Mandolin Facts

Mandolin Facts
The mandolin is a musical instrument in the string family. The mandolin emerged in the 1500s and 1600s in Naples, Italy, believed to be derived from the lute string instruments dating as far back as 15,000 BC. The mandolin's body acts a resonator, and it is attached to a neck which is attached to headstock. The mandolin is a soprano instrument, and the sopranino mandolin has an even higher pitch. There are other types of instruments in the mandolin family including the mandola (alto), octave mandolin (tenor), mandolone, mandocello, and mando-bass. In Italy the mandolin was called a 'mandolino'.
Interesting Mandolin Facts:
The mandolin is classified as a member of the lute family - not as a type of guitar. One who plays the mandolin is referred to as a mandolinist.
When the mandolin was first brought to the U.S. by immigrants it was used primarily in in classical and folk music.
In order to increase the interest in buying mandolins, manufacturers hired salesman who established mandolin orchestras in the small towns that ultimately encouraged people to buy them. Some of these early groups still exist today.
Mandolins are made of a wood body and they have a variety of other parts including the fingerboard, tuners, headstock, posts, nuts, frets, the neck, bridge, tailpiece, sound holes, binding, and strings.
The most common mandolin is the eight string version that was originally designed in Naples, Italy.
Mandolins are heard in a variety of music styles today including country, folk, rock, bluegrass, classical, jazz, gospel, blues, old timey, ragtime, and many ethnic music styles as well.
The mandolin is played in traditional music in countries such as Italy, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Finland, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S., and Venezuela.
The mandolin is considered one of the easier instruments to learn to play.
The first stringed instrument that Orville Gibson (Gibson's founder) built was a mandolin. He built it in 1894.
A famous 1980s song titled Mandolin Rain by Bruce Hornsby and the Range featured the mandolin.
One of the most famous mandolin pieces in the rock genre is the one in the song Maggie May by Rod Stewart played by Ray Jackson.
Jimmy Page plays the mandolin in Led Zeppelin's The Battle of Evermore.
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want by the Smiths features the mandolin.
The mandolin was a popular instrument of the Middle Ages. They were very popular in Italian and French classical music.
Famous composers that included mandolin pieces in their compositions included Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart, Handel, John Craton, Paganini, Yasuo Kuwahara, and Jiro Nakano.
Famous mandolinists include Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Bobby Osborne, Martie Maguire (Dixie Chicks), Michael Kang, and many more.
A Country Music Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (and mandolinist master) named Bill Monroe once put a rattlesnake tail inside of his mandolin to keep the mice out of it and to absorb excess moisture.


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