Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: Music for mandola

  1. #1
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    422

    Default Music for mandola

    I am the proud new owner of a mandola.

    Are there any good resources for sheet music? Standard notation, alto clef. I am familiar with the viola repertoire and will draw from there, but how about for nonclassical? There's such a wealth for mandolin. Anything similar for mandola?

  2. The following members say thank you to Louise NM for this post:

    CHASAX 

  3. #2

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    If you're looking specifically for alto clef, there's not a heck of a lot of non-classical stuff out there.

    If you're willing to branch out into bass clef and/or tablature, the options become more numerous. There are quite a few tenor guitar books that cover the CGDA tuning, particularly for jazz and blues.

    And if you have an interest in Irish music, I highly recommend The Irish Cellist book from Berklee Press, which goes well beyond being a book of tunes and actually addresses the challenges involved in playing tunes meant for GDAE-tuned fiddlers on a CGDA-tuned instrument.

    There are also Bass Clef editions of many volumes of the Real Book series of fake books. These will just have melody lines and chords, though, so you'll need a good chord vocabulary first.

    Finally, unless you're needing to play with others (or the CD that came with the book), there ain't nothin' wrong with playing all those many mandolin books as if they were written for CGDA. You've got 4 courses tuned in fifths just like they do.

  4. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Escaped Cellist For This Useful Post:

    CHASAXDolamonRBMB 

  5. #3
    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Kerrville, TX
    Posts
    4,004

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    What type of music are you looking for? Can you be a little more specific than "nonclassical"? I have worked up tabs for a lot of common fiddle tunes to be played on the mandola in their original keys. Sometimes it takes being a bit creative to make it work.
    Keep that skillet good and greasy all the time!

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

    bbcee 

  7. #4
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    Thanks for the input.

    With bass clef, do I assume you play an octave up? I already have occasional problems with clef dyslexia, going between violin/mandolin and viola. I spend the most time reading alto. Tab will be the way to go for chords, but I'm not sure about it for pieces. I have no current facility reading it. Does it work best for a tune that's already partly familiar?

    Bach is amazing. Between the cello suites, the gamba sonatas, and the violin sonatas and partitas, there's music for a lifetime or two. Add in Marcello, Corelli, Telemann, and a few others . . . Can't imagine I'll ever run into someone else with a mandola who wants to give Brandenburg 6 a go.

    I'm not looking for bluegrass or jazz, but would love a source for Celtic stuff, traditional, maybe an old murder ballad or two!

  8. #5
    Dave Sheets
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Buffalo NY Area
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    I picked up a mel bay book, Scottish fiddling for viola, which had tunes in alto. Pretty simple celtic tunes.
    -Dave
    Flatiron A
    Way too many other instruments

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


  10. #6
    Slow your roll. greg_tsam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,988
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    I recently was loaned a Collings mandola. It's beautiful but confusing to transpose bluegrass and fiddle tunes at first. I play by ear so eventually I can figure it out. It's a ton of fun having a deeper register. Keep at it!
    Breedlove Quartz FF with K&K Twin - Weber Big Horn - Fender FM62SCE
    Wall Hangers - 1970's Stella A and 60's Kay Kraft

    Whether you slow your roll or mash on it, enjoy the ride.

  11. #7
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,643
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    I’m more of a treble,tenor & bass reader so havent tried this properly; however one hack which could get you sorted for trad tunes pretty quickly would be to use abc files as your source and just standardise a couple of tweaks to get you translating them to alto for your output.
    I use an app called Tunebook SD for my abc files and haven’t got that to respond yet, hence pitching this out to the forum to see if anyone knows where it could work.

    In ABC music files apparently you can specify the clefs, http://trillian.mit.edu/~jc/doc/doc/ABCtut_Clefs.html

    Because most files don’t have those lines in the code you’d have to drop them in, by having a cut & paste text handy to drop in after the K line for key
    V: 1 clef=Alto middle=C Or V: 1 clef=Alto middle=c’

    That might need to be altered depending on the abc files you find.
    There are good sources if you search on here for the threads on abc tunes.

    Nigel gatherer’s website abc tunes page is a great place to start http://www.nigelgatherer.com/tunes/abc.html

    That should get you up and running with a load of tunes if we can figure out a reader to use.

