History and Manufacturers
The first texts about guitars as the musical instruments appear in the 14th century. The modern form and function of guitars are related to the similar musical instruments such as vihuela which are originated from Spain. In the 18th century, guitar with the double courses appears.
In the 19th century, the guitar’s body is improved, and it is actively used in concerts. Antonio de Torres Jurado is discussed as the author of the guitar’s modern design, and he is the first famous manufacturer (“A History of the Guitar”). The first popular musical pieces for guitars were composed by Fernando Sor.
In the 20th century, the history of the electric guitar begins. The electric guitar was designed in the 1930s, and it had the non-resonant body. The early years of the 20th century are the period of the famous guitar manufacturers’ competition. The guitar becomes one of the most popular musical instruments. Thus, such manufacturers as Epiphone and Gibson companies develop into the leaders of production within the industry (“History of Builders”).
The most famous guitar performers are the blues and rock guitarists of the 20th century. Albert King should be discussed as the famous American blues guitarist who focused mainly on the technique of guitar playing and used the electric guitar for performing blues. The technique and music of Albert King was influenced by Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson.
However, later Albert King was followed by the other musicians as the icon of performing. In spite of the fact the musician was left-handed, he often used the right-handed guitars. Albert King is famous for his expressive performance, and his technique is followed by many modern musicians (“Albert King”).
Jimi Hendrix, the other famous guitarist, was also influenced by Albert King. The first success met Jimi Hendrix in Europe. The next years are closely connected with the rock music and development of the Woodstock Festival. Combining the elements of blues and rock music, Hendrix developed the specific technique of receiving the feedback with overdriven amplifiers (“Jimi Hendrix”). Jimi Hendrix was the most influential figure in the rock music of the 1960s.
Franciso Tárrega (1852-1909) is the famous Spanish composer who contributed to the development of classical guitar teaching and provided the transcriptions of the works by Classic and Romantic composers for guitar. During his life, Tárrega suffered from the chronic eye disease, but this fact did not prevent him from playing the guitar and composing songs.
Tárrega performed the first guitar concerto at the age of 11. The fingering technique and talent in composing developed. Later, Tárrega became famous not only because of his musical pieces but also because of the specific fingering technique. Tárrega hold the hand perpendicular to the strings (“The Biography of Franciso Tárrega”).
Fernando Sor (1778-1839) is the Spanish composer who chose music instead of the military career. Guitar was discussed as a tavern instrument, but Sor intended to argue the fact and state that guitar can be used in concerts for performing the greatest melodies. The composer’s contribution to the development of the classical guitar performance is incredible. Sor’s works are discussed today as the examples of the guitar music of the highest level (“Classical Guitarists and Composers”).
“Capricho Arabe” composed by Francisco Tarrega is characterized by the impact of the Arabic melodies (“Classical Guitar 101”).
“Asturias” composed by Issac Albeniz is characterized by the significant influence of the Spanish music, and this music piece is directly associated with the Spanish culture (“Classical Guitar 101”).
“La Cathedral” composed by Agustín Barrios Mangoré is famous for its harmonic structure (“Classical Guitar 101”).
“Introduction and Variations on a Theme by Mozart” composed by Fernando Sor is traditionally performed as the part of guitar concerts, and the virtuosic fingering technique is often used to perform it (“The Truth about the Guitar”).
“Recuerdos de la Alhambra” composed by Francisco Tarrega is characterized by the combination of the classical and folk elements in music (“The Truth about the Guitar”).
Although guitar is not a typical instrument used in orchestras, there are many orchestras which use only guitars. The Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra is an avant-garde orchestra which uses acoustic and electric guitarists to perform the contemporary music works. The orchestra is known for the unique approaches to performing the famous melodies and music pieces. The repertoire of the orchestra can meet the preferences of the diverse audience (“Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra”).
The New York City Guitar Orchestra was founded only in 2010, but it became popular with the audience. The orchestra is directed by Jason Sagebiel. The New York City Guitar Orchestra succeeds in combining the classical music pieces and modern music traditions to achieve the variety of sound. The performances of this orchestra support the idea that guitar is the best instrument to demonstrate the virtuous playing and the harmony of the melodic structures (“New York City Guitar Orchestra”).
A History of the Guitar. 2013. Web. <http://www.guitarsite.com/history.htm>.
Albert King. n.d. Web. <http://www.msbluestrail.org/blues-trail-markers/albert-king>.
Classical Guitar 101. 2012. Web.
Classical Guitarists and Composers. 2002. Web.
Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra. 2013. Web. <http://hvgo.org/mission-history/>.
History of Builders. 2010. Web. <https://acousticmusic.org/research/history/large-shop-guitar-builders/#Epiphone>.
Jimi Hendrix. 2012. Web. <https://www.jimihendrix.com/>.
New York City Guitar Orchestra. 2010. Web. <http://nyccgs.com/orchestra/>.
The Biography of Franciso Tárrega. n.d. Web. <http://www.maestros-of-the-guitar.com/tarrega.html>.
The Truth about the Guitar. 2011. Web.