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A mandolin (Italian: mandolino pronounced [mandoˈliːno]; literally "small mandola") is a stringed musical instrument in the lute family and is usually plucked with a plectrum. It commonly has four courses of doubled metal strings tuned in unison (8 strings), although five (10 strings) and six (12 strings) course versions also exist. The courses are normally tuned in a succession of perfect fifths. It is the soprano member of a family that includes the mandola, octave mandolin, mandocello and mandobass.

Paris Swing Samois Mandolin MS-130-SN.jpg
Mandolin built in the style of a carved-top mandolin, but with arched soundboard of pressed wood.[1]
String instrument

String instrument

Plucked string instrument
Hornbostel–Sachs classification321.321-6 (Neapolitan) or 321.322-6 (flat-backed)
(Chordophone with permanently attached resonator and neck, sounded by a plectrum)
DevelopedMid 18th century from the mandolino
Timbrevaries with the type:
  • spruce carved-top, bright
  • flatback, warm or mellow
Playing range
Range mandolin.PNG
(a regularly tuned mandolin with 14 frets to body)
Related instruments

There are many styles of mandolin, but three are common, the Neapolitan or round-backed mandolin, the carved-top mandolin and the flat-backed mandolin. The round-back has a deep bottom, constructed of strips of wood, glued together into a bowl. The carved-top or arch-top mandolin has a much shallower, arched back, and an arched top—both carved out of wood. The flat-backed mandolin uses thin sheets of wood for the body, braced on the inside for strength in a similar manner to a guitar. Each style of instrument has its own sound quality and is associated with particular forms of music. Neapolitan mandolins feature prominently in European classical music and traditional music. Carved-top instruments are common in American folk music and bluegrass music. Flat-backed instruments are commonly used in Irish, British and Brazilian folk music. Some modern Brazilian instruments feature an extra fifth course tuned a fifth lower than the standard fourth course.

Other mandolin varieties differ primarily in the number of strings and include four-string models (tuned in fifths) such as the Brescian and Cremonese, six-string types (tuned in fourths) such as the Milanese, Lombard and the Sicilian and 6 course instruments of 12 strings (two strings per course) such as the Genoese.[2] There has also been a twelve-string (three strings per course) type and an instrument with sixteen-strings (four strings per course).

Much of mandolin development revolved around the soundboard (the top). Pre-mandolin instruments were quiet instruments, strung with as many as six courses of gut strings, and were plucked with the fingers or with a quill. However, modern instruments are louder—using four courses of metal strings, which exert more pressure than the gut strings. The modern soundboard is designed to withstand the pressure of metal strings that would break earlier instruments. The soundboard comes in many shapes—but generally round or teardrop-shaped, sometimes with scrolls or other projections. There is usually one or more sound holes in the soundboard, either round, oval, or shaped like a calligraphic f (f-hole). A round or oval sound hole may be covered or bordered with decorative rosettes or purfling.[3][4]

In 1787 Luigi Bassi played the role of Don Giovanni in Mozart's opera, serenading a woman with a mandolin. This used to be the common picture of the mandolin, an obscure instrument of romance in the hands of a Spanish nobleman.[5]



See:History of the mandolin Mandolins evolved from the lute family in Italy during the 17th and 18th centuries, and the deep bowled mandolin, produced particularly in Naples, became common in the 19th century.


Schematic drawing of a bowlback mandolin

Mandolins have a body that acts as a resonator, attached to a neck. The resonating body may be shaped as a bowl (necked bowl lutes) or a box (necked box lutes). Traditional Italian mandolins, such as the Neapolitan mandolin, meet the necked bowl description.[6] The necked box instruments include the carved top mandolins and the flatback mandolins.[7]

Strings run between mechanical tuning machines at the top of the neck to a tailpiece that anchors the other end of the strings. The strings are suspended over the neck and soundboard and pass over a floating bridge.[8] The bridge is kept in contact with the soundboard by the downward pressure from the strings. The neck is either flat or has a slight radius, and is covered with a fingerboard with frets.[9][10][11] The action of the strings on the bridge causes the soundboard to vibrate, producing sound.[12]

Like any plucked instrument, mandolin notes decay to silence rather than sound out continuously as with a bowed note on a violin, and mandolin notes decay faster than larger stringed instruments like the guitar. This encourages the use of tremolo (rapid picking of one or more pairs of strings) to create sustained notes or chords. The mandolin's paired strings facilitate this technique: the plectrum (pick) strikes each of a pair of strings alternately, providing a more full and continuous sound than a single string would.

Various design variations and amplification techniques have been used to make mandolins comparable in volume with louder instruments and orchestras, including the creation of mandolin-banjo hybrid with the louder banjo, adding metal resonators (most notably by Dobro and the National String Instrument Corporation) to make a resonator mandolin, and amplifying electric mandolins through amplifiers.


A variety of different tunings are used. Usually, courses of 2 adjacent strings are tuned in unison. By far the most common tuning is the same as violin tuning, in scientific pitch notation G3–D4–A4–E5, or in Helmholtz pitch notation: g–d′–a′–e″.

  • fourth (lowest tone) course: G3 (196.00 Hz)
  • third course: D4 (293.66 Hz)
  • second course: A4 (440.00 Hz; A above middle C)
  • first (highest tone) course: E5 (659.25 Hz)

Note that the numbers of Hz shown above assume a 440 Hz A, standard in most parts of the western world. Some players use an A up to 10 Hz above or below a 440, mainly outside the United States.


Other tunings exist, including cross-tunings, in which the usually doubled string runs are tuned to different pitches. Additionally, guitarists may sometimes tune a mandolin to mimic a portion of the intervals on a standard guitar tuning to achieve familiar fretting patterns.

Mandolin familyEdit

From top left, clockwise: 1920 Gibson F-4 mandolin, 1917 Gibson H-2 mandola, 1929 Gibson mando-bass, and 1924 Gibson K-4 mandocello from Gregg Miner's collection.


The mandolin is the soprano member of the mandolin family, as the violin is the soprano member of the violin family. Like the violin, its scale length is typically about 13 inches (330 mm). Modern American mandolins modelled after Gibsons have a longer scale, about 13 78 inches (350 mm). The strings in each of its double-strung courses are tuned in unison, and the courses use the same tuning as the violin: G3–D4–A4–E5.


Piccolo mandolin.

The piccolo or sopranino mandolin is a rare member of the family, tuned one octave above the mandola and one fourth above the mandolin (C4–G4–D5–A5); the same relation as that of the piccolo or sopranino violin to the violin and viola. One model was manufactured by the Lyon & Healy company under the Leland brand. A handful of contemporary luthiers build piccolo mandolins. Its scale length is typically about 9 12 inches (240 mm).


The mandola (US and Canada), termed the tenor mandola in Britain and Ireland and liola or alto mandolin in continental Europe, which is tuned to a fifth below the mandolin, in the same relationship as that of the viola to the violin. Some also call this instrument the "alto mandola." Its scale length is typically about 16 12 inches (420 mm). It is normally tuned like a viola (fifth below the mandolin) and tenor banjo: C3–G3–D4–A4.


A flatback octave mandolin

The octave mandolin (US and Canada), termed the octave mandola in Britain and Ireland and mandola in continental Europe, is tuned an octave below the mandolin: G2–D3–A3–E4. Its relationship to the mandolin is that of the tenor violin to the violin. Octave mandolin scale length is typically about 20 inches (510 mm), although instruments with scales as short as 17 inches (430 mm) or as long as 21 inches (530 mm) are not unknown.

Bandol: The instrument has a variant off the coast of South America in Trinidad, where it is known as the bandol, a flat-backed instrument with four courses, the lower two strung with metal and nylon strings.[13]

Irish bouzouki played by Beth Patterson at Dublin, Ohio's Irish Fest.
Musician with cittern, RI Scottish Highland Festival, June 2012.
A waldzither

The Irish bouzouki, although not strictly a member of the mandolin family, has a resemblance and similar range to the octave mandolin. It was derived from the Greek bouzouki (a long-necked lute), constructed like a flat-backed mandolin and uses fifth-based tunings, most often G2–D3–A3–E4 (an octave below the mandolin)—in which case it essentially functions as an octave mandolin. Common alternate tunings include: G2–D3–A3–D4, A2–D3–A3–D4 or A2–D3–A3–E4. Although the Irish bouzouki's bass course pairs are most often tuned in unison, on some instruments one of each pair is replaced with a lighter string and tuned in octaves, in the fashion of the 12-string guitar. While occupying the same range as the octave mandolin/octave mandola, the Irish bouzouki is theoretically distinguished from the former instrument by its longer scale length, typically from 22 to 24 inches (560 to 610 mm), although scales as long as 26 inches (660 mm), which is the usual Greek bouzouki scale, are not unknown. In modern usage, however, the terms "octave mandolin" and "Irish bouzouki" are often used interchangeably to refer to the same instrument.

The modern cittern may also be loosely included in an "extended" mandolin family, based on resemblance to the flat-backed mandolins, which it predates. Its own lineage dates it back to the Renaissance. It is typically a five course (ten string) instrument having a scale length between 20 and 22 inches (510 and 560 mm). The instrument is most often tuned to either D2–G2–D3–A3–D4 or G2–D3–A3–D4–A4, and is essentially an octave mandola with a fifth course at either the top or the bottom of its range. Some luthiers, such as Stefan Sobell also refer to the octave mandola or a shorter-scaled Irish bouzouki as a cittern, irrespective of whether it has four or five courses.

Other relatives of the cittern, which might also be loosely linked to the mandolins (and are sometimes tuned and played as such), include the 6-course/12-string Portuguese guitar and the 5-course/9-string waldzither.


Neapolitan styled mandocello built to 26 38-inch (670 mm) scale.
19th- and 20th-century laouta.
Algerian mandole (flatback) from the side.
A mandolone in the hands of Giuseppe Branzoli.

The mandolone was a Baroque member of the mandolin family in the bass range that was surpassed by the mandocello. Built as part of the Neapolitan mandolin family.

The mandocello, which is classically tuned to an octave plus a fifth below the mandolin, in the same relationship as that of the cello to the violin: C2–G2–D3–A3. Its scale length is typically about 25 inches (640 mm). A typical violoncello scale is 27 inches (690 mm).

The Greek laouto or laghouto (long-necked lute) is similar to a mandocello, ordinarily tuned C3/C2–G3/G2–D3/D3–A3/A3 with half of each pair of the lower two courses being tuned an octave high on a lighter gauge string. The body is a staved bowl, the saddle-less bridge glued to the flat face like most ouds and lutes, with mechanical tuners, steel strings, and tied gut frets. Modern laoutos, as played on Crete, have the entire lower course tuned to C3, a reentrant octave above the expected low C. Its scale length is typically about 28 inches (710 mm).

The Algerian mandole was developed by an Italian luthier in the early 1930s, scaled up from a mandola until it reached a scale length of approximately 25-27 inches.[14] It is a flatback instrument, with a wide neck and 4 courses (8 strings), 5 courses (10 strings) or 6 courses (12 strings). Used in music in Algeria and Morocco. The instrument can be tuned as a guitar, oud or mandocello, depending on the music it will be used to play and player preference. When tuning it as a guitar the strings will be tuned (E2) (E2) A2 A2 D3 D3 G3 G3 B3 B3 (E4) (E4).[15] Strings in parenthesis are dropped for a five or four course instrument. Using a common Arabic oud tuning D2 D2 G2 G2 A2 A2 D3 D3 (G3) (G3) (C4) (C4).[16] For a mandocello tuning using fifths C2 C2 G2 G2 D3 D3 A3 A3 (E4) (E4).[17]


Gibson mando-bass from 1922 advertisement

The mando-bass most frequently has 4 single strings, rather than double courses, and is tuned in fourths like a double bass or an acoustic bass guitar: E1–A1–D2–G2. These were made by the Gibson company in the early 20th century, but appear to have never been very common. A smaller scale four-string mandobass, usually tuned in fifths: G1–D2–A2–E3 (two octaves below the mandolin), though not as resonant as the larger instrument, was often preferred by players as easier to handle and more portable.[18] Reportedly, however, most mandolin orchestras preferred to use the ordinary double bass, rather than a specialised mandolin family instrument. Calace and other Italian makers predating Gibson also made mandolin-basses.

The relatively rare eight-string mandobass, or tremolo-bass also exists, with double courses like the rest of the mandolin family, and is tuned either G1–D2–A2–E3, two octaves lower than the mandolin, or C1–G1–D2–A2, two octaves below the mandola.[19][20]



Bowlback mandolins (also known as roundbacks), are used worldwide. They are most commonly manufactured in Europe, where the long history of mandolin development has created local styles. However, Japanese luthiers also make them.

