early guitar, The New World, Seville, Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico, Cubagua


Pinnell discusses the history of guitar in the New World. The third voyage of Christopher Columbus was not only the first of the Columbian voyages to reach South America along the Venezuelan coastline; it was also the first that explicitly included musical instruments and trained musicians. "Their Catholic Majesties" (Los Reyes Católicos), so designated by Pope Alexander VI upon their defeat of the Moors, had already been quite disappointed with the lack of stability and growth in the grim encampments established by Columbus, so this time they proposed a unique list of professions and skills among the passengers to ensure the success of their next venture. In order to address social, physical, and scientific needs along with their political and military strategies, Ferdinand and Isabella sought the inclusion of a wide range of experts in differing fields and vocations. They aimed to ensure that future settlements would not only be defensible but also civilized. Among the admiral's handpicked passengers were artisans, craftsmen, health professionals, and finally the musicians, intended to improve the morale of the settlers.



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