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Thread: What is a Celtic mandolin?

  1. #101
    Registered User mikeyes's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    And One More:

    Gibson F5V


    Mike

  2. #102
    Registered User mikeyes's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    And another:



    Mike

  3. #103
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    That is a Celtic Mandolin, Mike, whether or not it has points and a scroll! it's the way you play it and you certainly play Celtic (whatever that label might encompass) here.

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  5. #104

    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    I think if the article's title was "What is the preferred Celtic Mandolin", rather than
    "What is a Celtic Mandolin" it would have been more on target to resolve some issues.
    That may have not generated as much discussed.
    It is unmistakable what is the preferred mandolin for Bluegrass and I think that holds true for
    Celtic music as well.

  6. #105
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    *** Specializing in mandolin mediocrity since 2006. ***

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  8. #106
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beanzy View Post
    For me a "Celtic" anything must be American to be authentically "Celtic", otherwise it just lacks the sense authenticity of modern marketing speak.
    Would be more clever a riposte if Nigel K wasn't English. Or British.

    Mick
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  9. #107
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    Many follow American trends this side of the Atlantic
    Eoin



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  10. #108
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    "What is a Celtic Mandolin?" Who knows? Archaeologists have failed to find one miraculously preserved or even a drawing of one. We don't even know what music sounded like around 500BC.
    However, there are lots and lots of people out there playing what we call "Celtic" music on mandolins of all shapes and sizes, enjoying the sounds they make and having fun doing it.

  11. #109
    Registered User Brian560's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    I have heard that the one characteristic of Celtic mandolins is that they have a flat back, because they are easier to set down on a pub table than a bowl back. I have heard mentioned a preference for round hole versus f-hole, and an A-style versus the F-style, but both are only generalities that are often broken. I have also noticed that many builders from Celtic regions specialize in building flat tops, and I would guess that is because they work well with Celtic style music: It also might be the influence of Portuguese instruments.

  12. #110

    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    Nice to see this thread come back to life. It might be an idea for some of you to read the article that came out of this thread:

    http://www.nkforsterguitars.com/blog/celtic-mandolin/

    Many of the points that have come up are covered in the post.

    Nigel

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  14. #111
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian560 View Post
    ... they have a flat back, because they are easier to set down on a pub table than a bowl back.
    Also, the pool of Guinness underneath makes a better adhesive that way...
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  15. #112
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    Round-backed mandolins and round-bellied mandolin players don't go well together.
    David A. Gordon

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  17. #113
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian560 View Post
    I have also noticed that many builders from Celtic regions specialize in building flat tops, and I would guess that is because they work well with Celtic style music: It also might be the influence of Portuguese instruments.
    Well, flat tops are easier to make than archtops, and generally sell for less than a hand-carved archtop. So it's difficult to factor that out of the equation. I would say flat tops work well with Celtic style music, sure. But not necessarily better than other types that work equally well.

    To reiterate an argument I made almost 5 years ago on the first page of this thread:

    In my opinion it's a fool's errand to specify what mandolin type is best for playing "Celtic" music, which is at best a marketing term. People are playing wonderful Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, Shetland, you-name-it traditional music on too many different types of mandolins. Just about anything works, within an appropriate context, in this very wide genre of music.

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  19. #114
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by foldedpath View Post
    In my opinion it's a fool's errand to specify what mandolin type is best for playing "Celtic" music, which is at best a marketing term. People are playing wonderful Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, Shetland, you-name-it traditional music on too many different types of mandolins. Just about anything works, within an appropriate context, in this very wide genre of music.
    I agree with Mr. Path. In fact, with the possible exception of bluegrass music which sees a narrow sampling of instruments as proper for the genre (Gibson F-5, Martin D-28, flathead Gibson resonator banjo) most genres do not "require" a particular instrument. I have contributed to a similar thread on what a classical mandolin is and you get the same wide variety. What you can do is to guess the characteristics that appeal to players of a particuar genre. Generally, ITM leans toward more sustain and mid-range tones.
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  21. #115
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    It would have been nice if people posted pictures of Celtic mandolins instead of just writing about them

  22. #116
    Registered User Paul Cowham's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    I think that the player is more important than the instrument, e.g. a player who specialises in playing Irish/Scottish music etc would sound more "celtic" on an F5 than a pure bluegrasser would playing say a Sobell. I went to a feis back in 2011 and had the pleasure of hearing Dagger Gordon playing in a (fairly) noisy session on his Collings A5, I could hear it from a distance and it definitely sounded "celtic" - (sorry Scottish ).

    Anyhow, there is a local guy to me who makes instruments, David Lim (nfi), he makes Irish pipes and fretted stringed instruments (and is a very good piper himself) and also fixes my guitar. He has started making Gibson A style mandolins and sold a couple to local Irish musicians, of course this doesn't mean that that particular style mando is any more "celtic" than another but interesting to observe. Here is a photo of him and his mandos which I had a go on, they are great https://davidlim-uilleannpipes.com/lutherie/
    Last edited by Paul Cowham; Mar-05-2019 at 8:02pm.