Owing to the shape and to the common construction from wood strips of alternating colors, in the United States these are sometimes colloquially referred to as the "potato bug" or "potato beetle" mandolin.[21]

Neapolitan and Roman stylesEdit

The Neapolitan style has an almond-shaped body resembling a bowl, constructed from curved strips of wood. It usually has a bent sound table, canted in two planes with the design to take the tension of the eight metal strings arranged in four courses. A hardwood fingerboard sits on top of or is flush with the sound table. Very old instruments may use wooden tuning pegs, while newer instruments tend to use geared metal tuners. The bridge is a movable length of hardwood. A pickguard is glued below the sound hole under the strings.[22][23][24] European roundbacks commonly use a 13-inch (330 mm) scale instead of the 13 78 inches (350 mm) common on archtop Mandolins.[25]

Intertwined with the Neapolitan style is the Roman style mandolin, which has influenced it.[26] The Roman mandolin had a fingerboard that was more curved and narrow.[26] The fingerboard was lengthened over the sound hole for the E strings, the high pitched strings.[26] The shape of the back of the neck was different, less rounded with an edge, the bridge was curved making the G strings higher.[26] The Roman mandolin had mechanical tuning gears before the Neapolitan.[26]

Manufacturers of Neapolitan-style mandolinsEdit
Modern bowlback mandolin manufactured by the Calace family workshop.
1897 Advertisement for a Lyon and Healy made, Washburn brand mandolin.
Martin mandolins and Harp mandolin on display at the Martin Guitar Factory.

Prominent Italian manufacturers include Vinaccia (Naples), Embergher (Rome) and Calace (Naples).[27] Other modern manufacturers include Lorenzo Lippi (Milan), Hendrik van den Broek (Netherlands), Brian Dean (Canada), Salvatore Masiello and Michele Caiazza (La Bottega del Mandolino) and Ferrara, Gabriele Pandini.[25][25]

In the United States, when the bowlback was being made in numbers, Lyon and Healy was a major manufacturer, especially under the "Washburn" brand.[27] Other American manufacturers include Martin, Vega, and Larson Brothers.[27]

In Canada, Brian Dean has manufactured instruments in Neapolitan, Roman, German and American styles[28] but is also known for his original 'Grand Concert' design created for American virtuoso Joseph Brent.[29]

German manufacturers include Albert & Mueller, Dietrich, Klaus Knorr, Reinhold Seiffert and Alfred Woll.[25][27] The German bowlbacks use a style developed by Seiffert, with a larger and rounder body.[25]

Japanese brands include Kunishima and Suzuki.[30] Other Japanese manufacturers include Oona, Kawada, Noguchi, Toichiro Ishikawa, Rokutaro Nakade, Otiai Tadao, Yoshihiko Takusari, Nokuti Makoto, Watanabe, Kanou Kadama and Ochiai.[25][31]

Other bowlback styles: Lombardic, Milanese, Cremonese, Brescian, GenoeseEdit

Cremonese mandolin with 4 stings, from an 1805 book by Bartolomeo Bortolazzi.
Lombardic mandolin with 12 strings in 6 courses. The bridge is glued to the soundboard, like a guitar's bridge.
Giovanni Vailati, "Blind mandolinist of Cremona," toured Europe in the 1850s with a six-string Lombardy mandolin.[32]
Genoese mandolin with 12 strings in 6 courses. The bridge is held to the soundboard by the strings.

Another family of bowlback mandolins came from Milan and Lombardy.[33] These mandolins are closer to the mandolino or mandore than other modern mandolins.[33] They are shorter and wider than the standard Neapolitan mandolin, with a shallow back.[34] The instruments have 6 strings, 3 wire treble-strings and 3 gut or wire-wrapped-silk bass-strings.[33][34] The strings ran between the tuning pegs and a bridge that was glued to the soundboard, as a guitar's. The Lombardic mandolins were tuned g–b–e′–a′–d″–g″ (shown in Helmholtz pitch notation).[34] A developer of the Milanese stye was Antonio Monzino (Milan) and his family who made them for 6 generations.[33]

Samuel Adelstein described the Lombardi mandolin in 1893 as wider and shorter than the Neapolitan mandolin, with a shallower back and a shorter and wider neck, with six single strings to the regular mandolin's set of 4.[35] The Lombardi was tuned C–D–A–E–B–G.[35] The strings were fastened to the bridge like a guitar's.[35] There were 20 frets, covering three octaves, with an additional 5 notes.[35] When Adelstein wrote, there were no nylon strings, and the gut and single strings "do not vibrate so clearly and sweetly as the double steel string of the Neapolitan."[35]

Brescian mandolin or Cremonese mandolinEdit

Brescian mandolins (also known as Cremonese) that have survived in museums have four gut strings instead of six and a fixed bridge.[36][37] The mandolin was tuned in fifths, like the Neapolitan mandolin.[36] In his 1805 mandolin method, Anweisung die Mandoline von selbst zu erlernen nebst einigen Uebungsstucken von Bortolazzi, Bartolomeo Bortolazzi popularised the Cremonese mandolin, which had four single-strings and a fixed bridge, to which the strings were attached.[38][37] Bortolazzi said in this book that the new wire strung mandolins were uncomfortable to play, when compared with the gut-string instruments.[38] Also, he felt they had a "less pleasing...hard, zither-like tone" as compared to the gut string's "softer, full-singing tone."[38] He favored the four single strings of the Cremonese instrument, which were tuned the same as the Neapolitan.[38][37]

Genoese mandolin, a blend of stylesEdit

Like the Lombardy mandolin, the Genoese mandolin was not tuned in fifths. Its 6 gut strings (or 6 courses of strings) were tuned as a guitar but one octave higher: e-a-d’-g’-b natural-e”.[39][40] Like the Neapolitan and unlike the Lombardy mandolin, the Genoese does not have the bridge glued to the soundboard, but holds the bridge on with downward tension, from strings that run between the bottom and neck of the instrument. The neck was wider than the Neapolitan mandolin's neck.[39] The peg-head is similar to the guitar's.[40]


1916 Gibson F4 with arched and carved top, curled scroll and oval soundhole.
1924 Gibson F-5 mandolin, with f-shaped soundholes designed by Lloyd Loar
1921 Gibson A4 mandolin

At the very end of the 19th century, a new style, with a carved top and back construction inspired by violin family instruments began to supplant the European-style bowl-back instruments in the United States. This new style is credited to mandolins designed and built by Orville Gibson, a Kalamazoo, Michigan luthier who founded the "Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Co., Limited" in 1902. Gibson mandolins evolved into two basic styles: the Florentine or F-style, which has a decorative scroll near the neck, two points on the lower body and usually a scroll carved into the headstock; and the A-style, which is pear shaped, has no points and usually has a simpler headstock.

These styles generally have either two f-shaped soundholes like a violin (F-5 and A-5), or an oval sound hole (F-4 and A-4 and lower models) directly under the strings. Much variation exists between makers working from these archetypes, and other variants have become increasingly common. Generally, in the United States, Gibson F-hole F-5 mandolins and mandolins influenced by that design are strongly associated with bluegrass, while the A-style is associated other types of music, although it too is most often used for and associated with bluegrass. The F-5's more complicated woodwork also translates into a more expensive instrument.

Internal bracing to support the top in the F-style mandolins is usually achieved with parallel tone bars, similar to the bass bar on a violin. Some makers instead employ "X-bracing," which is two tone bars mortised together to form an X. Some luthiers now using a "modified x-bracing" that incorporates both a tone bar and X-bracing.

Numerous modern mandolin makers build instruments that largely replicate the Gibson F-5 Artist models built in the early 1920s under the supervision of Gibson acoustician Lloyd Loar. Original Loar-signed instruments are sought after and extremely valuable. Other makers from the Loar period and earlier include Lyon and Healy, Vega and Larson Brothers.


The bandolim is a Portuguese variant of the mandolin family. Instruments are flat on top and back.
Army-Navy style mandolin.

Flatback mandolins use a thin sheet of wood with bracing for the back, as a guitar uses, rather than the bowl of the bowlback or the arched back of the carved mandolins.

Like the bowlback, the flatback has a round sound hole. This has been sometimes modified to an elongated hole, called a D-hole. The body has a rounded almond shape with flat or sometimes canted soundboard.[41]

The type was developed in Europe in the 1850s.[41] The French and Germans called it a Portuguese mandolin, although they also developed it locally.[41] The Germans used it in Wandervogel.[42]

The bandolim is commonly used wherever the Spanish and Portuguese took it: in South America, in Brazil (Choro) and in the Philippines.[42]

In the early 1970s English luthier Stefan Sobell developed a large-bodied, flat-backed mandolin with a carved soundboard, based on his own cittern design; this is often called a 'Celtic' mandolin.[43][44]

American forms include the Army-Navy mandolin, the flatiron and the pancake mandolins.


The tone of the flatback is described as warm or mellow, suitable for folk music and smaller audiences. The instrument sound does not punch through the other players' sound like a carved top does.

Double top, double backEdit

The double top is a feature that luthiers are experimenting with in the 21st century, to get better sound.[45] However, mandolinists and luthiers have been experimenting with them since at least the early 1900s.

Back in the early 1900s, mandolinist Ginislao Paris approached Luigi Embergher to build custom mandolins.[46] The sticker inside one of the four surviving instruments indicates the build was called after him, the Sistema Ginislao Paris).[46] Paris' round-back double-top mandolins use a false back below the soundboard to create a second hollow space within the instrument.[46]

Modern mandolinists such as Avi Avital and Joseph Brent use instruments customized, either by the luthier's choice or at the request of player.[47][45] Joseph Brent's mandolin, made by Brian Dean also uses what Brent calls a false back.[48] Brent's mandolin was the luthier's solution to Brent's request for a loud mandolin in which the wood was clearly audible, with less metallic sound from the strings.[45] The type used by Avital is variation of the flatback, with a double top that encloses a resonating chamber, sound holes on the side, and a convex back.[49] It is made by one manufacturer in Israel, luthier Arik Kerman.[50] Other players of Kerman mandolins include Alon Sariel,[51][52] Jacob Reuven,[50] and Tom Cohen.[53]


The bulge on the instrument's back side is visible in this photo of a Vega cylinder-back mandolin.
Howe-Ormes mandolinettos
1926 Paramount Style A Banjo Mandolin
1930 National Triolian resonator mandolin


Other American-made variants include the mandolinetto or Howe-Orme guitar-shaped mandolin (manufactured by the Elias Howe Company between 1897 and roughly 1920), which featured a cylindrical bulge along the top from fingerboard end to tailpiece and the Vega mando-lute (more commonly called a cylinder-back mandolin manufactured by the Vega Company between 1913 and roughly 1927), which had a similar longitudinal bulge but on the back rather than the front of the instrument.

Banjolin or mandolin-banjoEdit

The mandolin was given a banjo body in an 1882 patent by Benjamin Bradbury of Brooklyn and given the name banjolin by John Farris in 1885.[54] Today banjolin describes an instrument with four strings, while the version with the four courses of double strings is called a mandolin-banjo.

Resonator mandolinEdit

A resonator mandolin or "resophonic mandolin" is a mandolin whose sound is produced by one or more metal cones (resonators) instead of the customary wooden soundboard (mandolin top/face). Historic brands include Dobro and National.

Electric mandolinEdit

A solid-body electric mandolin.

As with almost every other contemporary string instrument, another modern variant is the electric mandolin. These mandolins can have four or five individual or double courses of strings.

They have been around since the late 1920s or early 1930s depending on the brand. They come in solid body and acoustic electric forms.

Instruments have been designed that overcome the mandolin's lack of sustain with its plucked notes.[55] Fender released a model in 1992 with an additional string (a high a, above the e string), a tremolo bridge and extra humbucker pickup (total of two).[55] The result was an instrument capable of playing heavy metal style guitar riffs or violin-like passages with sustained notes that can be adjusted as with an electric guitar.[55]

Playing traditions worldwideEdit

Italian mandolin virtuoso and child prodigy Giuseppe Pettine (here pictured in 1898) brought the Italian playing style to America where he settled in Providence, Rhode Island, as a mandolin teacher and composer. Pettine is credited with promoting a style where "one player plays both the rhythmic chords and the lyric melodic line at once, combining single strokes and tremolo."[56]

The international repertoire of music for mandolin is almost unlimited, and musicians use it to play various types of music. This is especially true of violin music, since the mandolin has the same tuning as the violin. Following its invention and early development in Italy the mandolin spread throughout the European continent. The instrument was primarily used in a classical tradition with Mandolin orchestras, so called Estudiantinas or in Germany Zupforchestern appearing in many cities. Following this continental popularity of the mandolin family local traditions appeared outside Europe in the Americas and in Japan. Travelling mandolin virtuosi like Giuseppe Pettine, Raffaele Calace and Silvio Ranieri contributed to the mandolin becoming a "fad" instrument in the early 20th century.[56] This "mandolin craze" was fading by the 1930s, but just as this practice was falling into disuse, the mandolin found a new niche in American country, old-time music, bluegrass and folk music. More recently, the Baroque and Classical mandolin repertory and styles have benefited from the raised awareness of and interest in Early music, with media attention to classical players such as Israeli Avi Avital, Italian Carlo Aonzo and American Joseph Brent.


