Mandolin
Overview
 
A mandolin is a musical instrument in the lute
Lute
Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back, or more specifically to an instrument from the family of European lutes....

 family (plucked, or strummed). It descends from the mandore
Mandore (instrument)
The mandore was mentioned as a new instrument in French music books from the 1580s. It was a small member of the lute family, teardrop shaped, with four, five or six courses of gut strings and pitched in the treble range. It is considered ancestral to the modern mandolin and has also been called...

, a soprano
Soprano
A soprano is a voice type with a vocal range from approximately middle C to "high A" in choral music, or to "soprano C" or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody...

 member of the lute family. The mandolin soundboard (the top) comes in many shapes—but generally round or teardrop-shaped, sometimes with scrolls or other projections. A mandolin may have f-holes, or a single round or oval sound hole. A round or oval sound hole may be bordered with decorative rosettes or purfling, but usually does not feature an intricately carved grille like a Baroque era mandolin.

Early mandolins had six double courses of gut strings, tuned similarly to lutes, and plucked with the fingertips.
Encyclopedia
A mandolin is a musical instrument in the lute
Lute
Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back, or more specifically to an instrument from the family of European lutes....

 family (plucked, or strummed). It descends from the mandore
Mandore (instrument)
The mandore was mentioned as a new instrument in French music books from the 1580s. It was a small member of the lute family, teardrop shaped, with four, five or six courses of gut strings and pitched in the treble range. It is considered ancestral to the modern mandolin and has also been called...

, a soprano
Soprano
A soprano is a voice type with a vocal range from approximately middle C to "high A" in choral music, or to "soprano C" or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody...

 member of the lute family. The mandolin soundboard (the top) comes in many shapes—but generally round or teardrop-shaped, sometimes with scrolls or other projections. A mandolin may have f-holes, or a single round or oval sound hole. A round or oval sound hole may be bordered with decorative rosettes or purfling, but usually does not feature an intricately carved grille like a Baroque era mandolin.

Early mandolins had six double courses of gut strings, tuned similarly to lutes, and plucked with the fingertips. Modern mandolins—which originated in Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, Italy in the late 18th century—commonly have four double courses (four pairs) of metal strings, which are plucked with a plectrum
Plectrum
A plectrum is a small flat tool used to pluck or strum a stringed instrument. For hand-held instruments such as guitars and mandolins, the plectrum is often called a pick, and is a separate tool held in the player's hand...

.

Many variants of the mandolin have existed. These include Milanese
Milanese
Milanese is the central variety of the Western Lombard language spoken in the city and province of Milan....

, Lombard, Brescian and other six-course types, as well as four-string (one string per course), twelve-string (three strings per course), and sixteen-string (four strings per course).

Construction

A mandolin typically has a hollow wooden body with a tailpiece that holds one end of the strings, a floating bridge, a neck with a flat (or slight radius) fretted fingerboard, a nut, and mechanical tuning machines to accommodate metal strings
Strings (music)
A string is the vibrating element that produces sound in string instruments, such as the guitar, harp, piano, and members of the violin family. Strings are lengths of a flexible material kept under tension so that they may vibrate freely, but controllably. Strings may be "plain"...

.

Like any plucked instrument, mandolin notes decay to silence rather than sound out continuously as with a bowed note on a violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

. Its small size and higher pitch
Pitch (music)
Pitch is an auditory perceptual property that allows the ordering of sounds on a frequency-related scale.Pitches are compared as "higher" and "lower" in the sense associated with musical melodies,...

 make mandolin notes decay faster than larger stringed instruments like guitar, which encourages the use of tremolo
Tremolo
Tremolo, or tremolando, is a musical term that describes various trembling effects, falling roughly into two types. The first is a rapid reiteration...

 (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 compatible in volume with louder instruments and orchestras. Hybridization with the louder banjo
Banjo
In the 1830s Sweeney became the first white man to play the banjo on stage. His version of the instrument replaced the gourd with a drum-like sound box and included four full-length strings alongside a short fifth-string. There is no proof, however, that Sweeney invented either innovation. This new...

 creates the mandolin-banjo
Mandolin-banjo
The mandolin-banjo should not be mistaken for the banjolin , though their names are sometime interchanged. The mandolin-banjo is also known by its French name, "banjoline", but should not be confused with the Banjoline designed by Peabody. The manjo is also a popular nickname for the...

, and resonators have been used, most notably by Dobro
Dobro
Dobro is a registered trademark, now owned by Gibson Guitar Corporation and used for a particular design of resonator guitar.The name has a long and involved history, interwoven with that of the resonator guitar...

 and the National String Instrument Corporation
National String Instrument Corporation
The National String Instrument Corporation was a guitar company that formed to manufacture the first resonator guitars.-National resonator guitar designs:...

. Some musicians play electric mandolin
Electric mandolin
The electric mandolin is an instrument tuned and played as the mandolin and amplified in similar fashion to an electric guitar.As with electric guitars, electric mandolins take many forms:...

s through amplifiers.

Bowlback

Mandolins come in several forms. The Neapolitan style, known as a round-back or bowl-back (or "tater-bug
Colorado potato beetle
The Colorado potato beetle , also known as the Colorado beetle, the ten-striped spearman, the ten-lined potato beetle or the potato bug, is an important pest of potato crops. It is approximately 10 mm long, with a bright yellow/orange body and five bold brown stripes along the length of each...

," colloquial American) has a vaulted back made of a number of strips of wood in a bowl formation, similar to a lute
Lute
Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back, or more specifically to an instrument from the family of European lutes....

, and usually a canted, two-plane, uncarved top. Another form has a banjo
Banjo
In the 1830s Sweeney became the first white man to play the banjo on stage. His version of the instrument replaced the gourd with a drum-like sound box and included four full-length strings alongside a short fifth-string. There is no proof, however, that Sweeney invented either innovation. This new...

-style body.

Archtop

At the very end of the nineteenth 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, especially in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. This new style is credited to mandolins designed and built by Orville Gibson
Orville Gibson
Orville H. Gibson was a luthier who founded the Gibson Guitar Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1896, makers of guitars, mandolins and other instruments....

, 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
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

 (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, Gibson F-hole F-5 mandolins and mandolins influenced by that design are strongly associated with American bluegrass music
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

, while the A-style is more associated with Irish, folk
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

, or classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

. The F-5s 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
Lloyd Loar
Lloyd Allayre Loar was a Gibson sound engineer and master luthier in the early part of the 20th century. He is most famous for his F5 model mandolin, L5 guitar, H5 mandola, K5 mandocello, and A5 mandolin....

. Original Loar-signed instruments are sought after and extremely valuable. Other makers from the Loar period and earlier include Lyon and Healy
Lyon and Healy
Lyon & Healy is an American manufacturer of harps founded in 1864 in Chicago by George W. Lyon and Patrick J. Healy. Lyon & Healy has its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, United States, which, in addition to being the location of the production of its harps, also contains a showroom and concert...

, Vega, and Larson Brothers. Notable modern American mandolin manufacturers include Weber, Monteleone, and Collings. Mandolins from other countries include The Loar (China), Michael Kelly (Korea), Eastman (China), Kentucky(China), and Morgan Monroe(China).

Others

Other American-made variants include the mandolinetto or Howe-Orme
Howe-Orme
Howe-Orme instruments were manufactured by the Elias Howe Company of Boston, MA. The company was founded by Elias Howe, Jr. . Although the inventor of the sewing machine had the same name, this Elias Howe, Jr. was not associated with that invention...

 guitar-shaped mandolin (manufactured by the Elias Howe Company
Elias Howe Company
The Elias Howe Company was a nineteenth and early twentieth century musical firm located in Boston, USA and founded by Elias Howe, Jr....

 between 1897 and roughly 1920), which featured a cylindrical bulge along the top from fingerboard end to tailpiece; the Army-Navy style with a flat back and top; and the Vega mando-lute (more commonly called a cylinder-back mandolin
Cylinder-back mandolin
The cylinder-back is a style of mandolin manufactured by the Vega Company of Boston, MA between 1913 and roughly 1925. The design patent for the instrument was issued on November 4, 1913 to David L. Day, who was director and chief acoustical engineer for the stringed instrument division of the...

 manufactured by the Vega Company
Vega Company
The Vega Company was one of an illustrious group of musical instrument manufacturers trading in Boston, Massachusetts at the latter part of the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries. The company first took shape in 1881 under the guidance of Swedish-born Julius Nelson, his brother Carl, and a...

 between 1913 and roughly 1927), which had a similar longitudinal bulge but on the back rather than the front of the instrument.

As with almost every other contemporary string instrument, another modern variant is the electric mandolin
Electric mandolin
The electric mandolin is an instrument tuned and played as the mandolin and amplified in similar fashion to an electric guitar.As with electric guitars, electric mandolins take many forms:...

. These mandolins can have four or five individual or double courses of strings.

History

Mandolins evolved from the lute
Lute
Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back, or more specifically to an instrument from the family of European lutes....

 family in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the deep bowled mandolin, produced particularly in Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, became common in the nineteenth century. The original instrument was the mandore
Mandore (instrument)
The mandore was mentioned as a new instrument in French music books from the 1580s. It was a small member of the lute family, teardrop shaped, with four, five or six courses of gut strings and pitched in the treble range. It is considered ancestral to the modern mandolin and has also been called...

, which evolved in the fourteenth century from the lute
Lute
Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back, or more specifically to an instrument from the family of European lutes....

. Over time and as the instrument spread around Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, it took on many names and various structural characteristics.

