View Full Version : Norma mandolin

Mollie in PDX
May-22-2008, 5:15pm
A friend of mine died and left her Norma mandolin to me (she decided to give it to me when she found out I was learning how to play.) I can’t find any info about it on line; all I know is that her father gave it to her when she was a child (this would have been in the late 1950s) with the hope that she’d learn how to play it.

It’s an A shape body, but deeper. Has a deeper tone too. #Anybody have any information on this company?

Mollie in PDX
May-22-2008, 5:33pm
"There are also references to Normas being made in West Germany and Romania, so it could well be one of those distributor's nameplates that was affixed to a variety of imported instruments. In any case, low-end material (although there was a Norma Barney Kessel [sp?] jazz guitar that may have been a cut above)."

Interesting. My friend's father was from Yugoslavia. I don't think this is a Japanese instrument. And I'm pretty sure it was purchased in the 50s not the 60s.

May-22-2008, 7:24pm
Mollie -- since you quoted part of my post on the other "Norma" thread, let me also say that most Norma instruments I've seen have been Japanese. Apparently the Tombo Co. in Japan did quite a few knock-offs of European instrument designs (though I'm not sure why, since they were making cheap copies of cheap European guitars, such as the Italian EKO's).

However, when searching for info about Normas, I did find some posts on other forums, where the hypothesis was that some of them were built in Europe. Of course, this opinion could have emerged because the instruments were Japanese copies of European designs. It's also conceivable that some of the Normas could have been imported into Europe from Japan, and sold there. In the USA, Norma instruments were apparently imported and sold by an outfit called Strum & Drum out of the Midwest.