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A Journey through Aesthetic Realms

The Guitar: One of the World's Most Beloved Musical Instruments, Part 2 of 2

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After tracing the history of the guitar and its different types in the last episode, let’s now check out some of the world’s most influential guitar makers and players, as well as some top guitar brands.

Since Spanish musician Antonio de Torres Jurado laid the foundation for modern guitar making in the 19th century, many makers or luthiers have continued to make contributions to the instrument’s development. The Ramírez business, which specializes in making classical and flamenco guitars, has been operated within the Ramírez family for five generations, and is considered the “oldest house of Spanish guitars.”

In Japan, one of the most famous luthiers was Masaru Kohno. His high-quality guitar won first place at the Elizabeth's Concourse International Guitar Building Competition in Belgium in 1967. Today, Gibson and Fender are two top guitar manufacturers in the United States that often evoke heated debates among guitar fans regarding which is the world’s best.

Nicknamed “The King of the Blues,” Riley B. King, or B.B. King, was a singer, guitar player, and songwriter, born in Mississippi, USA. Jimi Hendrix was a US guitarist, singer, and composer who ingeniously incorporated various musical elements from soul, blues, and jazz into his rock music and composed works ranging from hard metal rock to soft complex ballads.

Among many great female guitarists, Sister Rosetta Tharpe is known as “the original soul sister” or “the Godmother of rock and roll” who blended gospel music with electric guitar. Ranked as one of the top female guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2003, Joni Mitchell is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter whose music emphasizes folk rock, jazz, and pop.

In 2009 the Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist Orianthi was named one of the "12 Greatest Female Electric Guitarists" by Elle magazine, and in the following year won the "2010 Breakthrough Guitarist of the Year" award hosted by Guitar International magazine.
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