Classical Guitar refers to three different things: an instrument, a technique for playing that instrument, and a repertoire played on the instrument with that technique.

The Instrument

The classical guitar as an instrument is an acoustical wooden guitar. The modern classical instrument was developed in the late 1800s, especially by Antonio Torres in Spain. The guitar is still changing as an instrument; there is much experimentation in an attempt to produce a better (especially louder) guitar. Modern instruments are usually strung with 6 nylon strings (the bass strings are wrapped with fine wire). Nylon strings were introduced in in the 1940s, previously catgut was used.

The Technique

Modern classical guitar technique is characterized by using individual fingers of the right hand (for right-handed players) to pluck individual strings. This allows choice of the strings to be sounded at any time. The actual contact made with the string is via a combination of the fleshy fingertip and the fingernail allowing great control over tone colour. Historically, guitarists were divided on the use of nails.

The Repertoire

The classical guitar repertoire is not limited to pieces originally written specifically for the guitar; music from other instruments is commonly performed in transcription. 

In particular, the music of the vihuela and of Medieval and Renaissance lute is usually easily playable as their tunings are closely related to that of the guitar. Baroque lute music is also played, though the transcription task is more difficult as the lute had many more strings and the tunings were less like those of the modern guitar.

Many piano pieces from the romantic era have also been transcribed; in particular the music of Spanish composers such as Isaac Albéniz  and Enrique Granados lie well on the guitar, in part because the textures and rhythms they used evoked the folk traditions of Spain, especially flamenco and flamenco guitar. In a similar vein, much Latin American music is written for the guitar with many countries having their own highly developed musical guitar styles. Latin American composers whose music is widely performed on the guitar include Astor Piazzolla and Máximo Diego Pujol (Argentina), Heitor Villa-Lobos and Antônio Carlos Jobim (Brazil), Leo Brouwer (Cuba), Manuel Ponce (Mexico), Agustín Barrios (Paraguay), and Antonio Lauro (Venezuela).

Many modern composers have written for the guitar, and the list of composers who have written music played on the guitar is extensive.

Learning to Play

The classical guitar is a demanding instrument; many technical details require attention. There are a number of books that cover aspects of the technique; some well-regarded sets for the beginning player are:
In Canada, the Royal Conservatory of Music has developed a program with graded books of repertoire  matching the graded examinations. There are some similar european examples.

There is no substitute for a good teacher in learning to play the guitar! Many guitar teachers are not trained in classical guitar technique. At the very least, a classical guitar teacher should use materials like those above.

Classical Guitar On Line

The following are some high quality sources of information on the classical guitar:

Local Classical Concert Series

The following non-profit organizations hold concert series of classical music in and around Regina