Karim Tizouiar with a mandole. His music helps to preserve and revive the Amazigh language and its heritage.
Abderrahmane Abdelli with Algerian mandole

Algeria was colonized by the French in the 19th century and there were large numbers of Europeans living there during the mandolin's golden age. Mandolins and larger members of the mandolin family were used in orchestras, including orchestras playing native Algerian music. With the decline of the mandolin worldwide, the mandolin became less common until by the 21st century it was rare. However, mandolins and mandolas are still occasionally made by luthiers. The major mandolin-family instrument in use today is the mandocello-sized mondol or "mandole" (French word for mandola applied to the new instrument). The flatback instrument was the result of a corroboration between an Italian luthier and an Algerian musician and was used initially for Chaabi. It has since spread to other music forms. Prominent players today include Mohamed Rouane, Takfarinas, Mohamed Abdennour (P'tit Moh), Abderrahmane Abdelli and Kader Fahem. Past players include El Hadj M'Hamed El Anka, Boudjemaa El Ankis, El Hachemi Guerouabi, Amar Ezzahi, Cheikh El Hasnaoui, and Lounès Matoub. The mondol received some international attention on the movie El Gusto a featuring the reunion of some chaabi players (including a mondol player) years after the turmoil in Algeria came out in the 2010s.


See Australian mandolinists

The earliest references to the mandolin in Australia come from Phil Skinner (1903–1991). In his article "Recollections"[57] he mentions a Walter Stent, who was "active in the early part of the century and organised possibly the first Mandolin Orchestra in Sydney."

Phil Skinner played a key role in 20th century development of the mandolin movement in Australia, and was awarded an MBE in 1979 for services to music and the community. He was born Harry Skinner in Sydney in 1903 and started learning music at age 10 when his uncle tutored him on the banjo. Skinner began teaching part-time at age 18, until the Great Depression forced him to begin teaching full-time and learn a broader range of instruments. Skinner founded the Sydney Mandolin Orchestra, the oldest surviving mandolin orchestra in Australia.[58]

The Sydney Mandolins (Artistic Director: Adrian Hooper) have contributed greatly to the repertoire through commissioning over 200 works by Australian and International composers. Most of these works have been released on Compact Disks and can regularly be heard on radio stations on the ABC and MBS networks. One of their members, mandolin virtuoso Paul Hooper, has had a number of Concertos written for him by composers such as Eric Gross. He has performed and recorded these works with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. As well, Paul Hooper has had many solo works dedicated to him by Australian composers e.g., Caroline Szeto, Ian Shanahan, Larry Sitsky and Michael Smetanin.

In January 1979, the Federation of Australian Mandolin Ensembles (FAME) Inc. formed. Bruce Morey from Melbourne is the first FAME President. An Australian Mandolin Orchestra toured Germany in May 1980.

Australian popular groups such as My Friend The Chocolate Cake use the mandolin extensively. The McClymonts also use the mandolin, as do Mic Conway's National Junk Band and the Blue Tongue Lizards. Nevertheless, in folk and traditional styles, the mandolin remains more popular in Irish Music and other traditional repertoires.


As the capital of an empire bordering Italy, musicians traveled to Vienna to work, compose and teach. Vienna was "the centre for the cultivation of mandolin playing" in the last part of the 18th century, and music written for mandolin has been preserved there.[59] Composers and players who worked there or whose works have been preserved include Leonhard d'Call, Georg Druschetzky, Giovanni Giuliani, Giovanni Hoffmann, Leopold Kozeluch, Aichelbourgh, Giuseppe Blesber, Conrad Schlick (husband to Regina Strinasacchi, Leopold Neuhauser, Vincent Neuling.[59]


In the early 20th century several mandolin orchestras (Estudiantinas) were active in Belgium. Today only a few groups remain: Royal Estudiantina la Napolitaine (founded in 1904) in Antwerp, Brasschaats mandoline orkest in Brasschaat and an orchestra in Mons (Bergen). Gerda Abts is a well known mandolin virtuoso in Belgium. She is also mandolin teacher and gives lessons in the music academies of Lier, Wijnegem and Brasschaat. She is now also professor mandolin at the music high school “Koninklijk Conservatorium Artesis Hogeschool Antwerpen”. She also gives various concerts each year in different ensembles. She is in close contact to the Brasschaat mandolin Orchestra. Her site is


Brazilian Mandolin virtuoso Hamilton de Holanda playing a ten-string bandolim.
Brazilian guitarist Armandinho playing a bandolim.
See Brazilian mandolinists
See also the Portuguese guitar and Portuguese music.

The mandolin has a particular shape in Brazilian music and is known as the bandolim in the Portuguese language, which is spoken there. The Portuguese have a long tradition of mandolins and mandolin-like instruments and brought their music to their colonies.

In modern Brazilian music, the bandolim is almost exclusively a melody instrument, often accompanied by the chordal accompaniment of the cavaquinho, a steel stringed instrument similar to a ukulele. The bandolim's popularity has risen and fallen with instrumental folk music styles, especially choro. The later part of the 20th century saw a renaissance of choro in Brazil, and with it, a revival of the country's mandolin tradition. Composer and mandolin virtuoso, Jacob do Bandolim, did much to popularize the instrument through many recordings, and his influence continues to the present day. Some contemporary mandolin players in Brazil include Jacob's disciple Déo Rian, and Hamilton de Holanda (the former, a traditional choro-style player, the latter an eclectic innovator.) Another is Joel Nascimento.[60]


1930 cover of the Chinese magazine Liángyǒu (The Young Companion) with Chinese painter Guan Zilan playing a mandolin.
Advertising poster for the East Asian Cigarette Company c. 1930s, with a girl playing a mandolin.

Western instruments such as the guitar, mandolin and ukulele were "associated with youth and freedom", "sophistication and cosmopolitanism" in Shanghai and Hong Kong in the 1920s and 1930s.[61] They appeared in the hands of movie stars and in magazines like Ling Long with "fashionable young ladies," where they became part of the modern girl image.[61] Modern girls were college-age women, perceived as active and modern.[62] Independent and westernized, they engaged in western recreational activities such as "driving motorcycles, swimming, horse riding, horse racing, rowing competitions," and playing musical instruments.[62]

Artist Guan Zilan was one such modern girl, educated in Chinese and Japanese colleges.[63] Her artwork was displayed in The Young Companion magazine, and she herself was on the cover with her mandolin.[64]

Mandolins were also seen in Shanghai in an advertisement poster of the East Asia Cigarette Company, which showed a woman, well-dressed, holding a mandolin.[65] A variation of this image was used elsewhere as a calendar illustration.[66]

Although prominent in media in the hands of women, the instruments were not solely women's. Young men in western-run schools could choose them up as part of their education. Trying to be like his brother, Chou Wen-Chung was able to "dabble in" the mandolin at a school in Nanjing.[67]

During the 1920s and 30s when the mandolin came to China, its popularity had peaked worldwide. Although the imported western instruments never became common in China, they were advertised for sale in Shanghai in 1920, in English-language publications, such as Our Navy, the Standard Publication of the U.S. Navy.[68] When popularity for the fad began to fade after World War 1, China's neighbor Japan was an exception to that; mandolins were still popular and their use growing. Japan had commercial ties to coastal China, the very area from which the magazines and advertisements arose.

During the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) it became dangerous in China to stick out from other people. The establishment feared "the taint of foreign ideas" and tried to root out the “representatives of the bourgeoisie who have sneaked into ... various spheres of culture.”[69] Western classical music largely came to an end in China during the Cultural Revolution, when "listening to Beethoven became a political crime."[70] At the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, western musical instruments were destroyed.[70]


Painting by Croation painter Vjekoslav Karas, c. 1845-1847. Rimljanka s lutnjom (A romance with a lullabies).

The mandolin is staple of folk and traditional music on the Croatian coast.[71] Croatian painter Vjekoslav Karas (1821-1858) painted an image of a girl playing a mandolin in about 1845.

Czech and Slovak republicsEdit

See Czech mandolinists, Czech bluegrass

From Italy mandolin music extended in popularity throughout Europe in the early 20th century, with mandolin orchestras appearing throughout the continent.

In the 21st century an increased interest in bluegrass music, especially in Central European countries such as the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, has inspired many new mandolin players and builders. These players often mix traditional folk elements with bluegrass. Radim Zenkl came from this tradition, emigrating to the United States, where he has played with U.S. stars, including David Grisman and Béla Fleck.


Finnish soldiers from 1943 with 12-string mandolins. One of the soldiers, Private Törrönen was credited as the luthier.[72] Mandolin in bottom left is strung.

Finland has mandolin players rooted in the folk music scene. Prominent names include Petri Hakala, Seppo Sillanpää and Heikki Lahti, who have taught and recorded albums. Classical music is also represented with players such as Risto Aalto.[73] A Finnish immigrant to the United States Arthur Kylander became a recording contract there in 1927, releasing 20 recordings with Victor Records, playing mandolin.


Painting by Kuroda Seiki, Woman holding a mandolin, 1891. He was a Japanese painter living in France.
Painting by Charles Auguste Émile Durand, The Poet with the Mandolin, published in Scribner's Magazine, 1887.

In the 21st century, some have perceived a "rebirth" of the mandolin in France.[74] Although an "Italian" instrument, France had a history with the mandolin family going back centuries, to the gitterns (12th-14th centuries), and the mandore arrived from Spain about 1570.[74] One of the earliest surviving books of mandore music, the Music Tablature of François de Chancey was published in 1629 and featured music for the French court.[74] It was dedicated to the Duke of Richelieu, Prime Minister of Louis XIII.[74]

Prior to the Golden Age of Mandolins, France had a history with the mandolin, with mandolinists playing in Paris until the Napoleonic Wars.[75] The players, teachers and composers included Giovanni Fouchetti, Eduardo Mezzacapo, Gabriele Leone, and Giovanni Battista Gervasio.[76] From the mid 1750s until the Napoleanic War, virtuosos traveled Europe, performing, teaching and composing, many settling in France. Leone settled in Paris, Gervasio in Grenoble. Beginning with the French Revolution, the instrument declined from formal performance and "eclypsed" by 1820.[74] It was rediscovered when the Spanish Students came to Paris for the Carnival of 1878. This was the beginning of the "Golden Age" of mandolins. During the Golden age itself (1880s-1920s), the mandolin had a strong presence in France. By the beginning of the 20th century, Paris had at least 30 mandolin orchestras.[74] Prominent mandolin players or composers included Jules Cottin and his sister Madeleine Cottin, Jean Pietrapertosa, and Edgar Bara.[76] Paris had dozens of "estudiantina" mandolin orchestras in the early 1900s.[76] Mandolin magazines included L'Estudiantina, Le Plectre, École de la mandolie.[76]

World War I marks the end of the golden age, as a "wave of American music at the Liberation buried the mandolin orchestras."[74]

In the 21st century, interest in Baroque music has inspired a revival of concert mandolins for classical music, as musicians have begun rediscovering the "great reperatoire."[74] Partly this has been fed by the classical mandolin music tradition, preserved in Japan and Korea.[74] French culture accepts music from around the globe, including former colonies — the Maghreb.[74] Algeria in particular had a mandolin culture and created its own mandolin family instrument, the mandole. Other mandolin imports to France include Latin music from South America, American bluegrass mandolin, and the "plectrum instruments" of Slavic culture.[74]

Today, French mandolinists include Patrick Vaillant, a prominent modern player, composer and recording artist for the mandolin, who also organizes courses for aspiring players.[77][78]


A woman playing a bowlback mandolin in Germany in 1952.

The mandore was known in Germany, prior to the invention of the Neapolitan mandolin.[79] The mandolin spread to Germany with the visits of Italian mandolin virtuosi, including Achille Coronati.[80] George Frideric Handel composed Alexander Balus in 1748. When the mandolin declined in much of Europe after the French Revolution, it found some energy in Bohemia, Germany and Vienna.[74] Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart placed it in his 1787 work Don Giovanni, and Beethoven experimented with four compositions in 1795 and 1796. Johann Nepomuk Hummel created a mandolin concerto in 1799 and a mandolin and piano sonata.[74]

The mandolin gained popularity as a folk instrument, especially with the groups of youth participating in the German youth movement, which began in 1897.[80] In the early 20th century the mandolin was popular in the Wandervogel movement (groups of young men and women, hiking and camping, singing and playing instruments), due to the instrument's small size.[80]

The mandolin became increasingly popular in contemporary music during the 20th century. An important German composer for mandolin and mandolin orchestra of the 20th century was Konrad Wölki; he was instrumental in bringing musicological recognition of the mandolin and the orchestra. Mandolin orchestras are still playing in Germany, in various chamber music ensembles and as a solo instrument. The instrument is popular enough today that there is an increasing number of professional mandolin players and composers writing new works for the mandolin.

