Spanish Guitar Essay

706 Words3 Pages
It is widely assumed that string instruments emerged about 4000 BC from the hunting bow and the sound it produces while shooting. Warriors from Babylon frequently made such stringed instruments with a solid wooden neck and a sound box of stretched animal skins. Like the bow, the strings were made of woven plants fibers or materials derived from animals. At the same time, the “tar” emerged as a primitive stringed instrument originating from India. “Tar” means string Sanskrit, leading to the Indian sitar meaning literally “three strings”. Considering the size of the Babylonian Empire, such stringed instruments were distributed over a large area. It was also distributed to the Hittites, who then created their own “Caucasus”, a much further developed the string instrument with a wooden sound box with a round shape, a flat top, resonance holes, and fret-like bars on the neck. The Hittites brought their string instrument to Greece, who then renamed it the “kithara”. “Kitos” means ‘hole’ in Greek, so “kithara” means ‘cavity with strings’. The kithara was very popular in Greece and was often used as an accompaniment for the epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. The “kithara” of the Greeks then traveled to Rome, which was then renamed Roman “cithara” in Europe. The Romans then brought their string instruments to Hispania, currently known as Spain. The Roman cithara then evolved into the three stringed “Guitarra latina” after the fall of the Roman Empire. From the 8th till the 15th century, Spain largely became Moorish territory, which then brought the Arabic lute, or “Al Ud.” From that, Spaniards developed what was known as the “Guitarra Morisca”. During this seven century span, Spain had two cultures: the Christian and Moorish. Both three-stringed instruments were used commonly, the guitarra latina for accompanying Spanish dances and the guitarra Morisca for
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