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Parlor Guitar

Acoustic guitar body style: “Parlor guitar” refers to a small-bodied guitar that typically measures less than one foot across the lower bout. Parlor guitars were named for their use; at the end of the 19th century and into the early 20th, guests were received and entertained in the parlor. Tracing their origins to the classical guitar, Parlor guitars initially used gut strings (steel strings came later), and according to most sources, the smaller size of the guitar was actually “normal” for its day. The larger Dreadnought body style, a collaboration between Frank H. Martin (C.F. Martin & Co.) and Harry Hunt (a retailer), arrived later to accommodate larger rooms. Today, Parlor guitar has become a catchall phrase that refers to any small-bodied design.

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