    Anyone know a reader that reflects that V: line so we can get readers of other clefs supplied with a good batch of tunes?
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Beanzy For This Useful Post:


  13. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Essex UK
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    Beanzy The fiddler in our band is using EasyAbc to transpose music into Alto Clef for the Viola player. I use Musescore together with abc2xml to do the same, partly because EasyABC didn't like one of my Python upgrades on Linux.
    - Jeremy

    Wot no catchphrase?

  14. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to derbex For This Useful Post:


  15. #9
    Pittsburgh Bill
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    618
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    Upon purchasing my first mandola I made a point to learn alto clef. When I then wanted to apply that knowledge to the instrument I soon gave up as sheet music I was interested in playing wasn't available. So I now play with the ame fingering as I do for the GDAE mandolin and transpose. Changing keys for chord/rhythm is no problem, transposing melody not so easy but doable, though I can't do it on the fly.
    For this reason I generally reserve the mandola for solo play and self enjoyment as I prefer the dola range on most but not all music I play. If playing with other musicians I play mandolin exclusively, as transposing keys comes, for me, with much less brain power (or lack of).
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Stiver A style (eagerly awaiting spring 2020 arrival)
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Kentucky KM-950
    Harley Benton A style (Spare canoe paddle)
    Rogue 100A (current campfire tool)

  16. The following members say thank you to Pittsburgh Bill for this post:

    RBMB 

  17. #10
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,643
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    Cool solution Jeremy,

    I copied the following abc into the box on the abc2xml website http://abc2xml.appspot.com
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	C820F0F4-8474-4A12-AD59-635DCEDC89E6.png 
Views:	46 
Size:	253.1 KB 
ID:	160956

    Took the musicxml file it presented and chose open in Notion ( that’s the app I use on my iPad)
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	7BA50A1D-0B0D-44FD-B30D-44D3DFFFEBB9.png 
Views:	30 
Size:	89.4 KB 
ID:	160957

    Then selected the instrument in score settings & changed it to viola which sorted the clef
    Then transposed the same selection down one octave;
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	7CD6B83D-E0F1-4616-BBD8-07A9FC087733.png 
Views:	68 
Size:	532.5 KB 
ID:	160959
    And bingo! Got a version for Viola, which I can listen to as a viola in notion or export as a .pdf etc.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	02C49C2A-DA8A-4E64-825B-73F477AC6EF3.png 
Views:	34 
Size:	202.0 KB 
ID:	160958 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	3BF754A0-7687-48B1-990C-B06AC0597AC5.png 
Views:	53 
Size:	133.1 KB 
ID:	160960

    Given there are thousands of abc files across so many genres that could keep someone going for decades.
    I feel a burst of transcription to bass clef ‘cello music may be coming on
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  18. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Beanzy For This Useful Post:

    derbexJL277z 

  19. #11
    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Kerrville, TX
    Posts
    4,004

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    TablEdit changes easily between clefs. I just click on the instrument number at the top right to select which instrument I want to change, then click the "clef" tab. Select which clef I want, click OK, and it automatically adjusts the notation.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screen Shot 09-21-17 at 12.43 PM.JPG 
Views:	63 
Size:	69.6 KB 
ID:	160969  
    Keep that skillet good and greasy all the time!

  20. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Tobin For This Useful Post:


  21. #12
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    I do have TablEdit, and there's enough music available in that format to keep one amused forever.

  22. #13
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    I actually don't have TablEdit, just the free reader, which doesn't seem to have a "change the clef" option.

    I'll look at the ABC option and see if this is within my (admittedly limited) tech capabilities. Or find $60 for TablEdit.

  23. #14
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    south florida
    Posts
    2,790

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    Quote Originally Posted by Louise NM View Post
    Can't imagine I'll ever run into someone else with a mandola who wants to give Brandenburg 6 a go.
    I'd love to, but NM is a bit far from FL. I had the same predicament some time back, so I just played both parts myself. I think it lends itself nicely to a mandola duo!

    bratsche
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!
    MandolaViola's YouTube Channel

  24. The following members say thank you to bratsche for this post:


  25. #15
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    Well, we will just have to meet half way between some day. San Antonio or New Orleans?