At the college level the mandolin has a presence, in the professorial chair for mandolins, chaired by Caterina Lichtenberg. She succeeded Marga Wilden-Hüsgen at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, in Wuppertal. Another program with specialized training for students offering a diploma in this instrument takes place by Gertrud Weyhofen at the Music Academy Kassel and more recently at the University of Music Saar and by Steffen Trekel at Hamburg Conservatory.

The instrument was present in the folk revival of the 1970s. One mandolin player was Erich Schmeckenbecher in the duo Zupfgeigenhansel. Comedian Hans Süper played a modified mandolin, which he called his "Bovec," in the duo Colonia.


The mandolin has a long tradition in the Ionian islands (the Heptanese) and Crete, and later in the Urban centers of Southern Mainland Greece. It has long been played in the Aegean islands outside the control of the Ottoman Empire. It is common to see choirs accompanied by mandolin players (the mandolinátes) in the Ionian islands and especially in the cities of Corfu, Zakynthos, Lefkada and Kefalonia. The evolution of the repertoire for choir and mandolins (kantádes) occurred during Venetian rule over the islands.

On the island of Crete, along with the lyra and the laouto (lute), the mandolin is one of the main instruments used in Cretan Music. It appeared on Crete around the time of the Venetian rule of the island. Different variants of the mandolin, such as the "mantola," were used to accompany the lyra, the violin, and the laouto. Stelios Foustalierakis reported that the mandolin and the mpoulgari were used to accompany the lyra in the beginning of the 20th century in the city of Rethimno. There are also reports that the mandolin was mostly a woman's musical instrument. Nowadays it is played mainly as a solo instrument in personal and family events on the Ionian islands and Crete.

Nikolaos Lavdas was a significant composer and mandolinists for Greece, who was the founder and director of the "Athenian Mandolinata", one of the oldest music associations and music schools in Greece.[81]


See Indian mandolinists
U. Srinivas

Mandolin music was used in Indian movies as far back as the 1940s by the Raj Kapoor Studios in movies such as Barsaat. The movie Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) used mandolin in several places. Bollywood music composer Ustad Sajjad Hussain (1917 – 1995) played the mandolin as a "Top Grade" player for the Indian film industry in Mumbai for more than five decades and was reputed to have played more than 22,000 songs, including title-songs and background music.[82] Besides the music for movies, he was known to play Indian classical music (Hindustani), as well as Arab and Sufi music.[82]

Adoption of the mandolin in Carnatic music is recent and involves an electric instrument. U. Srinivas (1969-2014) has, over the last couple of decades, made his version of the mandolin very popular in India and abroad.

Many adaptations of the instrument have been done to cater to the special needs of Indian Carnatic music. In Indian classical music and Indian light music, the mandolin, which bears little resemblance to the European mandolin, is usually tuned E–B–E–B. As there is no concept of absolute pitch in Indian classical music, any convenient tuning maintaining these relative pitch intervals between the strings can be used. Another prevalent tuning with these intervals is C–G–C–G, which corresponds to sa–pa–sa–pa in the Indian carnatic classical music style. This tuning corresponds to the way violins are tuned for carnatic classical music. This type of mandolin is also used in Bhangra, dance music popular in Punjabi culture.

Uppalapu Rajesh is another performer using the mandolin in Indian music, playing Indian classical music, jazz-fusion, and world music. He was nominated for a Grammy in 2009.[83] He is brother to U. Srinivas.


See Irish mandolinists

The mandolin has become a more common instrument amongst Irish traditional musicians. Fiddle tunes are readily accessible to the mandolin player because of the equivalent tuning and range of the two instruments, and the practically identical (allowing for the lack of frets on the fiddle) left hand fingerings.

Though almost any variety of acoustic mandolin might be adequate for Irish traditional music, virtually all Irish players prefer flat-backed instruments with oval sound holes to the Italian-style bowl-back mandolins or the carved-top mandolins with f-holes favoured by bluegrass mandolinists. The former are often too soft-toned to hold their own in a session (as well as having a tendency to not stay in place on the player's lap), whilst the latter tend to sound harsh and overbearing to the traditional ear. The f-hole mandolin, however, does come into its own in a traditional session, where its brighter tone cuts through the sonic clutter of a pub. Greatly preferred for formal performance and recording are flat-topped "Irish-style" mandolins (reminiscent of the WWI-era Martin Army-Navy mandolin) and carved (arch) top mandolins with oval soundholes, such as the Gibson A-style of the 1920s.

Noteworthy Irish mandolinists include Andy Irvine (who, like Johnny Moynihan, almost always tunes the top E down to D, to achieve an open tuning of G–D–A–D), Paul Brady, Mick Moloney, Paul Kelly and Claudine Langille. John Sheahan and the late Barney McKenna, respectively fiddle player and tenor banjo player with the Dubliners, are also accomplished Irish mandolin players. The instruments used are either flat-backed, oval hole examples as described above (made by UK luthier Roger Bucknall of Fylde Guitars), or carved-top, oval hole instruments with arched back (made by Stefan Sobell in Northumberland). The Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher often played the mandolin on stage, and he most famously used it in the song "Going To My Hometown."


See Israeli mandolinists

The re-founding of Israel after World War II drew people from all across the world. Among them were people from Eastern European countries, where mandolin orchestras had been in use before the war. Researchers, such as Jeff Warschauer have gone to Israel, seeking to preserve klesmer music and Yiddish songs.[84]

Mandolin orchestras were founded in the 1920s in the pioneering settlement in the Jezreel Valley and in the Jordan Valley by a teacher named Goldman. The orchestra in the Jordan Valley continues to operate today.

The oldest of the mandolin orchestras, which has been continuously active since the 1940s, is the Shfeya Orchestra, founded by Moshe Medalia, and today made up of graduates from the Shfeya Youth Village.[85] The village is a boarding school for at-risk junior and senior high-school students.[86] Part of the education includes students working together in small groups, teaching music to one another.[85] There wasn't much in the way of learning materials when Moshe Jacobson, founder of the music program arrived in 1942. So he wrote text books for the instruments and composed music and songs.[85]

Shimon Peres was an example of someone who brought his musical background. Peres, (born Szymon Perski), grew up in the then Polish town of Vishnyeva, was part of a mandolin orchestra when he was a child.[87] The Vishnyeva orchestra of which he was part of was immortalized in a black-and-white photography, a group of young people dressed up holding their mandolins.[87] Although busy with his political career, Peres remained musical for the rest of his life, composing songs in his home in Israel.[88]

Israel today has four especially prominent mandolinists: Avi Avital,[49] Alon Sariel,[51][52] Jacob Reuven,[50] and Tom Cohen.[53] Another is composer Shaul Bustan, whose works include a Concerto for Mandolin and Accordion (2010) and an arrangement of Mozart's Symphony No 40 in G minor for mandolin, mandola, guitar and double bass (2014).[89]


19th-century visitors to Italy capture mandolin in art
French sculptor Francisque Joseph Duret visited Naples and made Grape-picker Extemporizing by 1839. The mandolin was a folk instrument for most of the 19th century.
Estonia/Russia, The Mandolin Player by Julie Wilhelmine Hagen-Schwarz, 1851.[91] She visited Italy for several years, when this was painted.
The Mandolin Player by William Merritt Chase (1879). He visited Italy 1877-1878. The mandolin in the painting was among his props in the USA.[90]
See Italian mandolinists

Important performers in the Italian tradition include Raffaele Calace (luthier, virtuoso and composer of 180 works for many instruments including mandolin), Pietro Denis (who also composed Sonata for mandolin & continuo No. 1 in D major and Sonata No. 3), Giovanni Fouchetti, Gabriele Leone, Carlo Munier (1859–1911), Giuseppe Branzoli (1835–1909), Giovanni Gioviale (1885–1949) and Silvio Ranieri (1882–1956).[92][93]

Antonio Vivaldi composed a mandolin concerto (Concerto in C major op.3 no.6) and two concertos for two mandolins and orchestra.

Antonio Maria Bononcini composed La conquista delle Spagne di Scipione Africano il giovane in 1707. Others include Giovanni Battista Gervasio (Sonata in D major for Mandolin and Basso Continuo), Giuseppe Giuliano (Sonata in D major for Mandolin and Basso Continuo), Emanuele Barbella (Sonata in D major for Mandolin and Basso Continuo), Domenico Scarlatti (Sonata no.54 (K.89) in D minor for Mandolin and Basso Continuo), and Addiego Guerra (Sonata in G major for Mandolin and Basso Continuo).[92][94]

More contemporary composers for the mandolin include Giuseppe Anedda (a virtuoso performer and teacher of the first chair of the Conservatory of Italian mandolin), Carlo Aonzo and Dorina Frati.

Cultural ghettoization and revival in NaplesEdit

In the late 20th century, information on the instrument, especially its history became hard to find in Naples, where there instrument was born.[95]

Historian Konrad Wölki commented on this in 1939, suggesting that after only 100 years, there was a disturbing ignorance of the mandolin's history among Italian specialists.[96] He felt that mandolinists must have fared better away from home and left "hardly any evidence of classical Italian mandolin music in Italy itself."[96] His lists of places where the mandolin did better include Vienna, France and Germany.[96]

The term cultural ghettoization has been used to describe the situation where no information is readily available about the mandolin's history, its luthiers, composers, musicians, and the relationship of the instrument to folk music and the "classic Neapolitan song".[95] Tourists arriving in the city were more likely to find such information elsewhere.[95] The city had moved on from mandolins and didn't place particular emphasis on remembering their history or place in Neapolitan culture.[95]

Furthermore, throughout Italy there was a similar slide. By 1992 there was only one active chair remaining for mandolins at the country's conservatories, the Pollini Conservatory of Padua.[97]

Since then there has been some progress made to revive the mandolin and knowledge of it.

Projects to address the lack of visibility of the mandolin and its history include the formation of a Neapolitan Mandolin Association in 1988, the restarting of the Neapolitan Mandolin Academy in 1992, and the creation of the Mandolin House.[95]

The Neapolitan Mandolin Academy is a school in Naples offering a specialized course of study in the mandolin.

The Mandolin House is a restored house in via Duomo that has room for concerts, and which offers classes to international visitors, as well as serving as an information point for tourists.[97] The crowdfunded project was in part begun by the efforts of Mauro Squillante as he tried to revive the mandolin tradition.[97] He wanted a place in which to give concerts, do training and give exhibitions.[97]

Another sign of progress is the growth of the mandolin within the college education system. While in 1992 there was only one active conservatory chair for mandolins, at Padua (instructor Dorina Frati), today there are also the Music conservatories of Naples, the Conservatorio di Milan (mandolin professor Ugo Orlandi), the Conservatorio di Musica "Niccolò Piccinni" in Bari (instructor Mauro Squillante), the Conservatorio di Musica "Nicola Sala" in Benevento (instructor Nunzio Reina), and conservatories in Palermo, and Salerno as well.[97][95][98]


Japan, 1916, Sakura beer poster with girl playing mandolin. Art by Kitano Tsunetomi.
Morishige Takei in 1913.

Instruments of the mandolin family are popular in Japan, particularly Neapolitan (round-back) style instruments, and Roman-Embergher style mandolins are still being made there.[99] Japan became seriously interested in mandolins at the beginning of the 20th century during a process of becoming westernized.[100] In 1901, musical educator Kimihachi Hiruma (1867-1936) returned home to Japan after studying the mandolin.[101] He opened a school and founded a mandolin ensemble in 1905.[101]

Where interest in the mandolin declined in the United States and parts of Europe after World War I, in Japan there was a boom, with orchestras being formed all over the country.[100]

Connections to the West, including cultural connections with World War II ally Italy, were forming. One musical connection that encouraged mandolin music growth was a visit by mandolin virtuoso Raffaele Calace, who toured extensively at the end of 1924, into 1925, and who gave a performance for the Japanese emperor. Another visiting mandolin virtuoso, Samuel Adelstein, toured from his home in the United States.

The expansion of mandolin use continued after World War II through the late 1960s, and Japan still maintains a strong classical music tradition using mandolins, with active orchestras and university music programs. New orchestras were founded and new orchestral compositions composed. Japanese mandolin orchestras today may consist of up to 40 or 50 members, and can include woodwind, percussion, and brass sections. Japan also maintains an extensive collection of 20th-century mandolin music from Europe and one of the most complete collections of mandolin magazines from mandolin's golden age, purchased by Morishige Takei.

In Nagoya the Mandolin Melodies Museum, founded by mandolin player Hirokazu Nanya, is dedicated to mandolins.[102]

Influential peopleEdit

Morishige Takei (1890–1949), a member of the court of Emperor Hirohito, established a mandolin orchestra in the Italian style before World War II.[103] He was able to maintain his mandolin-guitar orchestra until 1943, in spite of the National Mobilization Law of 1938 that allowed the government to assert control of music, and ban western music and instruments, including the electric guitar, banjo and ukulele.[104][103] He was also a major composer, with 114 compositions for mandolin.

Another composer, Jiro Nakano (1902–2000), arranged many of the Italian works for regular orchestras or winds composed before World War II as new repertoires for Japanese mandolin orchestras.

Original compositions for mandolin orchestras were composed increasingly after World War II. Seiichi Suzuki (1901–1980) composed music for early Kurosawa films. Others include Tadashi Hattori (1908–2008), and Hiroshi Ohguri (1918–1982). Ohguri was influenced by Béla Bartók and composed many symphonic works for Japanese mandolin orchestras. Yasuo Kuwahara (1946–2003) used German techniques. Many of his works were published in Germany.

Jewish Eastern Europe and diasporaEdit

In Jewish communities in Eastern Europe and North America the mandolin was important in the years before World War II. The modern Ger Mandolin Orchestra website explained the importance, calling mandolins a "quintessential Jewish musical form... Mandolin clubs and orchestras were at one time ubiquitous in Jewish Eastern Europe and in North American immigrant communities."[105] In the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C, recorded memories recall the mandolin's place in Eastern Europe, in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Croatia and Macedonia. For some, the mandolin was progressive.[106] Individuals, once from Eastern Europe, speak of playing music in different languages, of family members who were able to make the instruments needed for an entire orchestra, of playing or having family members play in mandolin orchestras, of parents who used to teach music.

The instrument was inexpensive and fairly easy for beginners to learn and became a first instrument for children.[107] In the United States, it was embraced by left-wing "Socialists and Unionists" as the "Instrument of the people" and was part of the curriculum in Yiddish schools.[105][108] There were Jewish mandolin orchestras and the instrument was popular with apartment dwellers as a quiet instrument that wouldn't disturb the neighbors.[108] When Avner Yonai started researching the likely pieces that an Eastern European mandolin orchestra would have played, he found that little could be found about the repertoire his ancestor had played Poland; it was likely to have been light classical pieces, tango, and folk songs, possibly ethnic music from Jewish theater, Yiddish songs, Hasidic music and Klezmer.[108][109]

Jewish mandolinists were prominent on the American mandolin. The earliest were performing during the Golden Era of the Mandolin, from the 1880s through the 1920s. They include Vaudeville musician Samuel Siegel of Des Moines (parents from Baden, Germany), Charles J. Levin of Baltimore, Samuel Adelstein of San Francisco, C.H. Pomeroy of Salt Lake City, and Valentine Abt of Pittsburgh.[110] Another player who helped to keep the mandolin in the public eye after the Golden Era passed was Dave Apollon (1897-1972). Apollon grew up in Kiev and performed in Vaudeville for 20 years, played with Russian, Latin, Gypsy and Ragtime material.[111] His long lifetime playing let people hear virtuoso performances of the mandolin, and he contributed to the instrument's revival.[111]

Modern players play a variety of music, as they explore their roots. Avner Yonai, descendant of people from Gora Kalwaria, Poland, put together an orchestra in Berkeley, California in honor of the original Ger Mandolin Orchestra.[105][109] Examples of the New Ger Mandolin Orchestra's reperatoire include Russian Rag (a mandolin orchestra piece) and the Abe Schwartz Freylekh (Klezmer adapted for mandolins).[108] Klezmer and mandolins came together in the 1970s in a "revival" in New York City, where "the overwhelmingly Jewish folk music scene would gather for Jam sessions – fiddles, banjos, and mandolins", with Klezmer and Bluegrass musician Andy Statman being credited for the success of the revival. Statman mixed jazz with klezmer.[108]

Jeff Warschauer (a cantor since 2015) started the Klezmer Conservatory Band (1990-2003) and is part of The Strauss/Warschauer Duo (1995 to present) and has led Jewish mandolin orchestras Klez Camp and New York Arbeiter Ring.[108][84] He has become a modern link to the older Jewish tradition, interviewing older Jewish musicians to collect songs in Yiddish and klesmer music.[84] Coming from a background in Bluegrass, Swing, R&B and Folk music, he adapted his skills to use the mandolin in Klezmer, which doesn't use mandolin as a traditional instrument[107] In one example on his album The Singing Waltz, Warschauer mixed mandolin with trombones for the song Dem Helfand's Tants (The Elephant's Dance), a combination that was also used for the Odessa Swing (composed by Steve Netsky).[107] He mixed accordion, drums and piano with mandolin on the song Ot Azoy (That's the Way!).[107]

Another bandleader is Eric Stein of Canada; his Beyond the Pale band plays Klezmer and Eastern European music.[108]

Although information today is sparse, evidence of the musical culture remains, collected at The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., where there are pictures and recorded memories of Eastern European Jewish people, which recall the culture that existed in the first decades of the 20th century. Those that remained, emigrants to other countries took their music and memories with them, and gradually assimilated. Drawing on them for their memories has been part of the revival of the cultures that passed.


The Holocaust Museum has online artifacts dealing with musician Elfa Heifecs, a Jewish musician from Riga, Latvia, who organized mandolin orchestra there, about 1930.[112][113][114]


Macedonia has a mandolin tradition that dates back before World War II; The United States Holocaust Museum has a 1929 photo of a Jewish mandolin orchestra on display online.[115][116] In modern times, the Skopje Mandolin orchestra was formed in 2001 and has performed in international competitions.[117][118][119] Mandolinists associated with the Skopje Mandolin Orchestra include Ramadan Shukri, Suzana Turundzieva, Mustafa Imeri, Serafina Fantauzo, Gligor Popovski and Lazar Sandev.[117]


Colonized by Spain, Mexico had both Spanish instruments as well as instruments created locally. These include the bandurria and the bandolón.

When Carlo Curti finished with playing mandolin with his "Spanish Students" in the United States, he organized a new act in Mexico in 1883-1884, the Mexican Typical Orchestra, which performed at the World's Industrial and Cotton Exposition (1885) in New Orleans and then toured the United States.[120] The band included as many as seven bandolóns. Bandolóns were developed in Mexico, guitar sized instruments with 18 strings (in 6 courses of 3) related to the bandurria.[121][122] When described in U.S. newspapers, it was noted that they looked like large mandolins.[123] It was also noted that Carlo Curti was a well-known mandolin player, and some newspapers never found out what the bandolóns were, calling them mandolins.[124][125]

The confusion may have added further to the impression in the United States that the mandolin and bandurria families were related. Musician Robert Braine wrote in the Etude in August 1918 that "the craze for the mandolin in the United States was a direct result of the concert tours, covering several years, of two of such orchestras, the 'Spanish Students' and the 'Mexican Typical Orchestra' from Mexico City."[126] Braine was aware of the nature of the Neapolitan mandolin, but lumped mandolins and bandurrias together in his article, saying that the mandolin was "played, studied and taught" in Spain, Mexico and the South American countries[126].

New ZealandEdit

The Auckland Mandolinata mandolin orchestra was formed in 1969 by Doris Flameling (1932–2004). Soon after arriving from the Netherlands with her family, Doris started teaching guitar and mandolin in West Auckland. In 1969, she formed a small ensemble for her pupils. This ensemble eventually developed into a full size mandolin orchestra, which survives today. Doris was the musical director and conductor of this orchestra for many years. The orchestra is currently led by Bryan Holden (conductor).

The early history of the mandolin in New Zealand is currently being researched by members of the Auckland Mandolinata.


The mandolin was used as a folk instrument throughout eastern part of European continent, including Poland, Ukraine and Slovakia in the early part of the 20th century.[127] Mandolin orchestras were present as well.[127] One example was the Mandolin Orchestra of Ger (Gora Kalwaria, Poland).[127] A photo exists of the orchestra, made up of Jewish residents who were in the orchestra in the 1930s before the Jewish population was sent to the Treblinka extermination camp.[127] A similar photo exists of a mandolin orchestra in the community of Grodno.[128]


The bandolim (Portuguese for "mandolin") was a favourite instrument within the Portuguese bourgeoisie of the 19th century, but its rapid spread took it to other places, joining other instruments. Today you can see mandolins as part of the traditional and folk culture of Portuguese singing groups and the majority of the mandolin scene in Portugal is in Madeira Island. Madeira has over 17 active mandolin Orchestras and Tunas. The mandolin virtuoso Fabio Machado is one of Portugal's most accomplished mandolin players. The Portuguese influence brought the mandolin to Brazil and Sri Lanka.


See Romanian mandolinists


See Russian mandolinists

Cover of A New and Practical School for Mandolin (Новая практическая весьма понятная школа для мандолины) by Ernesto Köhler, with dual German-Russian entries. Version market to Germans was published c. 1887.[129]
American-made Gibson mandolin, modified to electric with Russian-made pickups, at the Glinka National Museum Consortium of Musical Culture, Moscow, Russia.
The 1976 Adventures of Buratino character, Pierrot, played a mandolin. Similarly, the French painter Léon Comerre painted this image of a mandolin-playing Pierrot in 1884.

The mandolin was popular in Russia in the pre-Soviet era and after as a folk instrument. Catalogs from the early 1900s offered a variety of bowlback mandolins, imports made by Italian companies. Locally made mandolins existed as well.

The first mandolin orchestra in Russia was put together in the early 1880s by an Italian immigrant, Ginislao Paris, called The Society of Amateur Mandolinists and Guitarists.[46] Paris designed double-top mandolins, which he had Luigi Embergher build.[46] At least one member of the royal family of Russia played mandolin during this period, Tsarina Maria Fyodorovna who owned a Number 8 Embergher, a high-end instrument that would have been highly decorated.[46]

There were talented mandolinists, in various parts the country. Dave Apollon, who became a well known (U.S.-based) player, was born in Kiev, then part of Russia. After emigration from Russia, he was able to land a job in Vaudeville, exhibiting virtuosity.

After the rise of the Soviet Union, bowlback mandolins were not imported in the numbers they had been. Although possibly that had much to with the turmoil starting in 1917, of the country being reorganized into a communist state, the timing also coincides with the drop in popularity worldwide, as the mandolin's Golden Era peaked. The instrument had competition as a folk instrument as well, from the domra and balalaika. Vasily Andreyev who founded the first balalaika orchestra in Russia and resurrected the domra was inspired by a performance of Russia's first mandolin orchestra.[130] The bowlback didn't just disappear, as they are common in photos of mandolin orchestras in Eastern Europe in the 1930s. However, the mandolins produced in Soviet factories were of the cheap, flatback, "Portuguese" style—widespread throughout the Soviet Union.

In the 1970s and 80s, bluegrass music spread into Russia from Czechoslovakia, and through American performers touring in Russia, including Roy Clark and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.[131] Russian bands were started with bluegrass elements that included a mandolin, including Kukuruza (with mandolinist Georgi Palmov) and Bering Strait (mandolinist Sergei Passov).[131][132]

The mandolin was used in movies, including the 1976 film The Adventures of Buratino (Приключения Буратино) to accompany songs by Tortila and Pierro (Тортилы и Пьеро).[133][134][135]

South AfricaEdit

The mandolin has been a prominent instrument in the recordings of Johnny Clegg and his bands Juluka and Savuka. Since 1992, Andy Innes has been the mandolinist for Johnny Clegg and Savuka.


Painting by John Phillip in 1854, showing a Spanish woman with mandolin.

According to historian Paul Sparks, Spain is "one of the few Western countries where the Neapolitan mandolin has never been widely played."[136] As the mandolin was used in Italy to serenade young ladies and make music in the streets, the equally high pitched and plucked bandurria was used by Spanish youth to accompany their songs in the street and serenade.[136] The instruments were used alongside guitars for traditional dances.[136] The tradition of dancing to fast music was one of the draws of the Spanish Students when they went to Paris with their bandurrias, guitars and fiddles.[136]

Both the Spanish bandurria and Italian mandolins ultimately were developments of the gittern and the mandore. In the 1880s, the mandolin and bandurria, with their small sizes and double rows of metal strings, were similar enough to be confused by ignorant audiences.[136] This happened in America and, along with deception from opportunistic Italian musicians, led to the mandolin's expansion.[136] Both instruments spread around the world from their original homes in Europe, the bandurria mainly in Spanish speaking areas such as South America and the Philippines.

