Carnatic Mandolin

Name: Carnatic Mandolin.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.322.6
Inventor: Uppalapu Srinivas [1969-2014].
Tuning: x / G / C / G / c / g – tuned in a fifth interval.
Country: India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: Although it is called a “mandolin” this instrument should not be confused with the Neapolitan mandolin as from Italy. This particular modified instrument is the creation of  U. Srinivas. In experimentation, he changed the order of the mandolin in favour of single strings. This allows for the strings to respond in a sensitive manner, required in Carnatic [South Indian Classical Music]. The instrument is more resemblant of a solid-body electric guitar slightly smaller then an “octave guitar”.  

Authors Note: Included is a tuning chart representing western notation, sargam notation and the standard tuning for the eight string mandolin added for comparison. The tunings listed at the top of the table represent the modifications made for this instrument.

Carnatic Mandolin Tuning
  x / G / C / G / c / g
in Sargam Notation S / P / S / G / s / g   
Standard Tuning  G G / D D / A A / E E


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