Further back, dating to around 15,000 BC to 8000 BC, single-stringed instruments have been seen in cave paintings and murals. They were struck, plucked, and eventually bowed. From these, the families of stringed instruments developed. Single strings were long and gave a single melody line. To shorten the scale length, other strings were added with a different tension and pitch so one string took over where another left off. In turn, this led to being able to play dyads
Dyad (music)
In music, a dyad is a set of two notes or pitches. Although most chords have three or more notes, in certain contexts a dyad may be considered to be a chord. The most common two-note chord is made from the interval of a perfect fifth, which may be suggestive of music of the Medieval or Renaissance...

 and chords. The bowed family became the rabob, and then the rebec
Rebec
The rebecha is a bowed string musical instrument. In its most common form, it has a narrow boat-shaped body and 1-5 strings and is played on the arm or under the chin, like a violin.- Origins :The rebec dates back to the Middle Ages and was particularly popular in the 15th and 16th centuries...

 fiddle, evolving into the modern violin family by 1520 (incidentally also in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

). The plucked family led to lute-like instruments in 2000 BC Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

, and developed into the oud or ud before appearing in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, first documented around 711 AD, courtesy of the Moors.

Over subsequent centuries, the strings were doubled to courses, and eventually (in Europe) frets were added, leading to the first lute appearing in the thirteenth century. The history of the lute and the mandolin are intertwined from this point. The lute gained a fifth course by the fifteenth century, a sixth a century later, and up to thirteen courses in its heyday. As early as the fourteenth century a miniature lute or mandora appeared. Like the mandola, it had counterparts in Assyria (pandura), the Arab countries (dambura), and Ukraine (kobza-bandura). From this, the mandolino (a small cat gut-strung mandola with six strings tuned g b e' a' d g sometimes called the Baroque mandolin or cat-banjo and played with a quill, wooden plectrum or finger-style) was developed in several places in Italy. A nearly identical instrument called the mandore
Mandore (instrument)
The mandore was mentioned as a new instrument in French music books from the 1580s. It was a small member of the lute family, teardrop shaped, with four, five or six courses of gut strings and pitched in the treble range. It is considered ancestral to the modern mandolin and has also been called...

 was used in France at the same time. The mandolino was sometimes called a mandolin in the early eighteenth century (around 1735) Naples. At this point, all such instruments were strung with gut strings.

The first evidence of modern steel-strung mandolins is from literature regarding popular Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 players who traveled through Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 teaching and giving concerts. Notable are Signor Leone and G. B. Gervasio, who traveled widely between 1750 and 1810. This, with the records gleaned from the Italian Vinaccia family of luthiers in Naples, Italy, led some musicologists to believe that the modern steel-strung mandolin was developed in Naples by the Vinaccia family. Gennaro Vinaccia was active c. 1710 to c. 1788, and Antonio Vinaccia was active c. 1734 to c. 1796. An early extant example of a mandolin is one built by Antonio Vinaccia in 1772, which resides at the Victoria and Albert Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum , set in the Brompton district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. Another is by Giuseppe Vinaccia, built in 1763, residing at the Kenneth G. Fiske Museum of Musical Instruments in Claremont, California
Claremont, California
Claremont is a small affluent college town in eastern Los Angeles County, California, United States, about east of downtown Los Angeles at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. The population as of the 2010 census is 34,926. Claremont is known for its seven higher-education institutions, its...

. The earliest extant mandolin was built in 1744 by Gaetano Vinaccia. It resides in the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, Belgium.

These mandolins, like their modern descendants, are called Neapolitan mandolins because they originate in Naples, Italy. They are distinguished by an almond-shaped body with a bowled back constructed from curved strips of wood along its length. The sound table is bent just behind the bridge, the bending achieved with a heated bending iron. This "canted" table helps the body support a greater string tension. A hardwood fingerboard is flush with the soundtable. Ten metal or ivory frets are spaced along the neck in half-steps, with additional frets glued upon the soundtable. The strings are brass except for the lowest string course, which are gut or metal wound onto gut. The bridge is a movable length of hardwood or ivory placed in front of ivory pins that hold the strings. Wooden tuning pegs are inserted through the back of a flat pegboard. The mandolins have a tortoise shell pickguard below the soundhole under the strings. A quill or shaped piece of tortoise shell is used as a plectrum.

Other luthiers who built mandolins included Rafaele Calace (1863 onwards) in Naples, Luigi Embergher (1856–1943) in Rome, the Ferrari family (1716 onwards, also originally mandolino makers) in Rome, and De Santi (1834–1916) in Rome. The Neapolitan style of mandolin construction was adopted and developed by others, notably in Rome, giving two distinct but similar types of mandolin – Neapolitan and Roman.

The twentieth century saw the rise in popularity of the mandolin for Celtic
Celtic music
Celtic music is a term utilised by artists, record companies, music stores and music magazines to describe a broad grouping of musical genres that evolved out of the folk musical traditions of the Celtic people of Western Europe...

, bluegrass
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

, jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, and classical
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 styles. Much of the development of the mandolin from Neapolitan bowl-back to the flat-back style (actually, gently rounded and carved like a violin) is attributable to Orville Gibson
Orville Gibson
Orville H. Gibson was a luthier who founded the Gibson Guitar Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1896, makers of guitars, mandolins and other instruments....

 (1856–1918). See above.

Tuning

A variety of different tunings are used. Usually, courses
Course (music)
A course is a pair or more of adjacent strings tuned to unison or an octave and usually played together as if a single string. It may also refer to a single string normally played on its own on an instrument with other multi-string courses, for example the bass string on a nine string baroque...

 of 2 adjacent strings are doubled (tuned to the same pitch). The most common tuning by far, GDAE, is the same as violin tuning:
  • fourth (lowest tone) course
    Course (music)
    A course is a pair or more of adjacent strings tuned to unison or an octave and usually played together as if a single string. It may also refer to a single string normally played on its own on an instrument with other multi-string courses, for example the bass string on a nine string baroque...

    : G3 ( Hz
    Hertz
    The hertz is the SI unit of frequency defined as the number of cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon. One of its most common uses is the description of the sine wave, particularly those used in radio and audio applications....

    )
  • third course: D4 ( Hz)
  • second course: A4 ( Hz; A
    A (musical note)
    La or A is the sixth note of the solfège. "A" is generally used as a standard for tuning. When the orchestra tunes, the oboe plays an "A" and the rest of the instruments tune to match that pitch. Every string instrument in the orchestra has an A string, from which each player can tune the rest of...

     above middle C
    C (musical note)
    C or Do is the first note of the fixed-Do solfège scale. Its enharmonic is B.-Middle C:Middle C is designated C4 in scientific pitch notation because of the note's position as the fourth C key on a standard 88-key piano keyboard...

    )
  • first (highest tone) course: E5 ( Hz)




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 family

The mandolin is the soprano member of the mandolin family, as the violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

 is the soprano member of the violin family
Violin family
The violin family of musical instruments was developed in Italy in the sixteenth century. The standard modern violin family consists of the violin, viola, cello, and double bass....

. Like the violin, its scale length is typically about 13 inches (330 mm). Modern American mandolins modeled after Gibsons have a longer scale, about 13-7/8" (352 mm).

Other members of the mandolin family are:
  • The mandola
    Mandola
    The mandola or tenor mandola is a fretted, stringed musical instrument. It is to the mandolin what the viola is to the violin: the four double courses of strings tuned in fifths to the same pitches as the viola , a fifth lower than a mandolin...

    (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
    Viola
    The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.- Form :The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between and longer than the body of a full-size violin , with an average...

     to the violin
    Violin
    The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

    . Some also call this instrument the "alto mandola." Its scale length is typically about 16.5 inches (420 mm). It is normally tuned like a viola: C-G-D-A.
  • The octave mandolin
    Octave mandolin
    The octave mandolin is a fretted string instrument with four pairs of strings tuned in 5ths, G, D, A, E , an octave below a mandolin. It has a 20 to 23 inch scale length and its construction is similar to other instruments in the mandolin family...

    (US and Canada), termed the octave mandola in Britain and Ireland and mandola in continental Europe, which is tuned an octave below the mandolin. Its scale length is typically about 20 inches (500 mm), although instruments with scales as short as 17 inches (430 mm) or as long as 21 inches (530 mm) are not unknown.
  • The mandocello
    Mandocello
    The mandocello is a plucked string instrument of the mandolin family. It has eight strings in four paired courses, tuned in 5ths like a mandolin, but is larger, and tuned CC-GG-dd-aa . It is to the mandolin what the cello is to the violin.-Construction:Mandocello construction is similar to the...

    ,
    which is classically tuned to an octave plus a fifth below the mandolin, in the same relationship as that of the cello
    Cello
    The cello is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is a member of the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin, viola, and double bass. Old forms of the instrument in the Baroque era are baryton and viol .A person who plays a cello is...

     to the violin: C-G-D-A. Today, it is frequently restrung for octave mandolin tuning or the Irish bouzouki
    Irish bouzouki
    The Irish bouzouki is a development of the octave mandolin adapted for Irish traditional and other folk music from the late 1960s onward.-Adoption for Celtic music:...

    's GDAD. Its scale length is typically about 25 inches (635 mm). A typical violoncello scale is 27" (686 mm).
  • The Greek laouto is essentially a mandocello, ordinarily tuned D-G-D-A, 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 in octaves as well as being tuned a reentrant octave above the expected D. Its scale length is typically about 28 inches (712 mm).
  • The mando-bass, has 4 single strings, rather than double courses, and is tuned like a double bass
    Double bass
    The double bass, also called the string bass, upright bass, standup bass or contrabass, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra, with strings usually tuned to E1, A1, D2 and G2...

     or an acoustic bass guitar
    Acoustic bass guitar
    The acoustic bass guitar is a bass instrument with a hollow wooden body similar to, though usually somewhat larger than a steel-string acoustic guitar...

