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Thread: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

  1. #1

    Default 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    My brother in law has this 11 string thing; we’re not sure what it’s called. Thanks!
    Last edited by thespenceman; Sep-21-2020 at 9:19am. Reason: Trying to add a photo,,,?

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    Not the slightest idea. Mandolins generally have eight; assuming they’re all there - a photograph might help or you could look here - https://www.atlasofpluckedinstruments.com/index.htm

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    It could be an Oud or a Psaltry.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    A 12 string guitar missing a string? ... oh ... never mind.
    Having something to say is highly over rated.

    The entire staff
    funny....

  6. #6

    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by thespenceman; Sep-22-2020 at 5:15pm. Reason: Trying to get just one photo to appear

  7. #7

    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    Thanks for the initial feedback and the tip on how to add a photo.

    Humor noted, it appears to be very intentionally 2, 3, 3, and 3 stringed from low to high - and body-wise it's very much within the mandolin family.

  8. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    What does the label say? What country is it made in?

    It is a mandriola with a 91.7% discount. Or a Waldzither with three tripled courses and one doubled instead of 4 doubled and one single. Or some variant thereof.

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    Jim

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    What does the label say? What country is it made in?

    It is a mandriola with a 91.7% discount. Or a Waldzither with three tripled courses and one doubled instead of 4 doubled and one single. Or some variant thereof.
    Not a waldzither, I think -- there definitely are 11- (and 13-) string waldzithers around in addition to the more common 9-string, but this instrument is too small and the string configuration is all wrong. Mandriola is my best bet, with the lowest course down to two strings as it's pretty difficult to make triple G strings sound clean. I used to have a 10-string mandolin with 3+3+2+2 configuration, for that very reason.

    However, that assumes that this is a German instrument, which I'm not sure about. The label should give us a clue as to country of origin at least. I can make out the brand "Zola" but nothing else.

    Martin

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    Registered User Martin Ohrt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    Above the "Zolá" I can see "...umentos music...". Sounds spanish or portuguese to me, I'd put the body form in the portuguese realm. Without the name I'd say it's a german make.

    However, googling "instrumentos musicales zola" brought up that Zolá is a bolivian maker of guitars, charangos and mandolins. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a catalogue, so this doesn't help determining what this instrument is.
    Maybe we have some spanish-speaking people here that could investigate further?
    Mandolins: 1920s (?) Meinel & Herold Bowlback, 2006 Furch "Redwood MA-1" A5

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  11. #11

    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    My best preliminary guess is that this is in the bandurria family, something like a tenor laud bandurria. Bandurrias commonly have six courses in Spain, but often have four if they are from South America.

    I'm not that knowledgeable about world instruments, but I like to research them.

    What is the scale length?

    Where did your brother-in-law get it?

  12. #12

    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    The instrument maker is Daniel Zola, or Daniel Zola Pacolla of Bolivia. Is this blog you can see him holding a guitar with the same label:

    https://mype-pymes-bolivia.blogspot....de-cuerda.html

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  14. #13

    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    Thanks for the continuing input on this - here is some further info from my brother-in-law in answer to some of the questions:

    The label says: Instrumentos musicales Zola
    AV Blanco Galindo Km 2 1/2 Tel 40578

    Scale is 35cm and the tailpiece is made for 10 strings.

    The tuners are 2 sets of 5 plus a mismatched extra for the 11th string.

    But the headstock is carved for 11 strings for sure.

    He was given it free when he got a guitar, in Los Angeles.

    ###

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    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    Blanco Galindo was caretaker governor of Bolivia at the start of the 1930s so the Bolivian connection looks likely.

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    I'd say it was variant to the mandolin, simple enough.

    it's not an oud.

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    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    350 mm. works out to just over 13 3/4".
    It's from a Bolivian maker.
    It's a four course instrument with double and triple strung courses.
    It's not a charango or quatro or any other small Latin American non-mandolin family instrument that I am familiar with.
    I'd feel comfortable calling it a Bolivian mandolin.
    In Bolivia, it might be called "mandolina" or "bandolina," or they might have another name for it.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Well, after further study, I have found some info from Wikipedia that suggests that it might instead be a bandurria, where those instruments are made with four courses and tuned in fourths. I am not acquainted with any Bolivian musicians, so I cannot say anything with certainty.

