The guitar has a long history, during which it has undergone a number of fundamental changes. These changes were the result of new demands from performers and composers. The guitar had been, essentially, a boudoir instrument, but it came to’-be used more and more on the concert platform. Present-day performers need an instrument with a strong, responsive tone. The guitar should be loud enough to compete with a chamber orchestra or to be audible in a large concert hall; any one guitar should be able to produce a wide variety of tone colours.
The guitar maker is confronted with two basic problems. Since the techniques and musical tastes of players differ, the maker must be able to build individual instruments, each of which has the playing characteristics and range of tone colours that are required by a particular player. Having built a suitable instrument, the maker cannot easily reproduce similar-sounding guitars; a replica of an instrument will never sound the same because the physical properties of the materials used in its construction will be different from those used in the original. There is a general lack of understanding among makers (and players) of the physical principles which underlie tone production on the guitar, and makers try to overcome their problems by adopting a conservative attitude to the construction of instruments and the selection of materials…)
Bernard Ellis Richardson