Name: Mandole.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.321.5
Inventor: Jean Bélido.
Country: Algeria, Many.
Region: North Africa.

Description: The Algerian mandole [mandol, mondol] is steel-string fretted instrument resembling an elongated mandolin, popular in Algerian Kabyle and Chaabi music and Nuba Andalusian classical music. The name can cause confusion, as “mandole” is a French word for mandola, the instrument from which the Algerian mandole developed.

The Algerian mandole is approximately the size of a mandocello. The instrument has also been called a “mandoluth” when describing the instrument played by the Algerian-French musician, Hakim Hamadouche. However, the luthier for one of Hakim’s instruments describes it as a mondole.

History: The mandole is the European mandola although The North African variant was created in 1932 by the Italian luthier Jean Bélido. Following recommendations made by Algerian musician El Hadj M’Hamed El Anka. El Anka, who is known for his contributions to Chaabi music, had learned to play the mandola while young.

Development: The luthier Bélido found the mandolas used in Andalusian orchestras to be “too sharp and little amplified”. Bélido, who was a music teacher and luthier in Bab El Oued, changed the size of the “demi-mandole” then being played, increasing it and changing the soundboard structure, case thickness and strings. The instrument he created is closest to the mandocello in the mandolin family.

Mandole Tunings
Names Tunings
E / A / D / G / B / E
C / G / D / A / G / D
E / A / D / G / C

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