The traditional classical, as opposed to electric guitar, appeared as early as the 12th cent. in Spain, the country with which it is particularly associated. It was very popular there in the 16th cent., when much music was written for it. The composer Fernando Sor (1778–1839) was a brilliant guitarist who wrote many important works for that instrument. In the late 19th cent. there was revived interest in the guitar, aroused largely by the playing of Francisco Tárrega (1852–1909), one of the greatest guitar players of all time. Andrés Segovia was one of the foremost contemporary classical guitarists; he did much to stimulate interest in the instrument and its repertory, especially in 16th-century music.
See H. Turnbull, The Guitar from the Renaissance to the Present (1974); J. Tyler, The Early Guitar (1980); T. Wheeler, American Guitars (1982).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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