Thursday, January 17, 2008


The guitar is a musical instrument with ancient roots that is used in a wide variety of musical styles. It typically has six strings, but four, seven, eight, ten, and twelve string guitars also exist.

Guitars are recognized as one of the primary instruments in blues, country, flamenco, rock music, and many forms of pop. There is also a solo classical instrument. Guitars may be played acoustically, where the tone is produced by vibration of the strings and modulated by the hollow body, or they may rely on an amplifier that can electronically manipulate tone. Such electric guitars were introduced in the 20th century and continue to have a profound influence on popular culture.

Traditionally guitars have usually been constructed of combinations of various woods and strung with animal gut, or more recently, with either nylon or steel strings. Guitars are made and repaired by luthiers.

Before the development of the electric guitar and the use of synthetic materials, a guitar was defined as being an instrument having "a long, fretted neck, flat wooden soundboard, ribs, and a flat back, most often with incurved sides". Instruments similar to the guitar have been popular for at least 5,000 years. The guitar appears to be derived from earlier instruments known in ancient India and Central Asia as the Sitara. The oldest known iconographic representation of an instrument displaying all the essential features of a guitar being played is a 3300 year old stone carving of a Hittite bard.The modern word, guitar, was adopted into English from Spanish guitarra, derived from the Latin word cithara, which in turn was derived from the earlier Greek word kithara, which perhaps derives from Persian sihtar. Sihtar itself is related to the Indian instrument, the sitar.