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Thread: Mandolino

  1. #1
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    I'm wondering how many here also play a mandolino?

    I'm interested in aquiring one, but other than Dan Larson, where else could you find an affordable one in the US?
    Bill Foley

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    I'm not at all sure what you mean by the term Mandolino. Can you elaborate?

    I thought the term Mandolino was simply the Italian for mandolin, although I beleive some people refer to the mandolino as the 12 string instrument, for example here which is what I presume you mean? mandolino Genovese?
    Thanks
    ian




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    I think he means the 6 course basic lombard version (Genovese or 5 course examples, nice as they are, would be marginal to an already marginal instrument type.

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    Yes, what Richard said.
    Bill Foley

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    Registered User Alex Timmerman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (RSW @ June 20 2008, 02:56)
    I think he means the 6 course basic lombard version (Genovese or 5 course examples, nice as they are, would be marginal to an already marginal instrument type.
    A "6 course (?) basic lombard (?) version"? Please explain...


    Best,

    Alex.




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    What I meant by mandolino was a six course instrument tuned g b e a d g played by fingers.

    sorry for the confusion
    Bill Foley

  7. #7

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    Mandolin nomenclature will always be a confused mess and always need a little explanation in addressing the older forms simply because of the name being reapplied to a totally different paradigm beginning in the mid 18th c., a then-new paradigm that just happened to be subsequently developed into all the modern status quo variants. #Regional modifiers aren't wholly satisfactory because they weren't specifically designated by baroque-era repertoire.

    That said, "Aye." #Mine is by Luciano Faria in Brazil. #If you'd like the full scoop, feel free to write directly, Bill. #Also, consider the eye candy page I helped to assemble. #(I just noticed the last link there is incorrect. #It should be: http://www.liuteriadinsieme.it/ )




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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Here is a one for sale on ebay.it #the nature or quality of which I will avow I know nothing:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....ps%3D42

    The price at the moment seems viable. #And I've received some reasonable estimates of shipping from Italy relative so some of their EU cohorts.

    Mick
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    As noted, I find these little confusing. These 6 string variants (as Mick linked) as far as I know are sort of modernized reissues of the earlier 12 strings types correct? Or are they more of a regional Lombard variant of the non-Neapolitan types?
    Jim

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  10. #10

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    The thing Mick posted is a modern mandolino lombardo, regional descriptor wholly appropriate. It shares tuning and was derived from earlier forms, but it's not quite the same thing about which Bill was inquiring.

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    Registered User Alex Timmerman's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Of course the eBay 6-string mandolino is a Mandolino Lombardo. The name given to it as described usually by the makers of this type at the labels inside these instruments.
    However, the additive 'modern' (as used above, quote: "modern mandolino lombardo) is in my view unnecessary and not at its place here.
    Especially because there is earlier in times, no mentioning of this exact type - with all its characteristics - other than that this is the 'Mandolino Lombardo' type [within the Mandolin family]. Thé name for it as used in the last quarter of the 19th century by makers and players.


    Best,

    Alex




  12. #12

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    Come now, Alex. You should know that I'm not trying to impose the use of "modern" as a formal name of anything at all. Where known, I always prefer to default to the names used by an instrument's contemporary makers and users, as I implied here. The use of "modern" here is only as an adjective--not a formal type designation--to contrast this thing (similar to how they are still built by shops like Musikalia, etc.) with the instruments of the late baroque era that are the topic of this specific thread; I don't think the use of the adjective was necessarily unnecessary given the context of conversation at hand. In 100 years, e.g., this mandolino lombardo won't necessarily be particularly modern...but it will still be a mandolino lombardo. (At ca. 100 years old, I suppose it might not even be considered particularly modern now, but it certainly is more modern than a gut-fretted mandolino in six courses of doubled strings by Presbler.) That eBay instrument is also discussed here, where the context did not necessitate clarification by adjective.




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    Registered User Alex Timmerman's Avatar
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    Hello Bill,

    To answer your initial question (quote "I'm wondering how many here also play a mandolino?". My guess is that the number of mandolino players here at the café will be something like 5, perhaps 1 or 2 more.
    In your later replay at this topic you clarify it a little more with (quote): "What I meant by mandolino was a six course instrument tuned g b e a d g played by fingers"..
    I am happy, after all the unnecessary confusion here, that you still call the instrument by its proper name; as the 'mandolino'.
    As I understand it you mean with 'a six course instrument' that the mandolin type you are asking questions about and that you would like to have is strung with 6 double strings. Indeed, still pointing to it as the 'Mandolino".
    And, to continue, that it is played with the fingers [of the right hand].

    This question limits the number of Mandolino players since you make a distinction between those who play the instrument with the right hand fingers (as originally intended) and those who play it similar to later developed mandolin types, with a quill or plectrum.

    To answer your question I would think that World-wide (professionals, students and mandolino aficionados) the number of Mandolino players probably comes near to a hundred. Those of them who play it with the fingers can (unfortunately) be counted on the fingers of two hands.


    Best,

    Alex




  14. #14

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    Bill,

    I occasionally play mandolino, though I generally paly with a quill rather than fingers. I purchased my instrument from Marilyn Mair a while back. You can see it heremandolino scroll down a bit on the page.

