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Texas State Musical Instrument


Texas State Musical Instrument: Guitar

Adopted on June 18, 1997.

The guitar was named the official musical instrument of Texas by the 75th Legislature on June 18, 1997 when Governor George W. Bush signed House Concurrent Resolution No. 23. The guitar plays a part in most of the different types of music popular in Texas, and the instrument so honored, is used by singing cowboys and teenagers in garage bands.

Texas-born musicians played a major role in the development of the electric guitar. In addition to T-Bone Walker, these innovators included Eddie Durham, who played with Buster Smith in the Blue Devils, and Charlie Christian, of Benny Goodman's band.

Texas State Musical Instrument: Guitar

Texas State Musical Instrument: Guitar

A guitar is a popular musical instrument that makes sound by the playing of its (typically) six strings with the sound being projected either acoustically or through electrical amplification (for an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar, respectively). It is typically played by strumming or plucking the strings with the right hand while fretting the strings with the left hand. The guitar is a type of chordophone, traditionally constructed from wood and strung with either nylon or steel strings and distinguished from other chordophones by its construction and tuning. The modern guitar was preceded by the lute, the vihuela, the four-course Renaissance guitar, and the five-course baroque guitar, all of which contributed to the development of the modern six-string instrument.

It is believed that the history of the guitar began in the ancient Near East (Babylonia). In Egypt and Rome, instruments had features that could be the predecessor of the guitar. The Guitarra Morisca was brought by the Moors in their conquest of Spain. Realistically, it cannot be traced back further than the 15th Century. However, the Guitarra Latina is thought to be the type that undoubtedly developed into the modern guitar.

Texas House Concurrent Resolution No. 23


By Maxey
H.C.R. No. 23 75R3058 JTR-D

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
House Concurrent Resolution No. 23, 75th Legislature, Regular Session (1997)

Texas Law

The guitar was named the official state musical instrument of Texas by House Concurrent Resolution and is not, therefore, listed in the Texas Statutes.


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