Guitar Lessons IN BURR RIDGE
The guitar is a plucked stringed musical instrument that probably originated in Spain early in the 16th century, deriving from the guitarra latina, a late-medieval instrument with a waisted body and four strings. The early guitar was narrower and deeper than the modern guitar, with a less pronounced waist. It was closely related to the vihuela, the guitar-shaped instrument played in Spain in place of the lute.
The guitar originally had four courses of strings - three double, the top course single, that ran from a violin-like pegbox to a tension bridge glued to the soundboard, or belly; the bridge thus sustained the direct pull of the strings. In the belly was a circular sound hole, often ornamented with a carved wooden rose. The 16th-century guitar was tuned C–F–A–D′, the tuning of the centre four courses of the lute and of the vihuela.
From the 16th to the 19th century several changes occurred in the instrument. A fifth course of strings was added before 1600; by the late 18th century a sixth course was added. Before 1800 the double courses were replaced by single strings tuned E–A–D–G–B–E′, still the standard tuning.
By the early 19th century, guitars looked very close to the six-stringed instruments of today but were smaller in size. In the mid-1800’s, Antonio de Torres Jurado, a Spanish musician and luthier, began creating the style of guitar that would give rise to all modern guitars. Though in modern times he doesn’t get quite as much credit as he deserves, he is in many ways the grandfather figure in the history of the guitar.
With a broadened body, increased waist curve, thinned belly, and machined head which replaced wooden tuning pegs, his creations became particularly notable thanks to an innovative form of fan bracing and body design, which give classical guitars their distinct voicing and thick, heavy sound. Andres Segovia, another influential Spanish guitarist, took the classic guitar that Torres had created and established it as a concert instrument. He also transcribed early polyphonic music and created complex musical compositions that we now think of as ‘classical’ guitar music.
Meanwhile, European immigrants carried a steel-stringed version of the reshaped Spanish instrument with them to America, where the history of the guitar really started to take shape—and where the flat top, the archtop, and eventually, the modern electric guitar would be created.
Guitar in the United States is generally associated with folk, jazz, and rock music. Influential rock and blues guitarists include Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson, and Jimmy Page.
Dr. Timothy W. Burns
Dr. Burns has taught at the k-8, high school and college level. He has played in and
directed Choral and Jazz Ensembles both large and small at; The American
Conservatory of Music, Moraine Valley College, Triton College, DePaul University and
University of IL Champaign. He also performed and recorded regularly as guitarist with
the Brass Tracks Jazz Orchestra for 8 years. He approaches the teaching of music
theory, aural skills and Jazz composition as a chance to both inform students and
hopefully light a spark of curiosity in them to explore all musics and the artists who
created them. He studied big band composition with Chip McNeil and Jim Pugh at the
University of Illinois.
Dr. Burns has also had a vibrant performance career. He has performed in, composed
for and led professional musical ensembles of many genres including; Jazz, Classical,
Broadway, Blues, Latin, Country, Rock, and R&B. He currently leads three ensembles;
Acoustic Flight, The Blues Express and S’Bout Time Jazz Quartet. He has performed in
pit orchestras for multiple Broadway musicals. He has been a full time guitarist and
music teacher for 30 years and has toured the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany and