Who Invented Guitar?

Much before the modern Guitar got introduced to the western music world, several stringed, percussion and wind instruments have known to be existed in the Turkish and Persian traditional music history, which often claim to pose an influence on the evolution of a guitar. Some say that the ancestors of the guitar traveled to Europe from Mesopotamia and Egypt. This is why the term ‘guitar’ is derived from the term ‘chartar’ in Persian, meaning four strings. Some also believe that the guitar (as Tambur) was played in Iran from ancient times in the praise of the Lord. Source

The history of the guitar dates back to ancient civilizations, evolving through the centuries and continents. Originating in Persia around 3500 years ago, the guitar transformed over time, influenced by diverse traditions. Antonio Torres Jurado’s development of the “classical guitar” in the early 20th century marked a pivotal moment, propelling the instrument to the forefront of music.

The guitar’s early presence is evident in ancient Persia, with a Hittite stone carving depicting a man playing a guitar-like instrument. As it spread through the Middle East to Egypt, Greece, and China, the guitar adapted to materials, musical styles, and the popularity of harp-like instruments. Notably, the Chitara gained popularity in Rome, while the Moorish guitar, introduced to Spain in the 8th and 9th centuries, influenced Spanish luthiers.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Vihuela and later the Baroque guitar shaped guitar evolution. The Lute was a prominent European guitar during this period.

The modern era of guitar history dawned with Antonio Torres Jurado’s revolutionary design in the late 19th century, setting a standard for acoustic guitars worldwide. The 1930s witnessed the introduction of electric guitars by manufacturers like Gibson and Fender, transforming the role of the guitar in modern music, championed by musicians like BB King and Elvis.

Today, over 3500 years since its inception, the guitar stands as one of the world’s two most popular instruments, alongside the piano. (Source)

Music, considered heavenly, has a rich history with various ancient musical instruments. The Persians, known for their deep appreciation of music, contributed significantly to civilization. Among their notable contributions is the Tar, a Persian guitar crafted from a wooden box and strings. Invented during a time when musical instruments were scarce, the Tar became a cherished discovery, beloved by monarchs and exerting a profound influence on Persian music. (Source)