In Spain today, the bandurria is a "national instrument."[137] However, the mandolin can be learned there as well, especially by those pursuing a career as a classical musician.[137] Although professional Spanish mandolinists may be rare, but they do exist: Hector Marin developed his skill with the mandolin sufficiently to complete in the Yasuo Kuwahara International Mandolin Competition in Germany in 2015.[138] The competition that year had 11 other "virtuosos of the mandolin" competing, six from Germany and five from Russia.[138] Marin, spoke in an interview, of learning first the bandurria and then later the mandolin, concentrating on the latter for having a broader range of classical material to play.[137] He benefited from European culture, having teachers in both Spain and elsewhere in Europe as he pursued music.[137] Marin attended several schools, including in Austria. He cited Juan Carlos Muñoz (Spanish, teaching in Austria), Mari Fe Pavón, Caterina Lichtenberg (German) and Avi Avital (Israeli) as his mandolin-playing musical influences.[137]

Sri LankaEdit

The mandolin was brought to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese, who colonized Sri Lanka from 1505 to 1658. The instrument has been heavily used in baila, a genre of Sri Lankan music formed from a mixture of Portuguese, African and Sinhala music. For example, the mandolin features prominently in M.S. Fernando's baila song, Bola Bola Meti.[139] Victor Rathnayaka's Thaniwennata Mage Lowe, Sunil Perera & Gypsies Saima Cut wela and Sujatha Athanayaka's Hathara watin Kalukaragena are among other examples of songs with mandolin.[140] Modern day musicians include Antony Surendra, V. Hemapala Perera, Ananda Perera, Dinesh Subasinghe, Susantha Kariyakarawana, Sarath Fernando, Nalaka Sajee, Haasriza Imran and Buddhika Perera

Tobago and TrinidadEdit

The mandolin has a history on Tobago and Trinidad as the bandolin, dating back before World War I.[13] It was a small instrument, approximately 20 x 40 centimeters, strung with 8 strings in four courses of two each.[13] Before the war, it was commonly a round-backed instrument, made of strips of wood.[13] The flat-backed version appeared after the war. Occasionally a turtle shell would be used for the back of the instrument.[13] It is used in Trinidad's parang music, accompanied by "cuatro and maracas".[13] There is another member of the mandolin family, the Trinidadian version of the bandol, different from the mainland bandola. It is the tenor of the mandolin family on the island, also strung with 8 strings in 4 courses; however, the lower two string courses are strung differently, each having a metal and a nylon string.[13]


Turkey has been the home of a mandolin-banjo manufacturer, Cümbüs, since the early 20th century. The country had what may be its first Mandolin festival in June 2015, and has at least one Mandolin Orchestra.[141][142]

One professional musician to use the mandolin is Sumru Ağıryürüyen who is known for singing and playing many styles of music including world music, Klezmer, Turkish folk, Balkan folk, blues, jazz, krautrock, protest rock and maqam.[143][144]


The Mandolin has been played in Ukraine, and pictures of it being played today can be found online.[145] One famous former resident of Kiev was Dave Apollon.[146] Other photos dating back to the early 20th century show Ukrainian Mandolin orchestras in Canada and the United States.[147][148] One of the offshoots of Ukrainian immigrants to North America is the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra (possibly the oldest mandolin orchestra in North America), which claims Ukrainians as among its founders. The orchestra's web site said of mandolins in Ukraine, that the instruments were popular in the early 20th century, but never reached folk-instrument status there. Ukrainian immigrants of the period took the instruments with them to their new countries.

The instrument has had to compete in Ukraine with native instruments that have been revived, such as the kobza. The orchestral variant of the kobza is similar to the Mandolin, having four strings and being tuned in fifths.[149]

United KingdomEdit

See British mandolinists
The Polytechnic and People's Palace Mandoline and Guitar Band in 1899 at the Crystal Palace.
Simon Mayor has worked at creating a uniquely British voice for the mandolin.[150]

The mandolin has been used extensively in the traditional music of England and Scotland for generations. Simon Mayor is a prominent British player who has produced six solo albums, instructional books and DVDs, as well as recordings with his mandolin quartet the Mandolinquents.[citation needed]

John Paul Jones playing mandolin with The Duhks on Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" at MerleFest, 2007.[151]

The instrument has also found its way into British rock music. The mandolin was played by Mike Oldfield (and introduced by Vivian Stanshall) on Oldfield's album Tubular Bells, as well as on a number of his subsequent albums (particularly prominently on Hergest Ridge (1974) and Ommadawn (1975)). It was used extensively by the British folk-rock band Lindisfarne, who featured two members on the instrument, Ray Jackson and Simon Cowe, and whose "Fog on the Tyne" was the biggest selling UK album of 1971–72. The instrument was also used extensively in the UK folk revival of the 1960s and 1970s with bands such as Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span taking it on as the lead instrument in many of their songs. "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart, which hit No. 1 on both the British charts and the Billboard Hot 100, also featured Jackson's playing. It has also been used by other British rock musicians. Led Zeppelin's bassist John Paul Jones is an accomplished mandolin player and has recorded numerous songs on mandolin including "Going to California" and "That's the Way"; the mandolin part on "The Battle of Evermore" is played by Jimmy Page, who composed the song. Other Led Zeppelin songs featuring mandolin are "Hey Hey What Can I Do", and "Black Country Woman". Pete Townshend of the Who played mandolin on the track "Mike Post Theme", along with many other tracks on Endless Wire. McGuinness Flint, for whom Graham Lyle played the mandolin on their most successful single, When I'm Dead And Gone, is another example. Lyle was also briefly a member of Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance, and played mandolin on their hit "How Come". One of the more prominent early mandolin players in popular music was Robin Williamson in the Incredible String Band. Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull is a highly accomplished mandolin player, as is his guitarist Martin Barre. The popular song "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" by the Smiths featured a mandolin solo played by Johnny Marr. More recently, the Glasgow-based band Sons and Daughters featured the mandolin, played by Ailidh Lennon, on tracks such as "Fight", "Start to End", and "Medicine". British folk-punk icons the Levellers also regularly use the mandolin in their songs. British comedian Ade Edmonson took the role of lead mandolin in his folk punk band, Bad Shepherds. Current bands are also beginning to use the mandolin and its unique sound, such as South London's Indigo Moss who use it throughout their recordings and live gigs. The mandolin has also featured in the playing of Matthew Bellamy in the rock band Muse. It also forms the basis of Paul McCartney's 2007 hit "Dance Tonight". That was not the first time a Beatle played a mandolin, however; that distinction goes to George Harrison on "Gone Troppo", the title cut from the 1982 album of the same name.[citation needed] Also more recently hard rock supergroup Them Crooked Vultures have been playing a song, Highway One in which Jones "morphs an effected mandolin bluegrass run into a slick rock riff".[152] This song was left off their debut album Them Crooked Vultures, and features former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.[152]

In the Classical style, performers such as Hugo D'Alton, Alison Stephens and Michael Hooper have continued to play music by British composers such as Michael Finnissy, James Humberstone and Elspeth Brooke.

The mandolin is taught in Lanarkshire by the Lanarkshire Guitar and Mandolin Association to over 100 people.[citation needed]

United StatesEdit

See: Mandolins in North America

See American mandolinists and American bluegrass mandolinists

The mandolin has had a place in North American culture since the 1880s, when a "mandolin craze" began.[153][154]

The continent was a land of immigrants, including Italian immigrants, some of whom brought their mandolins with them. In spite of the mandolin having arrived in America, it was not in the national consciousness until after 1880 when the Spanish Students arrived on their international performing tour. Afterwards, a "mandolin craze" swept the United States, with large numbers of young people taking up the instrument and teachers such as Samuel Siegel touring the country. The fad died out after World War I, but enough had learned the instrument that it remained. The mandolin found a new surge with the music of Bill Monroe; the Gibson F-5 mandolin he played, as well as other archtop instruments, became the American standard for mandolins. Bowlback mandolins were displaced. The instrument has been taken up in blues, bluegrass, jug-band music, country, rock, punk, Celtic and other genres of music. While not as popular as the guitar, it is widespread across the country.


As in Brazil, the mandolin has played an important role in the Music of Venezuela. It has enjoyed a privileged position as the main melodic instrument in several different regions of the country. Specifically, the eastern states of Sucre, Nueva Esparta, Anzoategui and Monagas have made the mandolin the main instrument in their versions of Joropo as well as Puntos, Jotas, Polos, Fulias, Merengues and Malagueñas. Also, in the west of the country the sound of the mandolin is intrinsically associated with the regional genres of the Venezuelan Andes: Bambucos, Pasillos, Pasodobles, and Waltzes. In the western city of Maracaibo the Mandolin has been played in Decimas, Danzas and Contradanzas Zulianas; in the capital, Caracas, the Merengue Rucaneao, Pasodobles and Waltzes have also been played with mandolin for almost a century. Today, Venezuelan mandolists include an important group of virtuoso players and ensembles such as Alberto Valderrama, Jesus Rengel, Ricardo Sandoval, Saul Vera, and Cristobal Soto.


Three musical instruments with scalloped necks, guitar, mandolin, and a possible hybrid of the two.[155]

The French ruled Vietnam completely by 1884 and set up a system of modern education. The population was exposed to French culture and music, which included the mandolin. The influence of French culture was strong enough to affect Vietnamese music. They began writing lyrics to French pop music in Vietnamese and teaching themselves other western instruments including mandolin, guitar, Hawaiian guitar and banjo.[156] Through the Catholics and later the conservatories, European classical music and instruments were taught, including piano and bowed instruments.[156]

The mandolin and guitar were played in both classical music and pop music. Although used in popular music, both instruments were also taught in the Saigon National Conservatory (now the Conservatory of Ho Chi Minh City).[157] However, the mandolin has disappeared from the conservatory where it had been taught, apparently dropped from the curriculum.[157] Instead of Guitar-Mandolin department, the school lists Guitar-Accordion.[158]

Though probably never a dominant instrument, the mandolin was learned by enough people to have a presence among the settlers who left Vietnam for the United States, and who continued to play mandolins in their new home. There are still people in Vietnam playing as well, although the cost of a new instrument is prohibitive.[159] There is at least one mandolin orchestra still playing, a group of aging players teaching newcomers.[159]

Vietnamese luthiers have worked with mandolin design. Mandolins being made in Vietnam today for the international market use the French flatback style. However, some Vietnamese luthiers have added their own innovation, putting sound holes in the mandolins' sides.

The luthiers also worked with the idea of modifying the mandolin to meet local musical styles, making experimental changes to the necks of violins, guitars and mandolins to suit them to Cai luong opera music.[160] In the mid-1930s, they made concave frets, scooping out extra wood between the frets, making the space between them deep and to allow the musicians to bend the notes, and stringing them with four single strings.[160] Musicians Hai Nén and Hai Nhành were associated with the instruments, possibly being the first to use them.[161] The sunken-fret mandolin (mandolin phím lõm) did not meet the musical needs as well as the sunken-fret guitar, because the mandolin's rigidity made it painful to get the same effects from the strings.[161] Also the mandolin's narrow fretboard made it difficult to hit the notes.[161] Another reason to move to a bigger instrument was the pitch range of the mandolin, high pitched and not as useful to accompany singing as the instruments that replaced it in the opera.[161]

Notable literatureEdit

Art or "classical" musicEdit

The tradition of so-called "classical music" for the mandolin has been somewhat spotty, due to its being widely perceived as a "folk" instrument. Significant composers did write music specifically for the mandolin, but few large works were composed for it by the most widely regarded composers. The total number of works these works is rather small in comparison to—say—those composed for violin. One result of this dearth being that there were few positions for mandolinists in regular orchestras. To fill this gap in the literature, mandolin orchestras have traditionally played many arrangements of music written for regular orchestras or other ensembles. Some players have sought out contemporary composers to solicit new works.

Furthermore, of the works that have been written for mandolin from the 18th century onward, many have been lost or forgotten. Some of these await discovery in museums and libraries and archives. One example of rediscovered 18th-century music for mandolin and ensembles with mandolins is the Gimo collection, collected in the first half of 1762 by Jean Lefebure.[162] Lefebure collected the music in Italy, and it was forgotten until manuscripts were rediscovered.[162]

Vivaldi created some concertos for mandolinos and orchestra: one for 4-chord mandolino, string bass & continuous in C major, (RV 425), and one for two 5-chord mandolinos, bass strings & continuous in G major, (RV 532), and concerto for two mandolins, 2 violons "in Tromba"—2 flûtes à bec, 2 salmoe, 2 théorbes, violoncelle, cordes et basse continuein in C major (P. 16).

Beethoven composed mandolin music[163] and enjoyed playing the mandolin.[164] His 4 small pieces date from 1796: Sonatine WoO 43a; Adagio ma non troppo WoO 43b; Sonatine WoO 44a and Andante con Variazioni WoO 44b.

The opera Don Giovanni by Mozart (1787) includes mandolin parts, including the accompaniment to the famous aria Deh vieni alla finestra, and Verdi's opera Otello calls for guzla accompaniment in the aria Dove guardi splendono raggi, but the part is commonly performed on mandolin.[165]

Gustav Mahler used the mandolin in his Symphony No. 7, Symphony No. 8 and Das Lied von der Erde.

Parts for mandolin are included in works by Schoenberg (Variations op. 31), Stravinsky (Agon), Prokofiev (Romeo and Juliet) and Webern (opus Parts 10)

Some 20th century composers also used the mandolin as their instrument of choice (amongst these are: Schoenberg, Webern, Stravinsky and Prokofiev).

