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Texas State Musical Instrument

Guitar Adopted: June 19, 1997
Texas state musical instrument
Texas State Musical Instrument: Guitar
Photographs, prints, posters

There is much debate the origin of our modern guitar, but it's generally agreed that the instrument we call a guitar really began to take form in Spain, though the looks and string configuration were different from today's modern versions.

Ancestors of the modern guitar became popular in other European countries in the 16th and 17th centuries. It achieved its modern form in the mid-18th century.

The modern "classical" guitar took its present form when the Spanish maker Antonio Torres increased the size of the body, altered its proportions, and introduced the revolutionary "fan" top bracing pattern, in around 1850. His design radically improved the volume, tone and projection of the instrument, and very soon became the accepted construction standard. It has remained essentially unchanged, and unchallenged, to this day.

(Guy)

As time passed, guitar makers broadened the body of the instrument, increased the curve of the waist, thinned the belly, and changed the internal bracing. Wooden tuning pegs were replaced by a modern machine head which increased the tuning efficiency of the instrument. And, of course, guitars were developed to enhance different types of play styles and music.

House Concurrent Resolution No. 23 honors the guitar for its role in the musical history of the State of Texas.

H.C.R. No. 23

HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, Of the many contributions that Texas has made to the world at large, music is one of the most notable and appreciated, for the Lone Star State is internationally recognized as the birthplace of an unusually wide variety of influential and well-loved music; and

WHEREAS, The State of Texas has traditionally recognized a number of official symbols as tangible representations of the proud spirit and heritage of our state, and the adoption of a symbol touting the Lone Star State's contributions to the world of music will fittingly commemorate this vital aspect of the state's culture; and

WHEREAS, Texan preeminence in pop, blues, country and western, jazz, rock, and tejano music is an apt expression of the state's rich diversity, and these musical styles all make extensive use of the guitar; appropriately, many of the undisputed masters of this versatile instrument, including Buddy Holly, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Willie Nelson, have hailed from Texas, and the guitar's place in the state's musical history is beyond question; and

WHEREAS, Originally from Spain, the guitar has through the years transcended its national origin and is now forever entwined in popular culture with the songs of the cowboys, sharecroppers, railroad workers, and migrant laborers who built Texas and opened the American West; since the popularization of the electric guitar in the 1940s and 1950s, the instrument has also become a mainstay of jazz performance and a crucial element in the development of rock and roll, and the state's vital contributions to these two uniquely American art forms have been well documented; and

WHEREAS, The guitar's pivotal role in the musical history of the Lone Star State, combined with its continuing popularity among music fans of all tastes, identify it as an ideal symbol of the depth and breadth of Texas music, and it is appropriate that it be recognized as such at this time; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 75th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate the guitar as the official State Musical Instrument of Texas.

The guitar became the official musical instrument of Texas when Governor George W. Bush signed House Concurrent Resolution No. 23 on June 19, 1997.


Sources...

Guy, Paul. "A Brief History of the Guitar ." Paul Guy Guitars. Paul Guy Guitars, 2007. Web. 2 Mar 2012. <http://www.guyguitars.com/eng/handbook/BriefHistory.html>.
The State of Texas. Legislative Reference Library. House Concurrent Resolution No. 23. Austin: The State of Texas, 1997. Web. <http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=75R&Bill=HCR23>.
The State of Texas. Texas Legislature Online. Texas Statutes. Austin: The State of Texas, 1997. Web. <http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/>.
Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 3 Sub edition, 2001.


Additional Information

Texas state musical instrument
Texas State Musical Instrument: Guitar
Lorenzo Pagans, circa 1870-1871, Edgar Degas
Photographs, prints, posters

A brief history of the guitar: Paul Guy Guitars, Stolkholm Sweden.

Some Guitar History: Information provided by Allan Alexander, musician, author; guitars, mandolins, lutes.

The Unstrung History of the American Guitar: The Guitar and 19th Century American Music: by Dave Bradford, a growing compilation of articles and photographs exploring the Guitar in 19th-c. American music.

More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official Texas state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.

Martin Guitars: A History
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The Ultimate Guitar Book
The Ultimate
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Kellerman takes us on a fascinating guided tour through his collection, complete with rich personal histories of his favorite instruments and of the brilliant, often eccentric craftsmen and musicians who brought them to life.

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AUTHOR

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