The Mandolin is a small fretted instrument with four pairs of metal strings tuned like the violin to E A D G. The instrument is played by plucking each pair of strings together using a plectrum, sometimes in rapid succession to produce a tremolo effect, which is a characteristic associated with the mandolin. The mandolin can be played as a solo instrument, but is normally played with accompaniment.
The mandolin was developed from the lute in the 17th.century. In the 18th.century composers such as Vivaldi and Mozart composed music for the mandolin. But it was not until the 19th century that the bowl-backed Neapolitan mandolin became very popular. Also in the 19th century, the banjo mandolin or Banjolin first appeared; this also was a very popular instrument. At the beginning of the 20th century the Flat-Back Mandolin was developed in America by Gibson. Also at about this time mandolin orchestras became popular, but by the middle of the century, the mandolin and the mandolin orchestras had declined in popularity. Today the mandolin has become more popular due to the interest in the music of composers such as Vivaldi. Also the mandolin has found its way into pop music and Bluegrass music. With the result that today Flat-Back mandolin and the bowl-backed Neapolitan mandolins popularity is on the increase. (Note: a more detailed history of the mandolin can be found in some of the websites listed on the Mandolin Links page on this website.)
( Listed in alphabetical order)
James Allgrove is a performer and teacher of the mandolin. For more information Click here to go to the James Allgrove website.
Sue Flower is a performer and teacher of the mandolin. For more information Click here to go to the Sue Flower website.
For information about other outstanding Classic Banjo performers, go to the Banjo Links page on this website.
For more information about playing and tuning the mandolin, also books and CDs etc. Click here or go to the Mandolin Links page on this website.