    . These were made by the Gibson company in the early twentieth century, but appear to have never been very common. Reportedly, most mandolin orchestra
    Mandolin orchestra
    A mandolin orchestra is an orchestra consisting primarily of instruments from the mandolin family of instruments, such as the mandolin, mandola, mandocello and mando-bass or mandolon...

    s preferred to use the ordinary double bass
    Double bass
    The double bass, also called the string bass, upright bass, standup bass or contrabass, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra, with strings usually tuned to E1, A1, D2 and G2...

    , rather than a specialised mandolin family instrument. Calace and other Italian makers predating Gibson also made mandolin-basses.

  • The piccolo or sopranino mandolin is a rare member of the family, tuned one octave above the tenor mandola and one fourth above the mandolin; the same relation as that of the piccolo
    Piccolo
    The piccolo is a half-size flute, and a member of the woodwind family of musical instruments. The piccolo has the same fingerings as its larger sibling, the standard transverse flute, but the sound it produces is an octave higher than written...

     or sopranino violin to the violin
    Violin
    The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

     and viola
    Viola
    The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.- Form :The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between and longer than the body of a full-size violin , with an average...

    . 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 9.5 inches (240 mm).
  • The Irish bouzouki
    Irish bouzouki
    The Irish bouzouki is a development of the octave mandolin adapted for Irish traditional and other folk music from the late 1960s onward.-Adoption for Celtic music:...

    is also considered a member of the mandolin family; although derived from the Greek bouzouki, it is constructed like a flat backed mandolin and uses fifth-based tunings, most often GDAE (an octave below the mandolin), although sometimes GDAD, ADAD or ADAE are used in place of the guitar-like fourths-and-third tunings of the three- and four-course Greek bouzouki
    Bouzouki
    The bouzouki , is a musical instrument with Greek origin in the lute family. A mainstay of modern Greek music, the front of the body is flat and is usually heavily inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The instrument is played with a plectrum and has a sharp metallic sound, reminiscent of a mandolin but...

    . Although the 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
    Guitar
    The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

    . Although occupying the same range as the octave mandolin/octave mandola, the Irish bouzouki is distinguished from the former instrument by its longer scale length, typically from 22 inches (560 mm) to 24 inches (610 mm), although scales as long as 26 inches (660 mm), which is the usual Greek bouzouki scale, are not unknown.
  • The modern cittern
    Cittern
    The cittern or cither is a stringed instrument dating from the Renaissance. Modern scholars debate its exact history, but it is generally accepted that it is descended from the Medieval Citole, or Cytole. It looks much like the modern-day flat-back mandolin and the modern Irish bouzouki and cittern...

    is also an extension of the mandolin family, being typically a five course (ten string) instrument having a scale length between 20 inches (500 mm) and 22 inches (560 mm). It is most often tuned to either DGDAD or GDADA, 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.
  • In Indian classical music
    Indian classical music
    The origins of Indian classical music can be found in the Vedas, which are the oldest scriptures in the Hindu tradition. Indian classical music has also been significantly influenced by, or syncretised with, Indian folk music and Persian music. The Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, describes music...

     and Indian light music, the mandolin, which bears little resemblance to the European mandolin, is likely to be tuned to 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.

Mandolin music

Mandolins have a long history, and much early music was written for them. In the first half of the 20th century, they enjoyed a period of great popularity in Europe and the Americas as an easier approach to playing string music. Many professional and amateur mandolin groups and orchestras were formed to play light classical string repertory. Just as this practice was falling into disuse, the mandolin found a new niche in American country
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

, old-time music
Old-time music
Old-time music is a genre of North American folk music, with roots in the folk music of many countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland and countries in Africa. It developed along with various North American folk dances, such as square dance, buck dance, and clogging. The genre also...

, bluegrass
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

, and folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

. More recently, the Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 and Classical
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 mandolin repertory and styles have benefited from the raised awareness of and interest in Early music
Early music
Early music is generally understood as comprising all music from the earliest times up to the Renaissance. However, today this term has come to include "any music for which a historically appropriate style of performance must be reconstructed on the basis of surviving scores, treatises,...

. Tremolo and fingerpicking methods are used while playing a mandolin.

Australia

The earliest references to the mandolin in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 come from Phil Skinner MBE (1903–1991). In his article "Recollections" he mentions a Walter Stent, who was “active in the early part of the century and organised possibly the first Mandolin Orchestra in Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

.” He also refers to Roy Smedley, a student of Walter Stent, who performed on the radio and “was a most outstanding mandolinist, prominent over many years; his technique, choice of solos and stage presentation left little to be desired, and the students he produced did him great honour”.

Phil Skinner played a key role in the development of the mandolin movement in Australia in the 20th century 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
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 at age 10 when his uncle (who couldn’t read music) tutored him on the banjo
Banjo
In the 1830s Sweeney became the first white man to play the banjo on stage. His version of the instrument replaced the gourd with a drum-like sound box and included four full-length strings alongside a short fifth-string. There is no proof, however, that Sweeney invented either innovation. This new...

. Phil began teaching part time at age 18 years until the Depression Years forced him to begin teaching full time and learn a broader range of instruments. Phil founded the Sydney Mandolin Orchestra, the oldest surviving mandolin orchestra in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

.

On 30 January 1976, Harry Baker of the Fremantle Music School in Western Australia organised a meeting to consider forming a mandolin orchestra in Fremantle. Seventeen interested people attended and decide to proceed. News of this is published in the Independent Post on 4 February 1976 along with an appeal for more players. Robert Schulz, a music teacher, is appointed conductor. The Fremantle-Coburn News announced that the Fremantle Music School had put together a mandolin group consisting of 8 players (2 of each: 1st & 2nd mandolin, mandola, guitar), but looking for 30-40 others. Initially called the Fremantle Mandolin Orchestra, it later became the West Australian Mandolin Orchestra(WAMO), which survives today (2009) with approx 30 players.

By 1974, a mandolin ensemble called Varianten has formed in Geelong, Victoria and eventually becomes the Geelong Mandolin Orchestra (GMO).

The Sydney Mandolins (Artistic Director Adrian Hooper) has made a major contribution to mandolin music in Australia and a significant amount of mandolin music was composed for this ensemble, and their lasting legacy is their extensive recordings of these works (over 115 CDs), which are still heard on ABC Classic FM radio today. Composers they have commissioned include Dr Eric Gross, Ann Carr-Boyd, Larry Sitsky, Caroline Szeto, Betty Beath, Ian Shanahan and John Peterson. Their virtuoso mandolinist Paul Hooper has had many solo works written for him as well as number of Mandolin Concertos which he has performed with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

In January 1979, the Federation of Australian Mandolin Ensembles (FAME) Inc. was formed. Bruce Morey from Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

 is the first FAME President. Plans were made to send an Australian Mandolin Orchestra on a tour to Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, which occurred May 1980.

In Australian country and folk, the mandolin is not unknown. Groups such as My Friend The Chocolate Cake
My Friend The Chocolate Cake
My Friend The Chocolate Cake is an Australian musical group based in Melbourne. They have recorded seven albums since being founded in 1989 by David Bridie and Helen Mountfort, members of Not Drowning, Waving...

 use the mandolin extensively. The McClymonts
The McClymonts
The McClymonts are an Australian country music trio comprising sisters Brooke Maree McClymont , Samantha Kate McClymont and Mollie Therese McClymont , originally from Grafton, New South Wales...

 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.

Brazil

The mandolin has a long and rich tradition in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

ian folk music, especially in the style called choro
Choro
Choro , traditionally called chorinho , is a Brazilian popular music instrumental style. Its origins are in 19th century Rio de Janeiro. In spite of the name, the style often has a fast and happy rhythm, characterized by virtuosity, improvisation, subtile modulations and full of syncopation and...

. The composer and mandolin virtuoso Jacob do Bandolim
Jacob do Bandolim
Jacob do Bandolim was a Brazilian composer and musician. Born Jacob Pick Bittencourt from a Jewish mother and Brazilian father in Rio de Janeiro, his stage name means "Mandolin Jacob", after the instrument he played....

 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 Deo Rian, and Hamilton de Holanda (the former, a traditional choro-style player, the latter an eclectic innovator).

The mandolin came into Brazil by way of Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

. Portuguese music has a long tradition of mandolins and mandolin-like instruments (see, for example, the Portuguese guitar
Portuguese guitar
The Portuguese guitar or Portuguese guitarra is a plucked string instrument with twelve steel strings, strung in six courses comprising two strings each. It is one of the few musical instruments to use Preston tuners. It is most notably associated with fado.-History:The origin of the Portuguese...

).

The mandolin is used almost exclusively as a melody instrument in Brazilian folk music - the role of chordal accompaniment being taken over by the cavaco and nylon-strung guitar. Its popularity, therefore, has risen and fallen with instrumental folk music styles, especially choro
Choro
Choro , traditionally called chorinho , is a Brazilian popular music instrumental style. Its origins are in 19th century Rio de Janeiro. In spite of the name, the style often has a fast and happy rhythm, characterized by virtuosity, improvisation, subtile modulations and full of syncopation and...

. The later part of the 20th century saw a renaissance of choro in Brazil, and with it, a revival of the country's mandolinistic tradition.

Continental Europe

An increased interest in bluegrass music
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

, especially in Central European countries such as the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 and Slovak Republic
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

, has inspired many new mandolin players and builders. These players often mix traditional folk elements with bluegrass. Classically, Beethoven composed mandolin music and enjoyed playing the mandolin. The opera Don Giovanni
Don Giovanni
Don Giovanni is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and with an Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It was premiered by the Prague Italian opera at the Teatro di Praga on October 29, 1787...

by Mozart includes some mandolin parts. Also very well known are the mandolin concerti by Vivaldi. Some 20th century classical composers also used the mandolin as their instrument of choice (amongst these are: Schoenberg
Arnold Schoenberg
Arnold Schoenberg was an Austrian composer, associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School...

, Webern, Stravinsky, Zappa
Zappa
Zappa may refer to:*Zappa confluentus, a goby from Papua New Guinea*Pachygnatha zappa, a spider*Zappa , the computer chess program that won the 13th World Computer Chess Championship...

).

Greece

The mandolin has a long tradition in the Ionian
Ionian Sea
The Ionian Sea , is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea, south of the Adriatic Sea. It is bounded by southern Italy including Calabria, Sicily and the Salento peninsula to the west, southern Albania to the north, and a large number of Greek islands, including Corfu, Zante, Kephalonia, Ithaka, and...

 islands (the Heptanese) and Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

. It has long been played in the Aegean
Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea[p] is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus...

 islands outside of the control of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. It is common to see choirs accompanied by mandolin players (the mandolinátes) in the Ionian islands
Ionian Islands
The Ionian Islands are a group of islands in Greece. They are traditionally called the Heptanese, i.e...

 and especially in the cities of Corfu
Corfu
Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the edge of the northwestern frontier of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality. The...

, Zakynthos
Zakynthos
Zakynthos , also Zante, the other form often used in English and in Italian , is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. It is also a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. It covers an area of ...

, and Kefalonia
Kefalonia
The island of Cephalonia, also known as Kefalonia, Cephallenia, Cephallonia, Kefallinia, or Kefallonia , is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece, with an area of . It is also a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and the only municipality of the regional unit...

. The evolution of the repertoire for choir and mandolins (kantádes) occurred during Venetian
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 rule over the islands.

On the island of Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

, along with the lyra
Lyra
Lyra is a small constellation. It is one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and remains one of the 88 modern constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union. Its principal star, Vega — a corner of the Summer Triangle — is one of the brightest...

 and the laouto (lute
Lute
Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back, or more specifically to an instrument from the family of European lutes....

), the mandolin is one of the main instruments used in Cretan Music
Music of Crete
The music of Crete is a traditional form of Greek folk music called κρητικά . The lyra is the dominant folk instrument on the island; there are three-stringed and four-stringed versions of this bowed string instrument, closely related to the medieval Byzantine lyra. It is often accompanied by the...

. 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
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

, and the laouto. Stelios Foustalierakis reported that the mandolin and the mpougari 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
Ionian Sea
The Ionian Sea , is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea, south of the Adriatic Sea. It is bounded by southern Italy including Calabria, Sicily and the Salento peninsula to the west, southern Albania to the north, and a large number of Greek islands, including Corfu, Zante, Kephalonia, Ithaka, and...

 islands and Crete.

India

Mandolin music was used in the Indian Movies as far back as the 1940s by the Raj Kapoor
Raj Kapoor
Known as Ranbir Raj Kapoor Rāj Kapūr, 14 December 1924 – 2 June 1988), also known as The Show-Man, was an Indian film actor, producer and director of Hindi cinema. He was the winner of nine Filmfare Awards, while his films Awaara and Boot Polish were nominated for the Palme d'Or at the...

 Studios in movies such as Barsaat, Awara etc. Adoption of the mandolin in Carnatic music
Carnatic music
Carnatic music is a system of music commonly associated with the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, with its area roughly confined to four modern states of India: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu...

 is recent and, being essentially a very small electric guitar, the instrument itself bears rather small resemblance to European and American mandolins. U. Srinivas
U. Srinivas
Uppalapu Shrinivas , is an Indian mandolin player of the Carnatic musical tradition of Southern India. Shrinivas plays an electric mandolin and has collaborated with John McLaughlin, Michael Nyman, and Michael Brook...

 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.

This type of mandolin is also used in Bhangra, dance music popular in Punjabi culture.

Ireland

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

Although 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
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

 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
Andy Irvine (musician)
Andrew Kennedy 'Andy' Irvine is a folk musician, singer, and songwriter, and a founding member of the popular band Planxty. He is an accomplished player of the mandolin, bouzouki, mandola, guitar-bouzouki, harmonica and hurdy-gurdy....

 (who almost always tunes the E down to D), Mick Moloney
Mick Moloney
Michael "Mick" Moloney is a traditional Irish musician and scholar. Born in Limerick, County Limerick, he was an important figure on the Dublin folk-song revival in the 1960s. In 1973, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania...

, Paul Kelly
Paul Kelly (Irish musician)
Paul Kelly is an Irish multi-instrumentalist musician from Tallaght in Dublin, Ireland. He has played Irish traditional music, bluegrass and country, and is equally at home in a variety of different styles of music.-Early life:...

, and Claudine Langille. John Sheahan
John Sheahan
John Sheahan is a notable Irish violinist, folk musician, composer and member of the folk band The Dubliners. Sheahan was born in Dublin and lives in Mulhuddart, County Dublin, though his family are natives of Glin, County Limerick...

 and Barney McKenna
Barney McKenna
Bernard Noël "Barney" McKenna or Banjo Barney as he is known amongst his fellow musicians, is an Irish musician who plays the tenor banjo, mandolin, and melodeon. He is most renowned as a banjo player...

, fiddle player and tenor banjo player respectively, with The Dubliners
The Dubliners
The Dubliners are an Irish folk band founded in 1962.-Formation and history:The Dubliners, initially known as "The Ronnie Drew Ballad Group", formed in 1962 and made a name for themselves playing regularly in O'Donoghue's Pub in Dublin...

 are also accomplished Irish mandolin players. The Dubliners "Live at the Gaiety" DVD features an extensive mandolin duet of a three-tune "set," two hornpipes and a reel. The instruments used are flat-backed, oval hole examples as described above: in this case made by UK luthier Roger Bucknell of Fylde Guitars. The Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher
Rory Gallagher
William Rory Gallagher, ; 2 March 1948  – 14 June 1995, was an Irish blues-rock multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader. Born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Ireland, and raised in Cork, Gallagher recorded solo albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s, after forming the band Taste...

 often played the mandolin on stage, and he most famously used it in the song "Going To My Hometown."

Japan

Instruments of the mandolin family are popular in Japan, particularly Neapolitan (round-back) style instruments. Morishige Takei (1890–1949), who studied Italian in Tokyo College of Language and was a member of the court of Emperor Hirohito
Hirohito
, posthumously in Japan officially called Emperor Shōwa or , was the 124th Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order, reigning from December 25, 1926, until his death in 1989. Although better known outside of Japan by his personal name Hirohito, in Japan he is now referred to...

, established the mandolin orchestra in the Italian style before World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The military government could not persecute Japanese mandolinists by the authority of Takei and Italy as the Axis. So the Japanese mandolin orchestras continued to perform old Italian works after World War II, and they are prosperous today. In addition, Jiro Nakano
Jiro Nakano
was a Japanese composer, conductor and arranger from Aichi Prefecture. He composed works for solo guitar, solo mandolin and Mandolin orchestra.-Mandolin orchestra:* Una Notte di Villaggio Pescatori* Capriccio sul canto d'Ainu...

 (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 more and more composed after World War II. Seiichi Suzuki (1901–1980) and Tadashi Hattori (1908–2008) composed music for early Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa
was a Japanese film director, producer, screenwriter and editor. Regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema, Kurosawa directed 30 filmsIn 1946, Kurosawa co-directed, with Hideo Sekigawa and Kajiro Yamamoto, the feature Those Who Make Tomorrow ;...

 films and many symphonic works for mandolin orchestras. Hiroshi Ohguri
Hiroshi Ohguri
-Biography:Born in the Senba district of Osaka into a merchant family, his father was an amateur Gidayu player, and he grew up surrounded by traditional Japanese music. He was introduced to European classical music in 1931, upon his entry into high school, where he joined the wind band and learned...

 (1918–1982) was influenced by Béla Bartók
Béla Bartók
Béla Viktor János Bartók was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century and is regarded, along with Liszt, as Hungary's greatest composer...

. Yasuo Kuwahara (1946–2003) used German techniques.

Japanese mandolin orchestras consist of up to 40 or 50 members, and often include wind or percussion instruments.

New Zealand

The Auckland Mandolinata mandolin orchestra was formed in 1969 by Doris Flameling (1932–2004). Soon after arriving from Holland 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.

Portugal

The bandolim (Portuguese for mandolin) was a favorite 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
Tuna (music)
A University Tuna is a musical group in Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Central America or South America, made up of university students. It is also known as a Tuna or Tunas if it is in plural...

. The mandolin virtuoso Fabio Machado
Fabio Machado
Fabio Machado is a Portuguese mandolin virtuoso.- Biography :Fabio Machado was born in Funchal and started studying mandolin at the age of 9 years...

 is one of Portugal's most accomplished mandolin players.
The Portuguese influence brought the mandolin to Brazil.

United Kingdom

The mandolin has been used extensively in the traditional music of England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 for generations, but the instrument has also found its way into British rock music. The mandolin was used by Mike Oldfield
Mike Oldfield
Michael Gordon Oldfield is an English multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, working a style that blends progressive rock, folk, ethnic or world music, classical music, electronic music, New Age, and more recently, dance. His music is often elaborate and complex in nature...

 (and introduced by Vivian Stanshall
Vivian Stanshall
Vivian Stanshall was an English singer-songwriter, painter, musician, author, poet and wit, best known for his work with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, for his surreal exploration of the British upper classes in Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, and for narrating Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells.-The great...

) on Oldfield's album Tubular Bells
Tubular Bells
Tubular Bells is the debut record album of English musician Mike Oldfield, released in 1973. It was the first album released by Virgin Records and an early cornerstone of the company's success...

.
It was used extensively by the British folk-rock band Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne (band)
Lindisfarne were a British folk/rock group from Newcastle upon Tyne established in 1970 and fronted by singer/songwriter Alan Hull. Their music combined a strong sense of yearning with an even stronger sense of fun...

