Episode 1. Spain and Italy.
The story of the guitar begins in Spain, shortly after 1500. We first hear music for the vihuela, the Spanish counterpart of the lute. In Italy, at the beginning of the 17th century a transition is taking place to a new style, the Seconda pratica. Now the accompaniment of the solo voice takes the centre stage, and, like the theorbo, the guitar is frequently used for this purpose. Around that same time, chord playing on the five-course guitar flourishes in Spain as well, and the refined polyphony of the vihuela is abandoned.