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The World's Oldest Guitar

That's Frank Koonce holding what is believed to be the world's oldest surviving full-sized guitar (that thing is over 400 years old!)

The guitar has been attributed to Belchior Diaz, a Portugese builder who probably made the instrument around 1590. [...] This is a ten-string, five course instrument with a fine ornate peghead. Instead of regular metal frets, it has tied ligatures like those on a lute.

The guitar has been through a lot of restoration work, but it still retains the original parchment rose.

Link - Thanks Stratoblogster!


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Yeah I agree with Dolly, I think it is a Vihuela too. I used to play Vihuela music at uni when I was studying classical guitar, I'm pretty sure the modern day classical guitar was a lot later in the Baroque period.
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I don't think that this is technically a "guitar," but rather, a vihuela, the Spanish precursor to the guitar. Especially if it's that old. My late husband was a classical guitarist who also played vihuelas -- there were actually a number of them, tuned to different hexachords. Google "Renaissance vihuela" for a look at this fascinating instrument and its music.
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