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Word Count: 2,200
History of the guitar From the mid 1950s the guitar especially in its electric form became one of the hippest of modern icons conjuring up notions of freedom and rebellion Although its true that its widespread popularity in classical and pop music has been relatively recent the recent instrument has a history that can be traced back over 4000 years The origin of this instrument is covered in a mystery that has been further confused in disagreement among music historians The oldest closely recognizable ancestors of the guitar can be traced back as far as the 14th century But how they evolved to this point we can only guess From archeological discoveries made over the centuries is that stringed instruments designed to be played either by strumming or plucking certainly existed before those times The story is complicated since some of these instruments show only the most superficial resemblance to the guitar Filling in the missing links is made that much harder since we cant say with any certainty how these instruments were used or what they even sounded like The earliest widely accepted evidence could be seen in Babylonian clay ruins discovered in Asia Minor Dating back about 4000 years images describe groups of musicians playing from which the guitar probably evolved These instruments shared a number of important features with their modern guitars such as a fingerboard frets the use of more than two strings and a personating body capable of projecting sound It seems likely that the explosive cultural and political landscape of the region a well as the movements of the early merchants and traders are likely to have spread the use and popularity of these mysterious early guitars The guitars direct ancestor are generally believed to have found their way into Europe through south of Spain following the conquests by the moors around 800 AD The moors contribution to this history was the introduction of an Arabic stringed
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