I am afraid Google has got most of it wrong.

The term guitarra/quinterne etc, in medieval sources does not necessarily
refer to the figure of eight shaped instrument at all but to a type of small

I can't go into all the details but Tinctoris describes the guitar as 

-a small tortoise shaped instrument invented by the Catalans which some call 
ghiterra, others ghiterna

The ghiterra is used most rarely, because of the thinness of its sound. 
When I heard it in Catalonia, it was being used much more often by women, to 
accompany their love songs, than by men.

In other words the instrument is a small lute or mandora.

The vihuela is described as

-an instrument invented by the Spanish, which both they and the Italians 
call the viola, but the French the demi-luth.

-this viola differs from the lute in that the lute is much larger and 
tortoise-shaped, while the viola is flat, and in most cases curved inwards 
on each side.

The relevant article to read is still

Lawrence Wright - The medieval gittern and citole : a case of mistaken 

in Galpin Society Journal, Vol. 30, 1977, p.8-42.

Mudarra is indeed the first person known to have published music for the 
4-course guitar.

Only five of the books printed between 1550-1555 are by Leroy & Ballard. 
The rest are by Morlaye/Gorlier.   They do not include any 5-course music.

There is a lot missing from the rest of it but I haven't time to write a 
book on the subject at present..

Don't believe everything you find on the Internet.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "bill kilpatrick" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <vihuela@cs.dartmouth.edu>
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 2:23 PM
Subject: [VIHUELA] who invented the guitar

> gleaned the following from a "5c. vihuela" alert on
> google in response to the question of "who invented
> the guitar?" ... anything missing?:
> 1265 Juan Gil of Zamora mentions the early guitar in
> "Ars Musica."
> 1283-1350 Guitarra Latina & Guitar Moresca are
> mentioned multiple times in the poems of the
> Archpriest of Hita
> 1306 A "gitarer" was played at the Feast of
> Westminster in England
> 1404 "Der mynnen regein" by Eberhard Von Cersne makes
> reference to a "quinterne."
> 1487 Johannes Tinctoris described the guitarra as
> being invented by the Catalans. This refers to the
> four course guitar. Each course represents one pair of
> double strings.
> 1546 "Tres Libros de Musica en Cifras para Vihuela" by
> Alonso Mudarra is the first publication to include
> music for guitar.
> 1551-1555 Nine books of tablature were published by
> Adrian Le Roy. These include the first pieces for 5
> course guitar. The addition of the fifth course was
> attributed to Vicente Espinel
> 1600-1650 Many publications of tablature for the
> guitar. It's popularity begins to rival the lute.
> 1674 Publication of "Guitarre Royal" by F. Corbetta
> increased the guitar's popularity. It was dedicated to
> Louis XIV.
> 1770-1800 A sixth string was added to the guitar and
> the courses were replaced by single strings.
> 1800-1850 Guitar enjoyed a large popularity both in
> performances and publishing. Fernando Sor, Mauro
> Guiliani, Matteo Carcassi and Dioniso Aguado all
> performed, taught, wrote and had published their
> compositions.
> 1850-1892 Guitar maker Antonio de Torres develops the
> larger more resonant instrument we know today.
> 1916 Segovia performs at Ateneo, the most important
> concert hall in Madrid. Before this it was thought
> that the guitar did not have the volume for this type
> of venue.
> 1946 Nylon replaces gut as a string material
> http://earlymusiccharango.blogspot.com/
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