by Paul Cesarczyk
The guitar comes in many different shapes, sounds, sizes, and styles, and can be heard in concert halls, rock arenas, and street corners. As popular as the instrument is now, however, its history and evolution are quite mysterious. No one knows for certain where the guitar comes from. Some think it dates back to the ancient Greeks while others believe its origins are in North Africa, the Middle East, or even India.
Let's begin with a definition, as found in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Guitar: (noun) a flat-bodied stringed instrument with a long fretted neck and usually six strings played with a pick or with the fingers.
This is a good definition and it certainly may describe the instrumentyou have at home, but it doesn't quite say it all. New things about the guitar are discovered everyday. The way guitars are built and how they sound change constantly, so think of this information as merely an introduction to the many styles and personalities that have made the guitar such a unique instrument throughout the world.
The guitar is a small orchestra. It is polyphonic. Every string is a different color, a different voice.