The Guitar Was Brought to Spain by Armenians – José Ramírez III

The Guitar Was Brought to Spain by ArmeniansJosé Ramírez is not only the name of a luthier but also a trademark, under which the Ramírez family has produced professional, concert-quality guitars since 1890.

José Ramírez III (1922 – 1995) was born in May of 1922. He has become engaged in his grandfather’s business at the age of 18. José Ramírez III was awarded a multitude of awards, including the gold medal of the Guitar Community of Chicago, the bronze medal of the Official House of Commerce and Industry of Madrid, as well as the gold medal of the Union of Handicraft of Madrid.

José Ramírez III was also elected the honorary member of the Cultural Guitar Center in Rome. He received the DIAPASON D`OR award from the Ministry of Education and Culture of France in 1987. But José Ramírez III himself considered the praising letter written by Andrés Segovia Torres his most valuable award.

In the last years of his life, José Ramírez III compiled his experience in a book named “Things about the guitar”. José Ramírez III described the history of the guitar in the preface of his book:

“I am certain that the story of the Arabs bringing and presenting the guitar in Spain is absolutely false. The most important Arab instrument is the lute, an instrument with a large oval body, concave silhouette, short neck and head, fretboard with 8 or more double strings if you don’t take into account the single first string, though simpler versions have had fewer strings.

This instrument isn’t exclusively Arabic: it emerged in the Christian Armenian communities in the 1st century AD, but the Arabs adopted it, and it is now one of their most important instruments. But the Arabs have never used the guitar or anything similar to it, and they would have retained a similar instrument in their countries if they have been the ones to bring the guitar to Spain…”

An excerpt from the book by José Ramírez III: Things about Guitar in Russian.

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