The baroque guitar in France is a wide-ranging subject, and although theses and dissertations have already been written about it, much still remains to be said. The following is merely a synthesis of what seems to have been the course of the instrument in France, from the 1600s to the end of the eighteenth century.
The four-course "Renaissance guitar" was quite well developed in France in the mid-sixteenth century, where it had reached a very high musical level, often requiring quite a skilled playing technique. But, astonishingly enough, there does not seem to be a link, in France, between this fourcourse guitar and the five-course instrument, the so called "baroque guitar". In fact the latter does not appear to be a continuation of its predecessor: it is like an entirely new guitar, which continued to survive for around two centuries. And although this instrument's construction, stringing, technique and musical style often changed throughout these 180 or 200 years, it remained basically an instrument with five courses tuned: 4th-4th-3rd-4th...)