The guitar's roots are in Spain. Realistically, it cannot be traced back further than the 15th Century. It is thought to have been invented by the people of Malaga. This early instrument was a "four course" guitar, from which the ukulele is derived. The first guitars were very small, and were originally strung with four pair of strings. Each pair was call a course.

During the Renaissance, the guitar never had the respect the lute enjoyed. It was not considered a serious instrument. The first publication for guitar is thought to have been Alonso Mudarra's "Tres Libros de Musica en Cifras para Vihuela." Eventually, the guitar began to attract players, more publications and music began to appear.

During the During the Baroque period, A fifth course was added. Even more music became available. It's repertoire and the complexity of the music increased.

The fifth course was tuned in one of three ways.

  1. A low "A" as it is now.
  2. A low "A" plus an octave for the second part of the course
  3. Both strings an "A" an octave higher than the modern guitar.