The guitar is an instrument that, due to its antiquity, has undergone numerous modifications in terms of its structural elements, adapting to the needs that were generated in each historical period.

Historical notes

The sources reveal several hypotheses on the origin of this instrument, so popular today. On the one hand, there is the theory that the guitar has a Greco-Roman origin, and on the other hand however, there is the theory that the guitar was an instrument introduced by the Arab culture in the Iberian Peninsula. The Spanish guitar acquired this name when Vicente Espinel added the fifth string to it in the 16th century. In the 18th century, the instrument took a great leap forward, when Jacob Otto added the sixth string.

In the mid-19th century, Antonio Torres, another of the most notable figures in the guitar-making school, innovated a seven-rod system for the soundboard top. He also increased the size of the soundboard and the width of the neck, as well as improving the technique of varnishing and introducing other technical development to the fingerboard and headstock. His guitars were used by great performers of the time and later periods. He was one of the founders of the modern guitar, as he was able to adapt the instrument and achieve a more popular typology and easier to play, which would result in the flamenco guitar.


Historically, Granada has been one of the most significant cultural centres of the guitar culture, both among the courtly classes and among ordinary people. In the city there was a notable guild of luthiers who made vihuelas, lutes and guitars, including the Vallejo brothers, José Ortega, Pernas or the Ferrer family.

Nowadays, the city of Granada is one of the internationally recognised centres where one of the most important guitar schools is located.

There are a series of qualities that identify the Granadan guitar: the varnishing with shellac, which makes the guitar more elastic, so that a natural vibration of the wood is produced; the dynamism of the Granadan guitar, being smaller and more manageable, the harmonic personality, the system of enclosures and moulds as well as the varnish, are aspects that generate an acoustic that is identifiable by experts in the field.

Famous concert performers, both classical and flamenco, turn to Granada to acquire a unique instrument created exclusively for them. There is a close relationship between the craftsman and the musician during the working process, becoming a hand in hand dialogue necessary to determine the characteristics that the musician needs for his/her instrument.

The climate of the area is also an advantage for the manufacture of guitars, as wood is a very delicate raw material which is influenced by variables such as the degree of humidity. The Realejo, Albayzin and Cuesta de Gomérez neighbourhoods are areas where most of the guitar-making workshops are located.


Today, a wide variety of materials are used for manufacturing, although the most commonly used are Indian rosewood and others: fir tree, mahogany, Canadian cedar, pine, cypress (very popular for flamenco guitars) and ebony.

Fabricación. Photo: Sergio Valverde. Asociación de Guitarreros de Granada

5. Lijado. Photo: Sergio Valverde. Asociación de Guitarreros de Granada

Luthier. Andalucía Turismo y Deporte.

Taller. Photo: John Ray

Guitarreros en Granada visita en el taller de Ayman Bitar

Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Histórico. Ana Belén García Muñoz, Atlas de Patrimonio Inmaterial de Andalucía. Fase 3. Zona 5. Lutería, 2018.