Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Article: The Mandolin in America

  1. #1

  2. #2
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,199
    Blog Entries
    49

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    This has got to be a great book. The perfect companion to Graham McDonald's book.

    We are a part of a great and grand tradition and it is, I believe, important to be conversant in its history and details. OK maybe it's not important, but it for me it certainly contributes to the experience of playing. Every time I see my hand picking up a mandolin, I experience the resonance going back so many many years.

    It is a lot like fishing, (which I also love) looking on the river and thinking about the age of things and my place in them.

  3. The following members say thank you to JeffD for this post:

    DSDarr 

  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    527

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    Just ordered it. Says expected to be released January 2017. Merry late Christmas present to me! (Or Happy New Year present!)

  5. #4
    mando-evangelist August Watters's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Brookline, Massachusetts
    Posts
    868
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    We are a part of a great and grand tradition and it is, I believe, important to be conversant in its history and details. OK maybe it's not important, but it for me it certainly contributes to the experience of playing..
    I'm with you -- knowing the history of our instrument adds a lot to the experience of playing. And it can open new possibilities, when you understand what has been done, particularly since there were such great achievements that you won't find youtube. I think the next generation of successful mandolin players will need to be, as you say, conversant with the history and literature of our instrument, including the early chapters to be filled out by the upcoming book. IMHO, it's essential for anyone interested in the roots of the American mandolin.

  6. The following members say thank you to August Watters for this post:

    DSDarr 

  7. #5
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ann Arbor/Austin
    Posts
    4,796

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by August Watters View Post
    I'm with you -- knowing the history of our instrument adds a lot to the experience of playing. And it can open new possibilities, when you understand what has been done, particularly since there were such great achievements that you won't find youtube. I think the next generation of successful mandolin players will need to be, as you say, conversant with the history and literature of our instrument, including the early chapters to be filled out by the upcoming book. IMHO, it's essential for anyone interested in the roots of the American mandolin.
    Looks like a good book. I enjoy reading these types of things.

    Not to nitpick, but I was wondering about the intro blurb on the page linked here.

    I had the understanding that the Spanish Students actually played bandurrias on their tour of the US. I could be wrong about that, but Graham McDonald suggests such as well in his "The Mandolin-A History".

    I've heard a (perhaps apocryphal) follow up story that a group of Italian-American musicians followed in the wake of the Spaniards to capitalize on the success and they actually played mandolins.

    This is not an attempt to discredit Mr. Carter's book, but it does make me wonder a bit if the intro blurb is in conflict with other "histories" about a seminal event.

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed, no matter. Try again, fail again, fail better.--Samuel Beckett
    ______________________

    '05 Cuisinart Toaster
    '93 Chuck Taylor lowtops
    '12 Stetson Open Road
    '06 Bialetti expresso maker
    '14 Irish Linen Ramon Puig

  8. #6
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    2,911

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    I had the understanding that the Spanish Students actually played bandurrias on their tour of the US. I could be wrong about that, but Graham McDonald suggests such as well in his "The Mandolin-A History".

    I've heard a (perhaps apocryphal) follow up story that a group of Italian-American musicians followed in the wake of the Spaniards to capitalize on the success and they actually played mandolins.
    k
    That's the way I heard it too.

    http://www.pittsburghmandolinsociety...ry-of-mandolin

    " In 1880, a group of musicians known as the Estudiantina Figaro, or, the "Spanish Students." landed in New York City. Interestingly enough, they did not play mandolins but Bandurrias, which are small, double-strung instruments from Spain which resemble the mandolin."

  9. The following members say thank you to DavidKOS for this post:


  10. #7
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    7,712
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    That's the way I heard it too.

    http://www.pittsburghmandolinsociety...ry-of-mandolin

    " In 1880, a group of musicians known as the Estudiantina Figaro, or, the "Spanish Students." landed in New York City. Interestingly enough, they did not play mandolins but Bandurrias, which are small, double-strung instruments from Spain which resemble the mandolin."
    Yes as noted MacDonald's book also claims the same thing:

    "Following a very successful season during the Exposition they [the Spanish Students] were booked for an American tour and arrived in New York City on 2 January, 1880, where TheNew York Times reported the arrival of 15 musicians, with nine mandolins (actually bandurrias), five guitars and a violin."

    And that is the way I've always heard the story as well and it is why I bought a bandurria while in Spain in 1980.

    But sure going to buy a copy of Walter Carters' newest book to stand along side of my copy of "Gibson Guitars: The first 100 yeas of an American Icon".
    Bernie
    ____
    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

  11. #8
    mando-evangelist August Watters's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Brookline, Massachusetts
    Posts
    868
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    I had the understanding that the Spanish Students actually played bandurrias on their tour of the US. I could be wrong about that. . .I've heard a (perhaps apocryphal) follow up story that a group of Italian-American musicians followed in the wake of the Spaniards to capitalize on the success and they actually played mandolins.
    Not apocryphal. The academic citation for that is in Paul Sparks' book, "The Classical Mandolin." I also included the story in my book, "Exploring Classical Mandolin." Unless there's some new evidence to consider, this is the best information historians have.

    But I'm not sure if the introductory blurb about the book is questioning this -- in a sense, the Figaro Spanish Students did introduce the "mandolin" widely to America, even if that's not the instrument they played. That's the word used in the 1880 New York Times article.
    Last edited by August Watters; Sep-11-2016 at 6:42am.

