A mandolin is a stringed musical instrument in the lute family. It’s usually plucked with a plectrum or pick. Mandolins evolved in Italy and first appeared during the 15th century. Deep-bowled mandolins were produced mainly in Naples, and became popular during the 19th century.
Similar string instruments around the world include the traditional Russian balalaika, the Greek bouzouki, the Puerto Rican cuatro, the Brazilian bandolim, and the Arab dambura.
The mandolin’s sound is popular in many types of music, including bluegrass, country, folk, rock, ethnic, jazz, and classical. Ludwig van Beethoven composed music specifically for the mandolin and also enjoyed playing it.
Players are drawn to the mandolin because it’s versatile, accessible, and relative easy to learn. It also offers an excellent introduction to the world of music. Mandolin playing skills can easily be applied to many other folk instruments.
More Mandolin Facts
A person who performs on this string instrument is called a mandolinist.
Notable mandolinists include Carlo Aonzo, Dave Apollon, Avi Avital, Jethro Burns, Jacob do Bandolim, Ry Cooder, David Grisman, Caterina Lichtenberg, Andrew Marlin (Mandolin Orange), Mike Marshall, Bill Monroe, James ‘Yank’ Rachell, Johnny Staats, Andy Statman, Adam Steffey, and Chris Thile.
French Impressionist Artist Berthe Morisot (1889)
Listen to the Mandolin
Avi Avital and the Venice Baroque Orchestra
The sights and sounds of Venice, Italy come to life in an homage to the beloved Italian composer, Antonio Vivaldi. Joined by the Venice Baroque Orchestra, mandolinist and composer Avi Avital performs Vivaldi’s Mandolin Concerto In C Major from his album Vivaldi. The young musician is well known for his renditions of Baroque and folk music, much of which was originally written for other string instruments.
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Vangoa A-Style Mandolin Sunburst
- Made of quality tonewood with popular sunburst color, shiny finish
- Mahogany neck and bridge
- Played by picks, no more pains on your fingers
- Relatively wider range of 20 frets is suited to beginners or experienced players
- A-style mandolin makes a great gift or first instrument
- Ready to play straight out of the box!
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