Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.321.6 bowl back ; 321.222.6 flat back
Scale Length: mm.
Country: Italy, Global.
Region: South Europe.
Description: The word “mandolin” has come to denote a plucked stringed instrument with a bowl back and a short neck. Having four courses and eight doubled strings. This type of mandolin is the Neoapolitan mandolin or the flat backed American Blue Grass mandolin. The three most common types of mandolins are the Neapolitan, Lombardi and flat-backed mandolins.
Origins: Predecessors for the mandolin include the gittern, mandora or mandola in Italy during the 17th and 18th centuries. Throughout Italy mandolins having different string amounts and string arrangements are found.
This includes five course [10 stringed] and 6 stringed [12 stringed]. There were a variety of regional variants of the mandolin. Mandolin varieties with in Italy at the time of their developed mainly were differentiated number of strings and respective tunings.
The Brescian and Cremonese six mandolins are tuned in fourths. The Milanese, Lombardi and Sicilians play the 6 course instruments having two strings per course such as the Genoese. There has been a twelve string [three string per course] mandolin and one with sixteen strings [four strings per course].
Citations: Bibliography: Websites: