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. The instrument was similar to the traditional Russian balalaika, the Greek bouzouki, the Puerto Rican cuatro, the Brazilian bandolim, and the Arab dambura. Deep-bowled mandolins were produced mainly in Naples, and became popular during the 19th century.
The mandolin’s sound is popular in many types of music, including bluegrass, country, folk, rock, ethnic, jazz, and classical. Beethoven composed music specifically for the instrument, and also enjoyed playing.
The instrument is versatile, accessible, and relative easy to learn. It’s an excellent introduction to the world of music, as those playing skills can translate easily 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)
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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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Johnson Mandolin A-Style with F Holes Sunburst
- Maple neck
- Rosewood fingerboard
- Adjustable compensated rosewood bridge
- 12th-fret neck joint
- Chrome tuning machines
- Nickel-plated frets
- High-gloss finish
- F holes
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Keep an eye on this automatically updating gallery of mandolins and accessories available on eBay. Look for deals on all kinds of string instruments including mandolins.