1. The Ancient
The guitar was made and played long before organs, pianos
or violins. Its ancestry stretches far back beyond the musical horizon,
and variants of it are found all over the Orient. The Ancient Egyptians
played simple stringed instruments, and the Greeks and Romans also made
music by plucking strings with their fingers.
||Among the artifacts excavated from Babylonia,
the most relevant were the clay plaques dated (1900-1800 B.C.). These
showed nude figures playing musical instruments, some of which bear
a general resemblance to the guitar.
|Close examination of the instrument
on the plaque shows it to have a distinctly differentiated body and
neck. Its back is undoubtedly flat and the manner in which it rests
against the priest's chest precludes the possibility of its being
bowl-shaped. It is clear that the right hand is used to pluck the
strings. The number of strings is unfortunately not clear but on another
plaque, at least two strings are shown on the instrument.
|Evidence of guitar-like instruments
has been found in Assyria, Susa (an ancient city north of the Persian
Gulf which was the capital of the Persian Empire), and Luristan.