Type: Lute > Chordophones.
Region: Many & North America.
Description: The mandolin-banjo or banjolin is a hybrid instrument, combining a banjo body with the neck and tuning of a mandolin or violin depending whether the the instrument is fretted or fretless. It has been independently invented in more than one country, being called banjolin and banjourine in English speaking countries, banjoline and bandoline in France, and the Cümbüş in Turkey.
History: The instrument was popularized prior to the 1920s, when the tenor banjo became more popular. In the heyday of mandolin orchestras and banjo bands [late 19th–early 20th century]; all sorts of instruments were produced. The mandolin-banjo is one of the hybrids that resulted. It enabled mandolinists to produce a banjo sound without having to learn that instrument’s fingerings. The instrument adds the banjo’s volume to the mandolin.
Tuning: It is tuned in the same manner as the mandolin and violin G-D-A-E.
Origins: Inventors were experimenting to create amplified instruments in the days before electric amplification. The first patent for a mandolin-banjo was taken out in 1882 by Benjamin Bradbury of Brooklyn NY. The name banjolin was first patented by John Farris in Hartford, Connecticut 1885. This instrument became quite popular in the 1920s in tow with the tenor banjo. During the late 19-20th centuries all sorts of instruments were produced.
Citations: website: Banjolin.co.uk