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The early romantic guitar
is the guitar of the Classical
period of music, showing remarkable consistency in the instrument from 1790 to 1830. By this time guitars used single strings of six or more (compared to, for example, the Baroque guitar
with nine or ten strings paired to make five courses). The romantic guitar eventually led to a different type of guitar in Spain: the fan-braced Spanish guitars of Torres, which may be seen as the immediate precursor of the modern classical guitar
The first unaltered guitar strung with single strings rather than pairs of strings was a guitar built by Ferdinando Gagliano in 1774, in Naples. This guitar, displayed in the Heyer museum in Cologne before it was dispersed, showed some main differences between the baroque guitar and what would later become the classical guitar. For example, it had 5 single strings, inlaid bass frets on the neck, a long neck (11 frets where the fretboard met the body) relative to string length, a pegged, terminal bridge, and a characteristic figure-8 shaped tuning head. This “missing link” lacks only a sixth string before resembling the distinctive early romantic guitar.
The earliest extant six string guitar was built in 1779
by Gaetano Vinaccia (1759
- after 1831
)The Classical Mandolin
by Paul Sparks (1995) in Naples,......