History of Instruments

Music is one of the greatest inventions the world has given us. Music can come in many different forms and fashions. One of the best ways music can be conveyed is through instruments. At the studio we offer lessons for instruments such as piano, guitar, and electric guitar. The history of how these instruments evolved is quite interesting.

The history of the piano is very intriguing and it all started with a man named Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori (1655-1731). He repaired harpsicords for Italy’s royal court. He created a simple keyboard and he called it gravecembalo col piano et forte, which means: “keyboard instrument with soft and loud.” He came up with this name because the strings would produce different sounds when they were struck by small wooden hammers covered with deerskin and it would create different dynamic levels. Many people liked this new instrument and the piano began to evolve throughout the ages.

The history of the guitar can be traced back to circa 4,000 years ago. There are many ideas and theories about how the guitar originated. Some people claim the guitar is the development of the lute or even a product of the ancient greek instrument the Kithara. However, the oldest preserved guitar like instrument comes from Egypt. Har-Mose created this instrument and it is now called the tanbur. The tanbur consisted of three strings and a plectrum suspended from the neck by a cord. The soundbox was made up of  polished cedarwood and had a rawhide “soundboard”. The Archaeological Museum in Cairo beholds the original tanbur.

As America was industrializing and making its way into the 20th century, music began to transform as well. New inventions of the guitar were created such as the electric guitar. The first electric guitar was created by George Beauchamp in 1931 and manufactured by Rickenbacker Electro. It resembled a frying pan because it has a flat, circular body, and the neck represents the handle of the frying pan. It was a lap steel guitar designed to gain popularity of the new Hawaiian music during the 1930s. Beauchamp and machinist Adolph Rickenbacker began selling this version of the electric guitar  in 1932.

Music is so interesting and diverse. Diving in and learning about how it originated makes it even cooler especially if you play one of the three instruments that we mentioned previously.

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