In the 1960s, a Dr. Michael Kasha debunked a long-held belief that the modern guitar originated from these harp-like instruments developed by ancient cultures. Kasha (1920–2013) was a chemist, physicist, and teacher whose specialty was traveling the world and tracing the history of the guitar. Thanks to his research, we know the origins of what would eventually evolve into the guitar. A guitar is a musical instrument with a flat-backed rounded body that narrows in the middle, a long fretted neck, and usually six strings. It is European in origin: Moorish, to be specific, an offshoot of that culture's lute, or oud.
When musician George Beauchamp, playing in the late 1920s, realized that the acoustic guitar was too soft to project in a band setting, he got the idea to electrify, and eventually amplify, the sound. Working with Adolph Rickenbacker, an electrical engineer, Beauchamp and his business partner, Paul Barth, developed an electromagnetic device that picked up the vibrations of the guitar strings and converted these vibrations into an electrical signal, which was then amplified and played through speakers. Thus the electric guitar was born, along with the dreams of young people around the world. Continue reading from ThoughtCo.