    Barry




  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by (Alex @ June 21 2008, 18:39)
    To answer your question I would think that World-wide (professionals, students and mandolino aficionados) the number of Mandolino players probably comes near to a hundred. Those of them who play it with the fingers can (unfortunately) be counted on the fingers of two hands.
    I have no idea how to really come up with a solid estimate. #It's interesting to think I might be the most ham-fisted amongst such an exclusive subset of musicians. #Of course Alex has demonstrated it can be played very nicely with the fingers as has Cafe-er Eric. #I know O'Dette has played mandolino with the fingers, but goes with a nylon plectrum when playing the Vivaldi stuff. #Of course, James Tyler plays with the fingers. #A classical guitarist, Ulrich Wedemeier also plays with the fingers (check out his recording of the Hasse concerto). #Daniel Swenberg, lutenist/guitarist for the early music ensemble Artek, plays mandolino; he tells me he's familiar with the repertoire, but I have no idea if he plays with fingers or quill. #Luthier/performer Clive Titmuss builds and plays mandolino (although he unfortunately takes cue from the last generation of organologists and names his "mandore"), and it sounds to me like he plays with the fingers, lute-like. #I believe lutenist Lynda Sayce plays mandolino with the fingers. #As Alex alludes, that certainly isn't a large number. #Anybody know who else has recorded punteado on mandolino?

    I very much like the way Ahlert and Galfetti handle the instrument, but I believe both use quill pretty exclusively. #The whole of the Barockmandolinenensemble des Fidium Concentus play with plectrum on big, idealized modern German instruments, as do Lichtenberg, Weyhofen, and a few others, but those instruments aren't quite like anything of the baroque era in spite of sharing a general aesthetic and tuning, so I don't know that they quite qualify for this count.




  16. #16

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    PS: I think one of the issues here is that many who come to the earlier form of mandolino come from modern mandolins where plectra are the standard. Where lutenists and classical guitarists take it up, they may be more likely to do so punteado.




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    Exactly... I'm in the plectrum wielding camp. In another life I'll try my hand (fingers) at it without the plectrum. To answer Alex's question to me, when I speak of 6 course or 5 or 4 course anything it does not necessarily refer to the number of actual strings: paired versus single courses are treated the same. By basic I simply meant the more common. Genovese and 5 course mandolinos are rare today and have been for a few centuries now.

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    I suspect I'm much more ham-fisted than thee Eugene... Yes, I play the mandolino.. yes, it is a wonderful little instrument (in all of its flavors). #Yes, I play with the fingers mostly, unless the music is something like Hoffmann which seems to distinctly call for the plectrum.

    I was a violinist first, then a plectrum-wielding player of Neapolitan-style instruments, then ultimately a finger-style player on mandolinos and lutes. #With a few good pointers, its never too late to start. :-)

    Best,

    Eric



    "The effect is pretty at first... It is disquieting to find that there are nineteen people in England who can play the mandolin; and I sincerely hope the number may not increase."

    - George Bernard Shaw, Times of London, December 12, 1893

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    I already play some Hoffmann(mando duet and mando & viola
    duet)so it may not seem so big a learning curve.
    I also play a domra which is tuned (E A D) in 4ths, so that may help too.
    But any other tips are appreciated.
    thanks
    Bill Foley

  20. #20

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    So, then... should one, far be it from me, in some sort of rapturous seizure, feel an intense craving to play any ONE "historical", non-Neapolitan whatevermandolino, which one would you aficionados recommend?
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  21. #21

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    Myself, the lute-like, fixed-bridge, gut-strung mandolino tuned wholly or mostly in fourths. I'd recommend six courses just because that would give you access to the whole of its somewhat sizable repertoire.

    ...But I also like the early Neapolitan and it is fairly substantially different from the modern incarnation.

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    Hi Victor,

    The canonical historically-correct answer is, of course, a question. What music do you want to play? :-) These things progressed from 4 to 5 to 6 courses over time, and the music has similar requirements. Obviously a six-course instrument lets you play everything pretty much, though the extra course(s) can get in the way a bit for earlier tunes. So... I guess that would be my "first instrument" recommendation.... if you're not into "collecting them all"... That said, my favorite mandolino is a five-course double-strung instrument, though it can't play everything.

    Which instrument does depend on personal preferences and the selected music to some degree. It also depends on how close you want to get to the original intent/context of the composer. I'm a geek about this, but to some people it matters less. With some exceptions, you can play most music with either the right-hand fingers or a suitable plectrum.

    If you want to explore the tuning in forths, but don't care to learn finger-style technique, a mandolino Lombardo mght be the thing. This approach lets you get your feet wet, as it were, and is a little less anachronistic than playing mandolino music on the Neapolitan instrument... but of course the mandolino Lombardo it is somewhat limiting as these guys were more heavily built and designed for the plectrum. If you want to explore right-hand finger-style playing (which I highly recommend), look to a double-strung mandolino, or a single-strung mandolino Milanese.

    Like anything, having a good instrument that plays well will increase the likelihood that you'll actually enjoy the experience and stick with it. A universal principal, I suppose. I would *not* recommend a tiny copy of the Cuttler-Challen Strad as a starter instrument, as it is something of a statistical outlier (speaking from personal experience). There is another great thread around here somewhere about historical six-course mandolino models that may be of interest.

    Best,

    Eric

    ps - I'm going to be parting with a lovely double-coursed six-course instrument soon. PM me if interested... but expect a delay as I'm on vacation just now and will soon be without the computer... :-)
    "The effect is pretty at first... It is disquieting to find that there are nineteen people in England who can play the mandolin; and I sincerely hope the number may not increase."

    - George Bernard Shaw, Times of London, December 12, 1893

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    So... Eugene managed to say what I said in many fewer words... :-)
    "The effect is pretty at first... It is disquieting to find that there are nineteen people in England who can play the mandolin; and I sincerely hope the number may not increase."

    - George Bernard Shaw, Times of London, December 12, 1893

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by
    "I'm going to be parting with a lovely double-coursed six-course instrument soon. PM me if interested."
    I'd love to, Eric, but my ignorance is so dreadfully profound that I need to find some anwsers to your many, relevant questions first, THEN consider the if/what/when/how, etc.

    Cheers,

    Victor
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

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