    Anyway, all of our fretted instruments of "European origin" are descendants of the oud, except for the banjo.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A casual history of the mandolin family might go something like this:

    There is evidence of the existence of instruments that resemble the lute in the middle East going back several thousand years. When the Moors conquered what we now call Spain in 711, they brought the oud with them. Subsequently, the instrument spread through Europe and developed into the European lute. Sometime in the late 1600's or early 1700's, someone decided to make a small lute and tune it in fifths, like the newly popular violin. The instrument caught on and was dubbed "mandolina." This instrument eventually found its way into the Americas, where it was later found that it could be made with separate back and sides like the developing guitar, rather than staves formed in a bowl shape. During the 1880's, American builders like Lyon & Healy started making bowl back mandolins in significant numbers. A bit later, the C.F. Martin and Vega companies began making mandolins with flat backs, and a fellow by the name of Orville Gibson thought that since mandolins were tuned like violins, it might be a good idea make them with carved tops and backs like a violin. We know the rest for the US.

    And in Latin America, flat back mandolins were also developed, with their characteristics varying from country to country. The study of Latin American fretted instruments is deep, complex, and interesting, and is not very familiar to most of us in the US, Canada, or Europe.
    Last edited by rcc56; Sep-23-2020 at 8:55pm.

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  19. #17
    Registered User Martin Ohrt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    Could the string diameters give further hints regarding the intended tuning?
    Mandolins: 1920s (?) Meinel & Herold Bowlback, 2006 Furch "Redwood MA-1" A5

    Octaves: 2004 Fender FMO-66 Flat-Top, 2015 A. Karperien 5 String Electric

    Banjos: 2007 Gold Tone IT-250F Irish Tenor, 1963 Vega Vox No. 1 Plectrum, 2016 Recording King RK-OT25 Clawhammer

  20. #18

    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    Pretty confidant that I would label this a Bolivian Bandurria. Scroll down to the entry for Bandurria, Peruvian and you can see it is an alternate name, and since we know the provenance...

    https://stringedinstrumentdatabase.aornis.com/b.htm

    Suggested tunings would be D4 D3 D4, G4 G3 G4, B4 B4 B4, E5 E5 E5 or E4 E3 E4, G4 G3 G4, C4 C4 C4, E5 E5 E5. Would have to adjust for it being 11 strings and not 12.

    I think the only way to get more information about this particular instrument would be to get in touch with the maker. I've looked a bit for contact information--e-mail, social media accounts, etc. and come up empty. There is a phone number on your label, but I have no idea if that is current.
    Last edited by Southern Man; Sep-24-2020 at 7:06am.

  21. #19

    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    This has been a very satisfying and enjoyable thread to watch develop - thanks to everyone here!

    I'll post again with any updates...

  22. #20
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post

    Well, after further study, I have found some info from Wikipedia that suggests that it might instead be a bandurria, where those instruments are made with four courses and tuned in fourths.
    Great post.

    However, all the bandurrias (and the octave larger laud) I've seen from Spain, the Philippines, South America, etc. are 6 course instruments tuned in 4ths.

    http://www.fernandezmusic.com/Laud.h...e%20the%20laud.

    "Both the Spanish Laud and Spanish Bandurria are traditionally tuned G# G#, C#C#, F#F#,bb, ee, aa"

    http://www.upafrondalla.org/instruments.html

    The Filipino versions used in the rondalla groups are tuned a step lower:

    "all are 14-stringed consisting of six sets of strings (F# B E A D G) tuned in the intervals of fourths, each set consisting of 1, 2, or 3 strings. "

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    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    One source http://www.atlasofpluckedinstruments.com/south_america.html#bolivia indicates that Bolivian and Peruvian bandurrias are built with only four courses.
    I don't know. The most reliable source would be a Bolivian musician, and I don't know anyone from that country.

  24. #22
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: 11 (eleven!) string thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    One source http://www.atlasofpluckedinstruments.com/south_america.html#bolivia indicates that Bolivian and Peruvian bandurrias are built with only four courses.
    I don't know. The most reliable source would be a Bolivian musician, and I don't know anyone from that country.
    That website is not 100% accurate. Most of the time but I've already found some discrepancies with reality.

    There's also the many sorts of Bandolas, that are tunes GDAE or ADAE.

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