  26. #16
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    south florida
    Posts
    2,790

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    Ha! Any of those might as well be the North Pole, as far as my current opportunities and budget allow...

    bratsche
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!
    MandolaViola's YouTube Channel

  27. #17
    Registered User harper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    Louise,
    I also have lovely mandola and am interested in playing it, learning either the viola clef or treble clef 8va (played 1 octave lower than written). Right now I find it easier to just score it in the octave in which it sounds with an F transposition and in treble clef, then play it pretending that it is a mandolin. The Bach cello suites are nice.

    Here is Bouree 1 from Cello Suite No. 3. I can post more as I make them, if you like.

    Evelyn
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bach Bouree 1 Cello Suite 3 mandola viola clef.pdf   Bach Bouree 1 Cello Suite 3 mandola treble 8va.pdf   Bach Bouree 1 Cello Suite 3 mandola F transposition.pdf  

    Harper (My other mandolin is a harp)

  28. #18
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    south florida
    Posts
    2,790

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    Nice job, Evelyn, but that is so much work! So much easier to spend a (comparably) little time learning the alto clef, then choose from the many available sets of all 6 suites transcribed for viola, and you can spend the remaining time you've saved in practicing and playing them. Just a thought. Alto clef is really very logical, and easy to learn!

    bratsche
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!
    MandolaViola's YouTube Channel

  29. #19
    Registered User harper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    Bratsche, do you have any tips for getting used to alto clef? I read only treble and bass clefs, and those very well, but how does one add a new clef to the tool box after many decades of using only 2?
    Evelyn
    Harper (My other mandolin is a harp)

  30. #20
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    Evelyn, if you read treble and bass, you're almost there.

    In alto clef, middle C is the middle line. The top two lines are equivalent to the bottom two of treble, the bottom two equal the top two lines in bass clef. It's just the grand staff with a middle C in between!

    Other than that, find easy music in alto clef—much easier than your limit—and force yourself to read it. Find scales written out in alto clef. Play them slowly, saying the note names out loud as you go. Sounds dumb, but it really works. Do the same with simple tunes.

    When I moved from violin to viola, I got a copy of Harvey Whistler's book, From Violin to Viola. It's an old classic, easily available (try Shar's website). I found it invaluable. It assumes basic competence on violin, which you can transfer to viola. I dug it out to use with the mandola, not for help reading the clef (I'm solid there) but because there are some nice pieces in it at a variety of levels.

    If you are already bilingual, you'll pick up the third language quickly.

  31. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Louise NM For This Useful Post:


  32. #21
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    south florida
    Posts
    2,790

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    I'd recommend to just get some music in alto clef, and start practicing sightreading it. I had only ever known treble clef, and it took me about a week of doing this daily to feel comfortable with it, back when I determined to make the transition to viola from violin at age 27 in order to get a job. I mainly used a book of etudes for viola that I had never played on violin. Seems that it should be even easier for you, since you've already been reading both treble and bass clefs for decades! I still don't feel very fluent with reading bass clef, but haven't had much need for it, except when arranging. But the alto clef fits right exactly between them - middle C is on the middle line.

    bratsche
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!
    MandolaViola's YouTube Channel

  33. #22

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    Check out some of the free music sites www.8notes.com/viola/ so you can try out some easy tunes reading alto clef. It really isn't so bad once you get used to it, but learning it with the easy stuff first, like a kid, will be easier!
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life--music and cats" Albert Schweitzer

  34. The following members say thank you to violmando for this post:

    CHASAX 

  35. #23
    bass player gone mando
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Brooklyn and Rhinebeck NY
    Posts
    400

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    I love playing mandola and I don't sweat the transpositions. It's all just transposing a fifth, which is relatively easy. So if it was G, now it's C, etc. To me, no big deal. But I also play bass including jazz and am used to transposing on the fly. I really don't think about chord names, more about the structures (think I-IV-V, I-Vi-II-V etc.).

    That said, mandolas rock and I'm back playing mandola more than mandolin at the moment ...
    Collings MT O
    Collings MF5 0
    Weber Gallatin Mandola
    Weber Bitterroot Mandola
    Weber Sage Octave

  36. #24
    Summit County, Colorado
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Summit County, Colorado
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Music for mandola

    Tobin,
    Are those tabs suitable for playing with groups?
    Weber F14-0
    1940s Gibson A that needs refretting
    2017 Collings MT-2 Italian Spruce
    Old bowlback
    Considering a Big Muddy because I still regret
    selling my Mid-Mo

Posting Permissions

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