Fact File: Who invented the Guitar? Date of Invention: c. 1500 BC *** Name of Inventor: Unknown *** Historical Period: Ancient World (3500 BC - 600BC) *** Category: Musical Instruments *** Country of Origin: Ancient Persia (modern day Iran) *** The Invention
and History of Guitars ***
Fact 1: Who invented the Guitar? The name of the inventor of the Guitar
is unknown but it is believed to have been invented in Ancient Persia
around 1500 BC, during the Ancient World era of inventions (3500 BC - 600BC).
Fact 2: Who invented the Guitar? The origins of the word guitar can be
traced back to the Old Persian word 'sihtar', meaning "three Strings" from 'sih'
means "three" and 'tar' meaning "string".
Fact 3: Who invented the Guitar? The word 'tar' therefore means "string"
in Persian and is the root of a number of stringed instruments such as the
Indian sitar, the Persian chartar, the Turkestan dotar, the Afghanistan panchtar,
the Spanish quitarra, the Italian chitarra and of course, the guitar.
Fact 4: Who invented the Guitar? The ancient Persian musical instrument
called the 'sihtar' was a member of the lute family and derived from the
earliest stringed instruments known as the tanbur that were used in Mesopotamia,
Ancient Egypt and Persia. It was a long-necked, fretted string instrument that
Fact 5: Who invented the Guitar? Today the 'sihtar' is now known as the 'setar'
and was originally a three-cord instrument with a flat wooden soundboard that
was plucked by the player's forefinger's nail. The 'sihtar' was later converted
into a four-cord instrument during the Qajar dynasty (1789–1925).
Fact 6: Who invented the Guitar? The first guitars evolved in Spain
during the 13th century and were known as the 'gutarre latine' and featured
strikingly in-curving sides. The early Spanish guitar was built in different
forms and there were both four string and four of five course guitars.
Fact 7: Who invented the Guitar? The Spanish guitar spread to other
European countries including Portugal, England, France and Italy. A 1547
inventory of King Henry VIII of England included 21 guitars in his collection of
Fact 8: Who invented the Guitar? The six string guitar evolved and became
widely used in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries and soon spread to the
colonies of the New World. The popularity of the guitar began to rival that of
the lute. The earliest known six-string guitar that is still in existence was
built in 1779 by Gaetano Vinaccia (1759 – 1831) in Naples, Italy.
Fact 9: Who invented the Guitar? In 1859 the Spanish guitarist Antonio
Torres Jurado (13 June 1817 - 19 November 1892) invented the modern "classical"
guitar improving the volume, tone and projection of the instrument. Most of the
acoustic guitars used today originated from his designs.
Fact 10: Who invented the Guitar? In the 1900's guitars became the
dominant musical instrument in popular music from the early days of jazz to the
advent of rock and roll.
Fact 11: Who invented the Guitar? A German-born American called Christian
Fredrich Martin (January 31, 1796 - February 16, 1873) was a luthier who
specialized in repairing guitars. In the 1920's Christian Fredrich Martin began
making steel string acoustic guitars with X-braced tops. The Martin steel-string
guitars replaced the traditional catgut strings.
Fact 12: Who invented the Guitar? Steel strings offered the promise of
much louder guitars.
Fact 13: Who invented the Guitar? An American luthier called Orville H.
Gibson (May 1856 – August 19, 1918) founded the Gibson Guitar Company in
Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1896. Orville Gibson invented archtop guitars by
constructing the same type of carved, arched tops used on violins. This allowed
the top to vibrate more freely, and thus produce more volume. Orville H. Gibson
died on August 19, 1918 but his company continued.
Fact 14: Who invented the Guitar? In 1921 the Gibson Guitar Company
employed Ted McHugh who invented the adjustable truss rod and the
height-adjustable bridge. To this day, all Gibson guitars are equipped with
truss rods based on Ted McHugh’s design.
Fact 15: Who invented the Guitar? In 1922 sound engineer Lloyd Loar
joined Gibson and designed the legendary F-5 mandolin and the L-5, considered by
many to be the first "modern" acoustic guitars. By the 1930's, Gibson was
producing several flattop models and a budget series known as the Kalamazoo line
in honour of the town in which they were produced and the Gibson company was
Fact 16: Who invented the Guitar? The need for
Electric Guitars arose because the classic
guitars were too quiet for large venues. It was the Hawaiian-style lap steel
guitar was first electrified. In 1931 George Beauchamp (March 18, 1899 – March
30, 1941) who played Hawaiian guitar joined with instrument maker Adolph
Rickenbacker (April 1, 1886 – March 21, 1976). Their aim was to invent a guitar
that was significantly louder than the original acoustic version.
Fact 17: Who invented the Guitar? In 1932 Beauchamp and Rickenbacker
produced the first cast aluminium versions of the electric lap steel guitar,
nicknamed the frying pan which they patented in 1934 patent #2,089,171, although
the Patent Office at first did not know if the "Frying Pan" was an electrical
device or a musical instrument. The "frying pan" was the first electric lap
steel guitar ever produced, and one of the earliest electric guitars.
Fact 18: Who invented the Guitar? In 1936 the Patent for the electric
guitar (called the electro Spanish guitar, a hollow-body electric guitar) was
given. The Rickenbacker company became the world's first to produce electric
guitars and eventually produced a range of electric guitars and bass guitars.
Fact 19: Who invented the Guitar? The electro Spanish guitar hollow body
was prone to distortions and feedback from the body and strings. To address
these problems, various inventors experimented with producing solid-body
Fact 20: Who invented the Guitar? In 1940, Les Paul (June 9, 1915 –
August 13, 2009) created “The Log,” a guitar whose strings and pickups were
mounted on a guitar body carved from a solid block of wood.
Fact 21: Who invented the Guitar? The Gibson Les Paul solid body
electric guitars, with a gold finish, were later produced and first sold by the
Gibson Guitar Corporation in 1952 and the solid-body electric guitars were here
Fact 22: Who invented the Guitar? Since the 1960's rock and roll has been
strongly associated with the electric guitar and used by legends such as Chuck
Berry, Eric Clapton, Robert Palmer, Keith Richards and George Harrison who have
made the guitar a cultural icon.