, who featured two members on the instrument, Ray Jackson
Ray Jackson
Ray Jackson is a retired American college and professional basketball player. He was part of the famed University of Michigan Wolverines Fab Five along with former NBA players Chris Webber, Jimmy King, Jalen Rose and current NBA player Juwan Howard that reached the 1992 & 1993 NCAA Men's Division...

 and Simon Cowe, and whose "Fog on the Tyne
Fog on the Tyne
Fog On The Tyne is a 1971 album by English rock band Lindisfarne. Bob Johnston produced the album, which was recorded at Trident Studios in the summer of 1971. It was released on Charisma Records in England and Elektra Records in America....

" was the biggest selling UK album of 1971-1972. The instrument was also used extensively in the UK folk revival of the 1960s and 1970s with bands such as Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention are an English folk rock and later electric folk band, formed in 1967 who are still recording and touring today. They are widely regarded as the most important single group in the English folk rock movement...

 and Steeleye Span
Steeleye Span
Steeleye Span are an English folk-rock band, formed in 1969 and remaining active today. Along with Fairport Convention they are amongst the best known acts of the British folk revival, and were among the most commercially successful, thanks to their hit singles "Gaudete" and "All Around My Hat"....

 taking it on as the lead instrument in many of their songs. "Maggie May
Maggie May
"Maggie May" is a song written by singer Rod Stewart and Martin Quittenton and recorded by Stewart in 1971 for his album Every Picture Tells a Story....

" by Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart
Roderick David "Rod" Stewart, CBE is a British singer-songwriter and musician, born and raised in North London, England and currently residing in Epping. He is of Scottish and English ancestry....

, 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
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed in 1968, they consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham...

's bassist John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones (musician)
John Paul Jones is an English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger and record producer. Best known as the bassist, mandolinist, and keyboardist for English rock band Led Zeppelin, Jones has since developed a solo career and has gained even more respect as both a musician and a...

 is an accomplished mandolin player and has recorded numerous songs on mandolin including "Going to California
Going to California
"Going to California" is a song performed by English rock band Led Zeppelin from their fourth album, released in 1971.-Overview:The song's wistful folk-style sound, with Robert Plant on lead vocals, acoustic guitar by Jimmy Page and mandolin by John Paul Jones, contrasts with the heavy...

" and "That's the Way"; the mandolin part on "The Battle of Evermore
The Battle of Evermore
"The Battle of Evermore" is a folk rock duet sung by Robert Plant and Sandy Denny, by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, featured on their untitled fourth album , released in 1971...

" is played by Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page
James Patrick "Jimmy" Page, OBE is an English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and record producer. He began his career as a studio session guitarist in London and was subsequently a member of The Yardbirds from 1966 to 1968, after which he founded the English rock band Led Zeppelin.Jimmy Page...

, who composed the song. Other Led Zeppelin songs featuring mandolin are "Hey Hey What Can I Do
Hey Hey What Can I Do
"Hey Hey What Can I Do" is a song by the English rock group Led Zeppelin released in 1970 as the B-side of "Immigrant Song" outside the United Kingdom. It is Led Zeppelin's only non-album track released during the band's existence. It did however appear on the Atlantic Records UK various artists...

," and "Black Country Woman
Black Country Woman
"Black Country Woman" is the fourteenth song on English rock band Led Zeppelin's 1975 album Physical Graffiti. It was originally intended to be part of the Houses of the Holy album, which had been released two years earlier....

." Pete Townshend
Pete Townshend
Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend is an English rock guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and author, known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for the rock group The Who, as well as for his own solo career...

 of The Who
The Who
The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey , Pete Townshend , John Entwistle and Keith Moon . They became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction...

 played mandolin on the track "Mike Post Theme," along with many other tracks on Endless Wire
Endless Wire (The Who album)
Endless Wire is the eleventh album by the English rock band The Who released on 30 October 2006, through Polydor Records and the following day in the United States by Universal Republic. It was their first new album of original material in twenty-four years following the release of It's Hard in 1982...

. McGuinness Flint
McGuinness Flint
McGuinness Flint was a rock band formed in 1970 by Tom McGuinness, former bassist and guitarist with Manfred Mann, and Hughie Flint, former drummer with John Mayall; plus vocalist and keyboard player Dennis Coulson, and multi-instrumentalists and songwriters Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle...

, for whom Benny Gallagher played the mandolin on their most successful single, "When I'm Dead And Gone
When I'm Dead and Gone
"When I'm Dead and Gone" is a song written by Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle. It was recorded and released in November 1970 as the debut single by McGuinness Flint, peaked at No. 2 in the UK charts the following month, and reached No. 47 in the US charts a few weeks later...

," is another example. Gallagher was also briefly a member of Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance
Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance
Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance was the second album done by Ronnie Lane, one of the founders of Small Faces and Faces, after he left the Faces to live on a farm in Shropshire. In homage to his perceived chances of commercial success, he named his band Slim Chance. Most songs on this album were written...

, and played mandolin on their hit "How Come
How Come
"How Come" is a 2004 rap single by the rap group D12. It is the second single from their second album D12 World. The song is about the tenuous relationship between the members of D12 There have been speculations that this song is about rapper Royce Da 5'9". However Royce Da 5'9" has stated he...

." One of the more prominent early users of the mandolin in popular music were The Incredible String Band, in which Robin Williamson
Robin Williamson
Robin Williamson is a Scottish multi-instrumentalist musician, singer, songwriter and storyteller, who first made his name as a founder member of The Incredible String Band.-Career:...

 played the instrument extensively throughout the bands musical career. Ian Anderson
Ian Anderson (musician)
Ian Scott Anderson, MBE is a Scottish singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known for his work as the leader and flautist of British rock band Jethro Tull.-Early life:...

 of Jethro Tull is a highly accomplished mandolin player (beautiful track "Pussy Willow"), as is his guitarist Martin Barre
Martin Barre
Martin Lancelot Barre is an English rock musician.Barre has been the guitarist for rock band Jethro Tull since 1969. He has appeared on every Jethro Tull album except their debut This Was...

. The popular song "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" by The Smiths
The Smiths
The Smiths were an English alternative rock band, formed in Manchester in 1982. Based on the song writing partnership of Morrissey and Johnny Marr , the band also included Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce...

 featured a mandolin solo played by Johnny Marr
Johnny Marr
Johnny Marr is an English musician and songwriter. Marr rose to fame in the 1980s as the guitarist in The Smiths, with whom he formed a prolific songwriting partnership with Morrissey. Marr has been a member of Electronic, The The, and Modest Mouse...

. More recently, the Glasgow-based band Sons and Daughters
Sons and Daughters (band)
Sons and Daughters are a rock band from Glasgow, Scotland.-Biography:Conceived while on tour with Arab Strap in 2001, Sons and Daughters was initially Adele Bethel's creation...

 have featured the mandolin, as played by Ailidh Lennon, on tracks such as "Fight," "Start to End," and "Medicine." British folk-punk icons the Levellers
The Levellers (band)
The Levellers are an English rock band, founded in 1988 and based in Brighton, England. Their musical style is said to be influenced by punk and traditional English music.-1988-1990:...

 also regularly use the mandolin in their songs. Current bands are also beginning to use the Mandolin and its unique sound - such as South London's Indigo Moss
Indigo Moss
Indigo Moss were an alternative, rock and roll, bluegrass band, based in London, England.-Band members:* Trevor Moss - Vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin* Hannah-Lou Moss - Vocals, banjo, guitar* Lil' Daisy Moss - Bass guitar...

 who use it throughout their recordings and live gigs. The mandolin has also featured in the playing of Matthew Bellamy
Matthew Bellamy
Matthew James Bellamy is an English musician, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the lead vocalist, lead guitarist, pianist, and main songwriter of the alternative rock band Muse.-Early life:...

 in the rock band Muse
Muse (band)
Muse are an English alternative rock band from Teignmouth, Devon, formed in 1994. The band consists of school friends Matthew Bellamy , Christopher Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard...

. It also forms the basis of Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

's 2007 hit "Dance Tonight
Dance Tonight
"Dance Tonight" is a song by Paul McCartney and the opening track to his 2007 album Memory Almost Full. The song was released as a download single in the United Kingdom on 18 June 2007: McCartney's 65th birthday. A week later, the song debuted at number 34 in the UK Singles Chart. The UK single was...

." That was not the first time a Beatle played a mandolin, however; that distinction goes to George Harrison
George Harrison
George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison became over time an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other...

 on "Gone Troppo," the title cut from the 1982 album of the same name. The mandolin is taught in Lanarkshire by the Lanarkshire Guitar and Mandolin Association to over 100 people. Also more recently hard rock
Hard rock
Hard rock is a loosely defined genre of rock music which has its earliest roots in mid-1960s garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock...

 supergroup Them Crooked Vultures
Them Crooked Vultures
Them Crooked Vultures is a rock supergroup formed in Los Angeles in 2009 by John Paul Jones , Dave Grohl , and Josh Homme . The group also includes guitarist Alain Johannes during live performances...

 have been playing a song based primarily using a mandolin. This song was left off their recent debut album
Them Crooked Vultures (album)
-Reception:The album has received a 75 Metascore rating from aggregrator Metacritic, based on 23 critics, indicating generally favorable reviews. Rhapsody deemed it the 19th best album of 2009. Chicago Tribune reviewer Greg Kot was particularly complimentary of the album, giving it a rating of...

, and features former Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed in 1968, they consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham...

 bassist
Bassist
A bass player, or bassist is a musician who plays a bass instrument such as a double bass, bass guitar, keyboard bass or a low brass instrument such as a tuba or sousaphone. Different musical genres tend to be associated with one or more of these instruments...

 John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones (musician)
John Paul Jones is an English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger and record producer. Best known as the bassist, mandolinist, and keyboardist for English rock band Led Zeppelin, Jones has since developed a solo career and has gained even more respect as both a musician and a...

.

In the Classical style mandolin is not unknown. Performers such as Hugo D'Alton, Alison Stephens and Michael Hooper continue to play British composers such as Michael Finnissy, James Humberstone and Elspeth Brooke.

United States

The mandolin's popularity in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 was spurred by the success of a group of touring young European musicians known as the Estudiantina Figaro, or in the United States, simply the "Spanish Students." The group landed in the U.S. on January 2, 1880 in New York City, and played in Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 and New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 to wildly enthusiastic crowds. Ironically, this ensemble did not play mandolins but rather Bandurria
Bandurria
The bandurria is a plectrum chordophone from Spain, similar to the cittern and the mandolin, primarily used in Spanish folk music.Prior to the 18th century, the bandurria had with a round back, similar or related to the mandore. It had become a flat-backed instrument by the 18th century, with five...

s, which are also small, double-strung instruments that resemble the mandolin. The success of the Figaro Spanish Students spawned several groups who imitated their musical style and colorful costumes. In many cases, the players in these new musical ensemble
Musical ensemble
A musical ensemble is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles...

s were Italian-born Americans
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

 who had brought mandolins from their native land. Thus, the Spanish Student imitators did primarily play mandolins and helped to generate enormous public interest in an instrument previously relatively unknown in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

Mandolins were a fad
FAD
In biochemistry, flavin adenine dinucleotide is a redox cofactor involved in several important reactions in metabolism. FAD can exist in two different redox states, which it converts between by accepting or donating electrons. The molecule consists of a riboflavin moiety bound to the phosphate...

 instrument from the turn of the 20th century to the mid-1920s. Instruments were marketed by teacher-dealers, much as the title character in the popular musical The Music Man
The Music Man
The Music Man is a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson, based on a story by Willson and Franklin Lacey. The plot concerns con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys' band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to naive townsfolk before skipping town with...

. Often these teacher-dealers would conduct mandolin orchestras: groups of 4-50 musicians who would play various mandolin family instruments together. One musician and director who made his start with a mandolin orchestra was pioneer African-American composer James Reese Europe
James Reese Europe
James Reese Europe was an American ragtime and early jazz bandleader, arranger, and composer. He was the leading figure on the African American music scene of New York City in the 1910s.-Biography:...

. The instrument was primarily used in an ensemble setting well into the 1930s, although the fad died out at the beginning of the 1930s; the famous Lloyd Loar
Lloyd Loar
Lloyd Allayre Loar was a Gibson sound engineer and master luthier in the early part of the 20th century. He is most famous for his F5 model mandolin, L5 guitar, H5 mandola, K5 mandocello, and A5 mandolin....

 Master Model from Gibson
Gibson Guitar Corporation
The Gibson Guitar Corporation, formerly of Kalamazoo, Michigan and currently of Nashville, Tennessee, manufactures guitars and other instruments which sell under a variety of brand names...

 (1923) was designed to boost the flagging interest in mandolin ensembles, with little success. The true destiny of the "Loar" as the defining instrument of bluegrass music
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

 didn't appear until Bill Monroe
Bill Monroe
William Smith Monroe was an American musician who created the style of music known as bluegrass, which takes its name from his band, the "Blue Grass Boys," named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader...

 purchased F-5 S/N 73987 in a Florida barbershop in 1943 and popularized it as his main instrument.

The mandolin orchestras never completely went away, however. In fact, along with all the other musical forms the mandolin is involved with, the mandolin ensemble (groups usually arranged like the string section of a modern symphony orchestra, with first mandolins, second mandolins, mandolas, mandocellos, mando-basses, and guitars, and sometimes supplemented by other instruments) continues to grow in popularity. Since the mid-nineties, several public-school mandolin-based guitar programs have blossomed around the country, including Fretworks Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra
Fretworks Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra
The brainchild of the classical guitarist and banjo and lute performer Douglas Back, Fretworks Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra was the first public-school-affiliated mandolin youth ensemble in America.-History:...

, the first of its kind. The national organization, Classical Mandolin Society of America
Classical Mandolin Society of America
The Classical Mandolin Society of America, or CMSA was founded in 1986 to promote knowledge and interest in the mandolin, its family and guitar. The Society actively sponsors mandolin education and instruction for children and adults in the United States and currently has a membership of over...

 represents these groups.

Single mandolins were first used in southern string band music in the 1930s, most notably by brother duets such as the sedate Blue Sky Boys (Bill Bolick and Earl Bolick) and the more hard-driving Monroe Brothers (Bill Monroe and Charlie Monroe). However, the mandolin's modern popularity in country music can be directly traced to one man: Bill Monroe
Bill Monroe
William Smith Monroe was an American musician who created the style of music known as bluegrass, which takes its name from his band, the "Blue Grass Boys," named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader...

, the father of bluegrass music
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

. After the Monroe Brothers broke up in 1939, Bill Monroe formed his own group, after a brief time called the Blue Grass Boys, and completed the transition of mandolin styles from a "parlor" sound typical of brother duets to the modern "bluegrass" style. He joined the Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly country music stage concert in Nashville, Tennessee, that has presented the biggest stars of that genre since 1925. It is also among the longest-running broadcasts in history since its beginnings as a one-hour radio "barn dance" on WSM-AM...

 in 1939 and its powerful clear-channel broadcast signal on WSM-AM spread his style throughout the South, directly inspiring many musicians to take up the mandolin. Monroe famously played Gibson
Gibson Guitar Corporation
The Gibson Guitar Corporation, formerly of Kalamazoo, Michigan and currently of Nashville, Tennessee, manufactures guitars and other instruments which sell under a variety of brand names...

 F-5 mandolin, signed and dated July 9, 1923, by Lloyd Loar
Lloyd Loar
Lloyd Allayre Loar was a Gibson sound engineer and master luthier in the early part of the 20th century. He is most famous for his F5 model mandolin, L5 guitar, H5 mandola, K5 mandocello, and A5 mandolin....

, chief acoustic engineer at Gibson. The F-5 has since become the most imitated tonally
Timbre
In music, timbre is the quality of a musical note or sound or tone that distinguishes different types of sound production, such as voices and musical instruments, such as string instruments, wind instruments, and percussion instruments. The physical characteristics of sound that determine the...

 and aesthetically
Aesthetics of music
Traditionally, the aesthetics of music or musical aesthetics concentrated on the quality and study of the beauty and enjoyment of music. The origin of this philosophic sub-discipline is sometimes attributed to Baumgarten in the 18th century, followed by Kant...

 by modern builders. Monroe's style involved playing lead melodies in the style of a fiddler, and also a percussive chording sound referred to as "the chop" for the sound made by the quickly struck and muted strings. He also perfected a sparse, percussive blues style, especially up the neck in keys that had not been used much in country music, notably B and E. He emphasized a powerful, syncopated right hand at the expense of left-hand virtuosity. Monroe's most influential follower of the second generation is Frank Wakefield
Frank Wakefield
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Wakefield is an innovative American mandolin player in the bluegrass music style. Wakefield is known for his collaborations with a number of important and well-known bands, including Red Allen, Don Reno, Jerry Garcia, David Grisman and the Greenbriar Boys.-Biography:Born...

 and nowadays Mike Compton
Mike Compton (Musician)
Mike Compton is an American bluegrass mandolin player and former protege of the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe. He is considered a modern master of bluegrass mandolin.-Biography:...

 of the Nashville Bluegrass Band
Nashville Bluegrass Band
The Nashville Bluegrass Band is an American bluegrass music ensemble founded in 1984.The group's members first played together in 1984 as a backing band for Vernon Oxford and Minnie Pearl; each of the members were established musicians from the Nashville bluegrass community. They signed to Rounder...

 and David Long, who often tour as a duet. Tiny Moore
Tiny Moore
Billie "Tiny" Moore was a Western swing musician who played the electric mandolin and fiddle with Western swing legend Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in the 1940s....

 of the Texas Playboys developed an electric five-string mandolin and helped popularize the instrument in Western Swing
Western swing
Western swing music is a subgenre of American country music that originated in the late 1920s in the West and South among the region's Western string bands...

 music.

The other major original bluegrass stylists, both emerging in the early 1950s and active still, are generally acknowledged to be Jesse McReynolds
Jesse McReynolds
Jesse Lester McReynolds is an American bluegrass musician. He is known for his innovative crosspicking and split-string styles of mandolin playing, and is a forty two year member of the Grand Ole Opry...

 (of Jim and Jesse) who invented a syncopated banjo-roll style called crosspicking
Crosspicking
Crosspicking is a technique for playing the mandolin or guitar using a plectrum or flatpick in a rolling, syncopated style across three strings. This style is probably best known as one element of the flatpicking style in bluegrass music, and it closely resembles a banjo roll, the main difference...

 and Bobby Osborne
Bobby Osborne
Bobby Osborne is a bluegrass musician known for his mandolin playing and high lead vocals.Born December 7, 1931 in Leslie County, Kentucky, Bobby Osborne is known primarily for his collaborations with his brother Sonny Osborne in their band, the Osborne Brothers. He was a pioneer in conceiving the...

 of the Osborne Brothers
Osborne Brothers
The Osborne Brothers, Sonny Osborne and Bobby Osborne , were an influential and popular bluegrass act during the 1960s and 1970s...

, who is a master of clarity and sparkling single-note runs. Highly respected and influential modern bluegrass players include Herschel Sizemore, Doyle Lawson, and the multi-genre Sam Bush
Sam Bush
Sam Bush is an American bluegrass mandolin player considered an originator of the Newgrass style.- History :...

, who is equally at home with old-time fiddle tunes, rock, reggae, and jazz. Ronnie McCoury
Ronnie McCoury
Ronnie McCoury is a mandolin player, singer, and songwriter born in 1967. He is the son of bluegrass musician Del McCoury, and is best known for his work with the Del McCoury Band. He has also recorded several solo albums....

 of the Del McCoury Band
Del McCoury Band
The Del McCoury Band is a bluegrass band. Originally Del McCoury and the Dixie Pals with Del on guitar and his brother Jerry on bass, the band went through a number of changes until the 1980s when the band solidified its line-up, adding McCoury's sons, Ronnie and Robbie on mandolin and banjo,...

 has won numerous awards for his Monroe-influenced playing. The late John Duffey
John Duffey
John H. Duffey was a Washington DC-based bluegrass music innovator and musician....

 of the original Country Gentlemen
The Country Gentlemen
The Country Gentlemen were a bluegrass band that originated during the 1950s in the area of Washington, DC, United States, and recorded and toured with various members until the death in 2004 of Charlie Waller, one of the group's founders who in its later years served as the group's "focal point...

 and later the Seldom Scene did much to popularize the bluegrass mandolin among folk and urban audiences, especially on the east coast and in the Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 area.

Jethro Burns
Kenneth C. Burns
Kenneth C. Burns was an American country musician, comedian, and mandolin player. He was better known by his stage name Jethro from his years with Henry D. Haynes as part of the comedic musical duo Homer and Jethro beginning in 1936.-Biography:Burns was born Conasauga, Tennessee on March 10, 1920...

, best known as half of the comedy duo Homer and Jethro
Homer and Jethro
Homer and Jethro were the stage names of American country music duo Henry D. Haynes and Kenneth C. Burns , popular from the 1940s through the 1960s on radio and television for their satirical versions of popular songs...

, was also the first important jazz mandolinist. Tiny Moore popularized the mandolin in Western swing music. He initially played an 8-string Gibson but switched after 1952 to a 5-string solidbody electric instrument built by Paul Bigsby
Paul Bigsby
Paul Adelburt Bigsby was the designer of the Bigsby vibrato tailpiece and proprietor of Bigsby Guitars...

. Modern players David Grisman
David Grisman
David Grisman is an American bluegrass/newgrass mandolinist and composer of acoustic music. In the early 1990s, he started the Acoustic Disc record label in an effort to preserve and spread acoustic or instrumental music.-Biography:Grisman grew up in Hackensack, New Jersey...

, Sam Bush
Sam Bush
Sam Bush is an American bluegrass mandolin player considered an originator of the Newgrass style.- History :...

, and Mike Marshall, among others, have worked since the early 1970s to demonstrate the mandolin's versatility for all styles of music. Chris Thile
Chris Thile
Christopher Scott Thile is an American musician, best known as the mandolinist and a singer for the progressive acoustic trio Nickel Creek. His current band is Punch Brothers whose most recent album is Antifogmatic...

 of California is a well known player; the band Nickel Creek
Nickel Creek
Nickel Creek was an American progressive acoustic music trio consisting of Chris Thile , Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins . The band was founded in 1989 and released 6 albums between 1993 and 2006...

 features his playing in its blend of traditional and pop styles. Most commonly associated with bluegrass, mandolin has been used a lot in country music over the years. Some well-known players include Marty Stuart and Vince Gill. Kristian Bush
Kristian Bush
Kristian Merrill Bush is an American folk rock and country musician. From 1990 to 2001, Kristian was a member of the folk rock duo Billy Pilgrim along with Andrew Hyra...

 of the country band Sugarland
Sugarland (band)
Sugarland, an American country music duo, is composed of singer–songwriters Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush . Sugarland was founded in 2002 by Kristen Hall with Bush and ultimately became a trio after hiring Jennifer Nettles as lead singer...

 plays the mandolin frequently, though only as a rhythm instrument.

The mandolin has been used occasionally in rock music, first appearing in the psychedelic era of the late 1960s. Levon Helm
Levon Helm
Mark Lavon "Levon" Helm , is an American rock multi-instrumentalist and actor who achieved fame as the drummer and frequent lead and backing vocalist for The Band....

 of The Band
The Band
The Band was an acclaimed and influential roots rock group. The original group consisted of Rick Danko , Garth Hudson , Richard Manuel , and Robbie Robertson , and Levon Helm...

 occasionally moved from his drum kit to play mandolin, most notably on "Rag Mama Rag," "Rockin' Chair," and "Evangeline." Ian Anderson
Ian Anderson (musician)
Ian Scott Anderson, MBE is a Scottish singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known for his work as the leader and flautist of British rock band Jethro Tull.-Early life:...

 of Jethro Tull
Jethro Tull (band)
Jethro Tull are a British rock group formed in 1967. Their music is characterised by the vocals, acoustic guitar, and flute playing of Ian Anderson, who has led the band since its founding, and the guitar work of Martin Barre, who has been with the band since 1969.Initially playing blues rock with...

  played mandolin on "Fat Man," from their second album, Stand Up, and also occasionally on later releases. Rod Stewart's still-played 1971 No. 1 hit "Maggie May
Maggie May
"Maggie May" is a song written by singer Rod Stewart and Martin Quittenton and recorded by Stewart in 1971 for his album Every Picture Tells a Story....

" features a significant mandolin riff in its motif. Ray Jackson of Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne is a tidal island off the north-east coast of England. It is also known as Holy Island and constitutes a civil parish in Northumberland...

 played this, and also on "Mandolin Wind," although credited in the liner notes (written by Stewart) thusly: "The mandolin was played by the mandolin player in Lindisfarne. The name slips my mind." Released as the B side of "Reason To Believe," the unexpected success of this song led to Jackson's resentment over the lack of credit. David Grisman
David Grisman
David Grisman is an American bluegrass/newgrass mandolinist and composer of acoustic music. In the early 1990s, he started the Acoustic Disc record label in an effort to preserve and spread acoustic or instrumental music.-Biography:Grisman grew up in Hackensack, New Jersey...

 played mandolin on two Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, and space rock, and for live performances of long...

 songs on the American Beauty album, "Friend Of The Devil" and "Ripple," which became instant favorites among amateur pickers at jam sessions and campground gatherings. John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones (musician)
John Paul Jones is an English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger and record producer. Best known as the bassist, mandolinist, and keyboardist for English rock band Led Zeppelin, Jones has since developed a solo career and has gained even more respect as both a musician and a...

 and Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page
James Patrick "Jimmy" Page, OBE is an English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and record producer. He began his career as a studio session guitarist in London and was subsequently a member of The Yardbirds from 1966 to 1968, after which he founded the English rock band Led Zeppelin.Jimmy Page...

 both played mandolin on a few Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed in 1968, they consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham...

 songs. Dash Croft of the Soft Rock
Soft rock
Soft rock is a style of music which uses the techniques of rock music to compose a softer, more toned-down sound. Soft rock songs generally tend to focus on themes like love, everyday life and relationships. The genre tends to make heavy use of acoustic guitars, pianos, synthesizers and sometimes...

 duo Seals and Crofts
Seals and Crofts
Seals and Crofts is a band made up of Jim Seals and Dash Crofts . The soft rock duo was one of the most successful musical acts of the 1970s. They are best known for their hits "Summer Breeze" and "Diamond Girl"...

 extensively used mandolin in their repertoire during the 1970s.

Some rock musicians today use mandolins, typically single-stringed electric models rather than double-stringed acoustic mandolins. One example is Tim Brennan of the Irish-American punk rock band Dropkick Murphys. In addition to electric guitar, bass, and drums, the band uses several instruments associated with traditional Celtic music, including mandolin, tin whistle, and Great Highland bagpipes
Great Highland Bagpipe
The Great Highland Bagpipe is a type of bagpipe native to Scotland. It has achieved widespread recognition through its usage in the British military and in pipe bands throughout the world. It is closely related to the Great Irish Warpipes....

. The band explains that these instruments accentuate the growling sound they favor. The 1991 R.E.M.
R.E.M.
R.E.M. was an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. gained early attention due to Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's...

 hit "Losing My Religion
Losing My Religion
"Losing My Religion" is a song by the American alternative rock band R.E.M. The song was released as the first single from the group's 1991 album Out of Time. Based around a mandolin riff, "Losing My Religion" was an unlikely hit for the group, garnering heavy airplay on radio as well as on MTV due...

" was driven by a few simple mandolin licks played by guitarist Peter Buck
Peter Buck
Peter Lawrence Buck , is an American rock guitarist who is best known for playing in and co-founding alternative rock band R.E.M....

, who also played the mandolin in nearly a dozen other songs. The single peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (#1 on the rock and alternative charts), the highest ranking for a song featuring mandolin in twenty years. Jack White
Jack White (musician)
Jack White , often credited as Jack White III, is an American musician, songwriter, record producer and occasional actor...

 of The White Stripes
The White Stripes
The White Stripes was an American rock band, formed in 1997 in Detroit, Michigan. The group consisted of the songwriter Jack White and drummer Meg White . Jack and Meg White were previously married to each other, but are now divorced...

 played mandolin for the film Cold Mountain
Cold Mountain (film)
Cold Mountain is a 2003 war drama film written and directed by Anthony Minghella. The film is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Charles Frazier...

,
and plays mandolin on the song "Little Ghost" on the White Stripes album Get Behind Me Satan
Get Behind Me Satan
Get Behind Me Satan is the fifth album by American alternative rock band The White Stripes, released on June 7, 2005 on V2 Records. Though still basic in production style, the album marked a distinct change from its guitar-heavy 2003 predecessor, Elephant...

; he also plays mandolin on "Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn" on Icky Thump
Icky Thump
Icky Thump is the sixth and final studio album by US alternative rock band The White Stripes. It was released June 15, 2007 in Germany, June 18, 2007 in the rest of Europe, and June 19, 2007 in the rest of the world. It was the band's first album on Warner Bros...