  23. #117
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Cowham View Post
    I Here is a photo of him and his mandos which I had a go on, they are great https://davidlim-uilleannpipes.com/lutherie/
    Some very nice looking instruments there!
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  24. #118

    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I agree with Mr. Path. In fact, with the possible exception of bluegrass music which sees a narrow sampling of instruments as proper for the genre (Gibson F-5, Martin D-28, flathead Gibson resonator banjo) most genres do not "require" a particular instrument. I have contributed to a similar thread on what a classical mandolin is and you get the same wide variety. What you can do is to guess the characteristics that appeal to players of a particuar genre. Generally, ITM leans toward more sustain and mid-range tones.
    It looks like we'll just have to agree to agree...

    Nigel
    http://www.nkforsterguitars.com/

  25. #119
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    NK Forster's article about this is the best and most detailed I have read.
    (Post #110).
    (By the way Nigel, I was interested to read your Workshop burglery update. I admire your attitude in this. I hope life in Oz is working out for you).


    " I went to a feis back in 2011 and had the pleasure of hearing Dagger Gordon playing in a (fairly) noisy session on his Collings A5, I could hear it from a distance and it definitely sounded "celtic" - (sorry Scottish )." Post #116 Paul Cowham

    Hey Paul Cowham, how are you man? Haven't heard from you for a bit.
    My Collings is in fact an MT, which I've always found to be pretty good for what I do.


    I have found very different mandolins work fine for Celtic music. The context of what you want it for - ie mainly sessions in bars, stage instruments (perhaps with a pickup), just playing in the house, travelling around etc, is quite significant but there isn't really just one type for Celtic music, in the way that an F5 is considered to be what you need for bluegrass for example.
    Last edited by Dagger Gordon; Mar-06-2019 at 12:36am.
    David A. Gordon

  26. #120
    Registered User Paul Cowham's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post

    Hey Paul Cowham, how are you man? Haven't heard from you for a bit.
    My Collings is in fact an MT, which I've always found to be pretty good for what I do.
    Hi Dagger, all good thanks. Got married in 2014 and had a baby boy last May so plenty to keep me busy!

    Still managing to play music though, this was an interesting project - imagining what the musical output could have been in the mid 19th century when there was an Irish community on one side of the river Irk in North Manchester and a Jewish community on the other - both drawn there by the prospect of work - Manchester was the first industrialised city in the world.
    https://www.wegottickets.com/event/432813

    Hope you and family are doing well?

  27. #121
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    Another voice to add to the choir - Folks can and do play Irish/Celtic music on any type of mandolin:

    Recently spent 3 days at Marla Fibish's Winter Irish Mandolin intensive workshop - there were two Girouard oval A's, five old Gibson oval A's, a Pava A5 and an old Slingerland A with f-holes - all the mandolins sounded great (the young lad, maybe 13 yrs old? with the Slingerland was a killer player!) - not a flat top in the bunch.
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  28. #122
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    When you talk about celtic mandolins, i was going to mention Jill's new Girouard which you can hear (and her great playing) on her song a week thread. I did a gig last friday using my Eastman and I usually use my snake -- one a modern, one an old instrument -- and nobody seemed to object amid an audience that included a bunch of transplanted Irish who came to hear the music they grew up with, and a woman who grew up where the Tulla Ceili Band was from who showed me a video (on her phone) of a youngster, maybe 8 years old, playing on his mandolin which looked like an old Kay. So i'll (again) add my voice to those who said it's how you play, not what you play it on.
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  29. #123
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Cowham View Post
    Hope you and family are doing well?
    All good. Colin got married in September and lives on a boat near Bristol, Donald is getting married in June and moving to Shetland and we're just back from a month in New Zealand visiting the youngest who's there for a couple of years. Had a great time.

    Meanwhile I'm playing as much as ever. I'm teaching mandolin at the Adult Feis in Ullapool this year and unbelievably I'm getting sent to Crete for a week next week to study under a guy called Efren Lopez (who I am a big and long-term fan of) at Labyrinth Music Workshop. Can't wait.
    https://www.labyrinthmusic.gr/en/sem...-music-group-4

    All the best. I have fond memories of you at Fort Augustus.
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  30. #124
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post
    Round-backed mandolins and round-bellied mandolin players don't go well together.
    On the other hand, a round-backed mandolin holds more Guinness.
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  32. #125
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a Celtic mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian560 View Post
    It would have been nice if people posted pictures of Celtic mandolins instead of just writing about them
    Probably waiting until we have a definitive answer so as not to confuse the issue by posting a picture of a “wrong” one

    In the meantime here’s mine:



    As I play mainly Celtic music I think it qualifies.

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