Among the most important European mandolin composers of the 20th century are Raffaele Calace (composer, performer and luthier) and Giuseppe Anedda (virtuoso concert pianist and professor of the first chair of the Conservatory of Italian Mandolin, Padua, 1975). Today representatives of Italian classical music and Italian classical-contemporary music include Ugo Orlandi, Carlo Aonzo, Dorina Frati, Mauro Squillante and Duilio Galfetti.

Japanese composers also produced orchestral music for mandolin in the 20th century, but these are not well known outside Japan.[citation needed]

Traditional mandolin orchestras remain especially popular in Japan and Germany, but also exist throughout the United States, Europe and the rest of the world. They perform works composed for mandolin family instruments, or re-orchestrations of traditional pieces. The structure of a contemporary traditional mandolin orchestra consists of: first and second mandolins, mandolas (either octave mandolas, tuned an octave below the mandolin, or tenor mandolas, tuned like the viola), mandocellos (tuned like the cello), and bass instruments (conventional string bass or, rarely, mandobasses). Smaller ensembles, such as quartets composed of two mandolins, mandola, and mandocello, may also be found.

Unaccompanied soloEdit

Variations on a Theme by Haydn
Song of summer
Prelude No. 1
Prelude No. 2
Prelude No. 3
Prelude No. 5
Prelude No. 10
Prelude No. 11
Prelude No. 14
Prelude No. 15
Large prelude
Minuet of rose
I have stood on the banks
  • Heinrich Koniettsuni
Partita No. 1, etc.
Sonatine, etc.
Sense - structure
The Gray Wolf
Perpetuum Mobile
Variations from Der Fluyten Lust-hof
  • Sakutarō Hagiwara
Hataoriru maiden
  • Takei Shusei
Spring to go
  • Seiichi Suzuki
Variations on Schubert lullaby
City of Elm
Variations on Kojonotsuki of subject matter
Two Episodes for solo mandolin
"Spring has come" Variations
Fantasia second No.
Beautiful my child and where
Prayer of the evening
Variations on September Affair of the subject matter
  • Makino YukariTaka
Spring snow of ballads
  • Jo Kondo
In early spring
  • Takashi Kubota
Fantasia first No.
Moon and mountain witch
Winter Light
Mukyu motion
Silent door

Accompaniment with soloEdit

Sonatine in C major WoO 44a
Sonatine in C minor, WoO 43a
Adagio in E major WoO 43b
Andante and Variations in D major WoO 44bb
Dioces aztecas
The Legend of Princess Noccalula
4 Quartet for Mandolin, Violin, Viola, and Lute
4 Divertimenti for Mandolin, Violin & B.c.
Sonata in C major Op.35
Spanish Capriccio
Mazurka for concert
Waltz for concert
Aria Varia data
Mandolin Concerto No. 1
Mandolin Concerto No. 1
Mandolin Concerto No. 2
Mukyu motion
Song of Nostalgia
Mazurka for concert
Warsaw of memories
  • Enrico Marcelli
Gypsy style Capriccio
Fantastic Waltz
Mukyu motion
Polonaise for concert
Divertimento for mandolin and harp
Such as a duo for the mandolin and guitar
  • Norbert Shupuronguru
Serenade for mandolin and guitar
  • Franco Marugora
Grand Sonata for mandolin and guitar
Slovenia wind Dances such as
  • Dietrich Erdmann
Light of silence
  • Rikuya Terashima
Sonata for mandolin and piano (2002)[166]

Duo and musical ensembleEdit

A duet or duo is a musical composition for two performers in which the performers have equal importance to the piece. A musical ensemble with more than two solo instruments or voices is called trio, quartet, quintet, sextet, septet, octet, etc.

  • Ella Von Adajewska-Schultz (1846-1926)
Venezuelan Serenade[167]
  • Valentine Abt (1873-1942)
In Venice Waters[167]
Chants Des Gondoliers[167]
  • Hermann Ambrosius
Sonata in D major for Mandolin and Basso Continuo[167]
  • Ignazio Bitelli (c.1880-1956)
L'Albero di Natale, pastorale for mandolin & guitar[167]
Il Gondoliere, valse for 2 mandolins & guitar[167]
  • Costantino Bertucci
Il Carnevale Di Venezia Con Variazioni[167]
  • Pietro Gaetano Boni (1686-1741)
Sonate pour mandoline en la, op. 2 n° 1[167]
Sonate pour mandoline en ré mineur, op. 2 n° 2
Sonate pour mandoline en ré, op. 2 n° 9[167]
  • Antonio Del Buono
"In Gondola" Serenata Veneziana "Ai Mandolnisti Di Venezia[167]
Barcarola Op.100 Per Chitarra[167]
Barcarola Op.116 Per Liuto "A Mio Figlio Peppino"[167]
  • Sinfonia for 2 Mandolins & Continuo, (Gimo 76)[168]
Au Fil De L'Eau[167]
Charon Crossing the Styx (mandolin & double bass)
Four Whimsies (mandolin & octave mandolin)
Les gravures de Gustave Doré (mandolin & guitar)
Six Pantomimes for Two Mandolins
Sonatina No. 3 for Mandolin & Violin
Op. 59a Sonatina for 2 mandolins (1952)
  • Giovani Battista Gervasio
Sonata for Mandolin & Continuo (Gimo 141)[168][169]
Sonata per camera (Gimo 143)[168][169]
Sinfonia for 2 Mandolins & Continuo, (Gimo 149)[168][169]
Trio for 2 Mandolins & Continuo, (Gimo 150)[168][169]
Sonata in D major for Mandolin and Basso Continuo[167]
Sonata in G major for Mandolin and Basso Continuo[167]
  • Giuseppe Giuliano
Sonata in D major for Mandolin and Basso Continuo
  • Geoffrey Gordon
Interiors of a Courtyard (mandolin & guitar)
  • Addiego Guerra
Sonata in G major for Mandolin and Basso Continuo
  • Positive Hattori
Concerto for two mandolin and piano
Mandolin Canons (mandolin & guitar)
3 Duets for Mandolin and Violin
Serenade for Viola and Mandolin
  • Tyler Kaier
Den lille Havfrue (mandolin & guitar)
Mit den Augen eines Falken for mandolin & guitar (2016)
  • Giovanni Battista Maldura
Barcarola Veneziana Di Mendelssohn[167]
Le Chant Du Gondolier[167]
  • Heinrich Molbe (1835–1915)
Gondolata Op.74 Per Mandolino, Clarinetto E Pianoforte[167]
"In Gondola" Ricordi di Mendelssohn[167]
Notturno Veneziano Per Quartetto Romantico[167]
Medaka, revolving lantern
Barcarola Per Mandolino[167]
Du edge Martino
Sonata in D minor (K77)
Sonata in E minor (K81)
Sonata in G minor (K88)
Sonata no.54 (K.89) in D minor for Mandolin and Basso Continuo
Sonata in D minor (K89)
Sonata in D minor (K90)
Sonata in G (K91)
Silent Light for mandolin & harpsichord (2001)
Two Pieces for Two Mandolins (2002)
Venezia Di Notte, Barcarola Op. 9 N.1[167]
Serenata Per Voce, Mandolino E Pianoforte Op. 9 N.2 Alla Contessa Tat'jana L'vovna Tolstaja[167]
  • Roberto Valentini (1674-1747)
Sonate pour mandoline en la, op. 12 n° 1
Sonate pour mandoline en ré mineur, op. 12 n° 2
Sonate pour mandoline en sol, op. 12 n° 3
Sonate pour mandoline en sol mineur, op. 12 n° 4
Sonate pour mandoline en mi mineur, op. 12 n° 5
Sonate pour mandoline en ré, op. 12 n° 6


Concerto: a musical composition generally composed of three movements, in which, usually, one solo instrument (for instance, a piano, violin, cello or flute) is accompanied by an orchestra or concert band.

Concerto for Mandolin and Orchestra in D Major
Mandolin Concerto in C major,
Concerto for two mandolinos in G major
Concerto for two mandolinos, 2 violons " in Tromba"—2 flûtes à bec, 2 salmoe, 2 théorbes, violoncelle, cordes et basse continuein in C major
  • Francisco Rodrigo Arto (Venezuela)
Mandolin Concerto (1984)[170]
  • Dominico Caudioso
Mandolin Concerto in G Major
Mandolin Concerto No. 1 in D Minor
Mandolin Concerto No. 2 in D Major
Mandolin Concerto No. 3 in E Minor
Mandolin Concerto No. 4 in G Major
Concerto for Two Mandolins ("Rromane Bjavela")
  • Gerardo Enrique Dirié (Argentina)
Los ocho puentes for four recorders, mandolin and percussion (1984)[171]
Mandolin Concerto in G major
Concerto for piano, mandolin, trumpet and double bass in E major
Mandolin Concerto in B major
Mandolin Concerto in E major
Mandolin Concerto in C major
Mandolin Concerto in G major
Mandolin Concerto in G major
  • Armin Kaufmann
Mandolin Concerto
  • Dietrich Erdmann
Mandolin Concerto
Mandolin and the Concerto for Strings
Concerto for Mandolin (1985)
Sonatinetta (1984)
Surrealistic Serenade (1985)
  • Makino YukariTaka
Mandolin Concerto
Mandolin and the Concerto for Strings
  • Tanaka Ken
"Arc" for mandolin and orchestra
  • Vladimir Kororutsuku
Suite "positive and negative"
Mandolin Concerto
"Nedudim" ("Wanderings") Fantasia-Concertante for mandolin and string orchestra (2014)

Mandolin in the orchestraEdit

Orchestral works in which the mandolin has a limited part.

Opera Don Giovanni"
Symphony No. 7, Song of the Night
Symphony No. 8, Symphony of Thousands
Symphony Song of the Earth
Opera Halewijn
Romance sans paroles
Symphony No. 2
Symphony No. 3
Symphonic poem Festivals of Rome
Opera A Basso Porto: Intermezzo for mandolins and orchestra
Oratorio Juditha triumphans
Oratorio Alexander Balus
Concerto for orchestra 25 Concertos Comiques: Concerto nr 24 in C major "La Marche du Huron"
Opera Moses und Aron
Variations for Orchestra
Five Pieces for Orchestra
Opera Otello
Ballet music Agon
Ballet music Anna Karenina
Ballet music Romeo and Juliet
Opera The Curious Affair of the Count of Monte Blotto
Opera Don Perlimplin, ovvero il trionfo dell'amore e dell'immaginazione
Opera Le Grand Macabre
Opera Il barbiere di Siviglia, ovvero La precauzione inutile
Opera La finta parigina

