Part 1 of this book charts the evolution of the acoustic guitar (Part 2 covers the Electric guitar) from the sixteenth century to the present day. Our primary focus is on the instrument itself, although we also include some information about composers, players, and other figures who have had a significant influence on its development. We have been keen to place the guitar in its historical and social context, especially in Section One, which covers the pre-twentieth century period.
After completing the acoustic guitars section of this book it became clear that the section on electric guitars would need to be structured rather differently. Acoustic guitars evolved over hundreds of years, but electrics, which made their first serious impact on the music scene as recently as the 1930s, have developed far more quickly. Only twenty years separate the first-ever mass-produced electric guitar, Electro's innovative but primitive "Frying Pan," from the Gibson Les Paul, a mature design that is still bought and used by thousands of today's players