minstrel: guitar lute & others

Greg Lindahl lindahl at pbm.com
Mon Jul 14 15:59:10 PDT 2008

On Mon, Jul 14, 2008 at 04:02:18PM -0600, Sandi wrote:

> My research has not uncovered any record of a true guitar prior to the 
> time of Fernando Sor (1778-1839), who popularized the guitar in its 
> present classical form, with six strings and a flat back.

I think you lost me when you said "true guitar" -- were you using that
to mean modern guitar? The Spanish had things they called guitars in
period, and also other things with flat backs and frets that I'd call
members of the guitar family, just like fiddles and viols have some
pretty unusual members of their families.

The article I recommended has some sketchy details about the whole zoo
of guitar-like things, and pointers to some secondary sources:


Interestingly, he recommends some inexpensive modern instruments that
can be converted to be more authentic by replacing the tuners with
friction pegs. Mariachi, ole!

-- Gregory

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