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Guitar (Fr. guitare; Ger. Gitarre; It. chitarra; Sp. guitarra; Port. viola; Brazilian Port. violão)locked

  • Thomas F. Heck,
  • Harvey Turnbull,
  • Paul Sparks,
  • James Tyler,
  • Tony Bacon,
  • Oleg V. Timofeyev
  •  and Gerhard Kubik

Extract

Thomas F. Heck

A string instrument of the lute family, plucked or strummed, and normally with frets along the fingerboard. It is difficult to define precisely what features distinguish guitars from other members of the lute family, because the name ‘guitar’ has been applied to instruments exhibiting a wide variation in morphology and performing practice. The modern classical guitar has six strings, a wooden resonating chamber with incurved sidewalls and a flat back. Although its earlier history includes periods of neglect as far as art music is concerned, it has always been an instrument of popular appeal, and has become an internationally established concert instrument endowed with an increasing repertory. In the Hornbostel and Sachs classification system the guitar is a ‘composite chordophone’ of the lute type (...

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