Friday, 19 May 2017

The Harp Guitar

Musical Instruments Originated In Africa. The West has long dominated global music along with the instruments that create those soothing sounds.

While this is true, the origin of these musical instruments has also been associated with the West. But anthropological studies show otherwise. From violins to drums, musical instruments originated in Africa.

Depending on their nature and place of origin, these instruments have various African names and are archetypes for contemporary Western ones.

Though most of these original African instruments are out of use, a number of them are still part of the acts of contemporary African artistes.

Ghana's King Ayisoba still uses the Goje (African violin) in all his stage performances, while Western Sahara's Aziza Brahim can't part ways with her Tuareg drums.

We share with you the African origin and evolution of some contemporary musical instruments.

The Harp (Guitar)

Some of the earliest forms of guitar can be found in Ethiopia, where it is known as Krar Harp. In India, there also exists the Sitar, another early form of guitar.

The Krar harp, or one of its variations, developed into the guitarro, the direct ancestor of the guitar which was used widely in ancient Mauritania.

Guitarro was introduced to Spain by African Moors in the 9th century AD. Soon, the whole of Spain, southern Italy, and southern France, became avid users of the guitarro.

By the time the Moors fell from power, the guitarro had already become an integral part of Iberian (Spain and Portugal) music. The Moors, many of whom migrated to the Americas, brought their guitarro with them.

The guitarro was widely played in the Spanish colonies, since it was the Spaniards and the Portuguese who conquered and shared the Moorish lands in America between them.

Although widely played in Latin America in the 17th and 18th century, it only came to be known in the southern region of the United States in the 19th century. Its use was not widespread until the early 20th century when it was used by popular professional musicians like the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers.

•Culled from

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