. David Immerglück
David Immerglück
David Immerglück is an American multi-instrumentalist who is best known as a guitarist in the alternative rock bands Counting Crows, Camper Van Beethoven and the Monks of Doom...

 of the Counting Crows
Counting Crows
Counting Crows is an American rock band originating from Berkeley, California. Formed in 1991, the group gained popularity following the release of its debut album in 1993, August and Everything After, which featured the hit single "Mr. Jones"...

, Monks of Doom
Monks of Doom
The Monks of Doom are an American alternative rock band, formed in California in 1986. Working within the indie rock aesthetic framework , the band's music drew from post-punk, progressive rock and folk rock traditions...

, and Glider
Glider (band)
Glider is a 4 piece jazz/rock combo created by Jim Bogios and David Immergluck - both members of Counting Crows. The band also includes bass player Yoshi Sako and Danny Eisenberg on the Hammond B3...

 is also known to feature the mandolin in many of his recordings, especially those with the Counting Crows
Counting Crows
Counting Crows is an American rock band originating from Berkeley, California. Formed in 1991, the group gained popularity following the release of its debut album in 1993, August and Everything After, which featured the hit single "Mr. Jones"...

. Rock superstar Tommy Shaw
Tommy Shaw
Tommy Roland Shaw is an American guitarist, best known for his work with the rock band Styx. In between his stints with Styx, he has played with the supergroup Damn Yankees and Shaw Blades, and has released several solo albums....

 of Styx
Styx (band)
Styx is an American rock band that became famous for its albums from the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Chicago band is known for melding the style of prog-rock with the power of hard rock guitar, strong ballads, and elements of American musical theater....

 has used the mandolin in the their international hit "Boat on the River" (1979) and on the Shaw/Blades album Influence in the song "Dance with Me." Luther Dickinson
Luther Dickinson
Luther Dickinson is the lead guitarist and vocalist for the North Mississippi Allstars as well as lead guitarist for The Black Crowes...

 of North Mississippi Allstars
North Mississippi Allstars
North Mississippi Allstars is a Southern rock/blues jam band from Hernando, Mississippi, founded in 1996. The band is composed of brothers Luther Dickinson and Cody Dickinson , and Chris Chew...

 and The Black Crowes
The Black Crowes
The Black Crowes are an American rock band formed in 1989. Their discography includes nine studio albums, four live albums and several charting singles. The band was signed to Def American Recordings in 1989 by producer George Drakoulias and released their debut album, Shake Your Money Maker, the...

 has made frequent use of the mandolin, most notably on the Black Crowes song "Locust Street." Pop punk
Pop punk
Pop punk is a fusion music genre that combines elements of punk rock with pop music, to varying degrees. Allmusic describes the genre as a strand of alternative rock, which typically merges pop melodies with speedy punk tempos, chord changes and loud guitars...

 band Green Day
Green Day
Green Day is an American punk rock band formed in 1987. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tre Cool...

 has used a mandolin in several occasions, especially on their 2000 album, Warning
Warning (Green Day album)
Warning is the sixth studio album by American punk rock band Green Day. It was released on October 3, 2000 through Reprise Records. Building upon its predecessor, Nimrod , the album eschewed the band's trademark punk rock sound and incorporated acoustic and pop rock elements...

. Boyd Tinsley
Boyd Tinsley
Boyd Calvin Tinsley is an American violinist and mandolinist who performs as a member of the Dave Matthews Band. Within the band, Tinsley has collaborated in writing songs, harmonizing, and singing backing vocals.-Early life:Tinsley was raised in a musical family...

, violin player of the Dave Matthews Band
Dave Matthews Band
Dave Matthews Band, sometimes shortened to DMB, is a U.S. rock band formed in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1991. The founding members were singer-songwriter and guitarist Dave Matthews, bassist Stefan Lessard, drummer/backing vocalist Carter Beauford and saxophonist LeRoi Moore. Boyd Tinsley was...

 has been using an electric mandolin since 2005. Nancy Wilson
Nancy Wilson (guitarist)
Nancy Lamoureux Wilson is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer who, with her older sister Ann and lead guitarist Roger Fisher, became the core of the Seattle/Vancouver rock band Heart.-Life and career:...

, rhythm guitarist of Heart
Heart (band)
Heart is an American rock band who first found success in Canada. Throughout several lineup changes, the only two members remaining constant are sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson. The group rose to fame in the 1970s with their music being influenced by hard rock as well as folk music...

, uses a mandolin in Heart's song "Dream of the Archer" from the album Little Queen
Little Queen
Little Queen is the second album released by Heart. It was released in May 1977 on Portrait Records, and re-released in 2004 with two bonus tracks....

. as well as in Heart's cover of Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed in 1968, they consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham...

's song "The Battle of Evermore
The Battle of Evermore
"The Battle of Evermore" is a folk rock duet sung by Robert Plant and Sandy Denny, by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, featured on their untitled fourth album , released in 1971...

." "Show Me Heaven" by Maria McKee
Maria McKee
Maria Luisa McKee is an American singer and songwriter. She is best known for her work with Lone Justice and her 1990 UK solo chart-topping hit, "Show Me Heaven".-Music:...

, the theme song to the film Days of Thunder
Days of Thunder
Days of Thunder is a 1990 American auto racing film released by Paramount Pictures, produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Tony Scott. The cast includes Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall, Randy Quaid, Cary Elwes and Michael Rooker. The film also features appearances...

, prominently features a mandolin. Michael Kang, formerly of The String Cheese Incident (a bluegrass/rock/jazz-fusion jam band from Colorado), plays an electric 5-string octave mandolin as his primary instrument.

Mandolin has also been used in blues music, most notably by Ry Cooder
Ry Cooder
Ryland Peter "Ry" Cooder is an American guitarist, singer and composer. He is known for his slide guitar work, his interest in roots music from the United States, and, more recently, his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries.His solo work has been eclectic, encompassing...

, who performed outstanding covers on his very first recordings, Yank Rachell
Yank Rachell
James "Yank" Rachell was an American country blues musician, dubbed an "elder statesman of the blues."-Career:...

, Johnny Young
Johnny Young
Johnny Young is an Australian singer, composer, record producer, disc jockey, television producer and host. Originally from Netherlands, his family settled in Perth, Western Australia in the early 1950s...

, Carl Martin
Carl Martin
Carl Clarke Martin is an English professional footballer who plays as a defender for Crewe Alexandra.-Personal:Carl and twin brother Callum both had good career prospects in football having played since a young age and having football run in the family. Carl went to Hendon School, North London...

, and Gerry Hundt
Gerry Hundt
Gerry Hundt is an American Chicago blues musician and multi-instrumentalist. His favoured instrument is the mandolin...

. It saw some use in jug band
Jug band
A Jug band is a band employing a jug player and a mix of traditional and home-made instruments. These home-made instruments are ordinary objects adapted to or modified for making of sound, like the washtub bass, washboard, spoons, stovepipe and comb & tissue paper...

 music, since that craze began as the mandolin fad was waning, and there were plenty of instruments available at relatively low cost. Very rarely mandolins are played with bottlenecks or slides. Sam Bush
Sam Bush
Sam Bush is an American bluegrass mandolin player considered an originator of the Newgrass style.- History :...

 plays with a slide, mostly on a four string mandolin.

Venezuela

As in Brazil, the Mandolin has played an important role in the Music of Venezuela
Music of Venezuela
The music of Venezuela is an expression of the Venezuelan culture, which contains diverse Music genres, traditional and moderns according with the features of each geographic region; although it is frequent to find different musical styles in the same region...

. 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
Joropo
The Joropo is a musical style resembling the waltz, and an accompanying dance, having African and European influences originated in Venezuela and performed in Colombia and Venezuela. It's a fundamental genre belonging to its typical music or música criolla...

 together with Punto
Punto
Punto may refer to:In music:* Punto , a style of Venezuelan music* Punto guajiro, a style of music of the Cuban countryside and its guajiros* Punto music, a style of Panamanian musicIn automobiles:...

s, Jota
Jota
Jota may refer to:*the name of J, the tenth letter of the Spanish alphabet and Portuguese alphabet*Jota , a type of Spanish music and dance*Jota, a bean-sauerkraut soup of Slovenian/Croatian origin*Laverda Jota, a motorcycle...

s, Polo
Polo
Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Sometimes called, "The Sport of Kings", it was highly popularized by the British. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team's goal using a...

s, Fulia
Fulía
Fulía is a typical musical style of the Venezuelan coast, it is sung or recited, and is interpreted with: cuatro, guitar, mandolin, maracas and a square drum in the east of Venezuela, and the tambora of velorio or tamborita in the central region...

s, Merengue
Merengue music
Merengue is a type of music and dance from the Dominican Republic. It is popular in the Dominican Republic and all over Latin America. Its name is Spanish, taken from the name of the meringue, a dessert made from whipped egg whites and sugar...

s and Malagueña
Malagueña
Originally the sixth movement of the Suite Andalucia by Ernesto Lecuona, who also provided it with Spanish lyrics, the song "Malagueña" has since become a popular, jazz, marching band, and drum corps standard and has been provided with lyrics in several languages.-Notable vocal performances:A...

s. 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 as well as in the capital of the country Caracas; where the Merengue Rucaneao, Pasodobleas and Waltzes have been played with mandoline for almost a century. Today, the Mandoline in Venezuela have developed an important group of virtuoso players and ensembles such as Alberto Valderrama, Jesus Rengel, Ricardo Sandoval, Saul Vera, and Cristobal Soto.

Further reading

Chord dictionaries A comprehensive chord dictionary. A case-style chord dictionary. A very comprehensive chord dictionary.

Method and instructional guides Instructional guide.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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