  12. The following members say thank you to August Watters for this post:


  13. #9
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    2,911

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by August Watters View Post
    -- in a sense, the Figaro Spanish Students did introduce the "mandolin" widely to America, even if that's not the instrument they played. That's the word used in the 1880 New York Times article.
    I tend to agree, almost all the imitators used mandolins from the beginning, almost no one used the instruments of the Spanish rondalla. America began making mandolins in great numbers, but not so much bandurrias and lautos!

  14. #10
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ann Arbor/Austin
    Posts
    4,796

    Default

    It still strikes me as "truthiness". Hard to imagine writing a book on the history of the mandolin without having read Sparks's books as some research / homework. If you are going to write a couple of new sentences in a new book, why not make them unequivocally accurate?

    "....large numbers of students from Spain arrived in New York...." Hmm. On scholarship to NYU? It wasn't a large number of students and there is no telling if the "Spanish Students" were actually students and not members of an Estudiantina who may have long since matriculated.

    Garbling actual documented information and passing it along doesn't strike me much as scholarship and actually will spread misinformation. This will probably sell a lot more copies than Paul Sparks's book.

    Yeah, I guess I am kind of cranky about this kind of stuff.

    Mick

  15. #11
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    1,271

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    I suspect just an overly enthusiastic blurb writer from Hal Leonard....

  16. #12
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ann Arbor/Austin
    Posts
    4,796

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham McDonald View Post
    I suspect just an overly enthusiastic blurb writer from Hal Leonard....
    Thanks, Graham. You're much more generous than I. I hope you are right....

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed, no matter. Try again, fail again, fail better.--Samuel Beckett
    ______________________

    '05 Cuisinart Toaster
    '93 Chuck Taylor lowtops
    '12 Stetson Open Road
    '06 Bialetti expresso maker
    '14 Irish Linen Ramon Puig

  17. #13

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    I've known more than one person who really got motivated to buy a Theremin due to one being used on Good Vibrations, from the Beach Boys.

    And, of course, the actual instrument used was a Tannerin, which has a more controllable pitch mechanism than the Theremin.

    It's interesting to see that the mandolin might have benefitted from a similar misattribution.
    Playing a hexed Eastman 614 oval-hole with scroll (hoodooed with MandoVoodoo!), a Flatiron 1SH mandola (original owner), a McNally Ukulele Strumstick in CGDA mandola tuning, a McNally 4-string Chromatic Strumstick in GDAE octave mandolin tuning, and rocking my six-course, unison-tuned 12-string Ovation mandophone/extended cittern in CGDAEB Full Fifths Tuning...

  18. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham McDonald View Post
    I suspect just an overly enthusiastic blurb writer from Hal Leonard....
    Yes, Graham is correct. I never saw the publisher's blurb.

    While I appreciate the advance publicity that forum members are generating, I would also appreciate it if everyone would wait until they've actually read the book before reviewing it.

    To clarify the scope... While this book covers the history of the instruments in America, it does it from a much broader perspective that encompasses the players and the styles of music and how all of that fits into the big picture of America's musical culture.

    There may be some errors, but rest assured, the Spanish Students will be playing bandurrias.

    More to come.

  19. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to walter carter For This Useful Post:


  20. #15

    Default

    Giving this article a bump to remind everyone the book is now on sale directly from Carter Vintage Guitars and is available signed and unsigned

  21. The following members say thank you to Mandolin Cafe for this post:


  22. #16
    Registered User mando1man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    goodlettsville TN
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    I just got my signed copy today. It looks fantastic. A "must have" for all mandolin
    enthusiasts!!!

  23. #17
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,199
    Blog Entries
    49

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by walter carter View Post
    how all of that fits into the big picture of America's musical culture.
    That to me is what I most look forward to.

    I would like to be able to say the mandolin is more than fun, it's important. But I am not knowledgeable enough to defend that argument to the relativists.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  24. #18
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,199
    Blog Entries
    49

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    OK. My copy arrived late last week and I finished it. Fantastic book. Will be a reference for years and years to come. Here is everything I think about it.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  25. The following members say thank you to JeffD for this post:


  26. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    Thanks for the kind and insightful words, Jeff. In the wake of the recent books by Graham McDonald and Paul Fox, I felt the mandolin models and makers had been thoroughly covered, so I was free to explore the musical and cultural history of the instrument, and it proved to be quite an enjoyable journey.

    We share the experience of having a photo of a grandmother in a mandolin orchestra. In my case, the photo is from 1919 - supposedly after the mandolin had died. Obviously it hadn't, and that photo provided some of the inspiration to find out what was really happening with the mandolin through the years.

    Walter

  27. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to walter carter For This Useful Post:


  28. #20
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    1,271

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    My copy arrived yesterday and what a delight it is. I spent the rest of the day reading through it. My main complaint is that there are a whole bunch of recordings I had forgotten about (or didn't know about at all) which I shall now have to track down and listen to!

  29. #21

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    I finished reading my copy of Walter's book last week and am now well into my second reading. It is really splendid. Thank you, Walter!
    http://northsidesouthpaws.com

    2011 Lefty National Reso-Phonic RM-1
    2010 Lefty Champtone Mandolinetto
    2006 Lefty National Reso-Phonic RM-1
    1960 Lefty Fender Mandolin
    1935 Lefty Kalamazoo KM-11
    1924 Gibson Mandolin Banjo Jr.
    1892? Washburn Model 73

  30. #22
    Registered User Nathan Kellstadt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    upstate, ny
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Article: The Mandolin in America

    When I got Walter's book and, after looking through it (I'm trying to savor it) put it on the shelf next to Graham's book, I thought to myself that it's a great time to play (and love) the mandolin. My thanks to both of you for sharing your fondness & enthusiasm with the rest of the community.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •