The history of the guitar in France begins in the 1550s with exquisite books of tablature, printed in Paris for the four-course or “Renaissance” guitar. As the sixteenth century came to a close, a fifth course was added, and thus began a successful 200-year run during which an arrangement of five courses was the standard design. At the turn of the nineteenth century, French luthiers replaced courses with single strings and added a sixth – a configuration gaining wide acceptance across the continent.

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