The guitar's history can be traced back in time through monuments, pictures, poems and sculptors. The name of the guitar can be derived from a modification of the Greek word cithara. It is a musical instrument strung with gut or nylon strings played by the fingers having a body with flat back and slight curves. Its history can be traced back over 4000 years.
The oldest evidence of the existence of the guitar dates back to 1900-1800 B.C. It was found in Babylonia on clay plaques, which portray nude figures playing instruments that bear a general resemblance to the guitar.
There are many cultures that take claim to inventing the guitar, but many accounts report the Egyptians had a fine example of the guitar with ribs and incurvations and a long neck identified on a monument in Cappadocia, Syria in 1000 B.C. There still seems to be great disagreement in those who claim the guitar originated in Europe or those who state it came from the Arabs.
The guitar originally had two courses of strings, two double, the top course single, that ran from a violin-like peg box to a tension bridge glued to the soundboard, or belly; the bridge thus sustained the direct pull of the strings. In the belly was a circular sound hole, often ornamented with a carved wooden rose.
In past decades the guitars were made from a solid piece of oak because of the availability of the wood. With many guitar makers experimenting in the renaissance they found that cedar was an easier during the construction and also better for sound quality. Previous the guitars had no soundboard because they were constructed out of a solid piece of wood. Constructors found that with the sound of the hollow guitar did not have the sound quality they wanted. They experimented with pieces of wood inside, and found that making the inside out of pine would increase the overall sound quality of the instrument.
The first of the guitars was represented in Western Europe in 118