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hostetter, Paul (11 November 2008). "Paris Swing Mando". mandolin Retrieved 25 May 2017. The Paris Swings, for the moment, are pressed tops instruments - they are not carved
  2. ^ Dave Hynds. "Mandolins: A Brief History". Retrieved 2010-10-31.
  3. ^ Musical Instruments: A Comprehensive Dictionary, by Sibyl Marcuse (Corrected Edition 1975)
  4. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Second Edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and others (2001)
  5. ^ Sparks 2003, pp. 3–4
  6. ^ Roger Vetter. "Mandolin - Neapolitan". Grinnell College Musical Instrument Collection. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  7. ^ Roger Vetter. "Mandolin - flat-back". Grinnell College Musical Instrument Collection. Retrieved September 5, 2015. a newly developed resonator design pioneered by the Gibson Company with arched top and back boards with f-shaped soundholes, like violin resonators
  8. ^ "OM floating bridge?". Mandolin Cafe. April 20, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  9. ^ McDonald 2008, p. 1
  10. ^ "Mandoline". Encyclopædia Britannica. 17. 1911.
  11. ^ "Radiused vs. flat fingerboard on mandolin?". May 3, 2010. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  12. ^ Siminoff, Roger H. (2002). The Luthier's Handbook. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-634-01468-0.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Lise Winer (16 January 2009). Dictionary of the English/Creole of Trinidad & Tobago: On Historical Principles. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. pp. 50–. ISBN 978-0-7735-7607-0. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  14. ^ Bendamèche, Abdelkader (25 July 2014). "Mr Abdelkader Bendamèche répond à l'APS au sujet du mandole (Translation: Mr Abdelkader Bendamèche responds to the APS about the mandola)". Retrieved 25 July 2017. ABDELKADER BENDAMECHE President of the National Council Arts and Letters, Algiers, 21 July 2014
  15. ^ Richards, Tobe A. The Musician's Workbook VI, Fretted Instrument Octave Designation Diagram & Charts (PDF). p. 4. Guitar - Standard Tuning E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4
  16. ^ Parfitt, David. "Arab tuning". Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Thomann Algerian Mondol 10 Standard". Archived from the original on 2017-07-29. Retrieved 29 July 2017. tuning: C - G - D - A - E, lower width ca. 35,2cm, body length ca. 54,2cm, total length thomann ca. 104,5cm, height incl. bridge ca. 13cm, height of the sides ca. 10cm, width upper nut ca. 4,4cm, scale length 32,4cm.
  18. ^ Ruppa, Paul. "American Mando-Bass History 101" (PDF). Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  19. ^ Marcuse, Sibyl; Musical Instruments: A Comprehensive Dictionary; W. W. Norton & Company (1975). (see entries for mandolin, and for individual mandolin family members.)
  20. ^ Johnson, J. R.; 'The Mandolin Orchestra in America, Part 3: Other Instruments', American Lutherie, No. 21 (Spring) 1990, pp. 45–46.
  21. ^ Cohen, David J.; Rossing, Thomas D. (January 1, 2001). "Mandolin Family Instruments". In Rossing, Thomas D. (ed.). The Science of String Instruments. Springer. pp. 77–98. ISBN 978-1-4419-7110-4.
  22. ^ Tyler & Sparks 1996
  23. ^ Sparks 2003, p. 15–16
  24. ^ Tyler & Sparks 1989
  25. ^ a b c d e f "Who are the top classical builders?". Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  26. ^ a b c d e Sparks 2003, p. 37–38
  27. ^ a b c d "Mandolin Glossary". Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  28. ^ "The Latest from the Shop". 21 April 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-05-17. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
    "Hi, my name is Brian Dean. I build classical mandolin". Archived from the original on 2018-06-30. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  29. ^ "Grand Concert". Archived from the original on 2015-11-25.
  30. ^ "Mandolin (neapolitan, Round Back, Bowl Back...)". Archived from the original on 21 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  31. ^ "Japanese Mandolin Makers". Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  32. ^ Dossena, Luigi (7 September 2014). "Historia et imago Cremae. La vita di Giovanni Vailati, il Paganini del mandolino: dai caffè cremaschi ai teatri d'Europa [translation: Historia et imago Cremae. The life of Giovanni Vailati, the Paganini of the mandolin: from the cremaschi cafés to the theaters of Europe]". Retrieved 11 June 2018. ...on December 2, 1852 in Parma at the Regio theater he performed a single string music from his mandolin, on a Lombard-type mandolin inspired by sixteenth-century instruments still unformed and rough. It was a soprano lute, very small, having the semblance of a paunchy half-egg which he later replaced with a mandolin inspired by Hispanic Bandurria- type models...
  33. ^ a b c d "Milanese Mandolin Makers". Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  34. ^ a b c Sparks 2003, p. 206
  35. ^ a b c d e Adelstein, 1893 & page 14
  36. ^ a b "Thread: Plans of Brescian mandolin..." Mandolin Cafe. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  37. ^ a b c Sparks 2003, p. 205
  38. ^ a b c d Bortolazzi, Bartolomeo (1805). Anweisung die Mandoline von selbst zu erlernen nebst einigen Uebungsstucken von Bortolazzi (in German). Leipzig, Germany: Breitkopf and Härtell. p. 1.
  39. ^ a b Midgley, Ruth, ed. (1997). Musical Instruments of the World. New York: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. p. 188. ISBN 0-8069-9847-4. ...six pairs of string, and a wider neck than the Neapolitan instrument...
  40. ^ a b "Mandolin,19th century Italian". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 4 April 2018. “mandola o mandolino alla Genovese”, this mandoline has six pairs of gut strings, fifteen rosewood ribs, and mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell inlays. It differs from other gut-strung mandolins in being tuned an octave higher than the modern guitar (e, a, d’, g’ b-natural, e”) and having a guitar-like peg block
  41. ^ a b c McDonald, 2008 & page 16
  42. ^ a b McDonald, 2008 & page 18
  43. ^ "Stefan Sobell Guitars » Mandolins and Mandola". Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  44. ^ McDonald, 2008 & page 30
  45. ^ a b c "Joseph Brent's Brian N. Dean Grand Concert Mandolin". 20 November 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2017. [He told the luthier:]..."I want to hear the wood, and not the metal." And, "I want it big and dark and loud, like the engine note on a Ford GT." ...I know there are lots of musicians like me who would love the chance to create an instrument that's more geared to the music they're making...It's got a lot of crazy features, like that aforementioned false back...
  46. ^ a b c d e f Speranski, Victor (November 2014). "The Russian Embergher". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  47. ^ Daniel, Bernie; Garber, Jimi. "Re: Avi Avital and the Arik Kerman mandolin". Retrieved 29 May 2017. ...What is [the luthier] Kerman doing so different from the approach taken by American luthiers...The difference from the German models is that it has the sound holes on the edges and, even more important(?) has a double top.
  48. ^ "Joseph Brent's Brian N. Dean Grand Concert Mandolin". 20 November 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2017. [Brent's instrument has] ...maple sides/false back, spruce true back...It's got a lot of crazy features, like that aforementioned false back...
  49. ^ a b Artist To Artist: 10 Minutes With Avi Avital. The Bluegrass Special, January 2011 by Joe Brent.
  50. ^ a b c "Thread: Avi Avital and the Arik Kerman mandolin". Retrieved September 3, 2015. This thread digressed into the topic of Avi's Kerman, where it was established that it has a double top and a convex back. … it looks like it is based on the modern German flatback as made by makers such as Seifert, a little deep-bodied. The difference from the German models is that it has the sound holes on the edges and, even more important(?) has a double top.
  51. ^ a b "Alon Sariel interview". Retrieved September 3, 2015. What mandolins do you own? Which one(s) is(are) your favourite(s)? Whoever knows the Beer-Sheva school of mandolin must have heard of the Israeli type of modern mandolins. A mandolin maker called Arik Kerman who lives in Tel-Aviv, invented a formula to make the mandolin in a way for which it has a much of a round and sweet sound, and can easily produce a very soft sound other than the metallic Neapolitan one...
  52. ^ a b "Instrumentarium". Alon Sariel – mandolinist, conductor, lutenist. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  53. ^ a b "Concert artists: Tom Cohen". Retrieved September 3, 2015. The mandolin that Tom plays was built especially for him by Israeli artist Arik Kerman and new instrument is currently being built for, and inspired by him, by internationally-known luthier Boaz Elkayam.
  54. ^ "The Irish Tenor Banjo by Don Meade" (PDF). Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  55. ^ a b c Gregory, Alex. "Heavy Metal Electric Mandolin, inventions". Retrieved September 13, 2015.
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  57. ^ Recollections - by Phil Skinner. FIGA magazine January February 1981 (Fretted Instrument Guild of America)
  58. ^ "The Sydney Mandolin Orchestra - history". Archived from the original on 27 February 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
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  60. ^ "Joel Nascimento". Retrieved 2014-05-30.
  61. ^ a b Millward, Jom (30 December 2012). "The First Comes to China". Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  62. ^ a b "别找了,美女都在这儿呢,有颜有腰还有腿 [translation: Don't look for it. Beautiful women are here.]". Retrieved 22 June 2018. [illustration with mandolin is 12th image down] ...characterized by the exquisite water-jet brushing of the Western style...content is mainly about women's social life, such as the campus activities of female college students, women driving motorcycles, swimming, horse riding, horse racing, rowing competitions, and participating in social longer important to have advertisements in the 40s. What is important is the United States
  63. ^ Ikeda, Shinobu (2008). "The Allure of a 'Woman in Chinese Dress'". In Croissant, Doris; Yeh, Catherine Vance; Mostow, Joshua Scott (eds.). Performing "Nation": Gender Politics in Literature, Theater, and the Visual Arts of China and Japan, 1880–1940. BRILL. p. 367. ISBN 90-04-17019-7.
  64. ^ "Art style "Friends" Illustrated". The Young Companion (Liángyǒu pictorial). Retrieved 28 June 2018. "Best Friends", Issue 57, 1930, "Ms. Guan Zilan's Personal Exhibition" Special Edition Liangyou Magazine Co., Ltd.
  65. ^ "1930 Shanghai and more, Lady playing Musical Instrument Poster". Retrieved 22 June 2018. advertisement poster from 1930 Shanghai era is a cigarette advertisement for "East Asia Cigarette Company".
  66. ^ "老上海画片里的民国美女 [translation: The beauty of the Republic of China in old Shanghai paintings]". Retrieved 22 June 2018. [illustration, 27th image down] Foreign capitalists quickly learned from the use of the “calendar painting” style with calendar solar terms in Chinese traditional folk paintings and incorporated them into product advertisements...a record of the side of an era of the Republic of China (1912-1949)
  67. ^ Chang, Peter M. (2006). "2". Chou Wen-Chung: The Life and Work of a Contemporary Chinese-born American Composer. Scarecrow Press. p. 16.
  68. ^ "Everything Musical, Go to Moutrie's". Our Navy, the Standard Publication of the U.S. Navy. 1920. Retrieved 26 June 2018. ...For American Banjos,Mandolins, and Guitars...Honking, Shanghai, Tientsin
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  71. ^ Glas, Kruno (13 January 2014). "Croatian luthier introduction (forum discussion)". Mandolin Cafe. Retrieved 2016-10-11. Mandolins are most popular in the coastal area of Croatia and not so much inland because in the 90s the focus was on tamburitza. So, mandolin was a bit neglected.
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  77. ^ "Stage de Mandoline avec Patrick Vaillant, à Pigna !". November 26, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2015. Partant, améliorer ses performances mandolinistiques et étendre son domaine musical, accéder mieux armé à l'improvisation.
  78. ^ "Patrick VVaillant and Daniel Malevergna". Retrieved September 22, 2015. Son bagage traditionnel, son goût de l'improvisation, une inspiration traversée de Méditerranée et de jazz, l'originalité de son jeu comme de ses compositions, ont fait de lui un mandoliniste internationalement reconnu
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  101. ^ a b "マンドリンの生まれと伝来 (Birth and Inheritance of the Mandolin)". ikegaku I Mandolini a congresso. Retrieved 22 May 2016. 本格的な普及は、東京音楽学校の講師であった比留間賢八(1867-1936)がイタリア人のアッティレ・コルナティにマンドリンを学んで1901年に帰国、マンドリン・ギター塾を開いたことが契機となりました。[translation:...Kimihachi Hiruma (1867-1936) who was a lecturer at the Tokyo Music School learned mandolin at Italy's Attila Kornati, returned home in 1901, opened a mandolin / guitar cram school...]
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  114. ^ "Elja Heifecs gives mandolin lessons to two students". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 7 February 2018. [caption]: Elja Heifecs gives mandolin lessons to two students.
  115. ^ "A group of Macedonian Jewish youth who are members of a mandolin band, pose outside a building in Bitola, Macedonia". United States Holocaust Museum. Retrieved 11 October 2016. Caption: A group of Macedonian Jewish youth who are members of a mandolin band, pose outside a building in Bitola, Macedonia. Date: 1930 March 02 Locale: Bitola, [Macedonia; Bitolj] Yugoslavia
  116. ^ Vashem, Yad. "Dihovo, Macedonia, Yugoslavia, A group of mandolin players on a hike, 22/12/1929". Google Arts and Culture. Retrieved 11 October 2016. Title: Dihovo, Macedonia, Yugoslavia, A group of mandolin players on a hike, 22/12/1929. Location: Bitola, Yugoslavia Subject Keywords: Music, Prewar period, Orchestras Origin: Gabriel Albocher Name of submitter: Nina Shpringer Aharoni Credit: Yad Vashem Collection: Yad Vashem Photo Archive Archival signature: 6214/38
  117. ^ a b "Concert of the Mandolin Orchestra". Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016. Formed in 2001, the Mandolin Orchestra "Skopje" has won multiple... Under Ramadan Shukri's conducting, the orchestra will performs its traditional annual pre- new year's concert... Soloists as Suzana Turundzieva, Mustafa Imeri, Serafina Fantauzo, Gligor Popovski and Lazar Sandev...
  118. ^ "News, Mandolin Orchestra from Skopje". Retrieved 11 October 2016. Ladna sponsored the Mandolin Orchestra in Skopje, supporting its members on the 10-th International Festival in Vienne France, where the orchestra had won two gold medals...
  119. ^ "Skopje Mandolin Orchestra of the Youth Cultural Center (Macedonia)". Retrieved 11 October 2016. The Mandolin Orchestra in Skopje, Macedonia, is one of the top touring mandolin orchestras in Europe....young musicians, aged 14 to 22
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Further readingEdit

Chord dictionaries

  • Johnson, Chad (2003). Hal Leonard Mandolin Chord Finder. United States: Hal Leonard. ISBN 978-0-634-05422-8. A comprehensive chord dictionary.
  • Major, James (2002). Mandolin Chord Book. United States: Music Sales Ltd. ISBN 978-0-8256-2296-0. A case-style chord dictionary.
  • Richards, Tobe A. (2007). The Mandolin Chord Bible: 2,736 Chords. United Kingdom: Cabot Books. ISBN 978-1-906207-01-4. A very comprehensive chord dictionary.

Method and instructional guides

  • Bay, Mel (1987). Complete Mandolin Method. United States: Mel Bay. ISBN 978-0-87166-763-2. Instructional guide.

External linksEdit