The word "Luthier" means "lute maker" or today "stringed instrument maker" and comes from the word "lute" which is a stringed instrument that came to Europe before the guitar. The Moores or the Arabians gave us the "Lute" which they got from Marco Polo who brought the "Pipa" back from the orient. The Arabians made the a'lude or lute from what they learned from the Chinese Pipa. (A'lude in Arabic means "the wood"). The Moores also gave the Europeans an instrument called a "rebab" which became the rebec which was a bowed instrument played upright on the knee. The Europeans flipped this rebec over and it became the violin. The modern guitar took a while to show up but there is evidence of stringed guitar like instruments and harps from the Sumerians, Accadians, Hittites and Egyptians dating far before Christ. The advent of the modern (Classical) guitar does not appear until 1817 with Antonio Torres, Spain. The electric guitar does not appear until the 1950's with Leo Fender & Les Paul.
Tenor Ukulele fret board
Baritone Uke Fret Board
Here is a terra cotta carving from 4500 years ago, Sumerian - Herdsman with a dog and guitar
Hittite carving - guitar player
This is a rebec from the dark ages, father of the violin. Here the rebec is played upright on the knee and has two strings.
Here the Rebec had three stings and has been turned around but still not a violin, yet. Modifications during the Dark ages.
This is the Chinese "Pipa" that Marco Polo brought to the Arabaians.
This is the European version of the Arabic A'lud, or the Lute.
Here is a "Cittern" from the late Renaissance, four course eight string. The Cittern is tuned to a "Chord" so you can bar it. Two bars and and open will get you a little ditty, something you can sing to. Everyone could play a Cittern. This stringed instrument became know as a "Slattern" and through time the "Cittern" became known as "The Slut".