GUITAR: The Instrument that Rocked the World | Eye on Orlando

GUITAR: The Instrument that Rocked the World


“GUITAR: The Instrument that Rocked the World” Has World Premiere at
Orlando Science Center on June 11

Traveling Exhibit explores the sound, science, history, and cultural importance of the world’s most popular instrument


The National GUITAR Museum announced that its touring exhibition, entitled “GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World,” will launch on June 11, 2011 at the Orlando Science Center. The 5,000 square foot touring exhibition will explore the history and evolution of the guitar-from lutes and lyres to modern high-tech instruments-and show how the instrument became the cultural symbol it is today. It will be on display at the Science Center until September 11.

The exhibition will feature engaging, entertaining, and educational displays specific to the guitar, including historical artifacts, models, posters, video screens, interactives, and kiosks. Educational displays will feature everything from how vibrating strings create sound on to the electromagnetic properties of an electric guitar-and even address environmental concerns about how the wood used to make guitars has disappeared through the destruction of rain forests.

Displays include precursors to the guitar, such as the Tanbur from Persia, the Oud from Mesopotamia and the Lute from Europe. There will also be comparisons with the guitar to its close relatives from other countries, including instruments like the luo nyatiti in Africa, the pipa in China and the sitar in India. Modern guitars on display include rock n roll mainstays like Gibson, Fender and Rickenbacker alongside guitars on loan from well-known musicians like Johnny Winter, Adrian Belew, Steve Vai and Joe Bonamassa. The exhibit will also feature the World’s Largest Guitar, certifed by Guiness World Records, at 43.5 feet long and 16 feet wide.

“The guitar is the most enduring icon in American history,” says HP Newquist, the executive director and founder of The National GUITAR Museum (NGM). It has been around longer than baseball, basketball, soft drinks, and sports cars. It’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t been affected by the guitar, whether as players or just fans of all types of music. And while this may be apocryphal,” Newquist adds, “it’s a widely held belief that the two most recognizable man-made shapes on the planet are those of the Coca-Cola bottle and the electric guitar.”

“GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World” will be included with general admission to the Orlando Science Center, which is $17 for adults and $12 for kids (ages 3-11). Tickets will also include access to live science shows, exhibits, and giant screen films. For more information, please call 407-514-2000.