Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

The “Guitar” In Britain 1753 – 1800

Introduction

During the 1750s an instrument commonly called the “guittar”  became immensely popular in Britain. This was not a guitar as we know it today but a close relative of the cittern:

“Although the guittar came in a variety of designs, most of the surviving examples share the following features: a pear-shaped body with a flat back and a string-length of 42cm; six courses of metal strings, the bottom two being single-strung and the upper four in unison pairs; watch-key tuning, which replaced peg tuning; twelve chromatically placed brass frets; and as a means of transposing song accompaniments, holes drilled through the fingerboard between the first four frets, through which a capo tasto could be fixed” (Coggin 1987, p. 205; see also Armstrong 1908, pp. 5-24, Walsh 1987 and the interesting video by David Kirkpatrick at...

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