Early romantic guitar by Jean-Nicolas_Grobert, Paris
around 1830, in the Musée de la musique, Paris
Es: Guitarra clásica, Fr: Guitare,
De: Guitarre, Gitarre, It: Ghiterra, Chitarra, Ar:
Kaitara, Qatar, Cs: Kytara, Da: Guitar, Eo: Gitaro,
Eu: Gitarra, La: Cithara Hispanica, Hu: Gitár, Nl:
Gitaar, No: Gitar, Pl: Gitara, Pt: Guitarra, Fi:
Kitara, Sv: Giarr, Tr: Gitar
The shape, construction, and material of classical guitars vary, but
typically they have a modern classical guitar shape, or historic classical
guitar shape (early guitars).
Today's classical guitar is also called 'Spanish guitar' because was
established by the late designs of the 19th century Spanish luthier Antonio
Torres Jurado. This type of guitar doesn't correspond to Early Music but it
is a direct descendant of very old instruments that survived (with their
natural but small evolution) until today.
The ancestries of the modern guitar, like numerous other chordophones,
track back through many instruments and thousands of years to ancient
During the Middle Ages, instruments called "guitars" with three and four
strings were in use but their construction and tuning was different from the
modern guitars. In the 13rd century, two types of guitars were known in
Spain: The Guitarra Latina had curved sides, flat plates and a single hole
and is the forerunner of the modern guitar. The Guitarra Morisca o
Sarracena, which was brought to Spain by the Moors or at least was heavily
influenced by Moorish instruments, similar to the lute, had a rounded back,
an oval soundbox and many sound holes on its soundboard.
The written history of the classical guitar can be traced back to the
early 15th century with the development of the 'vihuela de mano' in Spain.
While the lute was then becoming popular in other parts of Europe, the
Spaniards developed a four course double-string instrument, that had tuning
like the later modern guitar except on one string and similar construction.
From Spain it spread to Italy. By the 16th century, a fifth double-string
had been added. In its most developed form, the vihuela was a guitar-like
instrument with six double strings made of gut, tuned like a modern
classical guitar with the exception of the third string, which was tuned
half a step lower. It has a high sound and is rather large to hold.
From the vihuela to the modern guitar, we can distinguish the renaissance
guitar and the baroque guitar. Then, the early guitars of the classical and
romantic period (early romantic guitars) which already have single strings
but which design and voicing are still such that they have their tonal
energy more in the overtones than in the fundamental, giving a bright
Later in Spain a style of music emerged -Francisco Tárrega (1854-1909)-,
that favoured a much more thick heavy sound, with far more tonal energy
found in the fundamental, and the fan bracing system was approached.
In the mid-19th century, the Spanish luthier Antonio Torres Jurado
created a design bigger bodied (similar to those of Scherzer, Guadagnini,
etc.), with light materials supported by fan bracing consisting of wooden
strips glued inside the body to provide support and particular deep
resonance. Torres used a string scale-length of 650 mm, which is usually the
standard length for today's modern classical guitars. The Spanish guitar had
Guitar by Antonio de Torres, 1890.
RWC Classical Guitars
The parts for our modern classical guitar kit are made especially for
us by one of Spain's leading guitar manufacturers.
We produce two versions called deluxe and standard.
The Deluxe Classical Guitar has rosewood laminated ribs and back,
solid cedar soundboard with inset wooden rose, mahogany neck with truss rod,
rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and gold plated machine heads.
The Standard Classical Guitar has laminated mahogany ribs and
back, laminated cedar soundboard with rose decal, mahogany neck, padouk
fingerboard and bridge and chrome plated machine heads.
Each instrument is hand built to special order by
in house craftsmen in our own workshops in Toledo (Spain) and comes with 12 months warranty.
Finished and Kit
RWC Classical Guitar
Classical Guitar Kits
The same instruments are offered in kit form for home assembly.
The Deluxe Classical Guitar Kit provides the builder with a set of
ribs bent to shape.
The wooden rose is already glue onto the soundboard.
A fully shaped neck with truss rod, a fretted fingerboard, a shaped
bridge, the gold plated machine heads, a set of nylon strings, wood glue and
all the necessary linings and braces complete the kit.
The Standard Classical Guitar Kit provides the builder with a set
of ribs bent to shape
A fully shaped neck, a fretted fingerboard, a shaped bridge, the chrome
plated machine heads, a set of nylon strings, wood glue and all the
necessary linings and braces complete the kit.
The price includes the license to build one
instrument for private use.
Full instructions in a clear and concise manner and a a full scale
working drawing ensure success even for the first time builder.
All the kits Include free access to our customer 'Helpline' should you
need any advice on construction, setting-up or playing.