberation, vibrato, and so on, very suitable for rock, jazz, blues and other musical styles. The electric guitar is also one of the most popular types of guitar today, and it has influenced countless musicians and bands.

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Diversity of guitars

From the introduction above, we can see that the guitar is a very diverse instrument with different forms, structures, materials, playing methods and musical styles. Different types of guitar also have different characteristics and advantages, let's take a brief look.

Classical guitar: Also known as nylon string guitar because it uses nylon or gut strings. Classical guitars have a wide neck, no markings on the fretboard, and are usually played with the fingers plucking the strings. The sound of the classical guitar is soft, warm and elegant, which is suitable for playing classical music, folk music, Latin music, etc.

Folk guitar: Also known as steel guitar because it uses steel or bronze strings. Folk guitars have a narrow neck, a marked fingerboard, and are usually played with a pick or fingers plucking the strings. The sound of folk guitar is bright, crisp and loud, suitable for playing pop music, rock music, country music, etc.

Electric guitar: Also known as electric guitar because it uses pickups with magnets to pick up vibrations from the strings and convert them into electrical signals. Electric guitars have a thin neck and markings on the fingerboard. They are played by plucking the strings and adjusting the tone and volume through effects and amplifiers. Electric guitar sound strong, exciting, changeable, suitable for playing rock music, heavy metal music, jazz music and so on.

In addition to these three most common guitar types, there are many other guitar types, such as twelve string guitar, bass guitar, resonant guitar, no guitar, seven string guitar, etc. These guitars have their own characteristics and uses, adding more color and possibilities to the guitar world.

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The charm and value of the guitar

Through the above introduction, we have a general understanding of the guitar. So why are guitars the most valuable collectibles? Here are a few reasons:

First of all, the guitar is an instrument that can express oneself and emotions. Whether you are happy, sad, angry or excited, you can express your mood and thoughts through the guitar. You can play your favorite songs on guitar or create your own songs to get your voice heard and let your soul out.

Secondly, the guitar is an instrument that can enhance knowledge and skills. Learning the guitar not only allows you to master an instrument, but also allows you to learn about music theory, history, culture, and more. You can learn about the musical styles and characteristics of different countries and regions through the guitar, such as flamenco in Spain, bluegrass in the United States, samba in Brazil, etc. You can also improve your finger dexterity, coordination, memory and other skills with guitar.

Finally, the guitar is an instrument that can bring happiness and friendship. Playing guitar can make you feel the fun and satisfaction that music brings, and it can also make you meet more like-minded friends. You can play guitar with others, share your experiences and feelings, or play guitar for others, convey your emotions and messages. Playing guitar can make your life more colorful.

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In this article, we look at the origin, development and diversity of the guitar, as well as its appeal and value as a collectible. We hope that through this article, you can have a deeper and comprehensive understanding of guitar, stimulate your interest and enthusiasm for guitar, and let you enjoy the fun and benefits of guitar. Check out more at www.vinesmusic.com.


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