Historical significance of the Spanish guitar and the new museum of Granada

For many, this city is the cradle of Spanish guitar making, as internationally renowned performers and amateur musicians flock there to obtain a handcrafted guitar. Thanks to the opening of this museum, many Granada-born luthiers will make their works are known and through them they will tell the origins of this peculiar instrument.


History of the Spanish guitar

Although the origins of the Spanish guitar are uncertain, there are several hypotheses that support its discovery. For example, for some historians its origins date back to around 1000 BC, when the Syrians and Hittites used a very similar instrument. Something similar was happening in Egypt, it is even believed to be the pioneer country. On the other hand, some historians consider the Romans as the cause of introducing this instrument on the European continent.   

However, it was in the Middle Ages when some string instruments began to have a greater presence and contact with Spanish culture. Specifically, in the 11th and 12th centuries the mandolin and the Latin guitar appeared, the latter being an evolution of the central European zither. Centuries later, what is considered to be the first prototype of the Spanish guitar, which was played at festivals and important town events, began to be popular. Likewise, the aristocratic class used the vihuela, which years later disappears to give way to the now known Spanish guitar. This became popular to such an extent that it managed to captivate many Spaniards, among them, renowned musicians who began to compose pieces for this instrument, it was thus, with the passing of time, that the Spaniard adopted it as his creation,


How the Spanish guitar transcends borders

In Spain there are different musical genres. One of them is flamenco, which originates in Andalusia, the product of a Christian, Jewish, Arab and gypsy cultural mix. In flamenco, the Spanish guitar plays a very important role, being responsible for bringing the rhythms and the harmonic base, even the intermediate ones or solos.

Flamenco has become a well-known genre internationally, it can even be enjoyed in movies and television series. So much has been its influence on a cultural level that in 2010 Unesco declared it a Cultural and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Another musical genre that is fundamentally based on Spanish guitar melodies is the fandango, which has its roots in the Balearic Islands, but also in various places in Latin America, such as the state of Paraná, Brazil and in the south of the state of Veracruz. in Mexico. Likewise, the Spanish bolero and dances such as the jota and the sevillana have the Spanish guitar as the main harmonic element.


Spanish interpreters who have promoted this instrument

There are many interpreters of the Spanish guitar who have left a legacy in history, but some of the best are Francisco Sánchez Gómez, known as Paco de Lucía, Francisco Tárrega and Andrés Segovia; all of them of Spanish origin.

Paco de Lucía, for example, was considered a magnificent flamenco guitarist and an international right-hander of this instrument, he was one of those who most promoted the Spanish guitar around the world and popularized flamenco. In 2004 he was awarded a Grammy for his album Cositas Buenas. Throughout his musical career he received many other awards and recognitions.

As for Francisco Tárrega, we can say that he composed several classic works, among which Memories of the Alhambra stands out. In addition, today he is known as the creator of the fundamentals of the twentieth century classical guitar technique. One of his compositions has even been heard worldwide by millions of people, the Nokia Melody, a telephone tone for calls used by this brand and that comes from his piece Gran Vals.

For his part, Andrés Segovia made important contributions in terms of the instrument’s technique and provided support to artisans to make improvements to the classical guitar. Also, he was an outstanding professor in academies and universities.

Thanks to the legacy of these artists, the Spanish guitar currently has more value in music, both in Spain and internationally.


Handmade guitar manufacturing in Granada

Granada is perhaps the province with the largest number of local artisans dedicated to making the Spanish guitar. These luthiers from Granada will undoubtedly have an importance in the museum, since they will be the protagonists who through their works will tell the evolution that the guitar has had throughout history.

For many, Spain is the cradle of the guitar because this country, together with its composers and interpreters, have made it a professional instrument and, above all, striking. Around the world, many music teachers and beginners are captivated by the design, materials, manufacturing techniques, as well as by its color that connects them with nature.

When a craftsman wants to learn how to build the best Spanish guitar ( by clicking on this link you can find some options to choose from ) he can go to the manufacturers in Granada, who have many years of experience in the field and have known how to respect the original design of this instrument.


Opening of the museum in Granada

Although the exact place that will give life to this museum or the budget that will be needed is not yet known, the mayor of the city Francisco Cuenca is considering some spaces that could be suitable to carry out this project.

This will be the first museum dedicated exclusively to the Spanish guitar, because there are others in Spain, but they are more general in terms of musical instruments. Among them is the Barcelona Music Museum, where notable works are exhibited.

John Ray, president of the Granada Guitar Makers Association, indicated that there are a large number of artisans in that province, which shows the talent there, which deserves to be recognized for their hard work.

With the creation of this museum, the ties that unite the history of the guitar and the people of Granada will be shown. In this place, people will be able to observe historical pieces, an exhibition of photographs and examples of the Spanish guitar. In addition, museum visitors will be able to enjoy a workshop where they will see how the Spanish guitar is made.  

This museum will be like a sanctuary, since there people will connect their passion for art with the deepest roots of the Spanish guitar.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *